Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sonny Reviews- Ashfall

Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Pages: 466
Source: Netgalley- Digital ARC
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads / Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis
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 Thoughts

I have to start out by saying I had my doubts about this book. And, about 100 pages into the book, I definitely thought about putting it down and walking away. I am so happy that I continued reading; I love this book and cannot wait for the second, Ashen Winter.

Apocalypse or natural disaster movies always intrigue me. God forbid anything of the sort would ever happen, but I am always in awe the way mankind can either destroy after such a disaster, or how they can band together and grow to learn to survive. That is exactly the way Ashfall is; it has both sets of man; the kind that are all for themselves, and the kind that is constantly trying to do the right thing.

Alex was an amazing character. I kept forgetting how old he was because he grew so much throughout the book. At first he was an angsty teenage shut in. After the volcano erupts, he grows into a much more mature guy. He had an amazing sense of survival and also a kind heart. My kind of guy. Alex also had some awesome Tae Kwon Do moves that really helped him survive his journey.
Alex also had a strong will about him that is incredibly endearing. He is set on finding his family and travels over 100 miles just to find them. He also puts himself in the way of danger numerous times to keep Darla safe. In short: I think Alex is amazing!

Another character that I fell in love with is Darla. She is witty, intelligent, and very blunt. She added a humor to the book when it was beginning to fall flat. For a while, there was almost no dialog. Alex meeting Darla and her mother was a life saver, not only for Alex, but for me. I need noise in a book, conversation to keep me interested. The book from then on was something that I absolutely could not put down.

At first, Darla and Alex together were very frustrating. I kept thinking “Darla! Stop being so stupid and just kiss the boy!” But I am glad the way it worked out. It was a slow romance, but beautiful. I could feel the need they had for one another the further in the book I read.  They basic need and want for one another is so adorable and strong.

There was also some violence in the book. Violence in the stress of a disaster is very believable. People will and would do anything to keep themselve alive and well. And quickness of it coming about was a shock, but, like I said, extremely believable.

Mike’s writing was simple, and easy to follow, yet extremely informative. You can feel the information behind the story. There are also some pages in the back of the book explaining where Mike received his information on super volcanos and other sources for you to learn more. The background was definitely there to make the story believable and real.

All and all, Ashfall was an amazing and heartbreaking story of the reality of a disaster. It was well thought out and informative. I absolutely fell in love with the characters so much that my heart ached for them. A truly amazing book.

Favorite Character: Alex and Darla

Least Favorite: Target

Quotes: pg.7 "Together we lost the old world, slipping from that cocoon of mechanized comfort into the hellish land we inhabit now."

pg.193 “’A librarian can’t live by books alone, and I wouldn’t eat them if I could. Feel too much like cannibalism.’”

1 comment:

Luxembourg said...

This story definitely left a burning hole in my chest of what is to come of this author. Should you read it! YES! I recommend this book. There are some mature scenes. Ashfall is beautiful, darkly written book of a future we could have. One that will have you thinking twice about what out future could look like.