Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano, so large that the caldera can only be seen by plane or satellite. And by some scientific measurements, it could be overdue for an eruption.

For Alex, being alone for the weekend means freedom from his parents and the chance to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek, searching for his family and finding help in Darla, his travel partner. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.

For me personally, I’ve always loved distopian novels. I picked up this book in the library, astonished at it’s hauntingly beautiful cover. I didn’t think much of it, considering the description was kind of lacking in excitement. But I picked it up anyway, seeing praise from Micheal Grant, author of the amazing “Gone” series-a book everyone and their mother should read-and Charles Bientot, author of an interesting second person novel called “You”.

I devoured the novel. I had to slow down towards the end, but it was truly amazing and better than I expected. For his first novel, Mike Mullin truly kicks ass. Alex was an interesting character to set around, even being alone for a majority of the novel, he still held his own. It was intriguing to see how  determined he was to find his family and close connection he shared with Darla. You could see the change he went through compared to the beginning of the novel to the end. He had to grow up in a manner of a few months, and that takes a lot for someone to have to do that.

Mullin also proved that in survival situations, it’s not only the starvation, cold and ash you have to deal with. It’s the people too. Just when everything seems to be going well, we get sucked right back into the horrible and that’s what I love about this novel.

If you are looking for a real distopian novel, this is it. I promise you won’t be able to put this book down until the end. I also believe, like me, that you will want to put a survival pack together just in case something of this matter occurs. For example, say the impending zombie apocalypse?

My Rating