Ashfall by Mike Mullin: Review

Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)Title: Ashfall
Author: Mike Mullin
Publisher: Tanglewood
Buy This Book: Amazon  / Book Depository

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.

Before I get into my review, I just have to say it, I did not like Ashfall. I was surprised by this because I was really and truly expecting to love it. I have heard a lot of great things and I had read some fantastic reviews that raved about this book and series. But once I finally got to it, I just didn't see what all the fuss was about. I am sad that I have read another book that I didn't like, I hate posting negative reviews and I am sure you are all getting sick of them. But I can't be anything but honest when it comes to reviewing books.

This would have entertained me more.
Probably the biggest issue that I had with Ashfall was that I found it very boring. I found myself wanting to skim read and skip ahead at times, which is never good. It has a really interesting concept but the story just didn't engage me the way I had hoped it would. I know a lot of people have found this a fascinating and beautiful read, so it's probably just me. I found it a little too repetitive, it was a lot of talk about Taekwondo, skiing and God; none of which I was really expecting to be reading about for almost 500 pages.

For the first 150 pages or so it feels like not much at all really happens. That shouldn't be the case for a book that starts out with the eruption of a supervolcano, but it was. The book didn't get all that interesting until Alex comes across Darla, which takes quite a while and even then it still fell flat. I kept waiting for the moment it got interesting, when there would be a big event or plot twist or something. But it all felt like it just sort of plodded along, with only one or two really interesting moments.

'Supervolcano has erupted, I'm starving and people
I love are dying... But screw it, I need to screw.'
I also had issues with Darla and Alex as characters. I really enjoyed the fact that we saw Alex develop a lot as character and grow. I just feel like Alex adapted to his situation a little too quickly, I don't really believe that's how someone his age would react. Darla was a great female character, she was strong, determined, brave and complimented Alex perfectly. But, she wasn't believable to me for one reason. WARNING: This is a spoiler so look away and keep scrolling if you don't want to read it. Darla sees her mother get raped and then murdered in front of her and, yes, for a little while she is really upset over it. But then quickly seems to move on and instead obsesses over trying to have sex with Alex. The guy that she barely knows but falls in love with all too quickly. Nope, sorry but I am just not buying it. Your mother is raped and murdered and all you want to do is get laid?
She really does, Ron!
I did really like the premise of the book, the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano and the effect that is has on the US and the implications of that on the rest of the world. I felt like Mike Mullins did a great deal of research into what would happen if it did erupt and what the lasting impact would be. I found how people reacted was a scarily accurate portrayal of what would happen in that situation. This was violent at times and so gory that I was feeling sick just reading it, but that helped make it a more realistic read and I did enjoy that about it.

I wish I could think of more to comment on but I just can't. I found this really hard to get through and completely struggled with it. I got bought the second book but I definitely won't be continuing on with this series. The end was very anticlimactic and I worry that the sequel would be harder for me to get through than this one was. I do have to comment that most people seem to enjoy this one, so if it's one you're excited to read than I would still say you could give it a try.

2.5/5 Butterflies

I struggled a lot with this one. I found it hard to get through and it didn't keep me interested in the story. I was bored and found myself wanting to skip ahead. I felt it was an accurate portrayal of how people would react in that situation as a whole, but certain characters I didn't find very believable. Sadly, this one just wasn't for me. 


  1. hahahaha i love the gifs you included, especially the ron/harry one. i've seen this book around and it didn't interesting me enough for me to check out. after reading your review i'll keep right on ignoring it.

    thanks for stopping by my weekly wrap up/new books post last weekend :)

    -michelle @ Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks

    1. I would definitely recommend that ;) It just wasn't for me at the end of the day, too slow and too boring.

  2. That's the only word I have right now. =/
    Thanks for the review. The concept sounded interesting but even that wasn't really enough to pull me in, so... well, I guess that's what reviews are for! XD

    1. Thanks! I was really expecting to love this, but I just ended up completely bored. Others have loved it, so it might just be me.

  3. I've been looking forward to reading your review of this ever since I saw you post an update on Goodreads while reading that was just 'zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz', it made me very curious as to why (although I had an inkling it might have been a bit boring obviously) and now I know, not good at all and definitely sounds like one to avoid xx

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

    1. Haha, yeah that status about summed up all of my feelings! Others have absolutely loved it, so it could just be me, but I just didn't connect with it at all. I ended up being really bored by it, it obviously wasn't for me.

  4. Being bored and skimming is never a good sign. Sorry you didn't end up liking this book, but thanks for the honest review! ~Pam

    1. You're welcome! Hopefully I will do tons better with the next book I read :)

  5. Eww I don't think I would like this at all :( This kind of books should be super eventful with a big focus on survival and whatnot. So the fact that the first 150 pages have nothing of real substance certainly raise a red flag. Plus the MCs didn't meet up together until much later. I would probably skip this one.
    Angel @ Spare Reads

    1. It definitely wasn't for me, I just couldn't get into it. It was disappointing. I really did want to enjoy this one, but it just wasn't for me.


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