Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ashfall - Review

Title: Ashfall

Author: Mike Mullin

Release Date: September 27, 2011

Format/Page Count: Kindle Edition

Publisher: Tanglewood Press

Purchased: Amazon

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget. (From GOODREADS)

Expectation: TWITTER strikes again! My expectation was huge for this book. Mostly because of all the Twitter talk about it. AND...it also sounded KIND of end-times/dystopian  meets contemporary. The idea of this book simply appealed to me.

Market/Genre: Young Adult


“The pre-Friday world of school, cell phones, and refrigerators dissolved into this post-Friday world of ash, darkness, and hunger.”~ Mike Mullin, Ashfall

Think YOUNG ADULT 'THE STAND', only better.

Alex is a fifteen-year old boy. He's home alone when the world experiences a near apocalyptic catastrophe. When a Yellowstone National Park supervolcano erupts, Alex's world is turned completely upside down. As the volcano erupts within the first few pages of this story, Mullin has us sitting on the edge of our seats right away. And he never lets us go. This is one of the most action packed young adult novels I have ever read.

Alex's home was destroyed in the volcano's initial blast. Luckily, he made it out of the house. The couple across the street, Darren and Joe, help Alex during the first day or so, as the volcano continues to erupt and explode.

Once the world returns to quiet, Alex has one thing on his mind--make it to his parents and sister. Big problem--they are hours away by car. In this new world, there are no cars. A thick blanket of ash covers everything. Alex embarks on the journey of a lifetime into the new world of ash and catastrophe.

What Alex meets along his journey makes this one of the best young adult novels I have ever read. He comes upon good people and killers. It is up to him to determine which camp they each fall into. At a farmstead, he finds Darla and her mother. Darla is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. Taught by her father to be handy with tools, as well as problem solving and inventive, Darla brings a lot to the table. Not to mention, Alex's attraction to her.

As things heat up in this new post-apocalyptic world, stakes are raised. People change...become more survival oriented, more singular. After an incident on Darla's farm, she and Alex continue Alex's journey together. Along the way, they learn how to survive together in their new surroundings--and simultaneously lose their innocence and leave their childhoods behind.

I don't want to give anything away. Just know that terrible things happen and heroic things happen. You will love these two amazing main characters. Both are strong and independent. It was extremely refreshing to see just how strong Darla was--a great female role model, excellently written. As a reader, I was totally captivated by this story. It held me in its grip from first page to last. Take the journey across this new horrifying America with Alex. All you have to do is pick up the book and start reading. And, if you're a fan of The Stand, by Stephen King, you'll know what I mean when I say this is reminiscent of that book. But I found ASHFALL to be SO MUCH BETTER than The Stand. I loved loved loved this book!

SIZE:5 (1/2!)

Expectation was realized in spades. I really dug this book a lot and can't wait to read the next in the series. Look for ASHEN WINTER next. I seriously can't wait! I need these characters back in my life. What happens next!?

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