Author: Mike Mullin
Series: 3rd (Ashfall, Ashen Winter)
Published: April 15th 2014 by Tanglewood Press
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
Of all the different theories that revolve around the world's end, the eruption of the Yellowstone Super Volcano is one that I can completely see happening. I also live in an area that pretty much has a 0% chance of survival. So, naturally I fond that idea of this disaster a little fascinating.
If you would have asked me at the beginning of this series that Alex would turn out to be the leader shapes up to be (particularly in this book), I would have doubted out. He's always had the drive and will to survive. But in this type of world, one does not survive on their own. What I like about the way this is set up is that Alex does not lead on his own. He fully acknowledges that he's not a leader. He doesn't always say the right things at the right time, he lacks age and experience, not to mention the simple fact that this is a world completely lacking in the comforts he has known his entire life. But, he has the people to back him up. He's basically the face and voice.
It would have been interesting to see what Darla would have done in life had the volcano not erupted. She's smart in ways you don't see in books very often. Could you get a windmill working and harness that energy into electricity to warm a green house? She has the knowledge base that most people will never see in their lifetime. I also really love Ben. Every story needs a military strategist...who cares that he's autistic as well.
This entire trilogy has been gory at parts, and this one is no exception. The author does not sugar coat. This is a post-apocalyptic world, and it's can be painfully obvious. Death hangs around every corner. And it's just not starvation or disease that might kill you. This book demonstrates how bad human nature really can be. But, it also demonstrates how beautiful it is. How a group of people can come together to survive. And not just survive but flourish. In the end, you know this band is going to make it.
All in all, this was a series well worth my time. I'm excited to see what this author produces next. And if by chance I survive the eruption of Yellowstone...I'm moving to the windmills!