I received this book for free from Tanglewood Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sunrise by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #3
Published by Tanglewood Press on April 15th 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Source: Tanglewood Press
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The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors' constant companions.
When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever — and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.
This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.
*Spoiler free for the series*
Series that end on such a fantastic note like this one makes me want to scream and shout about how epic the ride was. Then follow that with a lot of ugly crying from it being over.
With this series, Mullin has created an amazingly realistic, plausible, and terrifying post apocalyptic story set in the aftermath of the Yellowstone volcano eruption. Throughout the series we have seen these characters go from scared teenagers only trying to live to see the next day, to strong leaders who are being brutally realistic with the hand they were dealt and the game they were forced into. The character growth we witness is incredible. From our main characters, Alex and Darla, to the many faces that have been on this journey with us, the extreme conditions has changed them to the core. When all you can count on to survive is yourself, you become who you need to be – stronger, tougher, smarter – or you die, no question about it. Despite the cruelty of this world, Alex has somehow kept hold of his kind, generous heart. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fierce survivor who will do what it takes even if it’s the stuff of nightmares, but he never loses sight of his morals. He’s a commendable leader and the best kind of hero. In addition to character growth, we have emotional and social transformations as well. Alex, for instance, was all about being treated as an adult in the previous installment. After all he and Darla had been through, being treated like a 16 year old ruffled his feathers. In Sunrise, however, you could see the cracks in his heart, the longing to be a teenager again. To not have daily life-or-death responsibilities, to not have the weight of so many lives on his shoulders. Anyone would miss a childhood that has been cut short so ruthlessly.
The romance is this series is also an aspect I loved from the start. Not only is it free of annoying tropes like love triangles, it’s also refreshingly mature and drama-free. As a team, Alex and Darla perfectly complement one another They are both devoted and honest with each other, whether it be as lovers or survivors. And most importantly. they communicate to avoid unnecessary arguments caused by misunderstandings. Their romance is really a force in itself that has aided in their survival.
This third installment is the real deal. We’re past the initial shock of the volcano, we’re past the trauma of realizing they’re now existing in a world inhabited by cannibals and survivors who have lost all trace of humanity. We’re now planning for the long haul, trying to make a life instead of simply existing. Where the last book was characterized with unending hardships that truly demonstrated the harsh reality of this post-volcanic world, Sunrise is more tranquil. Though it’s far from being relaxing as the horror is still ever-present, but we get to see them settle in and work towards some kind of future. A new community even establishes itself thanks to some impressive ingenuity and teamwork, and grows remarkably. It’s very interesting to see the evolution of its political system, too. Considering the title of the book, we can’t help but have a glimmer of hope throughout, all the while being unable to let go of your fear and anxiety. Especially when the death toll keeps climbing.
Ashfall is and always will be one of my favorite series that I urge everyone to read. I fell for these characters the moment I met them in Ashfall, they have made me tremble with fear, love, and hope in every book, and they will continue to live in my heart for a long time coming.
5 Hot Espressos
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