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(Supervolcano #1)

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,446 ratings  ·  282 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author and "maven of alternate history" (San Diego Union-Tribune) presents a near- future thriller.

A supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park sends lava and mud flowing toward populated areas, and clouds of ash drifting across the country. The fallout destroys crops and livestock, clogs machinery, and makes cities uninhabitable. Those who

Hardcover, 420 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Roc Hardcover
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T.HiggsReviews Get it from the library or buy it from a shop. This is not a site to download books from it's a cataloguing and social networking site for authors and…moreGet it from the library or buy it from a shop. This is not a site to download books from it's a cataloguing and social networking site for authors and people who like reading.(less)

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 ·  1,446 ratings  ·  282 reviews

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Dec 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
i really am not looking forward to writing this review. this was the worst book i have ever read, and even though david was kind enough to point out that most of the books i read are shitty, he is wrong. this one is the shittiest.

and it has nothing to do with the frequent disparaging of rhode island. not content simply to use it as a unit of measurement (although he does), he also says many unflattering things about the state itself. but considering how crappy this book is, i am pretty sure rhod
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I REALLY wanted to like this book, I've read Turtledove for years, and when I found out he had written a supervolcano book, I was pumped. I'm afraid this one should have been called Crappy Family: And a Volcano Blows Up.

I have to imagine that, should a nice chunk of the nation be obliterated, with major cities completely wiped out, and hundreds of thousands of people killed, even in California, they'd be more concerned with recent events than the fact that newspapers are getting thinner as paper
Michelle Morrell
This is my first Harry Turtledove book, about a California cop and his extended family, as a supervolcano under Yellowstone erupts and screws the world. Obviously I've heard his name before, he's an author of some renown and I was excited to read his take on the apocalypse.

What an ugly, caustic book. And I don't mean the garbage spewing out of the supervolcano. Reading through, yes, the main character is grumpy, curmudgeonly. Okay, let's keep going. His daughter is specifically called by everyon
Kate E
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent writing, and the geologist in my heart approves of the technical background details. A bit slow in pacing, though it may be justified. If this thing does go off in our lifetime, it's going to be a long time before humanity as a whole understands the implications for their lifestyle, not to mention their survival possibilities. We're a stubborn lot.

So, Harry, where's the next book? Don't let little things like eating and sleeping slow you down, man - alteration of an entire planetary ec
Dec 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
My advice: don't read this. I spent most of the book rooting for the supervolcano to rise up and destroy the characters (with the sole exception of Kelly, the geologist grad student, who is out in the thick of things with the developing volcano. She inexplicably finds love with Colin, the main male character, but I was mostly able to overlook that because she was often the one giving me my volcano fix).

The details about Yellowstone and how it might erupt are done well enough; Turtledove does his
Jan 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
First Koontz, now Turtledove!

Two of my favorite authors just came up with barely readable books...this must be a record.

Let me start by saying that this is not alternate history...this is not even science fiction...this is...this is...just like the film "2012'!

What I mean with that is a disjointed, confusing, repetitive, pointless, apocalyptic yarn that goes nowhere.

The ENTIRE cast of characters is fairly disagreeable...well maybe not the geologist...but everybody, and i mean everybody, else is
James Tullos
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
See my full thoughts here:

Well this was disappointing. I've loved Harry Turtledove ever since I read "The Great War" trilogy, and after this I think he should stick to alternate history. While this is far from the worst book I've ever read, I wouldn't even call it bad, it focused on all of the most boring aspects.

Let's start with the positives: The build up to the eruption is great. All of the facts are clearly laid out and the horrors of what's coming sl
Kim Lockhart
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 rounded up.

There is lots to like about this series about a Supervolcanic Eruption. It's very easy reading and asks very little of the reader. I liken it to Ben Winters' The Last Policeman Trilogy. The characters are not deeply developed, but what you do get is an easy breezy speculative fiction read, and sometimes, that's exactly what you're in the mood for.

