Ashfall (Ashfall #1) By Mike Mullin

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Published:  October 11th 2011 by Tanglewood Press

Series: The Ash Fall Series

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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 was a quick read for me.   Ashfall is a story dealing with the eruption of the super volcano under the Yellowstone National Park. If you didn’t know, the eruption of a super volcano such as this would have terrible consequences for life on earth. The amount of ash that would be released into the atmosphere would compromise crops, block the sun, cause health issues on humans and animals and basically have a long-lasting effect that could potentially mean the end of human life on earth.

Ashfall follows teenager Alex, left alone for the weekend when his parents and baby sister go away to visit his uncle. The story starts in the direct aftermath of the supervolcano’s eruption. Alex is miles and miles away from it but feels the repercussions almost immediately: his house is destroyed, all means of communication fail, the ash starts to fall continuously and the day becomes night. He is taken in by his next-door neighbours and they spent the first few hours huddled in darkness and in panic trying to figure out what is happening. After a violent encounter with a looter, Alex decides to make his way across the state to try and find his family and that’s when things get really heavy.  The first few pages of Ashfall are some of the most gripping – and terrifying – ones I have ever read.  I was really surprised on how quickly the book progressed and how quickly bad things started to happen.

Parts of this book are not for the queezy as we follow Alex on his journey to find his parents.  Survival includes eating right?

Make no mis­take, Ash­fall is more than a slightly depressing novel. It’s dingy and bleak and bloody terrifying when you consider Mullin has done his best to cre­ate as real­is­tic a pic­ture as pos­si­ble if the super vol­cano at Yel­low­stone National Park were to erupt, which, theoretically, could happen in our lifetime.

Ashall has an ominous tone that won’t be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Alex and Darla face challenge after challenge and I was never quite certain if they would survive  There were times when the story was a lit­tle slow, usu­ally when Alex is trav­el­ing by him­self, but even then these quiet moments served to high­light how incred­i­bly alone Alex is and just added to the over­all bleak­ness of the story. Mullin by all accounts, seems to have put in a lot of research for Ash­fall and his take on life in the after­math of a vol­cano erup­tion feels uncom­fort­ably realistic.

I look forward to reading the next installment in this series Ashen Winter!

 

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