Ashfall by Mike Mullin


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. For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster. Group meeting: Sunday, November 11 at 6:30 pm Ashfall on Goodreads Mike Mullin’s website – – FacebookTwitter Ashen Winter (Ashfall, Book 2)   VERDICT: Average rating:  3.5 Character Two main characters:  Alex (male protagonist) and Darla (female companion) The boy’s characteristics chart a middle ground; rather than the macho-kickass-seemingly-omniscient-mysterious-brooding male, we get a sensitive, humble, average boy, lacking in survival skills, yet has a knack for martial arts.  The girl on the other hand, has great survival skills and is somewhat mysterious, though she can surely be affected by tragedy.  Best of all–as it seems to be the case in many male perspective stories–she is not a “manic pixie dream girl.”  She is self sufficient, clever, and saves Alex’s life more than once without it becoming an issue of wounded pride from either character.  He saves her as well. How about the feelings? Death, tragedy, fear, uncertainly… Yes, it’s certainly emotionally intense, though most of us were indifferent to the romantic element between to the two teens. For further discussion What would you do in this situation? Would you stay in your house or join FEMA? Would you help others (offering supplies, putting yourself in danger) even if you’re on the fringe of survival? Would you result to violence to save your own life?  How about for loved ones? Would you keep your pet with you even in a food shortage? Would you go with a camp or group?

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