Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #1
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano, so large that the caldera can only be seen by plane or satellite. And by some scientific measurements, it could be overdue for an eruption.
For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.
Ashfall is about a teenage boy who is home alone for a weekend when a supervolcano erupts in Yellowstone Park and sends most the United States into chaos. He then makes the decision to go out on his own to find his family. While only a two hour car ride away becomes a months long journey of scavenging food, finding shelter, and surviving the fallout of the volcano eruption.
I mostly enjoyed this novel because of the dark grim feel throughout the novel and I do love a good disaster novel. The first bit of the book was quite fast paced, but as Alex begins his journey to Illinois the pace slows down.
I liked that everything didn't just fall neatly into place at the end of the novel. I felt it was quite realistic and showed how society could react to such an event. You might have people out for themselves, but there will be those ones who will help those in need.
The characters were well written. Alex changes so much throughout the novel, and by the end of the novel he is truly an adult. Darla and Alex seem very well suited and complement each other. I enjoyed how they didn't trust each other, especially given the circumstances, but learned to rely on each other, which eventually developed into a relationship.