Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

From Goodreads: 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.


I live near Yellowstone National Park, so I was instantly, and morbidly, intrigued when I started reading this book. I’m not sure what I was expecting…but this was not it. I think I was expecting a middle grade read, but this book was on the upper levels of YA.

Alex must instantly grow up, surpassing his fifteen years over night, and learn to defend, protect, and save himself. With ingenuity and common sense, he begins the nearly impossible journey of traversing the unknown terrain between him and his parents 140 miles away.

There’s no food. There’s no water. There’s no help. Until he meets Darla: an all sass, no nonsense girl . After tragedy and mortal danger strike them, Alex and Darla set off together to face the unknowns.

There is some violence, gore, swearing, and mild sexual content. Like I said, this is on the upper level of YA. It made my stomach bunch up in knots. It’s a complete twist on dystopia. I thought about it for days after I finished and realized I need to work on emergency preparedness.

The ending was a major cliffhanger, and I am excited to read the other books in the series.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Tanglewood Press (October 11, 2011)
  • Source: The Publisher (via NetGalley)
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads
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Maggie said...

Deborah! Glad to see you're back in the blogosphere. I read your interview on Ispired Kathy's blog and loved it. I hope I win the copy of your book!

Mike Mullin said...

Hi Deborah, thanks for spending some of your precious reading time with my novel! The sequel, ASHEN WINTER, is coming along well. I may finish the first draft tomorrow! Then the real work begins. Best, Mike.