Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review - Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullin

Ashen Winter (Ashfall, #2)Title: Ashen Winter
Author: Mike Mullin
Series: 2nd (Ashfall)
Pages: 576
Published: October 16th 2012 by Tanglewood Press 
ISBN: 9781933718750
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: 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. 

I Give This ...

I was eager to read this.  Ashfall really struck a cord with me and there was never any doubt that I would read this as well.  This did not disappoint.

I didn't think Alex could last for long without knowing exactly what had happened to his parents.  If there is anything this journey has taught him is that family is precious, but it won't be easy to find them.  Darla is just the person to back him up along this journey.  While, Alex did a lot of growing up in the first novel, I think he backtracked a little bit in this novel.  I think he was so dead set on finding his parents that he didn't stop to think about what might happen along the way.  I don't think he thought it would be easy in anyway.  But, it sometimes felt like he thought he could just go get them.  It does not take him long to realize that the consequences are steep.

I admired that the story held nothing back.  It took all that could be dark, gritty, and horrific in this type of catastrophic situation and played it out.  It didn't take much to imagine that any of these things could happen.  When faced with our own survival, we have no idea what we might do just to achieve that right to live one more day.   While no of these things I really wanted to read about it any graphic detail, I think the author does a fantastic job of bringing them to our attention without dwelling on them.

Overall, I find this series fascinating.  Of all the books I've read that deal with  post apocalyptic events, this one feels real.  It's not a stretch of the imagination in anyway.  I think it deals with the very essence of human nature.   I think it focuses on the basic idea of hope, but there is evil out there and it can consume people.


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