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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: October 2011
  • Publisher: Tanglewood Press IN
  • Format: Hardcover , 476pp
  • Age Range: Young Adult
eARC received via Netgalley for review.

YOU COULD PRE-ORDER THE BOOK HERE:

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. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

REVIEW:
I started obsessing with the fact that Yellow Stone National park is a supervolcano because if it erupt again, it will wipe out California -completely!, that is according to Discovery Channel anyways, let's hope they are wrong. So, when I read the word Yellowstone on the blurb, I don't need much convincing to read this book.
I am so excited! The best post-apocalyptic YA novel that I've read was Life As We knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer and I though there is nothing quite like it. The events that was written on that book gave me chills and I still remember how that felt like and now it has happened all over again.

The story starts off with Alex recalling the last memory he had with his mother before they left that Friday, when everything he knew came to an end. He was also playing WoW (World of Warcraft) when this happened, which made me mention this to my friend, that too much WoW is not only annoying, it can also end the world. Totally unrelated so, let's get back to the book. So... at first the light went out and in a manner of seconds (it seems like) all hell broke loose. The power went out, it was pitch black for days. There was this loud noise that goes on for days. It rained with ashes, falling from the sky. Water became undrinkable. Food become scarce. The clouds of smoke was blocking the sun. Everything is different, bad and terrifying.

I never had to endure what Alex had, but I know for a fact that Mike Mullin has written a very real image of what could happen if a volcano, what more if super volcano erupts. There's no way to sugar coat it. It will be almost like hell on earth. A lot of bad behavior will come out of people, so some violent parts in this book was necessary. (home invasion, murder, looting, etc) In an event like this, Alex's taekwondo skills came in handy and I found myself cheering for him every time he gets to use it. There is also always a religious zealot in an apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic book! Their presence really makes me mad. But it is fitting in a setting like this. This book has taken me to a different kind of fear. But it is more like, I am now really serious of preparing a backpack with necessary supplies in case disaster like this is to take place. It has given me a very clear mental picture on what possible scenarios might happen and what kind of actions I might need to take in order to survive or get to my loved ones. It is a great book that every one needs to add to their post-apocalyptic collection.

SIDE THOUGHTS:
Like I said, the image written in this Ashfall, paints a very real image. It reminded me of the Mt.Pinatubo eruption that happened in the Philippines, when I was in the 5th grade. The damaged reached 20 miles from the volcano. We were probably 80 miles away from it but when it exploded, ashes reached our area and it was dark and always raining for a good number of weeks. The town near it was obliterated and buried in ashes. A lot of people died (even with ample warning and evacuation 2 months before the explosion) and it took the country 2 years to clean up the nearby areas to be liveable again, but even with that the remnants of that natural disaster is still seen today. One example image is below: (what used to be a house is now just a roof top)

2 comments:

Linda Poitevin said...

Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading Mike's book, but will have to wait for the release. :( Like you, the thought of what lies beneath Yellowstone terrifies me, but I can't help but be drawn to a book about it. Human nature, I suppose...we're an odd bunch, aren't we? The eruption you experienced as a child must have been terrifying...even as far away as you were...and the photo is amazing in a very shocking kind of way. Thanks for sharing it!

PeaceLove&Pat said...

I know there is something so fascinating about volcanoes. It is like a woman with severe PMS. hahaha Sometimes without ample warning it will wreck havoc. Thanks for dropping by.

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