Series: Ashfall

Early Review – Sunrise (Ashfall #3) by Mike Mullin

April 12, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2014, YA 3 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Sunrise (Ashfall #3) by Mike MullinSunrise by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #3
Published by Tanglewood Press on April 15th 2014
Pages: 554
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Ashfall, Ashen Winter

two-half-stars

The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors' constant companions.

When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever — and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.

This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.

Ashfall Series

Darla’s Story (Ashfall 0.5) {Purchase}
Ashfall (Ashfall #1) {PurchaseMy Review}
Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) {PurchaseMy Review}

‘I had always believed that the human race would survive the massive volcanic eruption at Yellowstone, would surmount this disaster, just as we had surmounted so many lesser disasters before. But […], I wonder: did we deserve to survive?’

Sunrise is the final installment of the Ashfall trilogy. Alex and Darla continue their struggle to survive in a crumbling world where the remaining inhabitants have become more dangerous than the environment. Forced to relocate and find a new place to start over completely is easier said than done but it’s necessary if they intend on living. But in a world that’s broken and destroyed, it’s a constant battle of wits and perseverance.

THE END IS HERE. Or at least the end of the series and boy is it a rocky one, as I’m sure you guessed from my rating. Here are a few reasons why. The story had a constant choppy sort of feel that I attribute to the strangely short chapters. They caused such a distraction whenever something happened the chapter would end and it felt like the story ground to a halt and it had to work to build up momentum again. The story, in general, was lacking in plot and direction and I couldn’t help but think it would have been better titled “Book Where A Bunch of Random Bad Shit Happens.” Also, I understand that this series as a whole is quite possibly an incredibly realistic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world but it felt overly gratuitous in Sunrise. I’m conflicted whether to praise Mullins for having the gumption to portray it as harshly as possible or be repelled because of the constant barrage of shit his characters were forced to suffer through.

Darla still remains my most loved character of the series. Seriously, everybody would be goners if it wasn’t for her but at times it seemed a bit impossible that she’s able to do all that she does. She was able to get their new community set up using wind turbines to heat their greenhouses but they’re still having to barter for candles? I’m no survivalist but it seems to me like they could have come up with something there. Alex’s mother, aka the drama llama from hell, had some issues with Darla which were so incredibly ridiculous and heightened the drama unnecessarily. I found Alex to be incredibly indecisive and completely lacking in confidence which is what you would normally expect from a kid his age and the responsibilities he’s burdened with but the constant self-doubt was tiresome. I would have loved to have seen this novel told from the POV of Darla or at least a switch-up in chapters between Alex and Darla. Alex just got to be a little much for me in this installment.

This has been the year of bad series enders for me with Sunrise being the sixth out of a whopping seven disappointing reads that I’ve read in the last 3 months alone. Starting a new series is an investment in your time and to read hundreds upon hundreds of pages for it to end in disappointment is one of the worst things ever, no exaggeration. I think for me it’s even worse with Sunrise because Ashfall is truly one of my most favorite books of all time. Ashfall is the book that first opened my eyes to post-apocalyptic fiction. Sunrise may have been an unfortunate disappointment for me as a series ender but I’ll always love Ashfall and will always be thankful for the awesome introduction into the genre.

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Early Review – Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullin

September 19, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike MullinAshen Winter by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #2
Published by Tanglewood Press on October 9, 2012
Pages: 582
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Ashfall, Sunrise

four-stars

It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.

Ashfall series

Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)

Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike Mullin {My Review}

“If we’re going to die anyway, I want to die with you. And if we live, I want to live with you.”

Ashfall was one of my favorite reads of 2011 and after reading was promptly added to my Goodreads shelf ‘full-of-wonderful’ so suffice it to say I was pretty ecstatic to finally get my hands on the follow-up story. I don’t go all fangirl often but fangirl I did for Ashen Winter.