There are a few funny moments, some flashes of insight about human behavior, and some good questions about how the U. S. (and the wor
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'll start on a positive note: the material devoted to the actual eruption was good stuff; intense, suspenseful, and even a little scary. The pages devoted to it just flew by, and I really wanted to see what would happen next. Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of the material was that it was kind of evocative of the series "It Could Happen Tomorrow" on the Weather Channel - it was a worst case scenario type of situation, but the events were compelling, rather than wholly unbelievable.

Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Possibly one of the most boring books I've tried this year - I gave up 120 pages in. The characters varied from highly unpleasant to kind of unlikeable. I'd think the author's a bit of a misogynist for the daughter and ex-wife characters and the internal dialog of the cop main character, but really all the characters sucked so perhaps it was all intentional so we'd be happy if they all got smothered in volcano ash. I'm hoping that's what happened in the story, anyway. Not sure how one can make a ...more
Clay Davis
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Would have been much better if the supervolcano was more of the story.
Hmm... I was prepared to be disappointed with this after reading reviews so I wasn't surprised by my reaction.

The descriptions of the eruption were really good, the characters were not. One dimensional and unlikeable.

I don't care enough to read the rest of the series.
Feb 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was anxious to pick up this book because (a) I'd read quite a few of Turtledove's earlier novels and really enjoyed them and (b) recently read another book on the subject of a super-volcano eruption at Yellowstone called "Ashfall" by Mike Mullin. Technically its a YA novel but thus far its been far superior to the drivel in Turtledove's version.

This may be a first for me in that the author has managed to craft an entire book without a single sympathetic character - except for Pickles, the cat
Paul Ditroia
Jun 30, 2012 rated it did not like it

This man has a PhD in Byzantine history. He has written some of the most well researched, best alternative history novels I've ever read.

Why at this point in his career he chose to write this USA network movie drivel I have no idea.

The characters are one dimensional and unlikable, the event itself in the book was underwhelming, and the aftermath was "So what?". No real drama, no tension. There was about a 10 page section that made me feel like I was playing The Sims. She took something out of
Dec 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
I had this book on pre-order for two months. I have never been more disappointed by a good author. Not only is this novel a mess of meaningless foreshadowing and characters, the "science" was deplorable. My fifth graders could have constructed a more interesting "what if " story after watching any decent National Geographic super volcano DVD. Despite my frustrations with this book, I slogged all the way to the end, somehow hoping Turtledove was going to craft a clever twist or make me even care ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Wowee zowee.

I wanted to like this book SO MUCH and kept plowing through the choppy POV and crappy dialogue but I just can't even finish.

I made it to page 74 and after reading this: "One of the girls behind the desk, a blonde who'd be porky in another five or ten years, had not a clue concealed anywhere about her person."


No. Do not waste your time.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't survive the first CD. Starting off with a potty-mouthed loser as protagonist was a poor choice by this author. Stick with alternate histories, Harry. ...more
Amy Messier
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
It was interesting to read how this even effected the different parts of the country. It centered around a slightly dysfunctional family and their experiences... i wouldnt say it was the best or worst book Ive read... it was interesting but not super exciting, but held my attention enough that Im considering reading the next one.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
The supervolcano itself is an afterthought, a minor plot point in what is a terribly boring drama. I could only read the details of somebody's breakfast so many times before I gave up on this one. ...more
Glenn Hammer
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was expecting an adventure or a disaster book. this was neither. A little slow.
Suzanne Johnson
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5, actually. Maybe 3.75. Good escapism when there isn't a vintage disaster movie playing on TV. (Yes, I'm a disaster-movie junkie.) Review to run on my blog 7-19-17.
Yellowstone Park is known as a national treasure, and a wonder to behold, but few know about its deadly potential. The park sits atop a gigantic supervolcano, which has gone off in the past, and is due to erupt again virtually any time. Humanity has never witnessed the wrath of a supervolcano... until now. Harry Turtledove begins a new trilogy, Supervolcano, with the first of the series, Eruption.

Synopsis for Eruption :

A supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park sends lava and mud flowing to
Jul 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Oh my god. It has been quite some time since I've read a book I disliked as completely as this one. It had rare, small moments, sure, but overall? The idea of a "What if...?" story involving the supervolcano under Yellowstone isn't bad, it's the book itself.

