Friday, 28 June 2013

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)Title: Ashfall
Author: Mike Mullin
Rating: 3.5/5
Blurb: Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying super volcano, 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 super volcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to search 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.

Review: After reading a whole bunch of reviews, and skimming through a page of 5 star ratings (goodreads), I feel like my 3.5 stars doesn't fit in. That being said, I will admit I wasn't sure what to rate this book, but after a while of debating, I figured this book was just average.

The first page, the first line drew me in, and for the most part, I was feeling the suspense of 'what's going to happen now?' I felt I could relate with the characters, and I really wanted them to overcome whatever opposing forces they had to face. The main character, Alex, had a very witty voice, which made the book that much more enjoyable.

Then there was the relationship between Darla and Alex. I have to say, it was very cute in the beginning and I really wanted to see it blossom into something beautiful, but it was also the thing that threw me down to a 3.5 stars. Yeah, yeah, I know, maybe a bit too drastic, but I have my reasons. The first is that for me, it went way too fast. Not even a month in, and they were getting way too serious. The second reason is that it was, if nothing, a bit too average. There was nothing special about their relationship. Of course, I just happen to prefer the slow and steady motto when it comes to romance in novels.

The other thing that threw me off course was the behaviour of the authority figures and the resources at the refuge camp. I mean, this is the US we're talking about. How can there not be enough food to feed a few hundreds, even thousands? And the authority that ran the camp, they were so crude and uncivil... Fine, there's a crisis, and it's a dystopian novel, but still, it was a bit unrealistic even with basic things. I guess it helped build the plot and suspense.

In all though, the book was well written. I couldn't stop reading it because of the anticipation. Sure, there were some pitfalls, but no matter, it was still a satisfying read. If you're a lover of dystopia, and suspense, then I'm sure you'll love this book. I'm going to give the second book a try, just maybe not right away.

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