During the month of April, the group of bloggers participating in the Dystopia Reading Challenge voted to start Mike Mullin‘s series Ashfall. I’m so glad they did too! I finished it yesterday and it was such a good read!!! In fact it may be among two other series (The Hunger Games and The Legacy) as my all-time favorite dystopian. If you’re a fan of dystopias, specifically the post-apocalyptic survival type, than you should read this series ASAP.Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Published by Tanglewood Press on 2011-09-27
Length: 476 pages
Reviewing Paperback from My Book Shelf
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.
For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.
Ashfall by Mike Mullin is the first book in a post-apocalyptic series about something that could potentially (and I hope NEVER does) happen. You know the super volcano in Yellow Stone national park in the US? The author has centered his story around the “what if” it erupted. I can honestly say it was a shock reading the story as the main character faced one problem after another, as he listened to the eruption, survived the ashfall, and then began to wonder about all those too close to the eruption who were killed almost instantly. I get chills even thinking about it!!!
Alex is a your average 15, almost 16, year old boy at the start of the story. His mom is nagging him, again, to go with the family to visit his uncle for the weekend. He gets out of it claiming homework, in reality he just wants to stay home and play video games with his buddies. And then the eruption occurs. Suddenly that sullen teen has aged ten years. His only thought is how selfish he was and how he needs to find his family. This drives the story forward as Alex ventures out to get to his family, to hug his mom and never let go.
I was impressed with the author’s research for this book. He made the eruption and subsequent events so believable, eerily so! I was completely drawn into the story, Alex’s plight, and the race for survival. BUT the violence — as other reviewers have pointed out — was brutal! By the end of the book, I was numb to it. I just couldn’t handle anymore. I would like to think the best of my fellow human beings, but I think the scary part of this book is that it portrays such an accurate representation of what could happen. People turn on each other again and again. Neighbors, convicts, even the government can’t be relied on. It’s a terrifying thought!
Overall I really enjoyed this book! It kept me on the edge of my seat, not able to turn the pages fast enough. The narrative style writing made it a quick and easy read, allowing me to be immersed completely in Alex’s story. And Darla 😀 Darla is my hero. Just read the book and you will see why. But perhaps for me what made this such a great book is that it isn’t your typical dystopian. This story is about survival and what lengths you may or may not be willing to go to. Fans of dystopian should read this book ASAP, but fair warning it isn’t for the faint of heart.