Chris Kervina's Reviews > Ashen Winter

Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin
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Sep 30, 12

bookshelves: ya-books, science-fiction
Read in June, 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed Mullin's first book in this series, Ashfall, which followed 16-year-old Alex's attempt to find his parents after a super volcano erupts in Yellowstone. Alex, whose family has left their Iowa home to visit relatives in nearby Illinois, must face life in the ash fall and prolonged winter as he tries to cross the state and get to his Uncle's farm.

Due to be released in October 2012, Ashen Winter is an excellent continuation of the story. The sequel picks up where the first leaves off, and Alex is still trying to find his parents. The fast-paced action pits Alex, Darla, and two new companions against corrupt government contractors, desperate townsfolk trying to survive, and the new grizzly, blood-thirsty gangs that have formed in the red-zone of Iowa.

Alex has truly grown up and has become a fiercely loyal young man who makes his own decisions. He refuses to let the world around him mold him into a monster, as so many in this post-apocalyptic world have. While Mullen plays down the gore, his gritty world may be a bit too harsh for more sensitive readers. But action, adventure, and conflict (both internal and external) keep the pages turning, and I found myself sympathizing with Alex and his new friends.

Without giving any real spoilers, I can say that Mullin has left the story wide open for book 3 with his cliff-hanger ending. I will certainly add both Ashfall and Ashen Winter to my class library and hope I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read and advanced copy of book 3 within the next year.
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