Ashfall by Mike Mullin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ashfall by Mike Mullin
“Ashfall” is quite a scary book, both because of its plot line and also because of its plausibility. The immediate premise is the explosion of the Yellowstone National Park supervolcano, an event which hasn’t occurred for umpteen million years-but which did take place at least three times in prehistory of which geologists are certain. Indeed, some geologists predict that a new explosion could occur any time, to a much greater extent in both event and consequences than Mt. St. Helens, Krakatoa, or Pompeii.
The novel begins with fifteen-year-old Alex, left alone at home for the weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa, while his folks and younger sister Rebecca, drive to Warren, Illinois, to visit Alex’s uncle and aunt on their goat farm. Alex, rather a geek, is looking forward to a weekend of avoiding homework, playing World of Warcraft, and just hanging out alone, but on Friday evening a boulder drops through the roof, setting his home on fire, and before almost any time has passed, the town (and every area between Cedar Falls and Yellowstone are covered in a tremendous outpouring of volcanic ash), and almost immediately the area is a disaster zone, along with the anarchy, injuries, and fatalities that accompany such an event.
Alex, however, is one determined young man, deciding that he will get to Warren somehow and find his family, no matter what. On the journey, he encounters a number of “no matter what” events, but never gives up, persevering; in fact he meets another young “survivor,” Darla, and they partner on the remainder of the trip toward Warren.
“Ashfall” will be accompanied by a sequel, “Ashen Winter,” in October 2012.
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