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 series. 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.
This book starts at the end of the last and Alex and Darla's adventure continues. In this one they go to try to find out what happened to Alex's parents. You also think that this adventure might be a bit easier since they know what to expect, but the landscape had changed. Some of the dangers are the same, but others are more tenuous. In fact, in some ways it is more dangerous than the first book. Starvation and disease are still a problem, but the more dangerous factor are the gangs who have turned cannibal.
In this one I have to say I was very frustrated with Alex for most of the book. I loved his kindness and didn't want that to change, but he was careless when trying to be kind and put himself and Darla in danger. At least the author did not ignore this fact and they both suffered the consequences for his carelessness. I just wanted him to stop and think before he acted. This does not mean his character is without growth, but it is a trait of his that I wondered about. Despite this frustration, I do have to say that his lack of forethought made for a on the edge of your seat~ how does he get out of this situation~ type of excitement.
I don't want to give any more away, but I will warn you that this book is anxiety producing. Not in a bad way, but in a way that leaves you breathless wanting to know how they are going to survive. So, I give this book 4 stars. It doesn't end with a cliffie... exactly, but a huge thread lies open waiting for the next book to complete it. The main adventure is complete, so there is no worry about diving off that cliff without any support.
I received this eARC from NetGalley and the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.
Come back tomorrow for an author interview with Mike Mullin!
This book is to be published:
Oct. 16, 2012