“For the first time ever, I felt ashamed of my species. The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles and our airplanes, but it hadn’t taken our humanity. No, we’d given that up on our own“ (Alex in ASHFALL by Mike Mullin)


Verlag: Tanglewood Press
Seiten: 465
ISBN-10: 1933718552

Alex is a typical teenage boy, almost constantly fighting with his Mom. The topics? Well, I’d say they are quite typical, too: poor study habits, excessive video games and so on. So, Alex is really happy to be allowed to stay alone at home for the weekend while his parents and little sister visit his Uncle’s farm.

But his happiness about having dodged stinky country life and instead of that playing World of Warcraft without any parental disapproval doesn’t last long. Already after a few hours alone he gets the first hint that that wouldn’t be the normal Friday evening. At first there is only a rumble, the house shakes a little and power goes out, but then all hell breaks loose. Alex hears a loud cracking noise and the floor tilts, followed by a loud boom and a whistling sound almost like incoming artillery from a war movie. The house practically caves in on itself and Alex has a hard time escaping the chaos.

But who has sent this bomb? The supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park has erupted and blast off a huge chunk of rock that hit Alex’s house. A few hours later, tons of ash cover the country and overcast the sky.

After the destruction of his home, Alex is forced to leave and try to make his way to find his parents. Only, they are over 100 miles away at his Uncle’s farm and there is no possibility to go there by car or bus with all that ash on the streets. Alex has to set out on foot to reunite with his parents. When he starts his journey, he hopes that he could make the trip in about a week. But his worst nightmares couldn’t have shown him what he has to face on his much longer journey. He has to fight for his life, watch murder, rape and cannibalism and people starving and freezing to death.

During all this horrible events he meets Darla, a girl who saves his life more than once. Can Alex and Darla survive in this dreadful world of ash and find Alex’s family?

ASHFALL is an awesome page-turner, one of my favorite post-apocalyptic stories I have read this year and I have already read a lot of those! The scenario is unthinkable but yet absolutely realistic. A natural catastrophe as described in the book could happen tomorrow and I don’t doubt that people can make the disaster even worse. The author describes the evil behavior appropriately, sometimes a bit gory, but never too much. I really liked the well developed characters, especially Alex and and Darla. They are teenagers with special talents but no superheroes who can do everything in any possible situation. Darla is neither the “damsel-in-distress-type” nor the geek (like Hermione Granger) and Alex isn’t the muscle-bound but stupid hero. Together they are a perfect team that can do a lot but nothing supernatural. I absolutely enjoyed how the author handled the relationship between these characters, it never sounded cheesy.

In my opinion ASHFALL is a must-read for all male and female readers who like post-apocalyptic/dystopian literature.

Absolutely awesome story – I can’t wait to read the sequel ASHEN WINTER. Five Stars!

  1. Afonsina sagt:

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