Title: Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2)
Author: Mike Mullin
Publisher: Tanglewood Press 2012
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: YA
How I Got It: Netgalley
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.
I have a major confession to make: I just didn’t love this one as much as the frist, Ashfall. It had ongoing adrenaline. It had suspense. It had heart. And yet, there was something wrong with it. After spending a few minutes thinking, I finally can down to the conclusion that Alex made one too many stupid decisions. I was excited to see Alex grow as a character throughout the first book. It was something you just don’t see in many YA novels. I loved that aspect even more than the natural disaster parts (and I love me some natural disaster stories). So I expected Alex to continue growing throughout the second novel. But it just didn’t happen. Starting with his determination to catch the wheat barges on the Mississippi, his continued to make stupid decisions. I just wanted to smack him way too many times. Don’t get me wrong, overall I love this series. If there’s another book in the series, I will definitely be reading it.