Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Ashfall by Mike Mullin - Blog Tour

Title: Ashfall
Series: Ashfall #1
Author: Mike Mullin | Website
Available: Now
Genre: Dystopian
Reading Level: YA

Description from Goodreads:

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.

My thoughts:

Ashfall is a frightening tale of survival. This is a book that will infiltrate your dreams and have you waking up in a cold sweat. Even though it managed to thoroughly scare the hell out of me, I couldn't bring myself to stop reading.

The story kicks off with Alex being left alone while his parents make a weekend trip to his uncle's home (approximately 3 hours away). Alex is planning to spend the weekend playing World of Warcraft with no nagging parents or annoying younger sister to deal with. Then a volcano in Yellowstone erupts and life as he knew it is over. He decides he needs to find a way to his uncle's home to make sure his family is ok (kudos to Alex for showing remorse for being a bit of a big fat jerk to his mom). Once on the road it seems evil is lurking around every corner. His path is far from easy and will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Ashfall was much darker than I had anticipated. I'll also admit to skimming any scenes involving animal butchering. I just couldn't stomach it. The plot moved at a rapid pace and some scenes were brutal. I was so stressed for Alex the entire time I read. I was also thoroughly impressed with his ability to survive as well as his compassion for others. Even after being put into several sticky situations because of the greed of others, he was still willing to help those who needed it. He is a really wonderful character. I also adored Darla. She is a very interesting character and great addition to the book.

I was also seriously digging how the gender roles for Alex and Darla were kind of reversed. Who says boys can't show emotion or be softhearted or that girls can't be brilliant when it comes to farming or mechanics? I loved the uniqueness of the characters and their relationship. 

I also need to add because I'm a mom and age recs on books are becoming a huge pet peeve of mine. I'm a bit surprised to see a recommended age of 12+ for Ashfall. I have an almost 12 year and I can't imagine him being able to digest some of the situations in this book. There are references and scenes involving rape and cannibalism. There is also adult language, violence, and sex. Scary, scary stuff! It scared me, and I'm well beyond the recommended age ;) I'd be more likely to recommend this for 15+ depending on the child of course. 

Ashfall is a great read for older teens and adults. Action, romance, volcanoes, and kick ass Tae Kwon Do moves. Mike Mullin has brought something fresh and exiting to not only Young Adult , but the entire dystopian genre.

My Rating:

Follow the Ashfall Blog Tour!

Comment for a chance to win a copy of Ashfall!
1 copy up for grabs each week of the blog tour. Follow the tour & comment to improve your chance of winning.
1 copy also available to an international winner if The Book Depository ships to your country.


  1. Awesome! I really am tired of cliche books and this sounds like a new, great book to me. Something that is entirely new for me, because I have not read anything like this before. :) Great review.

  2. oh wow how i would love to get my hands on this book! the cover freaks me out though!! thanks for this giveaway!! :D

    - juhina

  3. great giveaway
    follow via gfc

  4. This book sounds awesome!! Thanks for the giveaway.

    myra0502 at yahoo dot com

  5. Great giveaway!

    katvela12345 AT

  6. Thanks for the giveaway :) This book sounds neat!

  7. I have wanted to read this book for a while, it sounds great and after your review i want to read it more!

    Suzanne @ Under the Covers

  8. I'm so glad you loved it!! So many have so far :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  9. I have been seeing this book around some blogs and it has caught my attention, I am trying to expand my reading genre.
    Thanks for making one international :)


  10. The more I hear about Ashfall, the more interested I am in reading it. I love dystopian stories, so I'm looking forward to reading this.

  11. The premise for the books sounds pretty interesting ... it has similar themes to some of the recent books I've read and loved ... I'd loved to check it out :-)

  12. You make a great point about the age recommendation. It's supposed to be 14+. I'm not sure how the ARCs got printed with 12+. I'll check NetGalley now and make sure it's been fixed there. If you see it 12+ anywhere else, give me a shout please and I'll try to get it fixed.

  13. I really like the cover of this book. And the plot is different, so, brownie points to that.

  14. That's so cool! This one has been on my TBR list for a while and I'm SO excited to read it!

    Thanks so much for the amazing giveaway, Christie! :)

  15. The more I read/see about this novel, the more I want to read it. I've got the feeling it'll definitely make its way onto my book recs list for work ^^

    z0mie at yahoo dot com

  16. I keep seeing such wonderful reviews for this, I can't wait to read it myself! I would love to win a copy! Thanks for the chance to win one!


    ASHFALL sounds more amazing all the time.


  18. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

  19. Sounds intriguing. Please enter me in the contests.

  20. Sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway!

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

  21. Love the idea of switching the typical gender roles. Great review!

    candicerjames [at] gmail [dot] com

  22. Enter me please!!

  23. Please enter me!
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  24. WOW!!! Outstanding book. Very well written. The characters come alive from the first page. A real page-turner.Really makes you think about would happen globally if a major catastrophic event occurred.

  25. It seems all I read lately are zombies, vampires, or, for some reason or other, militarized governments making life unbearable for the masses. A post-super-volcanic dystopia is a new take on what is becoming a crowded genre. The characters are likable, relatable and even lovable. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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