Book Review #26: Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

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 dark, cold, and primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this trilogy.

It’s been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they 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.”

This book, as stated before is in a trilogy and you can find the review for the first book here.

From all the suspense and really unfortunate things that happen to Alex in Ashfall, this book starts off with a bang delivering our expectations.  Alex had really grown as a person in Ashfall, and he still had room to grow in this novel.

What I really love about Mike Mullin’s work is that he makes us frustrated with what unfortunate events happen to the characters and that was something I really enjoyed with this book. I think evoking that frustration is really what makes books good,

I found, however, that during about two-thirds of the way into the book I found myself getting bored. But Ashen Winter really picked up and became really interesting again. That was probably my only qualm with this novel.

~~Spoiler Alert!~~

I found that Alex’s growth really showed when Darla got shot and they were separated.  Darla pretty much carried him along in the latter half of Ashfall and being without her really changed an aspect of the book. That area of the book where Alex was first separated with Darla was the point where I found it dragged on a little bit, however hiding from the Peckerwoods really picked up the tension and suspense.

The introduction of the new characters, Alyssa and Ben, was a good choice on the author’s part because the novel could get a little stale without some new faces.

~~End of Spoilers~~

Overall, I think this was not better than the original book, however, it’s a really good sequel and worth reading if you have read the first book.

My Rating
My Rating
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