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Ashfall by Mike Mullin
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Ashfall (edition 2011)

by Mike Mullin

Series: Ashfall (1)

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5759117,226 (3.98)51
Member:callmecayce
Title:Ashfall
Authors:Mike Mullin
Info:Tanglewood Press (2011), Hardcover, 476 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:read 2012, young adult, science fiction, library

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Ashfall by Mike Mullin

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English (90)  Italian (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
This is a true, "liked it" 3-star rating, not a "meh."

This is the story of Alex, a 15-year-old kid in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He's pretty typical: gives his parents a hard time, plays World of Warcraft, and has done taekwando for years. He's just seen his parents and sister off on their way to his uncle's farm when BLAM, the entire world comes to a screeching halt. The Yellowstone supervolcano has blown, and life will never be the same.

You know, I've also read Harry Turtledove's Supervolcano: Eruption, and I have to say, I like this one better. Alex is a more likeable, relatable character, and the story has a notable lack of Velveeta. Well done.

Particular pluses:
--Alex is not perfect. He's scared spitless, takes risks, wings it, and lives with the consequences. And there ARE consequences.
--I really appreciated the descriptions of the physical effects of the ash and snow. He gets the details right on the biological stuff, and that earns trust in my book.
--Nice twist on the governmental role (no spoilers).
--Nice job being matter-of-fact about the married male couple who live across the street. Right on.

Minuses:
--Darla is a bit of a Mary Sue, but it's tolerable, especially when she's just using it as a front.
--Again with the rape. Just once, I'd like to read a postapocalyptic novel that concentrated on people cooperating to rebuild the world, or gave us something else to motivate the character, or hell, even used MALE rape as the plot device. I know, I know, it's not "realistic." But guess what, people? That's why they call it "fiction." Maybe if we model something else for once, it might become more prevalent. I can dream. It's not enough to put me off the book entirely, but it's SO LAZY and tired. Come on, Mullin--you've got promise, just think outside the proverbial box. This one wasn't even necessary to the plot. /soapbox

All in all, this is a fine start to the series--it's The Road with more action, more hope, more accessible characters, and clearer language. I'll definitely read the next one. ( )
  pfflyernc | Jul 25, 2014 |
While I absolutely love the idea of a novel written about the aftermath of an exploding supervolcano (there needs to be more attention paid to this!), the writing style is a turn-off. Mullin wrote the story as if the young boy himself was writing it, and so it is very "dumbed down" and repetitive, with short sentences. It was distracting and ultimately I could not finish the book. ( )
  amandacb | Jun 2, 2014 |
So nice to read a post-apocalyptic novel based in actual fact! I love fiction, and don't mind at all if something is spun from pure imagination, but I hate it when something is presented as "science," and even an English-major lay person like me can spot the flaws. This was interesting and well-researched, which allowed the science to fade into the background and let the characters shine through.

Loved them all, by the way. The characters were authentic and disparate and strong. The book's only real flaw was that it wrapped so quickly.

Some mild language and fairly strong sexuality for a YA novel. Solid 4 stars.


More and other reviews on fefferbooks.com! ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
Wow, what a book. It had me laughing in parts and crying more! It was such a vivid rollercoaster. Following Alexs journey through everything had me on the edge of my seat. I found it so hard to put it down. Mike Mullins discription of the aftermath of the eruption was scarily real!! Definitely one to read. ( )
  BookLoversLife | Apr 24, 2014 |
First person post-apocalyptic novel. Male protagonist. Good pacing and believable. I want to read the rest of the series. ( )
  TeamDewey | Apr 19, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.
—Will Durant
Dedication
For Margaret, my Darla
First words
I was home alone on that Friday evening.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the Earth forever.

Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when the supervolcano erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.

Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait—to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.

With nonstop action, a little romance, and realistic science, debut author Mike Mullin tells a mesmerizing story. Readers will turn Ashfall’s pages breathlessly, and continue to ponder Alex and Darla’s fate long after they close the book.
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After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, fifteen-year-old Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister, trying to survive in a transformed landscape and a new society in which all the old rules of living have vanished.… (more)

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