Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

Series: Ashfall (bk. 2)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi (post-apocalyptic)

Subjects: Volcanic ash, climate change, survival, love, winter

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 567 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.95

Publisher: Tanglewood

Summary/ product description: “It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.”

My Rating: êêêê 1/2

My Review: Though Ashen Winter is over 100 pages more than Ashfall, it’s still just as awesome and action packed. I love Alex and Darla’s relationship and not happy when Darla was captured. They are one of my favorite kick-butt couples in YA. I also love the setting. I live in Illinois and was easily able to picture the post-volcanic winter landscape (especially since that blizzard in Feb, 2010!). I’ve actually been to the area in the book. And I found out Warren, IL is real! I looked it up on Google Earth. I live in Warrenville, which is in Chicagoland. Now I want to go back and see Apple River Canyon (also real) and the Quad Cities This story hit close to home-literally. I just hope Yellow Stone never really erupt. I do not want to end up in one of those camps!

So Alex and Darla go looking for Alex’s parents. They run into about a million problems and set-backs along the way. Alex really should shut up and take Darla’s advice. She’s pretty freakin’ smart. They have a crazy time crossing the Mississippi. They have some bike with skis they call “Bikezilla.” The chase scene in the frozen river is really crazy.

Later on in the book, we meet some new characters. One of them know a ton about guns and military stuff. He gets Alex out of trouble a few times. Alex goes after Darla, and everyone is trying to stop him because they think she’s already dead. Alex is a tough fighter, so I believed in him. But even more adventures happen. This book is like some crazy epic saga. Like the Odyssey of a post-apocalyptic future. I love it so much. Did I mention the cannibal gangs? Yeah. Not zombies. People surviving by eating people.  I also hope that doesn’t happen for real.

And the ending is epic. The way they go after Darla. There’s a lot of spoilery stuff I’m not gonna mention.

I love this series also because of its realistic survival information. I learned enough from the first book (and now probably forgot it) and this book have even more information. The author make everything so realistic. From the setting, to the character to the things that happen to the characters. All the injuries and gory details. The fact that guns don’t always work right away because Alex keeps forgetting the safety or magazine. I remember a scene from in Camp Galena from Ashfall that grossed me out. The mass toilet. You know what I mean.

Overall, great sequel! Wonder if the next book will be the last book. I’m sure it will be just as epic either way. If Yellowstone blows up for real, I’ll be glad I read these books. But I may wish that I bought them/owned them. I think I’m gonna have to find some Kale seed just in case this 2012 stuff really happens. Lol. It won’t. I know it.

Cover Art Review: Not as good as the 1st book’s cover. The hands are nice. The cover is very texture heavy. It’s fitting, but not as great as Ashfall’s cover.


~Haley G

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