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 have absolutely no idea how to write a review that could do justice to this book. I would like to start by saying that I haven’t read Ashfall and I am terribly sorry. I am sure it’s a crime to start the second book before the first one so…..
This book is well written, it’s intense, it’s probably the most realistic dystopian novel out there. I was on the edge of my seat for most part of the book. I had no clue what would happen in the next chapter.
Alex is the main character and I absolutely love him. He is brave, loyal, humble, smart. During the time of apocalypse or a disaster when the basic instinct is to survive, when you see destruction and pain everywhere. I guess it’s hard to be good. It’s hard to put somebody else’s need ahead of you but Alex does that. He is a Hero in the true sense of the word. Throughout the book I never thought he did anything wrong. He did many stupid things, yes, like put his life at risk for complete strangers which was noble and all but sometimes it made me want to smack him. What? I like him and want him to live, ok?
Now let’s talk about my favorite character, (No, actually it’s not Alex. Yes, there is someone better) and that’s Darla. Man she’s awesome! I want to be like her. I loved that she knew more than Alex about everything and I loved that whenever Alex was in a problem he thought that Darla would be able to solve it. I loved that she saved Alex’s life and cared about him more than anything. She was kickass and I wish she was there more in the story.
Two characters who left an impression on me are Alyssa and Ben. They are siblings and Alex rescues them from a bandit gang. Ben is autistic. He has a passion for anything military and knows everything about their weapon and cars. He was so smart and adorable. Once he told the people who had their weapon pointing at him to stand in a different position to cause maximum damage.
Alyssa, is brave, in a different way than Darla. I want to praise Mike for creating such smart and strong female characters. I felt for Alyssa and what she had to go through to keep her brother safe. She gets my respect. I feel sad for any woman who has to go through that kind of trauma.
Do you remember the scene in Dark knight when there were two ferries, one full of civilians and the other has prisoners and the joker gives the passengers a choice to either blow each other or else he will kill them all. I love that scene and I would like to believe that people will react the same way in real life too. This book isn’t that hopeful, it’s presents a world where some people are willing to do anything to survive. It scared me. Seeing the ugly side of humanity is not comfortable but again I praise the author for not shying away from showing the gory details.
Mike Mullin has impressed me. He now features in my list of favorite authors. I recommend this to all the people who like the dystopian genre and even if you don’t try this book I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
I have a project to submit tomorrow. I thought I would read five chapters and then complete the assignment. That was a mistake. I will probably be thrown out of class tomorrow but I am not at fault here. It’s physically impossible to keep this book down. Blame the author, if you have to.