September 14, 2012

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Title: Ashfall (Ashfall #1)
Author: Mike Mullin
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Release date: September 27th 2011

Rating: 4.5/5

Buy it atAmazon | B&N | BookDepository

Read first chapters here
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying super volcano, 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 super volcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to search 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.

Alex Halprin is a teenage boy from Iowa, who is really happy that his family leave him at home for the weekend, he plans to play video games and hang out with friends instead of being bored at his uncle's farm in Warren, Illinois. Hours after his family left, the disaster begins, power goes out, and a deafening noise begins that lasts for hours, then the ash begins to fall over the city and they heard on the radio before losing the signal that Yellowstone super volcano over 900 miles from Iowa erupted.

Then comes the chaos, the city is not safe and Alex can only think of one thing find his family, so he embarks on a journey to get to Warren, Illinois that regularly is a 2 hour trip by car but the ash disabled the vehicles so Alex must walk to get there. What normally would have been a two hour trip turns into a long, dangerous and he must fight to reach his destination alive.

Alex is 15 years old and during his journey turns 16, he has a good heart, is compassionate, impulsive, is a city boy, a black belt in Taekwondo which comes handy on his journey (I need to learn self-defense), he encounters with Darla in his journey a young girl who helps him and accompanies him the rest of the trip. Darla is a very strong girl emotionally and physically, is practical, determined, very good for all kinds of mechanical and manual labor because she has helped her whole life with her family farm. Both end up complementing and helping each other during the trip. My favorite character in this book is definitely Darla, she´s my new hero.

Ashfall is a book where a natural disaster affecting much of the United States, which in my view is not a post apocalyptic book as it only affects a certain part of the country, but it definitely feels like it was apocalyptic. The world as the protagonists knew it has changed completely, as there is no electricity, water, food is scarce and is a violent world where only the strongest survive (and the one that have a weapon).

I loved Ashfall, the story is very realistic, believable, frightening, chilling and violent (though thankfully is not very graphic but definitely the violence is implied), the book caught me from the first chapter. I highly recommended this book if you like the post-apocalyptic books.

The book begins with a quote from Will Durant that I loved: "Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice."

Favorite Quotes
That whiff of smoke was enough to transform my sit-here-trembling terror into get-the-hell-out-of-here terror.
For the first time ever, I felt ashamed of my species. The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles, and our airplanes, but it hadn't taken our humanity. No, we'd given that up on our own.


  1. Those two quotes are really really good, and I like how it's a natural event that changed things, not a war.

    Great to see a likable character:)

    Great review:)

  2. Great review! I agree, this one didn't take long for the action to get going! Now I just have to wait for the sequel

  3. Thanks for the review! I just won this one and can't wait to read it. It looks like a good one. Love the quotes you picked too!

  4. This book sounds so good! It's scary to think that we have no control over natural disasters. The damage that can come from large earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, Tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions is terrifying! Especially how people can lose their humanity and go into survival of the fittest mode. Great Review! Love the quotes you chose!

    Lindy Gomez

  5. I've only read one other Dystopian book that was from a natural disaster rather than a disease or war and it was awesome. So can't wait to add this one to my list of fav books.

  6. I still haven't read Ashfall, even though I have seen it in the library on numerous occasions. I feel like dystopians are getting a little cookie cutter, and I guess I thought this one would be the same way. But if it can garner a 4.5 star rating, I would say it is a book that should be read! Thanks for the review.

  7. I really enjoyed Ashfall too! It did seem like a post apocalyptic novel, with some dystopia mixed in. Great review!

  8. I would love to read this! Thanks for the review

  9. Amazing review. Makes me wanna read Ashfall now.

  10. Thanks for the review! I've been looking for a book that's outside of the normal paranormal stuff I've been reading as of late.

  11. Hi Adriana,

    Thanks for spending some of your precious reading time with my novel! The sequel, ASHEN WINTER, will be out October 8th. Hope you enjoy it as well.



  12. Wow, I really liked that second quote! This sounds like a great read and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Great review

  13. Sounds great! Lovely review. :)