Friday, October 14, 2011

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

When the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupts during his first weekend home alone,  16 year old Alex finds himself on a journey across ash covered land and extreme weather changes trying to get to his family.

At first when I started this book I felt it was going to be a retread of Life As We Know It, but I was happy to find out as I read on that it was different.  Sure both books are about an event that causes extreme changes in the climate and changes society but LAWKI was more of a isolated book.  Ashfall explores the world as it has changed.  Alex is trying to get to Illinois where his parents went for the weekend.  What is a three hour car ride takes him more than a few months.  Along the way  he has a lot of encounters with both nice people and cruel, vicious people.  And there are some really horrific things happening in this lawless state.  The most horrific happens off page but still just hearing about it was enough.  It's all sort of pre-Mad Max.

Alex was a typical enough teenager and I liked his personality growth.  He changed from normal teenage boy to a survivalist.  I liked his relationship with Darla.  I was glad that it didn't turn too mushy but instead maintained that balance between needing each other and still being their own persons.  Alex is, in a way, more caring than Darla and she is definitely the tougher one.  But it worked out okay for them.  Everyone else is more anecdotal than fleshed out, but given the nature of the book that definitely fits.

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