11 October 2011

Review: Ashfall (Ashfall, #1) By: Mike Mullin

Title: Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)
Author: Mike Mullin
Publisher: Tangelwood Press, 466 Pages (October 11th, 2011)
From: the Author, Thank You!

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.

Review: 5 Stars - Ashfall, the first in a new (out today!) series from author Mike Mullin is a shocking, imaginative, terrifying and extremely well written book; with characters facing some dyer choices and events throughout in this unique dystopian story.

As a reader who’s been to Yellowstone numerous times and seen some of the geysers & mud pots up close and personal this book hits pretty close to home. I understand the chances of an eruption happening during my lifetime are slim to none, but Mullin has written a story that’ll rattle you and make you think. Makes you wonder how people would actually survive and how rough things would truly be for a long, long time.
I was sucked in with Mullins writing from the first few pages. The words ebbed and flowed, moving the story along at a swift pace, making this one of those titles that I just about read in one sitting. Trust me; once you get started you won’t want to put it down.

The story follows our main character Alex as he embarks on a journey to get to his parents. With all means of transportation being destroyed by the thick and heavy ash that falls for days, he uses his father’s cross country ski’s to try to make it through the over 100 mile journey. He’s  the 16 year old kid we meet at the beginning of the book who has no choice but to grow up fast and changes into a man quicker then I think anyone facing what he must to survive would be able to handle. If I’m totally honest, I didn’t care for him in those first few pages of the book, but he quickly became one of those characters that I wanted to follow along with as he made his way to finding his family.

What he meets along the way was shocking, but believable on so many levels that it makes you cringe and your heart break time and time again for the teen. I will say that there were some pretty gruesome aspects to this one, but it’s needed to really understand the plight of the people and how the world has changed in such a quick period of time. Thankfully, not all the people he meets along the way are… cruel, and he’s lucky to find kind hearted people that offer help, even if helping Alex could hurt them in the days, weeks or months long after he’s gone.

One of the people he meets is 18 year old Darla. She’s feisty and somewhat bossy, doesn’t want to help Alex, but her mother thinks otherwise. As the story moves along at a lightning fast pace, we see Alex further change and along with him, we learn more about Darla. I loved how Mullin has written these two and how they worked together and with the story. They had that “fits like a glove” feel that made reading this title even more of a pleasure.

With the turn of the last page, I wanted more. I didn’t want it to be the end of the first chapter in the lives of Alex, Darla and the people in this new ash covered world. I want to know what’s going to happen to them next. What’s going to happen to the world around them and how the affected population is going to survive and just how wide the effects of the ash will be felt around the world. There’s just so much I want to know now and not have to wait! I can say that this is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Wiring, characters, story… it all worked for me as a reader and I would highly recommend this title to anyone who is looking for the next dystopian title to fall in love with.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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  1. Great review! I really enjoyed reading this book as well and hope that the second will be made available on netgalley next year ^_^

  2. I'm very excited about this book and that's a freaking amazing review. You've made it sound like all things I'm expecting outta it. Sold.

  3. Great review- I didn't realize the premise of this one, so I definitely need to check it out!

  4. nice interview! thanks for the post.

  5. I went to Yellowstone a few years ago with my family, so I could definitely relate to the landscape. I have to admit that Ashfall isn't a book that grabbed my attention right of the bat, but lately I've been seeing so many great reviews that I'm starting to reconsider. I think I'll have to give it a shot!

  6. Great review! I can't wait to get this one too!


  7. Ohh sounds good!


  8. Thanks for buying a copy @Angeline! My three cats thank you for their continued kibble.

    I think ASHEN WINTER will be on NetGalley this spring, but that's ultimately up to Tanglewood Press, not me. I'd love for it to be available so that all you lovely book bloggers can read it early if you wish.

  9. Great review! This is a book I have had my eye on for a while, and every review I read makes me want to read it more. :)


  10. Mary DeBorde
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    Mike's an amazing story teller, I LOVED Ashfall and am very eagerly awaiting Ashen Winter!!

    If anyone hasn't made up their mind about getting this or not, you'll be glad you did - one of my favorite books for 2011 :D

  11. I have this one and haven't heard too much about, but I'm hoping to get to it very soon now. I love how the book shows some of the more cruel aspects of a broken world. I like a good dose of reality in any post-apocalyptic or dystopian world and it sounds like Mike Mullin did that very well.

  12. Great review! I will give it a try:)

    bchild5 at aol dot com


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Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Young Adult, "New Adult" & Adult genres/categories. If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email. You can find my email under the "mail" button or under the contact link at the top of the page.

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