Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

What if Yellowstone Park did erupt and cover us with ash?

Tanglewood and Net Galley shared an ebook of this story with me for review (thank you).  The book has been published and is now in its second printing.  This is especially impressive because the hardcover was just published October 14th.

At the time Mt. St. Helen's blew, I was living in Chehalis, Washington.  We were 100 miles away from the volcano and I became personally acquainted with the ashfall.  I'm allergic to sulphur, so I almost died until the smell quieted down.  We had our home to dig out, a city to dig out, and vehicles had cover their air filters to keep the ash out of the engines.  My dog cried and hid from it.  It was awful.  So the premise of this book got my attention.  And Mr. Mullin does an excellent job of creating a realistic environment after a disaster of that magnitude.  I was impressed.

Alex is thrilled to be left home alone while his parents and sister go to visit his uncle for the weekend.  He can be a computer nerd all weekend and hang out with his friends.  But when half the house collapses, he has to dig himself out, and then it burns, he's wishing he had some company.  He goes to stay with the neighbors, but looters come through and people end up dead.  Soon he's on his own.

He makes up his mind to walk to his uncle's house since cars can't get through the ash and most are ruined from trying to drive in it anyway.  On his journey, he meets both good and bad people.  Disasters always bring out the nature of the beast, even in humans.

One of the things I found most scary in this story was the FEMA camp.  That should be a safe place, shouldn't it?  

I hope we never have to deal with a disaster of this size.  I will never forget the ash from Mt. St. Helens.  You can still find it when you plow ground up in Washington.  It never goes away...

This story won't leave your mind soon, either.

Happy reading.

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