Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

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Ashfall
Mike Mullin
Published September 27th, 2011
by Tanglewood Press
Format: Ebook

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.

*A copy was provided by Tanglewood Press for review purposes*
The first night after I started reading this book, I dreamt about being stuck in a house and hiding from some people while trying to survive/escape. All night. THAT, is a sign of a good book!

This story is told in Alex’s point of view. A huge volcano has erupted and they’re now seeing and living the after effects. Which means a LOT of ash falling. Incredible climate changes and desperate food situations. I love that the book started right before the eruption. We got to live through it…moreThe first night after I started reading this book, I dreamt about being stuck in a house and hiding from some people while trying to survive/escape. All night. THAT, is a sign of a good book!

This story is told in Alex’s point of view. A huge volcano has erupted and they’re now seeing and living the after effects. Which means a LOT of ash falling, incredible climate changes, and desperate food situations. I love that the book started right before the eruption. We got to live through it with Alex while he was unaware of what was happening or why his house was basically falling down on him.

I hate to compare books, especially with big hits like the Hunger Games. But I seriously have NOT read a book since the Hunger Games that has given me such a rush of pulse pounding excitement; not knowing if they were going to survive from one page to the next. Once the ash started falling and Alex figured it wasn’t going to stop any time soon, he left to go find his family who were away at his uncle’s house. It’s a 2 hour drive from there. So imagine slugging through cement-like wet ash, on foot. All food has been scavenged, nothing naturally growing is salvageable, the heavy ash is making houses collapse, no more electricity or phones. Breathing is even a problem. It was exhilarating; every single minute of this book had my adrenaline pumping.

The protagonist, Alex, was  extremely strong willed and his character was deeply realistic. I could connect with him and really worry about him to the core. He got into dire situations that were very intense, but still realistic under the circumstances. I could imagine this all happening for real; the human reaction and violence that would occur is how I would expect it. Everyone is out for their own and trying to survive. I’m sure we can all imagine what desperate people will do in these circumstances.

There is nothing paranormal in this book. It’s a natural disaster happening in the present. The story itself is nothing like I’ve ever read, it’s certainly original with a strong apocalyptic feel. Following Alex on his alarming and scary journey was thrilling and thoroughly addicting. I would give it 10 stars if I could! 

5 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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17 Responses to “Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin”

  1. Andrea

    10 stars, huh? That sounds incredible. I’ve heard Ashfall was really good, This makes it sound like a must-read. For some reason, I’m really glad it doesn’t have a paranormal aspect. I’ll definitely try to read this one. Great review!

  2. Anna

    I’m reading this one right now and it’s so amazing!!! I feel like I could survive a natural disaster if I had this book with me… I’m glad to hear the rest is as good as what I’ve read so far!

  3. Amy

    This book is one of the ones I have on my list, but keep going back and forth on whether I want it or not. After reading your review I think it is now in my have to buy list. It sounds great.

  4. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Okay, this book’s hanging out on my Kindle…think I’m going to have to open it up, after that review! I love it when you get an amazing rush from a book — that’s part of the reason I read!

  5. Giselle

    I’m glad I could get some of you to notice/read this. It surprises me it’s not more popular/well known. He’s definitely a great author. Definitely give it a go!

  6. Natalia Belikov @ DazzlingReads

    I;ve been waiting to read a review about this book and holy molly! I really need to get it! thanks for this review =9 I love apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic stories =9 Totally my thing!

    I also read your review of Mara Dyer… sniff, too bad you didn’t enjoy it =(.

    Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving day my dear ^___^ eat a looooot of Turkey!!! yummy yummy!!! =D

    bye muah!

  7. Kelly

    Ohhh, this sounds good! This is the first I’ve heard of it, and in a way, it reminds of of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Know It series. I’m adding it to my TBR list now–thanks for the great review!

  8. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    I’ve seen this one around a lot but I don’t think I’ve read a review until now. It definitely sounds pretty good! I agree, when you’re thinking about a book so much that it goes into your subconscious and you’re dreaming about? Definitely a sign that it’s awesome.

  9. A Canadian Girl

    Oh wow, this must be really good if you’d give it ten stars. I’m not a fan of post-apocalyptic novels but I think this one is worth a look then. The reaction of people sounds incredibly realistic and Alex seems like a character I’ll enjoy.

    Dreaming about a book is definitely a sign that the story had an impact on you.

  10. Brasil

    Ashfall had me hooked right from the beginning. When the synopsis says “nonstop action” they don’t lie. This is one of the most horrific and terrifying stories I’ve read in a long time. It’s a lot like watching a train wreck, it’s terrible and traumatizing, but you don’t want to look away. I couldn’t look away. The worst part about everything, is that this is one of those dystopian stories that can come true. The whole time I was reading Ashfall I was thinking, “Dear God, this is a real life situation, this is what people will be like, this could be how the world ends.

  11. Giselle

    @Brasil: I totally felt the same way. Even now when people start to talk about the end of the world you know I’m going to think about this book. It’s very haunting and this could happen for real it’s scary!

  12. Jessi (Geo)

    Ooohh I’ve been seeing this one around but didn’t really know what it was about. It reminds me of Dante’s Peak (loved that movie) and you mentioning Hunger Games (loved that book) makes me want to read it for sure!! I love survival stuff and action filled books. I’ll definitely have to pick this one up soon. Great review :)

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