Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sunrise (Ashfall #3) by Mike Mullin

Series: Ashfall #3
466p.
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Published: 4/15/14
Source: From NetGalley and publisher for review
The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors' constant companions. 
When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever — and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish. 
This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.
My thoughts:
This is the final book in the Ashfall trilogy. I had the privilege to read the other two books and I was looking forward to this one. One thing I do want to mention... when I read the first two, I read them back to back. Don't read all these books one after another. It's not that they aren't good, but they were so dark, I needed a palate cleanser in-between the books and I know a lot of people who might need something fluffy for that cleanser.

This one is as dark as the first two. What I liked about these is that it pulls no punches. Yes, you could go into the book and tear down some parts saying that it isn't realistic for some characters to get out of predicaments or injuries that easily... but you can do that in any fictional book. Still, I haven't seen it where you aren't sure that even the main characters will make it out alive and certainly unscathed. All secondary characters are all redshirts (sorry, Star Trek reference, if you aren't a nerd like me, just ignore) so you won't know who survives until the end. The stakes are as high as they have been in the other books and the danger is as bleak. It also feels like an never ending bid for survival... which is realistic. Even so, in this book we do get small snippets of light and a few people who finally come around.

There were some aspects that bothered me at first like when Alex would leave the colony to go on scavenge hunts. This was addressed in the book so I was pleasantly surprised and it added another dimension of politics to the survival story. Also, like in the other books, my favorite part was Alex and Darla's relationship. There is little misunderstanding between them because they are more mature than most and discuss problems before they actually become a problem. Yes, they fight, but they fight fairly and with the want to understand the other. I wish more books had relationships like this in them.

I give this book 4 stars. The book isn't without it's faults. I didn't love the ending, but I certainly didn't hate it. It just felt incomplete to me. Still, I feel that this is a great addition to the series and would love to have a novella to know how the colony fares and what they learned about what happened in the world after this book.

29 comments:

  1. Occasionally guilty of reading a series back to back I appreciate your comments about this being a dark series and therefore probably best not read in this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes... I needed some light when reading it back to back. :)

      Delete
  2. A mature relationship? You won me over with that one.
    I think I have the first book somewhere. I've been avoiding starting most series until I hear if they end ok. I've been burned too many times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that is, to me, the strongest aspect of this series. :)

      Delete
  3. The first two are most definitely dark and very realistic -- you're braver than I reading them back to back! This was one case where I didn't mind the release time between them. Haven't read this one yet but good to hear it's a solid ending to a good series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you... I did enjoy this series though!

      Delete
  4. I'm sorry that the end of this series felt incomplete for you. I've had book 1 since it came out, but I was waiting for the series to wrap-up before starting it. And I'll still probably read it, I just might not do it immediately . . .

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The incomplete feeling came from every time you felt secure, something else happened... so a secure ending would be hard to come by in this series. I don't think it would be possible. :)

      Delete
  5. The relationship between Alex and Darla was the highlight for me in the first two books, so I'm glad to see it continues to be so in this final installment. It's a shame the ending felt a bit incomplete, I always like my series endings to be pretty wrapped up–maybe even with a bow–but everything else about this one sounds great:) Lovely review Melissa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is wrapped up, but I swear I was still expecting something else to happen. You got used to it happening that way so... :)

      Delete
  6. This does sound like the series wrapped up but I don't think I would do well with the "incomplete" feeling. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might be fine with it. In fact, I bet you will. You will understand what I mean when you read them. :)

      Delete
  7. Oh no, I bummed to hear the ending isn't more conclusive. I hate when I'm left feeling like it needs a novella to fully wrap up. I remember this world being dark, so I agree, these would be too intense back to back. Fantastic review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was complete, but I just kept expecting more bad things to happen... like it always did in the books. :)

      Delete
  8. I have my review for this one up on Monday. There are sure some jaw dropping moments. I know what you mean about the ending. It felt like this book went in a bunch of new directions right at the end and it didn't take the time to tie it up well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was tied up as much as I would have expected in truth. Still, didn't you feel like someone was about to come over that ridge with a new problem? LOL

      Delete
  9. Hmm... haven't heard of this series before, but I think it might too dark for my taste.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ah yes I totally agree, I always need a good palate cleanser after a dark book as well. But I am still glad to hear you really enjoyed this one

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oddly enough, this one was my favorite of the three. It seemed by far the most mature. And the pacing was better. It didn't oscillate at all in the first two books, which bothered me immensely.
    Great review, Mel!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry the ending let you down a little. This is another series that is on my wishlist. I love how dark it sounds

    ReplyDelete
  13. Really great review! I haven't started the series. My oldest son read the first two but is still doing school reading so hasn't read this one yet. I will take into consideration the dark tone of the novels. It didn't seem to bother him. He loved reading them. If you knew him, you'd understand what a huge compliment that is. I am glad to know he won't be disappointed with the final book, despite it's few flaws. I doubt he will see them :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I remember winning the audio of the first book, but haven't listened to it ... I rarely listen to audio. I did a back to back read of the Divergent trilogy, so I know what you mean.

    ReplyDelete
  15. it's great that despite some little problems you still has a good time with it. I didn't know it was a trilogy, but it's true that books like that usually are. I should try it because everyone seems to love them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So happy you enjoyed this book! I didn't want it to end.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Melissa! I wasn't able to connect with it as well as the other installments, but I'm looking forward to seeing what else Mullin comes up with in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I haven't started this series yet. I think it might totally stress me out! Glad you enjoyed though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I haven't read any of these, but I keep reading reviews of this one that are pretty positive so I might have to at some point!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!