Friday, August 3, 2012

Ashfall (Ashfall #1)

Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)
Ashfall (Ashfall Series #1)
By Mike Mullin
Published October 11th, 2011 by Tanglewood Press
466 pages
4 stars - It was great!

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.

So I wasn't sure if I was going to really like this book even though most of the reviews said it was good but I was wrong.  I really liked this book and the whole topic.  I've only read one other series that is similar to this one and that would be the Last Survivors by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  I really liked that series as well but this was pretty great.  At the end of almost every chapter was a small cliffhanger and it had me reading until I became to tired to read.  Ashfall had action and suspense and romance and danger plus a little humor.  And the book mixed it all together and turned out great.  Though I do warn you that some parts where a little gory.  But that's what made the whole story real.  It really made you think about what would go on if a huge natural disaster occurred. 
At the beginning of Ashfall Alex, a teenage boy, is left home alone for the weekend.  He is content with playing video games and just relaxing but little did he know that he wouldn't be able to do anything of the sort again.  Alex's house get's hit by something that causes a fire and leaves Alex no choice but to get out.  But that's just the start.  The supervolcano in Yellowstone has erupted leaving America in a blanket of ash.  Alex knows what he must do and soon he starts on his mission to find his parents and sister.  Are they in danger or even alive?  Alex hopes so but this journey isn't going to be easy.  There isn't any technology available and cars don't work in the ash filled air.  Walking on foot Alex discovers what people will do just to stay alive.  And on his way he finds Darla, a teenage girl who is smart and resourceful.  He also happens to make a few enemies.  But no matter what Alex keeps on his journey full of danger, hurt and a little love.  Can Alex find his family before it's to late?
Ashfall is written in Alex's point of view and I enjoyed hearing his story.  At times it was pretty funny reading about what he had to say.  Throughout the story Alex really grew up and he needed to because finding his parents in the world that he now lives in is tough.  Luckily he meets a mother and daughter along the way.  Darla is the daughter and I enjoyed her character as well.  She was into mechanics and she just knew how to take care of herself.  At the beginning she was a little distrusting and cold because of the state of things but after awhile she grew as well.  
So all in all Ashfall was a very interesting book.  It was realistic and it had great action and suspense.  I'm really looking forward to the next book to find out what their future is.  Ashfall was different from what I usually read and I found that refreshing in a way.  Of course it is kind of violent and times and a little gory like I said.  But its a good read and if you really like the whole apocalyptic science thing then this is the book for you.  Either way check it out and see for yourself.

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