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.Sunrise by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #3
Published by Tanglewood Press on April 15th 2014
Also by this author: Ashfall, Ashen Winter
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.
‘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.