Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Title: Ashfall
Author: Mike Mullin
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Pages: 466
Buy: AmazonBook Depository

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.

My Review: The first thing I noticed—and liked—about Ashfall was that it started off in the world we know. Other dystopian novels I’ve read already had established futuristic societies, while Ashfall really focused on what happened, why the world fell. The apocalypse is so real, so probable, and because we know exactly how it happened, the possibility of such an apocalypse happening is really frightening.
 I love Mike’s writing style! It was so easy to get into the story that I found it really hard to put down from the beginning. I also loved all the little intricacies and the way that he simulated this volcanic eruption. It reminded me a lot of Dante’s peak with a much cooler central character. Also, loved the neighbors, the gay couple supposed to be looking after Alex, what a hoot those two were. The realism was also something that caught me off guard with this one. Basically, everyone reacts the way you’d expect them to in a crisis like this. I know it’s like a lot of books to pull us out of our reality, but this one was just so logical, I often found myself thinking that I’d say and do and think the same things if I were in Alex’s position. The story centers around Alex, whose parents and sister left him at home while they went to visit family in another state. In their absence, the volcano at Yellowstone erupts, causing massive and widespread effects across the United States. Extreme changes in weather patterns, crop devastation, water supplies sinking, and people panicking everywhere. Through this, Alex feels the need to be reunited with his family, and sets out into the newly chaotic wild world around him, hoping to get to where they were going so they could all be together again.If you’re a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, or stories of survival, then you should pick up this book. Ashfall is the first installment in a planned trilogy and I am so bummed that I have to wait approximately 16 months for the sequel.

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