Available Copies: Downtown Teen, 3rd Floor, Malletts Teen
After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, fifteen-year-old Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister, trying to survive in a transformed landscape and a new society in which all the old rules of living have vanished.
I love post-apocalyptic fiction and its ilk, so I thought I'd enjoy this natural disaster survival book. It was, sadly, rather boring. Ashfall starts off decently, getting right to the action, but it tapers off pretty quickly as we follow Alex on his journey east to find his family. Stuff happens, but most of it isn't interesting - there's way too much description of how he travels and mundane details about the roads he's on, the kind of food he's eating, and people who have no relevance to the story. I appreciate Mullins' attempt at painting a realistic picture of what might happen in the event of the Yellowstone eruption (he does not shy away from violence, death, rape, cannibalism or starvation), but the book lacks a sense of depth on these heavy issues. The human against human violence was given less weight (meaning time spent discussing or describing it) than the unnecessarily gory animal butchering scenes. If you're not turned off by these themes, I'd recommend Cormac McCarthy's The Road instead.