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Ashfall Hardcover – September 27, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review


In this chilling debut, Mullin seamlessly weaves meticulous details about science, geography, agriculture and slaughter into his prose, creating a fully immersive and internally consistent world scarily close to reality.—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

This is a riveting tale of survival.—Publishers Weekly

Mullin's debut novel is carefully researched and vividly imagined, a post-apocalyptic backdrop for an intense tale with adventure, graphic violence, and two young teenagers learning to love. A sure hit for older readers who like intense action, a believable narrator, and a dystopia that could actually happen.—Horn Book

Readers will be propelled along to find out what happens to Alex, the environment, and his love life while also asking what they would do in a similar disaster.—Library Media Connection, starred reviewLibrary Media Connection, starred review

If you aren't exhausted by the end of the first thirty pages, it's time to check your pulse.&mdashDave Richardson, READING TODAY book reviewer

About the Author

Mike Mullin first discovered he could make money writing in sixth grade. His teacher, Mrs. Brannon, occasionally paid students for using unusual words. Mike’s first sale as a writer earned ten cents for one word: tenacious.
Since then, Mike has always been involved with literature. One of his early jobs was shelving books at Central Library in Indianapolis. Later, he paid his way through graduate school in part by serving as a reference assistant. Mike has worked in his mother’s business, Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, for more than twenty years, serving at various times as a store manager, buyer, school and library salesperson, and marketing consultant.
Mike wrote his first novel in elementary school—Captain Poopy’s Sewer Adventures. He’s been writing more or less nonstop ever since, but fortunately for his readers, Ashfall will be his first published novel.
Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. Visit www.mikemullinauthor.com for more info about Mike and Ashfall and its sequel, Ashen Winter.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Tanglewood Press; First Edition edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933718552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933718552
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Mullin's first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn't last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he's really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. ASHEN WINTER is his second novel. His debut, ASHFALL, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association.

www.mikemullinauthor.com

Customer Reviews

I really liked the main characters, Darla and Alex.
T. Travis
Mullin does a excellent job at detailing the environment and the characters.
BriBrixoxo13
I look forward to reading the second book in the series.
Mommy of Two

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Literary Meanderings on January 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Ah, I love a good apocalypse in the morning!

Alex, just your average teenage guy, is home alone for the weekend. He's just chillin' in his bedroom playing WoW when, all of a sudden he hears a massive crashing sound and the house practically caves in on itself. This is within the FIRST CHAPTER. To pretense here! Mike Mullin does not mess around!

A supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park has erupted, spiraling the world into darkness and chaos. Alex doesn't waste time in leaving to find his family. Only, they are over 100 miles away in Illinois. How will he ever make it there? He sets out on foot (and skis!) on a journey that changes his life forever.

It's a battle to survive. People are starving, freezing to death, getting stuck and trapped in their homes in the two and three feet of ash, and the snow on top of that. The ash and darkness isn't even the biggest issue at hand. There are people with guns around every corner. Then you have your looters, murderers, rapists and let's not forget the cannibals.

"For the first time ever, I felt ashamed of my species. The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles, and our airplanes, but it hadn't taken our humanity. No, we'd given that up on our own."

Along the way Alex meets Darla. A strong willed, tough girl. At first she wants nothing more than to get him out of her home, but eventually they become as close as two people can get. After a couple of devastating events, they are forced back on the road. Together they endure a FEMA refugee camp where things are worse off than traveling alone on the road. Escape soon becomes their number one priority.

- - -

The numero uno thing I truly appreciated about Ashfall was how real it was. This isn't a paranormal book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about Ashfall around the time when my hubby and I were planning our Trans-America trip and we've been spending hours after hours searching through the depths of Uncle Google for interesting places, landmarks and other must-see things along the way. I remember my husband showing me pictures of Yellowstone National Park, and how out-of-this-world beautiful it looked like, with all its unique vegetation, geysers and hot springs. I wanted to go there so bad! And that's when I saw someone's Waiting on Wednesday post, spotlighting Mike Mullin's Ashfall... And the book sounded so fascinating: a Yellowstone Volcano eruption covers a great portion of North America in a blanket of ash? How cool does that sound?! I knew that I had to get my hands on it! I read it the same day I got it in the mail. I couldn't bring myself to put it down. I loved it. I then re-read it - which is not something that I usually do, as I simply don't have enough time! Yes, it was that good! Compelling, disturbing, touching, thought-provoking - Ashfall is all that and more! Its power lays in it's realistic grounding, after all The Yellowstone Caldera is known for the most violent eruptions, ones that had previously released vast amounts of ash into the atmosphere, leading to extinction of many species. The most scary part? It could happen again. Anytime.

"I was home alone on Friday evening. Those who survived know exactly which Friday I mean. Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing, in the same way my parents remembered 9/11, but more so. Together we lost the old world, slipping from that cocoon of mechanized comfort into the hellish land we inhabit now.
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62 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Rosa Snapp on September 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I try to read some of the latest books out there before buying a hard copy for my classroom. I will definitely not be buying this one. While this book is very intriguing, I find it interesting that the book level is recommended for 12 years old and up. In my opinion, it is definitely intended for an older audience. I was appalled by the sexual and violent content. I wouldn't want my 12 year old kid to read this, nor do I think my middle school students are ready for a book like this. I understand that the violence is probably somewhat realistic to how things would be if we lived through a super volcano, but I still don't think middle school kids are ready for a book with this type of content. The reading level of this book probably is at 12 years old, but the recommended age should be high school and above.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By aa-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
ASHFALL is book one of Mike Mullin's action adventure series. Book #2 is ASHEN WINTER.

In ASHFALL, Yellowstone National Park explodes in gigantic volcanic event that sends millions of tons of ash into the air. (For those who don't know it, Yellowstone sits on a spot on the earth where the mantle is very thin. The hot springs and geysers are one result of the superheated caldera.) The reader is introduced to Alex Halprin, a rather regular 16 year-old kid, and his family. And for the first time in his life he's left alone at home for a few days while his sister and parents go and visit their uncle. It unfortunately coincides with the end of the world as we know it.

DISCUSSION:
Readers who enjoy action dystopias will like this book. It falls into the guy-friendly category, although there is a bit of a romance with a girl Alex meets. It's not your typical mushy romance though, and Darla is such a strong character that I think guys are going to really like her. She's a tough farm girl.

The initial scenes of the book are gripping and you'll be pulled right in. I won't say more except that for the most part action sequences develop logically. Alex is a martial arts student, but not a genius and not a super hero. You won't need more than a first level 'suspension of disbelief' to enjoy this story.

Not for Tweens. There's some profanity and some sexual content. Lots of violence and all of the dark tone isn't because the sun's obscured.

Pam T~
mom/YA blogger
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