We open with Colin Ferguson, a Southern California cop, who is on vacation in the Yellowstone area getting over his ex-wife who left him for an aerobics instructor. (My first 'wtf?' moment was that the main character shares a name with an ac
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I normally really like Harry Turtledove's books. However, this one left me a little cold.
The basic premise is that the Supervolcano under Yellowstone Park erupts. Now this sounded like a really cool disaster novel.

There are a couple of problems with the novel:
•It takes at least 1/3 of the novel before the Supervolcano actually goes off. This should've happened sooner in the book.
•After it goes off, Harry Turtledove describes some of the devastation, but it's less graphic than I would've liked -
Aug 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Let me just say up front I wasn't able to finish this book.

In the beginning I was actually enjoying it quite a bit. I have read several books by Harry Turtledove and I have learned to forgive his lack of character development in favor of his incredible ability to weave historical and technical details into a realistic, while also fantastic story. I was enjoying the lead up to the volcano eruption, including all the little nerdy bits of volcano science, and was looking forward to an exciting sto
Patrick DiJusto
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Come on: it's Harry Turtledove! You know what you're going to get: a smart, tough drill sergeant character (in this case a police LT), a frivolous middle aged woman (his ex wife), a smart younger woman (his new love, a vulcanologist), and a variety of "everyman" younger characters. All the characters will make pop culture references endlessly, and most of them will speak "military" small talk: "Have a good day" "Have a better one".

These characters will all find themselves in a drastically change
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I don't know if this is supposed to be part of a series or a stand alone novel. If it's the beginning of a series I'd feel a little differently because it just sort of ends with a bunch of unanswered questions.

I don't normally have trouble keeping characters straight in my head but for some reason I had problems with everyone except the main character and his girlfriend. I'd always have to think for a minute to orient myself with the change in point of view.

I guess I expected more of the book
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
What a disappointment. I gave it three stars but only because I love Harry Turtledove and he usually produces awesome characters and tales... was this one ghostwritten for him? I'd hate to think he would stoop to using a ghostwriter like that but I also hate to think that this is actually his work.

So disappointing.

Please, Mr. Turtledove, don't put out a piece of crap like this again. You make my top five list of favorite authors but if you put out more stuff like this... I'd have to demote you
Feb 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Not even sure where to start exactly. This book was just not what I expected at all and it was all in a bad way. I was looking forward to a really good epic/global disaster and instead I got a ho-hum effort full of bizarre references and use less scenes.
The author spent more time on less important plots than he did on the actual eruption. There is a killer loose in the LA burbs and that wastes a good 100 or do pages. There is enough family drama to invite Dr. Phill into the mix. Then there is a
Dave Moore
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
I just finished this book and, honestly, I would be hard-pressed to explain why I stuck with it. Despite an intriguing premise and a great cover, it was nothing more than a soap opera-type glimpse at a dysfunctional family we are given no genuine reason to care about. Further proof of the old saw about a book and it's cover. Being a fan of Crichton, Warren Fahey, and a few others who make their work compelling by making the science central to their plots interesting and suspenseful, the way scie ...more
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Dr Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced a sizeable number of works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Harry Turtledove attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977.

Turtledove has been dubbed "The Master of Alternate History". Within this genre he is known both for creating original sce

Other books in the series

Supervolcano (3 books)
  • All Fall Down (Supervolcano, #2)
  • Things Fall Apart (Supervolcano, #3)

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“That anyone would want to be famous still mystified Colin. As TV had trained him to do, he associated the word with divorces and court appearances and rehab and jail time. He knew more than he wanted about all of those except rehab, and that was the one famous people blew off anyway.” 2 likes
“...all the pools are going batshit like you wouldn't believe.... Batshit... It's a technical term... Fleidermausscheisse, okay?"
Fleidermausscheisse? Kelly silently mouthed the word, and as silently clapped her hands. With a dictionary and patience, she could read scientific German. Thanks to fragments of Yiddish from her folks, she could make a better--not good, but better--stab at speaking it than most of her anglophone peers. But she knew she never would have come up with that particular terminus technicus in a million months of Sundays.”
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