Speed Date with Alex: ASHFALL by Mike Mullin

Posted 16 February, 2012 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 18 Comments

I’m trying out a possible meme that I’m calling a “Speed Date”. It’s a quickie review of a book: under 150 words, hitting the highs/lows. I’m thinking about running it on Thursdays–you know, not a “date night” but a good time for one of those wacky “speed date” things they run at bars so you can meet a bunch of people quickly. If enough people are interested, I’ll hook up a linky, and we can speed date books (I love in-depth reviews but sometimes you just need a quickie, yanno? hehe.). Leave me a comment and tell me what you think! Also, I did Google this idea but if you already run something like this on your blog (or know of a speed date-like meme), just let me know, okay? I don’t want to repeat what’s already out there.

First victim…er, participant in my Speed Date is:

ASHFALL (Ashfall #1) by Mike Mullin
YA Post-Apocalyptic
466 pages, hardcover
Available now (Sept. 2011)
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth.

When I finished this book, I immediately ran to my science teachers and told them they had to read it and share it with their students. What a great story!

After the Yellowstone supervolcano explodes and coats the most of the US in ash, Alex sets out across Iowa to find his family and runs into serious amounts of trouble—both natural and with his fellow human beings. While he starts out as a cranky teen, Alex quickly matures into a quick-witted young adult somewhat more capable of surviving in his terrifying new world. Along the way, he falls in love with Darla, a mechanical genius, who saves his life on more than one occasion.

Well-researched and horrifyingly realistic, ASHFALL explores the devastating results of a supervolcano while telling a hair-raising story. I’ll definitely be adding this one to my post-apocalyptic/dystopian unit next year.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound

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18 Responses to “Speed Date with Alex: ASHFALL by Mike Mullin”

  1. Omg I loved this book so much. It’s one of those books that you read and it sticks with you. I read it at least 2 months ago and I still think about it often. Every time someone asks what they should read I saw this one. It’s such a good story and the best (well worst depending how you take it) part is that this could happen. It’s so realistic I’m glad you agree! I love to see others enjoying it as much as I did! <3

    • This book kind of freaked me out! While I was reading, I kept thinking, “Thank goodness I’m in South Carolina”…like that would have made a difference.

  2. I actually haven’t heard of Ashfall before now, so thanks for the introduction. 😉

    And I LOVE the idea of Speed Date feature, I would so be on board with that. Sometimes there are those books I’ve read that I just don’t have a lot to say about, or I need a quick review to catch up on past reviews. So, basically I’m telling you to do it!

  3. I don’t think I’ve really seen this one around! But it looks fantastic. I love realistic factors in books like this one! And Speed Date sounds like a fantastic idea!

  4. I’ve only heard amazing things about this book. It sounds like such an amazing read. I just visited Yellowstone last year and for some reason it’s spurred my interest in all things thus related. This one is so on my next To Buy list! Loved the review, Mary!

  5. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book but I admit that I’m a bit terrified to read it. I’ve been freaking out about apocalyptic stuff lately (maybe there’s just been so many books it’s become an obsession) and this one sounds a little TOO real and TOO likely to happen. Maybe after 2012 passes and if we’re all still alive then I can read it, lol.

    I like the speed dating idea. I’ve been trying to do brief reviews for those books I’ve been reading that are later in series (mostly the UF books I’ve been reading) but I’ve found that I have a hard time keeping things short, lol.

    • Yeah, it freaked me out. I kept thinking, “Where are all the animals?” since there weren’t any birds or any wildlife at all. I mean, this could really happen!

  6. Cool feature! Thanks for spending some time with ASHFALL!. The sequel, ASHEN WINTER, should be on NetGalley in June or July, and it will release October 8th.

  7. I’m one of odd people that gave up Ashfall after 100 pages because it just wasn’t grabbing me. But, every positive review makes me wonder if I should give it a second shot…Nice review!

    • But that’s the way of books. Sometimes they get you and sometimes they don’t. If you have the time (haha), you might want to give it a second go, though! 🙂