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Ashen Winter (Ashfall) Hardcover – October 16, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this sequel to Ashfall, 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.”—VOYA

"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."—School Library Journal

“As fast, furious, action-packed, and, yes, gruesome, as Ashfall (2011), this sprawling sequel follows the continuation of 16-year-old Alex’s journey with tough, gorgeous Darla through the ash and snow of a postvolcanic, dystopian Midwestern world.”—Booklist

“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.”—Kirkus Reviews


“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

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. Mullin’s first sale as a writer earned ten cents for one word: tenacious.
Since then, Mullin 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. He 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.
Mullin 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.
Mullin 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 the author and Ashfall and its sequel, Ashen Winter.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ashfall (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 594 pages
  • Publisher: Tanglewood; 1 edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933718757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933718750
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chels on February 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
First off, don’t read this book if you haven’t read Ashfall. I was very confused and had to track down and read the first (which was awesome). In the second book, Ashen Winter, we see Alex and Darla six months after the first book ended. My biggest enjoyment out of this whole book was seeing their relationship grow. Both Alex and Darla are compatible and I really connect with the love they have for each other. If you see all my other reviews, my stars are mostly based on how well I liked the characters. If the plot is bad, but I like the people in them, I keep reading. The plot in this book was very interesting and had me rapidly turning the pages. I loved how the invested the characters were in each other-when Darla is taken, Alex is determined to get her back no matter the cost!

My feelings were invested in all their decision making. The pacing was fast and action packed! I was glued to every page, nothing was slow or left me bored. It was seriously like BAM! This happened BAM! That happened, BAM! Twists and turns were everywhere... this is a book I couldn’t put down, which hasn’t happened to me in a while. If you’re looking for thrills, action, romance and suspense all packed into one book, this book is for you!

*Received a copy for review, this in no way affects my review*
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the first book, Ashfall, and was very excited to see where the story would take me. While there is still a good read in the book, it was overflowing with time spent on the small things, minute by minute, tiny detail after tiny detail. I felt myself wanting to speed read through these parts, but it was most of the book. Looking back, I think if I would have just read the dialogue and the small bits surrounding it, I would have had the same story with less distraction.

Problem after problem arises and while they are written as grand issues, they don't feel that big because there are so many of them. Some of the characters that we meet are annoying and I just wanted Alex to move on so I didn't have to read about them anymore.

The good parts were when the big things were actually happening. Wondering what would happen next with those moments kept me reading and interested. It still scares me when I think about something like this happening in our future, because I think the way people will behave will be quite similar to the world that Mullin has created. For that alone he is a wonderful writer, pulling the possible from the unthinkable.

ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Book Received: For free from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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By J. Burk on October 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to disagree with the majority; I was disappointed by this book. Ashfall was so well done that I had high expectations from the author. It felt like the main character did one stupid thing after another just to keep him in constant crisis which got old very quickly and felt contrived. By the end, I didn't care what happened to Alex but I would have liked to read more about Ben.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ashen Winter was a fascinating story that once again really dives into disaster and humanity (or lack thereof), but at the end of the day, I don't feel like the book was much different from Ashfall.

In Ashfall we have Alex trekking across the country to find his family. There's devastation, brutality, gangs, and strange "refugee" camps. In Ashen Winter we have Alex trekking across the country to find his family. There's devastation, brutality, gangs, and strange "refugee" camps. I hope you noticed the repetition there. :P Although it was still an interesting book, I just don't feel like Ashen Winter brought much new content to the table. I didn't really learn any more about how the weather is doing or what's going on with the government. We do learn a bit more about the gangs and see them in more detail, but those are really just interesting filler bits. Ashen Winter lacks a strong, overarching plot progression.

Furthermore, I felt like in some ways, the book was a little anti-climactic. It's hard to go into detail without spoiling the story. Basically the book revolves around Alex searching for his parents. But when he finally finds them, I feel like they weren't what I was expecting.

Although I wasn't totally crazy about Ashen Winter , it did have its high points. We have some really interesting new characters including Ben, an insanely intelligent--but autistic--character. His sister, Alyssa, was less interesting. In fact, her complete disrespect for Alex's relationship really put me off. Where Ashen Winter really shines is in how it portrays the loss of humanity. Obviously this was a big point in Ashfall as well, but it's even more significant in Ashen Winter . We get a wider look at gangs, slavery, and even cannibalism.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sold 3.5, nearly a 4.

There are some books that have an obvious problem with an obvious solution and then there are others that leave you scraping for answer to that one strange, mild feeling. But as much as you poke and prod and dig, you can't quite put a label on it. You know this bugged you, yet you also know that the book can't do without that. That event had to happen to escalate to the climax, even if it felt labored and lengthy. So then I try to pin it on the writing but Mullin's prose is stripped bare already--it's meant to be speedy and to the point. So why the heck did everything feel long and encumbered with stuff?

I think I know why. But let's get to the good stuff, shall we?

This book starts with a bang--literally. The first half flew, despite how windy the direction and events were. It felt sporadic but necessary. One thing Mullin loves to do is put his characters in the worse situations ever, and let me tell you, Alex, Darla and crew are in some physical and psychological pain through out the entire book. It's always fun (in a twisted way) to watch how they all scramble out alive, especially Alex. I swear, the dude faces the worst possible scenarios sometimes. Just when he hits the jackpot, that jackpot is literally sucked under a sheet of ice, down a strong watery current.

And what does Alex say?

"Well there goes all our supplies."

I might have been annoyed by his lack of panic but then again, this isn't the first time he's been stripped of everything. Plus, his situation was less worrisome (okay not really) and when you've already survived one horrible treck crossing over unfamiliar lands with crazy people and crazy weather, how horrible can it be when you know the land and know how to handle the people?
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