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. (Goodreads)
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Hardcover: 476 pages
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Source: NetGalley/ Publisher
All Alex wants is a weekend away from his family. He is finally old enough to be left at home while the family goes on a trip to his uncle’s farm. But as the ash starts to fall Alex has no idea if he will ever see his family again.
I enjoy dystopian novels, but Ashfall came as a complete and wonderful surprise. The details that Mullin lays out are amazingly crisp. This supervolcano has just blown and because of Mullin’s great writing I could smell the sulfur in the air, hear the ear deafening blast, feel the ash and snow crunch beneath my feet. Every detail being completely thought out and believable.
Alex is the best YA character I have read in a long time. He starts off this normal fifteen year old boy and by the end of the book he has grown into a man (not in age, but in reality) because of all the decisions and situations he has been put into. I do have one small problem with Alex… Come on Mr. Mullin no fifteen year old is THAT good at Tae Kwon Do. But the Tae Kwon Do did come in handy quite a few times, so I guess it a good thing Alex has such amazing skills.
Even though I love Alex, if I could pick anyone in this novel to be it would have to be Darla. The girl is amazing! Alex meets Darla after being stabbed and she just sews him right up. She knows how to do everything. Fix machines, slaughter animals for food, make graveyard headstones into corn grinders. If it’s the end of the world and you’re wanting to live for a little longer, you might want to stick around Darla.
As much as I loved Ashfall it was hard to read at times. The gritty humanity that was laid out for me to read during an apocalyptic time was more real than I was wanting at times but that’s what made it great. I felt every emotion as I went through this book, yes there was even some humor, and I can’t wait for the sequel.
5 moons: I absolutely loved it, and will be looking into everything this author writes.
Older Teens and up: Lots of violence, gore, light sexual encounters.