5 stars · action · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Ashfall by Mike Mullin


Author: Mike Mullin

Pages [hardcover]: 466

Ashfall Book 1

Memorable Quote: Maybe we were ghosts of a sort, spirits from the world that had died when the volcano erupted.

Favorite Characters: Alex & Darla


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.


I’ve heard a lot about this book, and so I was definitely excited to read it. I’ve also read that it’s a great book for boys-and while, that didn’t turn me away from it, I can definitely see why some who are struggling to find ‘guy’ young adult books would recommend this one. Filled with action, suspense, and a bit of romance, this day by day account of survival in the apocalyptic world left about the explosion of the volcano at Yellowstone is a book you’ll never want to put down.

It can get tiresome, reading a book with so many plot twists you barely have time to catch a breath. But I also love books like this for that very same reason; so addictive they keep me reading late into the night . . . And choosing to read over studying. Not knowing what was going to happen next, just like Alex didn’t know, really put me into the moment, and it was easy to relate to his reactions.

With his karate (okay . . . taekwondo) moves and survival skills, Alex was definitely a force to reckon with. Add in Darla-who can fend for herself and has no problem letting Alex know this-and there’s a pair of awesome main characters. Even if things are told from Alex’s  point of view, Darla’s character-as well as that of the various minor characters scattered throughout the book-easily shines through. I really think the author, Mike Mullin, has talent with this, and I can’t read to read more by him.

Including the sequel. Ashen Winter is set to release in 2012, and I’ll definitely be reading it to continue Alex’s story.


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