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Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Ashfall (edition 2011)

by Mike Mullin

Series: Ashfall (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
80412011,352 (3.97)69
Authors:Mike Mullin
Info:Tanglewood Press (2011), Hardcover, 476 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:read 2012, young adult, science fiction, library

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Ashfall by Mike Mullin


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Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
Maybe I'm too old for this book. But I feel like Mike Mullins had an idea, a good one, with the surviving of a super volcano thing. But then Alex opens his mouth and Mike's idea just went woosh out the window.

Or maybe Alex's voice is really authentic and I just don't care for Alex.

Mostly I feel like this book is totally without diversity. Sure, we have the nice gay family at the beginning but from there on out it just feels like it's one "country bumpkin" to the next. Like he couldn't come up with anything except a Hollywood stereotype for the farm folks he runs into. Mabel. Edna. It's just so boring.

Okay, give it a shot. It's obvious that people do like it. I just didn't care for it. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
I read the first in the series and it was great, so I read the second and it was even better; here comes the last of the trilogy and it was the best of all. Trilogies don’t usually get better and better but this post apocalyptic series did just that.
Alex is 16 and is celebrating his first weekend home alone. As you can imagine, he’s glad to be free of parental hassles and his bratty younger sister. All is well until the unimaginable shatters his world and destroys life as Alex knows it. A volcano in Wyoming erupts, and the force of the eruption shoots a giant chunk of rock 900 miles at supersonic speed. This boulder lands on Alex’s house in Iowa. Such a bizarre catastrophe was totally unanticipated. The first challenge is for Alex to get out of the tangled wreckage of his bedroom and his house. His next challenge is to travel to his uncle’s house and reunite with his family. His trek is horrific, grueling, terrifying and full of despair. Murder, cruelty, cannibalism and greed stalk every mile of the journey. The Midwest has fallen into a never ending winter. The animals have died from breathing the ash and the vegetation is covered in mounds of ash.
But Alex also experiences kindness along his route.. After he is stabbed in a fight, he stumbles into a barn, near death from loss of blood. There he finds Darla, (you’re going to either love the character Darla.) and her mother who save his life. Then when Darla’s mother is tragically raped and killed, her house and barn burned, Darla joins Alex on the journey to find his parents. Oh also on the journey is Jack the rabbit, but don’t get too attached to Jack.
Even with their combined reserves of strength and ingenuity, their travel is unimaginably difficult and life threatening. At one point they come across a FEMA camp, relived to finally find relief from starvation, but the camp is more of a prison that help by any means. They escape and avoid FEMA from now on.
As you read, you can almost taste, feel and smell the drifts of volcanic ash for which the book is titled. This post-apocalyptic world is real. The relentless struggle to survive and the ever-present violence destroy what we consider civilization.

( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Aftermath of a Supervolcano Eruption.... Ashfall is a story about surviving in the aftermath of a supervolcano eruption. It follows a teenager named Alex and his harrowing journey across states to find his parents and sister. My first thoughts when I started reading it was that the writing style had a simplistic feel to it, but after the first chapter or two, I think the author, Mike Mullin, found his groove because the writing was flawless from there on out.
One of the things that made this a 5-star book for me, was that Mullin included a surprising level of detail about the characters survival situations and tactics that I haven't found in most dystopian/post-apocalyptic books. He doesn't just touch on the basic necessities like finding shelter and food and dealing with the desperate and crazies in the world. He goes all into field dressing animals, harvesting corn pone, constructing greenhouses and smokehouses out of whatever materials they can salvage and building gristmills out of bicycles, gravestones and spare car parts because they're faster than mortars and pestles. Things like that - which I probably would've never thought of in a million years. The whole story just had its own unique and imaginative flair to it, and believe me, after reading so many dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, you really appreciate those rare gems you come across. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
Did not finish.
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
This was quite the adventure! We first meet sixteen-year-old Alex as he says goodbye to his parents and sister before they depart on a two hour drive to visit his Uncle. Alex is a typical teenage boy with all the typical teenage gadgets; cellphone, computer, gaming station, etc. He has the whole weekend to himself. He can plug in to all those electronics, practice his marital arts, or read his science fiction novels, but this weekend isn't going to be like any other weekend.

I found myself really liking Alex, even when he was being a typical teen with a teen's typical temper. More than once I wanted to reach through the pages and just give the kid a big hug, but that's probably the parent in me talking...or just the average compassionate human being. This kid walks through Hades...almost in the literal sense...and the reader begins to feel like they are along for the ride.

The imagery is dramatic, even shocking at times, and I was impressed at how realistic most aspects of this story became. The author lost me just a little bit when Alex and Darla arrived at the FEMA camp, but only with regard to realism and the commander's orders. Then again, who am I to say this type of thing couldn't happen? I suppose corruption that deep is possible during the apocalypse.

I was also a little surprised at the ending, thus the four stars instead of five. However, I'm moving immediately into book two because I want to know what happens next! This was a very exciting story and a great opening to the trilogy! ( )
  Becky_McKenna | Jun 15, 2016 |
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Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.
—Will Durant
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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