Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ashfall (ARC)

Author: Mike Mullin
Genre: Young Adult – Apocalyptic/Adventure/Dystopian
Publication Date: October 11th 2011
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages:  466
Date Scoot Read: April 2011
: eGalley from Netgalley and Tanglewood Press

Scoot's Rating
: 8- Really good!

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
: 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.
Scoot’s Review:
Alex is your average teenager – just wanting to have fun and trying to avoid spending too much time being stuck on boring family vacations.  After convincing his parents that he can stay home alone for the weekend Alex is enjoying his solitude when suddenly his world falls apart – literally.  Alex doesn’t know it, but the Yellowstone super volcano has erupted and the world is in turmoil.  Trying to survive in a world covered in Ash, Alex has to strain his mind and body in ways he never has before.  Alex is determined to find his family and his road to survival is dark and dangerous.  This was an action packed apocalyptic story and I enjoyed it.  The story never dragged, was fast paced and had an intense plot. There are a lot of elements that I really loved in this book, and at the same time there were things that just didn’t click for me. I liked Alex; he was a well developed character who managed to have a backbone of steel and a soft side you couldn’t resist.  He was a lead character that I enjoyed reading about.  There were quite a few traumatic events in the plot, and the story had a few heartrending moments.  Mike Mullin does not hold back and managed to portray a realistic and heartbreaking world.  One thing that felt a little off to me was the romance. Alex’s love interest just seemed harsh and I didn’t connect as well with their attraction for each other; yes they were thrown into tough situations where they bonded – but it just didn’t feel comfortably developed.  However, in retrospect even my feelings aren’t consistent on this - sometimes I loved their romance, and other times I was like... huh?  So it’s a tough one to peg down.  Things moved a little fast, but it was the end of the world as they knew it.  I did love that Alex’s love interest was older than him, because realistically what are the odds of Alex finding a girl exactly his age in that situation?  I enjoyed the realistic elements of the novel and how this is something that could potentially occur (not that I want it too! Scary!).  I thought Ashfall was a great read and it was hard to put down. I will definitely be checking out the sequel next year!  Another great disaster/apocalypse/dystopian novel to add to my collection.  Make sure to check out Ashfall when it is released in October!

Side Note: My Amazon widget doesn't seem to be working, but here is the link if you are interested in purchasing this novel. It looks like Amazon has copies on sale right now, no need to wait until October!

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