Monday, June 10, 2013
Ashfall - Mike Mullin
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano, so large that the caldera can only be seen by plane or satellite. And by some scientific measurements, it could be overdue for an eruption.
For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.
Even as a self-proclaimed dystopian junkie, this book fascinated me. I'd seen it on my TL a few times and had even marked it as to-read, but it wasn't until it was rec'd to me by a friend last Fall (Thank you Shannon xoxo) that I took the time to look at it seriously.
Something like this...it could happen. So many books talk about government takeovers and the collapse of civilizations - both completely frightening and plausible events - but this is something completely beyond our control. And that terrifies me.
I feel like I need to start canning vegetables and raising chickens.
But back to the book :) Darla - I love her and while I've never been a 16 year old boy, I found Alex to be pretty much what I expected. He isn't written as the perfect male superhero boy -- because really, THEY DON'T EXIST. She is smart and level-headed with enough snark to hold her own. He is awkward and unsure and has a few "I WILL PROTECT YOU" moments where maybe his testosterone get the better of him. But the relationship between Alex and Darla is totally realistic and perfectly simple.
The hardships they face in this book are terrifying, and they don't always get it right the first time -- and that was another thing I really appreciated about this book. The characters aren't Chuck Norris -- though again, Darla IS pretty spectacular.
Mike Mullin has written a series that has completely sucked me in -- my review of Ashen Winter will be up after you've had a chance to read this one.