The story of Alex and Darla and the search for his parents in the harsh winter world the planet has transformed into continues! Ashen Winter maintained authenticity despite the crazy (and at times incredibly creepy) things that occurred. With the transformation of the world, the people that managed to survive begin resorting to any method to maintain their existence including cannibalism and human slavery. Was it pretty? Heck no. Was it jaw dropping at times? Oh yes. Did it fit completely with the horrible state of the world? Absolutely. Mike Mullin’s has created a dystopian world that really manages to get under your skin because of how unnervingly realistic it all is.

The characters continue to develop well and I still love Darla to death. Darla is the brains of operation ‘survival. Alex totally would have been a goner months ago without Darla there to save his ass. She’s the one that gets things done. She’s a total badass and she’s not even trying. She’s a powerful and strong-willed character that you can’t help but admire. And… that’s the reason for my 4 star review (compared to my 5 star review of Ashfall). Darla wasn’t even introduced in Ashfall until mid-way through the book or so but I had no idea what an integral part of the story she had become until she wasn’t there. No spoilers but it’s mostly Alex for the vast majority of the book and Darla was sorely missed. I think that even though I didn’t agree at the time, in retrospect I think it was important for Alex to go through what he did alone since it really helped him grow as a character. A few new characters are introduced that I quite liked but they were certainly no Darla. Fingers crossed for more Darla-time in book 3.

Thrilling and action-packed, Ashen Winter was a fantastic follow-up that fans of Ashfall will enjoy (even though admittedly it does have a teensy bit of middle-book syndrome, but honestly, I don’t think that can be helped. I personally think it’s the mentality that readers have (I know I’m guilty), knowing that there is only one book left since it’s a trilogy we want the conclusion and we want it now, dangit!). But regardless! I’m a huge fan and cannot wait for the final conclusion.
(Hey Mike – Don’t kill Darla, please. Thanks. –Your Biggest Fan)

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Early Review – Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike Mullin

July 29, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike MullinAshfall by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #1
Published by Tanglewood Press on October 14, 2011
Pages: 474
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Ashen Winter, Sunrise

five-stars

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 seach 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.

Ashfall was one of the most well written books I’ve read in a long time. I was so enthralled with this book that I read it a little bit at a time because I wanted to relish this book and all that it was about.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy learning to survive on his own after the Yellowstone super-volcano erupts. With the electricity out, the sun hidden behind a cloud of ash, and the obligation to remain indoors to keep from breathing in the deadly ash, Alex has to learn quickly what it takes to survive on his own. He takes shelter with his neighbors after his house becomes uninhabitable; however, after witnessing an intensely traumatic event he takes off on his own in hopes he can get to where his parents are: over 100 miles away. Alex doesn’t blink at the prospect of traveling 100 miles until he realizes that he’s going to need to do this on foot.

The Good
Everything, and I mean everything, about this novel was spot-on amazing. The relationship between Alex and Darla was so heartbreaking and realistic. At the point in the novel where Darla joins him on his journey to find his parents, they have become emotionally dependent on each other because they’re slowly realizing just how lonely the world has become. Watching Alex grow and develop in the novel was also pretty moving. Here’s a kid who at the beginning of the novel who was excited because his parents had left him home alone for the weekend for the first time in his life and he could do whatever he wanted. By the end of the novel that ‘Alex’ is long gone. The one thing that I found so incredible about this book was the complete and utter realism of the book. There’s no fluff to this story and you can truly imagine every single scenario actually happening. Overall, the story of survival and strength is a beautiful one.

The Bad
I was so overwhelmed by the end of this novel that I couldn’t express my opinions and views into sentences. This is not bad. This is me explaining that it took me about a month to finally be able to sort through all my thoughts in order to write my review and to be able to determine wholeheartedly that I enjoyed everything about this novel.

I loved at the end that the author Mike Mullin included information about the research he had done and how he had combined several scientific findings to create what he believed to be a realistic possibility if a Yellowstone super-volcano were to actually happen. Yes, it freaked me out a little (okay, maybe more than a little) at the prospect of something like this really occurring (and yes I totally freaked out at my complete lack of preparation for the end of the world). In the end though, this will now be one of my favorite books ever and I’ll be waiting anxiously (but not patiently) for the next chapter in the Ashfall series.

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