Series: Ashfall #3
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 17, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | B&N | Book Depository* | IndieBound
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The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors’ constant companions.
When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever—and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.
This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.
FANTASTIC!!!! "Sunrise" was the perfect ending to the series. Like the first two books, it kept me up late reading; it's wonderfully complex, detailed, engrossing, and tightly written. There isn't anything I'd change about it.
This book takes place over several years and Alex grows up quite a bit. He can still be impulsive but he's become mature, accepting responsibility, leading an ever-growing group of survivors and dealing with family issues. He's not perfect, he has flaws, but he tries. He's gotten quite good at thinking long-range and strategizing and making use, but not using, the smarts and talents of people around him. And of course, Darla is there to smack him when she thinks he needs it. :P
Alex and Darla, along with Alex's mother and sister, are at his uncle Paul's farm when the book opens. They're preparing to help the residents of nearby Warren reclaim their town from invaders. That's a recurring theme throughout the book - defending oneself and protecting your home. We see different reactions and opinions; some people stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best, some plan proactively and some are aggressive about taking what they want. "Might makes right" occurs again and again and Alex is not a fan of that philosophy. Mullin is unflinching in showing us the consequences of a disaster and people's responses, and how quickly culture devolves. There were scenes where I had to skim and jump ahead because I couldn't bear to read the actual details (I also cover my eyes at scenes in movies and tv shows.
I loved that this book took place over several years so we spent more time with the people and there are lot of new people in this story. Additionally, the focus has changed from short-term survival to long-term. Alex and company make plans for long-term living and become the nuclei for others trying to survive. All are welcome, as long as they are willing to work and abide by the rules. Alex negotiates the challenges that brings while dealing with his mother who is at odds with him on several vital topics. Alex and Darla aren't perfect, they make mistakes, but they learn and grow and admit when they're wrong. Despite the pressures in their lives, they are committed to each other and their relationship is wonderful.
Once again, the book is well-researched and it shows without getting too wordy or taking over the story. If we have a large-scale disaster or apocalypse, I'm making my way to Mike's house and joining his group. My odds will be so much better. :D The details of making greenhouses, using wind turbines to make electricity, growing food, establishing laws and a government, etc. were interesting and added a level of realism that I appreciated. I also appreciated that there are no magical solutions nor are all questions answered, though I would have liked to know what what happened with Emily, a new character. The story ends on a hopeful note and I feel that Alex and Darla, and the others, will make it.
Gah, I can't adequately express how much I enjoyed this book. The story, the pacing, the plausibility, the characterization, the details, everything was perfect, even the violence. There's nothing gratuitous or unnecessary, it's all there for a reason. If you appreciate a smart, well-written, engrossing story regardless of genre, read this series.
My review of Ashfall
My review of Ashen Winter
About the author ~
Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out. Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. Ashen Winter is his second novel. His debut, "Ashfall", was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association. "Sunrise" was selected for Spring 2014 Indie Next list by the American Booksellers Association.
Find Mike Online:
TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY
This giveaway is sponsored by Books With Bite. It is one complete set of The Ashfall Series (Ashfall, Ashen Winter & Sunrise) from The Book Depository. Please make sure they ship to your country. Open to everyone! Please read my Giveaway Policy.