Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: Ashen Winter (Ashfall, #2) by Mike Mullin

Title: Ashen Winter
Series: Ashfall, #2
Author: Mike Mullin
CategoryDystopian/ Sci-Fi/ Romance
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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 primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and 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.

**Warning: If you have not read the first book, this review might contain spoilers**

My Review:

How can I review a book I love so much, it is impossible to write out my emotions for books that I fall in love with. And Ashen Winter is one of those books. From the amazing and scary detail, to the earth shattering reality that this could happen, I was consumed by this book.

Would we all wind up like him; slowly forgetting our humanity in the daily struggle to survive?

It's been six months since Darla and Alex have arrived at Alex’s Uncle’s house. Six months they have survived, each day, baring the freezing cold. And all the while Alex is left to wonder if his parents are all-right. If they are even alive...

Since the eruption, Alex has grown. He now lives in a world so spine-gripping chilling, he has faced things he would of never imagined, things he couldn't of imagined ten months ago.
But Alex has survived, along with Darla, a girl he can’t imagine being without now. 

Then when even takes place, revealing to Alex that he can’t put off waiting for his parents anymore, he decides he has to go find them. However, the  journey he and Darla took is still fresh in his mind. So he knows leaving the safety of his Uncle's could end in disaster. But Alex won’t give up. He will not let this cold, barren landscape take away his hope.

So with Darla by his side, they set off, across the now frozen land of ash and death. With only hope, something that is so rare in this new world. But even with hope, around every corner they will have to fight to survive and to stay by each other’s sides.

-we had encountered humanity at its sublime best and its savage worst.

In Ashen Winter, you are again thrown into the world that Mike Mullin created. And it is a bone chilling, scary and surreal world. One I know I won’t be able to survive if it really took place. I feel that is one of the reasons I love this series so much, the reality of it. I also feel Ashen Winter was better than Ashfall.

I also feel that Darla and Alex are amazing characters. I have come to love them so much, and I will never stop cheering them on! These are characters I am truly glad to read about, and to be able to go on this adventure with. I enjoyed seeing just how much they have grown from the first book, and to see the strength they possess. In Ashen Winter, you get to see just how much they have grown and just how far they will go for each other. It was all very endearing.

Old characters and new characters are introduced, and they each held a strong part in the book. Again we get to see how certain people handle a great disaster.
We get to see the struggles Alex and Darla go through, the everyday experiences they must face to be by each other’s sides and to survive this cruel world is amazing. I feel that Alex really has shown what a strong character he is, and the changes he has gone through since the first book are brilliant. And Darla, with her smart attitude, is still a joy to read. Both have shown great maturity.

The world that has developed due to the eruption is so frighteningly real. How Mullin writes the details makes me see and feel the world so vividly, it fear-provoking. The intensity, the great description, the world jumps out so horrifying vibrant, but yet it’s so beautiful, beautifully told despite the gruesome events that are taking place. He also showed us in Ashen Winter how humans would/could  react, how some may cope with a disaster like Ashen Winter. How people would react in desperate situations and what they will do to survive; how people change. And again, it was terrifyingly real.

Ashen Winter stayed strong and compelling the whole time. The plot and story line where wonderful, and very attention holding. It had a great build and even when nothing too significant was happening, I couldn't stop reading. Every moment held my attention. And I could see not only the growth of the story, but the growth of the characters. I also really love reading from Alex’s POV. I do enjoy a female’s POV, but a male’s is so refreshing. And you get different emotions, and can see the world differently, too. I really enjoyed that!

The disaster had warped the landscape of our minds-perhaps even more than it had altered the physical landscape.

All in all, Ashen winter was bone chilling intense.
A wonderful read, with such real description I was left breathless.
The fear and hope of each character I could feel straight to my bones.
Ashen Winter is a brilliant second installment of this series. And if you love scary, realistic apocalyptic book, I suggest you pick it up! 


  1. I really need to get to this series ~ sounds so much like something I will like!

    1. Oh I love this series!! I hope you can get to it!

  2. Great review! I really enjoyed this book! :)

    1. Thank you :) It's such a great book!!

  3. So I didn't read this review because I didn't want to spoil the first one. But I'm sure it is just as fabulous as your other reviews :)

    1. Ha ha totally understandable!!! You need to start this series!!

  4. Great review Magen!! I will have to look into this series! I'm glad you loved it!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  5. I've been excited to read this and love dystopian books. Thanks for your thoughts! I'm confident I'll love this one:)
    I like this site :: delicious BeefJerky


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