[Review #59] Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Ashfall by Mike Mullin Review Title: Ashfall
Series: Ashfall
Book one
Author: Mike Mullin
Published: 11th October, 2011
Publisher: Tanglewood Presss
Genre: Apocalyptic
Young Adult
[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]


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.

For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to search for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.


I was pulled into this book right from the get go!

Ashfall was a pretty horrifying account of what could happen if a super volcano erupted, changing the face of the earth. Quite literally.

Alex is a teenage boy that is left alone for the weekend, his parents and younger sister have gone to visit their uncle who lives in another city. The first thing that happens is that Alex’s house practically falls on him. Alex has no idea what’s happened, he realises a fire has started while he is still trapped in the house underneath his furniture. After he makes it out he finds out it was caused by something falling from the sky but he doesn’t have much time to ponder what it was just then. I found the beginning to be very exciting and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

The majority of this book is of Alex travelling to his uncles by foot to try and find his family. Because of the ashfall he has to figure out a way to traverse better than walking, he figures out ski’s do just the trick. Along the way Alex encounters people who are friendly, dangerous, desperate and he get’s into harmful trouble.

It was addicting:
I really liked this book. I found it incredibly hard to put down. The first night I started reading this I went to bed at 4:30am one morning because I kept thinking ‘I’ll stop at the next chapter’, every single chapter till I realised that if I didn’t go to sleep then and there then I wouldn’t sleep at all that night. I was pretty grumpy with myself the next day…

I loved that there were scary parts to this book, Ashfall didn’t gloss over the fear or the terror. It didn’t push aside the true nature that may arise out of people in the act of survival. I really liked that there was a lot of real danger. It made it more realistic and terrifying to think about.

Minor feelings:
One of the only things that stopped me from rating this any higher was that at times I was confused as to what was going on because of lack of description in how things happened. I found myself suddenly stopping and wondering “Wait. How did that happen?”, I would then re-read a few paragraphs to try and figure out what I missed. Only to realise I hadn’t missed anything. I had read how said event happened in one word or sentence, and that’s how I missed it. Because the first time I read that one word or sentence I had gotten another meaning from what it was actually meaning.

Errr… I realise that was a horrible explanation. But I don’t know how else to word it. To me that seems that it wasn’t written well enough to get it’s point across, but those moments happened sparsely.

The only other thing that played on my mind was the romance, it was cute, and understandable. But I felt like towards the end third of the book there was hardly any chemistry between Alex and Darla. I knew Alex liked Darla but it felt like a strong friendship more than a romance. I felt like there was a crucial element missing for me to believe that it was a romance rather than only a friendship.

Thought provoking:
While reading this book I kept making a mental list of the emergency kit (More like emergency house) I needed to prepare in case a volcano erupted here in New Zealand, or the dead rose from the ground (I’ve had zombies on my mind since I started watching The Walking Dead). Then I realised that if a volcano erupted here we’re screwed because NZ is too small to run far enough a way from something like that. Well if you’re anywhere near the eruption, which could be half the country depending which volcano. And if a zombie apocalypse happened we’re also screwed because not many people own, have a license to use, or know how to get a gun. So we would pretty much be dead anyway. … But I digress.

Ashfall was an incredibly enjoyable book about what one boy has to endure to find his family in an end of civilisation crisis.

I really recommend reading this book! Especially if you enjoy apocalyptic and post apocalyptic books!

You may also like:
Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Miss J

P.s. Check out my giveaway if you haven’t already :)


10 thoughts on “[Review #59] Ashfall by Mike Mullin

  1. Great review! I’m so glad you liked it because I just started reading this one and I was a little afraid of what to expect… I didn’t want the pace to slow down, and apparently it doesn’t, so thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Pingback: [Review #63] Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick | Miss Book Reviews

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