Series: Ashfall #1
Author: Mike Mullin
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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.
This one had been on my list to read for awhile, and by the time I got to it I was actually a little bit apprehensive to read it for fear that my expectations were way too high.
I love a great survival story. And at the heart of this book, that’s what it is. I struggled to find a genre for Ashfall– it’s billed as sci-fi, but I don’t see it as science fiction (though technically, I suppose it really is). It’s not dystopian, it’s not post-apocalyptic… I guess it’s present-day apocalyptic? But really, it’s just survivalist fiction.
Alex is a fifteen year old kid who is forced to grow up overnight in a world that has become unrecognizable. He goes through some horrific things that people should never have to go through, especially not at fifteen. There were times my heart was in my throat and I almost had to close my eyes to avoid what was coming next (of course, that doesn’t work very well when you’re reading).
And when you meet Darla, you’ll understand why she and Alex have become one of my favorite duos in fiction. They make a great team. They work together so well. They lean on one another and build quite the solid friendship through the crisis.
All in all, this is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. It’s one that I wish I hadn’t read yet – just so I could re-read it.