Ashfall by Mike Mullin
The eruption of the super volcano covers the Western United States in ash, killing millions of people and turning the country into a disaster site. 16-year-old Alex, who had been enjoying a free weekend alone, is now desperate to find his family. But he soon learns how quickly the civilized world breaks into pieces during the apocalypse.
I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic romances, but this one is even better than usual. Darla and Alex don’t immediately fall in love, but when they do, their relationship is one of mutual respect and equality. I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes next!
Feminist Score: A+ Success
Darla kicks ass. She’s smart, knows how to survive in the post-apocolyptic world, and doesn’t have any stereotypical “female weakness”. Other female characters have similar strength, though you don’t see them as often.
While the main two characters are white and straight, there are a number of diverse characters – including gay neighbors and a black Christ-figure. My only issue is that it seemed a little bit forced. Every single character was not what you would expect, and it was a little too in your face. It’s not a perfect book, but it does a decent job with the side characters.
This book surprised me. I was very, very impressed with the world and the characters’ relationships. It was a little gory for me, but that’s just personal taste. I highly recommend this book, and plan to read the next books in the series.
Darla – She’s tough, street-smart, but not unbreakable. She’s a great character and equal partner for Alex.
“I was home alone on that Friday evening. Those who survived know exactly which Friday I mean. Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing, in the same way my parents remembered 9/11, but more so. “
What a catchy first line. I was immediately drawn into Alex’s world, and did not leave it for the entire day. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.
Is this worth a book hangover?
Yes. The story was fast and unpredictable. There was a lot of plot, but no lack of romance or character development.
Fun Author Fact
Mike Mullin’s bio on his website is hilarious. Actually, there are three bios: A Funny Bio, A Serious Bio, and a Boring Bio. My favorite line, “He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats”.
Read this next:
The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. It’s a similar post-apocalyptic world with a kick-ass heroine.
Post Author: Anisha
Anisha adores YA romance – and thinks that all love stories should start on the beach and end with the first kiss. Jess is helping her expand her horizons with more diverse, interesting books from newer authors.