Book Review: The One and Only (The ELI Chronicles) by Julia Ash #BookReview #Fantasy #DarkFantasy #Thriller

The One and Only

by Julia Ash


From Goodreads:

When bioterrorism threatens to obscure humanity, one woman has the power to restore hope.

Ruby Spencer plans to resign from the U.S. Special Warfare Council. With an escalating Extinction Level Infection (ELI), the SWC needs the best minds acutely focused on the fight ahead. Yet motherhood has shifted her priorities. She’s preoccupied with her newborn’s health and safety. So resigning is the right choice.

For her last assignment, the SWC sends Ruby and husband Clay on a low-risk mission to Taiwan where they’ll consult with scientists analyzing the infection. Too bad Lt. Col. Quinton Oxford—the American Consulate’s embittered military attaché, is waiting in the shadows. Because Ox’s plans for the couple are everything but low-risk.

When the Spencers are separated and kidnapped from Taiwan to Moscow, Ruby is thrust into a perverse war game between superpowers, where she’s the prize. Only she doesn’t know why. Or even how her abduction relates to the ELI crisis.

But her connection with Zoonosis Mutated Bacteria is emerging. And the fate of her family, of the world, awaits her next move.

My thoughts:

It’s the year 2032. Ruby was able to survive a extinction level infection because her blood was somehow immune. She was the only one to survive the first wave of infection. Now, the Special War Council has requested her to go on a mission to investigate a newly morphed bacteria. This last mission should be simple and low risk, almost like a honeymoon for her and her husband Clay. They shouldn’t have to be there long–maybe a week–and this can finally be over. They head to Taiwan to investigate the zombie infection, including the person responsible for it. Her plans are to retire from the Special Warfare Council when she gets back so she can concentrate on raising her child, but something goes wrong while they’re there. The problem is that Ruby has something everyone wants and they’re all willing to fight for it. What is it that they want, and is there anyone in the world Ruby can trust anymore?

Flipping through the book at first, I was a little nervous thinking it might be too stuffy for me, but it wasn’t at all. I was pulled in from the first chapter. I found the writing to be extremely detailed with imagery in my mind throughout of the different characters and places. The zombie descriptions prompted me to think of two of my favorite movies, World War Z and I Am Legend. I pictured the zombies from these films in my mind with their chattering teeth, dark eyes, and aggressive behavior. This made the book feel even creepier. Plus, the story is interesting, fast-paced, twisty, and a fairly quick read.

The characters were well-developed. Ruby, the heroine, is extremely courageous and an awesome female lead. She wants to do her duty for mankind, but she’s caught between that and being a mother. She wants to keep her daughter Gabby safe, which is now her main priority. I totally connected and sympathized with her. Her husband Clay was a good character, supportive, but Ruby was definitely my ‘one and only’. I also liked Ox, believe it or not. He’s a highly-decorated military attaché willing to do anything for his country. He’s also the type of character you love to hate and perfect for this story. You honestly can’t trust any of the characters in the book though. Be prepared for some surprises!

For the ending, it truly shocked me and I didn’t see it coming. What a twist! At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but it actually works and definitely sets the stage for book two.

I haven’t read many post-apocalyptic books like this one–none pertaining to zombies and bioterrorism anyway. Overall, this was a great read. I can totally see this book adapted to film. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the next book.


Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads:

  • Series: The ELI Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Julia Ash (April 24, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1732081611
  • ISBN-13: 978-1732081611

About the author:

Julia Ash



Julia Ash’s favorite books are contemporary or near-future which push into the imagined, and her debut novel THE ONE AND ONLY lands squarely in that sweet-spot. Like the books she reads and writes, she mirrors the melding of extremes in her personal life. While the bulk of her career was spent working in public relations for a school system–focused on facts and information, she grew up in a historical home–haunted by the paranormal. She currently lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, near the ocean, and belongs to a hunting-and-fishing club in the Pocono Mountains.

Find Julia @ Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Thanks for reading my review of The One and Only. Have you read this book? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

❤ Mischenko

32 thoughts on “Book Review: The One and Only (The ELI Chronicles) by Julia Ash #BookReview #Fantasy #DarkFantasy #Thriller

  1. Thank you soooo much for taking the time to read and review my book, Mischenko! I’m thrilled you liked it and I’m working hard to further improve my craft and storytelling in the sequel. And I’ve got more exciting twists that will impact the Spencer family in The Tether!!! Ruby’s story continues!!! Thanks again 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Hi, I have stumbled across your site while searching through wordpress. I like the format and simple review of the book ‘The One and Only’ I have my first book out on free promotion on Amazon during the 14th December. I would love if you could grab a copy of The Red Lands and if it suits your taste, leave one of your stellar reviews on Amazon. Great work, and have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. starjustin

    Sounds great! I would love to know more about the author’s historical home with paranormal happenings. I wonder if she’ll ever write about herself someday. Awesome review Jen!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! One day I plan to write a paranormal thriller or a memoir (not sure which yet)! The house I grew up in was featured in a book of historical homes and to the surprise to all but me, a mysterious blouse was captured in the middle (hallway’s) third-floor window. The photographer examined the photo negative and dated the blouse to the time when our main ghost (Mrs. Pinkerton) lived! I’ve posted the photo for you on my website if you want to check it out:

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Hi Lana! The house was incredible, in terms of craftsmanship. But I will say, growing up with a ghost and other haunting spirits was creepy. I love my home now…you know exactly who is in it!!! There’s a great deal of relief in that 🙂 !!!

          Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks for checking it out! Yes, sales always get me too. Just can’t pass them up! Btw, I commented on one of your book posts this morning and I think it may have gone to spam. I thought I spied an Owlcrate mug. I was going to try to leave another comment haha. Let me know! 😉❤ xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I thought I commented back, I bet I got distracted this morning and didn’t hit send! Yes! It is, and I was even telling Ryan about your comment! I’m very fond of that Harry Potter mug.. lol my favorite at the moment!
          Do you get OwlCrate still? I’m trying a new one out this month that I’m waiting on… 😊

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I thought it went to spam! That’s been happening to me a lot lately. How cool! That’s the one that we have I believe. Yes! I ended up renewing it for 3 months for my girls this December. We just got it yesterday and I think you’d love it! There’s a Narnia mug that’s made by the same artist that did the Harry Potter mug I believe. Can’t wait to read the book too. 😉 You’ll have to let me know which one you’re trying out. I came close to switching to Amazon prime box, but it’s just not the same. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

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