The worst part of Mullin’s young adult novel “Ashfall” is I stayed up through the night to keep reading and reading. To an author, I bet that criticism is praise to his ears.
Set in modern times, this post apocalyptic tale takes place following the eruption of a super-volcano under Yellowstone National Park. All the book seemed believable, but the introduction was especially engrossing and set the tone for an exciting, realistic vision of a young teen who must survive in a world full of falling ash, endless days of gloom, little food and mankind which easily turns on one another in the face of crisis.
You know how in every horror movie a character will knock out a villain, turn their back and the villain gets up and finishes his attack? How many times have you screamed – hit him again dummy??? Mullin has created characters who are not silly. They encounter a bad guy and are in danger – they finish off the bad guy. This felt so much more realistic and made the now dangerous world come to life for the reader.
As with most non-zombie apocalyptic books, my favorite parts involve the lengths one must go to ensure survival: finding food, securing weapons, procuring supplies to be used now that the chain of distribution has collapsed. Perhaps it is my years of being a Pepco electric customer ( http://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/07/pepco-most-hated-company-in-america-comes-under-fire-for-outages-77648.html ) who routinely loses power for multiple days, but I love the orderliness of making a plan and working it. Despite living within miles of the United States President, when we get strong gusts of wind, our neighborhood power ceases and may be out as long as a week. When I hear of an impending storm, I begin my own preparations: wash and put away all laundry, run dishwasher, clean house so we don’t trip in the dark over all the junk, fresh batteries, flashlights, freeze the food in hopes it will last longer, and on and on. I was built to live in the apocalypse.
So glad this is book 1 of a trilogy!