Ashen Winter (Ashfall Series #2)

Ashen Winter (Ashfall Series #2)

4.5 47
by Mike Mullin
     
 

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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 trilogy. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa.

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Overview

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 trilogy. 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"As fast, furious, action-packed, and, yes, gruesome as Ashfall (2011) . . . what will stay with readers is how the characters save each other from the worst." — Booklist
VOYA - Barbara Allen
The United States has fallen prey to a super volcano in Yellowstone Park. Alex and Darla fought their way out of FEMA and paramilitary camps to find Alex's family in Illinois, only to find that his parents had gone looking for him. Alex and Darla head out to find them after the farm is attacked by bandits that have Alex's father's gun. Shortly after they set out, Darla is shot and taken captive. Alex roams all over the Midwest in an attempt to get her back. He finds his parents in a FEMA camp that they cannot leave. His parents believe it is their duty to save this camp from "flensers" that are stealing people to use as slaves or to eat. The government is no help. Alex and his parents save the camp with the help of some friends and leave to once again look for Darla. His parents do not seem to understand why he needs to find her. His mother just wants to go home to Illinois, but his father decides to help him find the love of his life. What cost will Alex pay to get Darla back? Is the cost too high? What is going on at home when he returns? In this sequel to Ashfall (Tanglewood, 2011/VOYA December 2011), Mullin has outdone himself with nonstop action and injury. Just as soon as you think Alex has it all figured out, the other shoe drops and more problems arise. This book contains some content that may not be suitable for younger readers, such as sex, cannibalism, and violence. Reviewer: Barbara Allen
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Following the cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park and the resulting volcanic winter, nationwide drops in temperature, and devastating snowfalls led to mass starvation and widespread lawlessness in Ashfall (Tanglewood, 2011). Separated from his family, Alex and Darla, a resourceful girl he met on the road, made their way to his uncle's farm. In this book, Alex gets word that his parents may still be alive and the teens head out into a very dangerous world to try to find them. Mullin's heroes are forced into horrendous situations where they deal with cannibals, slavers, corrupt government officials, and other nasty characters. Stomach-turning descriptions of brutality and strong language may offend some readers, but teens who enjoyed Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) and Michael Grant's Gone (HarperTeen, 2008) will find Mullin's story equally engaging.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
Almost a year after the Yellowstone eruption in Ashfall (2011), Alex and Darla are drawn back to dangerous Illinois, which has only grown worse. Life on Alex's uncle's farm has settled into a routine, and while the eruption has triggered an extended subzero winter, Alex and Darla's heated relationship keeps them warm. When a small flenser gang--cannibals--attack the farm, they drop the shotgun that Alex's uncle gave Alex's parents before they ventured into Illinois looking for their son. This discovery prompts Alex--accompanied by the more competent Darla--to head out in search of his parents. After a false start and a disastrous run-in with their old enemies, FEMA military contractors Black Lake, the story picks up with an even more catastrophic run-in with well-organized cannibals. The encounter leaves Alex trying to survive without Darla's help, struggling against flensers who trade in humans--both as food (in explicit detail) and for sex (tastefully inexplicit). Alyssa, a former slave of the cannibals, and her high-functioning autistic brother, military expert Ben, join Alex's rescue mission. The human-driven gore is much more horrifying than in Ashfall, though the realism isn't as strong in the frequent action sequences. Alex's nuanced feelings toward Darla serve to ground the book nicely, though. The cliffhanger ending leaves readers craving the next installment--and dreading what it may bring. A violent, desperate adventure in a chaotic, post-disaster world. (author's note) (Adventure. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933718989
Publisher:
Tanglewood Press IN
Publication date:
10/22/2013
Series:
Ashfall Series, #2
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
580
Sales rank:
104,238
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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