Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Happily Ever Endings... was born out of sheer frustration. You know how when you read a series and you love it but the last book takes a little while to come out and then you sort of forget parts of the novel? That's what these posts are going to serve to remedy. Happily Ever Ending... is a short post about what happened at the ending of each book that is going to be in a series for people who need a quick reminder of what happened in the previous installment. I hope this saves someone else the frustration that I went through!

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet. 
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.
Click "Read more" to read the ending of Ashfall so you'll be ready for the next installment of the series.

Alex and Darla make it across the river by climbing over a dam. There they are able to locate an entire barge full of grain. They take some for their rabbit and climb the rest of the way over. They are surprised to find that the roads have been plowed on this side of the damn. As they are walking beside one, they see a FEMA van and flag it down. The soldiers say they will go to the FEMA camp to drop off the other passengers and will then drop them off near his uncles. At camp, everyone is herded off the van and into an admissions room.

Alex tells them they aren't staying and the Lt informs them that no one is able to go from the red zone to yellow and green zones. The soldiers strip them of their belongings and food and shoot Darla's rabbit. Darla tries to fight them but Alex holds her off and they are kicked out into a large fenced in area with no empty tents or wood for fires. They learn quickly that in the FEMA camp, most people are starving and they are only getting fed one meal a day that consists only of a measly amount of rice. Darla begins to watch the mechanic fixing the bulldozers while Alex procures a tent for them to sleep in. Darla helps out the mechanic one day and he offers her a job for food. 

Alex and Darla tell the Church that is volunteering there about the grain they found. In turn, they tell the captain of the FEMA camp who says they will look into the grain. Darla mentions the grain to the mechanic a few weeks later and the captain comes out to tell them not to talk about it anymore because it is being guarded to go back to the company that owns it even though the people are starving here. Alex ends up hitting the captain and they through him into the punishment hut to die. Darla busts him out with a bulldozer and they run. Darla manages to drag Alex all the way to his uncle's house where he finally collapses.

At his Uncle's they find out that Alex's parents went back for him but his sister stayed. Alex wants to go back for his parents but agrees to help his uncle with his farm to get enough food to go. They work on the greenhouses for their kale supply and Darla makes a grain grinder. One day while working on the farm, Alex's uncle falls and breaks his leg. They go get the Doctor who tells them about the extra pig meat the town has but that most of the town is suffering from gout because of lack of Vitamin C. They realize kale has Vitamin C and the doctor agrees to trade kale for pig's meat. They go with the doctor to the plant and see all the supplies the town has. Alex finally feels hope for the first time in a long time. 

Did I miss something important? Make sure to leave it in the comments. Are you excited for Ashen Winter to come out? 

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