Wednesday, October 17, 2012

(137)Ashfall by Mike Mullin


,Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Pages: 476

And the obsession continues....

We have all heard about the Super Volcano that is dormant in Yellowstone National Park.  We have all heard the "what if" stories about what would happen to the world as we know it if the Super Volcano actually blew.  Well, author Mike Mullin puts his imagination to work and shares with the world what would happen.

Fifteen year old Alex is just like any other fifteen year old boy.  He would much rather stay home and play video games than travel with his family to Illinois to visit his uncle's farm, but after a huge argument with his mom he is allowed to stay home.  He is sitting at his computer in his Cedar Falls, Iowa when it happens.  Something has crashed into his house causing a fire to erupt, after escaping the wreckage he realizes that it was a rock thrown from the volcano eruption in Yellowstone, 900 miles away.  It is not long before the ash starts pouring down and Alex wants nothing more than to be with his family.  He decides to set off on foot to find his family in Illinois. Along the way he encounters all sorts of trouble and he would be dead if not for eighteen year old Darla.  They join forces and continue the journey to Illinois, but it is not easy. They have to fight not only the mounds of ash, but the brutal winter weather, as well as bandits out to plunder and pillage.  Will they be able to make to Illinois and what will they find if they make it to the farm?

Wow!  What a novel, I don't even know where to begin.  First of all, Alex reminds me so much of my fifteen year old step-son!  All through this book I couldn't help but compare him to Alex and imagine what he would be like in that scenario.  Alex (like my Riley) is a smart and resourceful kid and I have no doubt Riley would use his wits to survive.  I also found myself longing (again) for Iowa.  If I had to live in a Post-Apocalyptic world, I sure would want to do it in Iowa.  The small town, neighbor helping neighbor feeling really came through when Alex and Darla went to Worthington. But, also, living only 300 miles from Yellowstone leads me to believe that it is doubtful we would survive a super volcano.

Bottom line, while Ashfall is a Young Adult novel, I would caution that the younger kids of that classification may find parts of the book disturbing.  There is a fair amount of violence and the references to cannibalism may be disturbing.  Having said that, don't let the Young Adult classification keep YOU from reading this book.  It is so well written and so fast paced, it is easy to forget that Alex is just a young teenager.  In an admirable way he steps up to the plate in order keep himself and Darla safe.  If you are a fan of Post Apocalyptic fiction, then you must read Ashfall!


Sara Bell said...

Oh goodness, sounds exactly like my kinda thing! On my list! =D

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

This book is right up your alley, Sara!

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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