Monday, October 29, 2012

**REVIEW** Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano, so large that the caldera can only be seen by plane or satellite. And by some scientific measurements, it could be overdue for an eruption.
For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.
Release Date: October 11, 2012 (first published September 27, 2011)
Published by: Tanglewood Press
Hardcover: 466 pages


Perfectly fitted to the book, don't you think?


  I read this book awhile back but at the time I didn't do reviews, but with Ashen Winter releasing I decided I wanted to reread this one.  Mike Mullin has created a realistic and horrifying wold in which the impossible has become possible.  The fact that this could happen makes the read much more riveting and addictive.  Despite the fact that this was my second time brought the book I was just as glued to the pages and still held my breath through certain points and got a wee bit emotional at others.  It's the type of book you grip and push forward because you need to know what happens.

  It's very obvious the amount of research that was put into making this novel.  The ease in which the writing flows is proof.  This means not only do you get the terrifying possibilities of the world after this super volcano eruption but you get in detail the human reaction to it.  Sometimes the brutality was hard to swallow but it was real.  Lets face it if the event ever happened most of society would fall apart and the worst of humanity would most likely come out.  The gore and graphic details aren't always the easiest o digest but they made the story more believable.

  The main character Alex was masterfully written.  He was your typical rebellious teen boy.  Meaning he fought with his mom, was more concerned about his video games than going visiting family and isn't really anybody special.  That was before the eruption though.  Once all of the events unfold Alex turns into so much more than a rebellious teen boy, he becomes a strong and determined man.  Though the
growth came a little quick for a few chapters I kind of understood given the circumstances.  It is a fight
for your life or loose it situation frequently so I guess you do what you have to do to.  I appreciated that Alex didn't wait around or just try to survive, he acted and even if sometimes his character did makes leaps of progress instead of steps his character was still wonderful to red.

    There wasn't just Alex throughout the book (obviously) but many other well written characters.  Small or large very character had a clear purpose.  Some were a little heart breaking and others heart pounding.  Darla was the next important to the book outside if Alex and man did I love her.  She is strong, opinionated and yet she is vulnerable as well.  I forgot to mention that she s very intelligent as well.  Basically she is everything you would want on your side in an apocalyptic event.  Though she does have a tough exterior she is only human and is entitled to her weaknesses.  Believe me when I say that you will also fall for Darla and her quick tongue.

  There is no super natural element to this book.  No alien invasions or people gone zombie coming after you.  None of that is needed to make this read addictive and yet terrifying. There is simply a natural disaster that is 100% possible.  The super volcano that this is based around is in Yellow Stone Park and has erupted before.  Though the frequency is not consistent and it hasn't happened in millions of years but that just makes it all the more terrifying.  This also makes it unique.  I love my apocalyptic books that have the zombies or mutations but the realistic ways of this novel really had my attention.  Though I don't know how I would react in this situation I would be lying if I didn't admit that parts of this book gave me the willies.

  This novel is in my top 5 for apocalyptic reads without a doubt.  Even reading it a second time did not take  away from the horror that is this possible event.  Between being wonderfully written and set perfectly this book is not one to be overlooked.  Desperate human conditions create desperate people
and Mike Mullin captured this perfectly.  When you pick this one up brace yourself for a terrifyingly possible and at times graphic novel.  You won't regret this choice!

My nuts knew where that shotgun was pointing, too; I could feel them trying to climb into my body for protection.  All my muscles tensed and my eyes widened, adrenaline coursing through my system.

I made corn porridge with bits of rabbit for dinner.  Darla fed some of it to Jack.  We'd make a cannibal out of that poor rabbit yet.

"Um, so we're eating this pig...""Yeah?" Darla replied around a mouth full of pork."And this pig ate part of that farmer.  Doesn't that make us cannibals?"

Maybe it had something to do with death, with how closely I'd come to the end.  The awareness of it sat in my chest like a knife, making me short of breath.


  1. I really want to read this one! I think I have the sequel, but not the first book =(

  2. why has my paperback copy not arrived yet . awesome review

  3. Hello! Great review! I just recently read this one too. I've bought the second book but haven't started yet. I'm excited that I will get to meet the author in a couple weeks as he is giving a talk in my area. Yes, the scariest apocalyptic novels are the ones that feel like they could actually happen. My thoughts are here if you'd like to see.

  4. I just read my first review of this book yesterday over on book nerd canada and I'm trying to get a better sense of the content. I'm thinking of getting this for a friend because she really likes natural disaster type scenarios, but I can't tell how big of a part it has content-wise on the novel. I assume probably not much, because usually the important thing is how the character reacts to what's happening, so it might not go into that much detail on the actual events. I think I'll probably end up buying it anyway.

  5. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have read great reviews, went to the library the next day, and still passed this book by. I don't know what it is. I think that eventually I will read this series, but now that the second book is out, I think that I will wait until the last is here or close to being here. Thanks for the great review!


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