May 24, 2012


Mike Mullin
Pages: 466
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Published: October 11, 2011
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 loved the premise of Ashfall, because it reminded me of Gone. In Gone, Sam has to grow up a lot, because he has to deal with being separated from his parents. Like Alex, Sam also falls in love with a girl who probably wouldn't have looked twice at him before their disasters happened.

However, unlike Gone, Ashfall was way darker. The cover was dark, and the writing matched. Alex encountered a lot of evil throughout the book, which made it feel very real. I liked the plot of the book, and I liked the way the characters reacted to the situations they were thrown in, because it all felt like it could happen, and that the characters were normal people in a bad situation.

My biology teacher often says that a good sci-fi book should actually be able to happen, and, according to some documentary we watched freshman year, there is a super volcano under Yellowstone, and it can erupt and cover lots and lots of places with lots and lots of ash. Judging by that scale, this book was a pretty good science fiction read.

Overall, this was actually a pretty cool book. Though, I would give it 4 out of 5 'staches, mainly because it was a little too dark for me.

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