Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 466 pages
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Ashfall series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is the third and final novel in Mullen’s Ashfall series. I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. I thought this book did a good job of wrapping up the series. I enjoyed some of the elements of survival and loved the hopeful ending.
Alex and Darla are trying to pull together and help people recover from the events in the last book. A few things become painfully clear, the farm isn’t going to be enough to sustain them long term, they aren’t welcome in town and town is not well-defended. They decide to strike out along with their relatives to build a more sustainable long-term community. In order to do this they will have to deal with the leader Red, who has constantly caused problems stealing food and attacking nearby communities.
There were some things I liked about this story and other things I didn’t. I loved watching how Darla and Alex’s uncle were able to harness wind power to heat and create new greenhouses. It was fun to watch them work to set up a community that was able to sustain itself, I loved their creativity. I also loved how it was acknowledged that the new community would need excellent defense to survive the onslaught from other communities.
Additionally I really enjoyed how Alex and Darla tried to include everyone who wanted to join the community and tried to let everyone work to their strengths.
I didn’t really enjoy the battles with the community Red had set up; this is just so typical post-apocalyptic and has been so overdone. I understand humanity is fighting to live, but why do you always have to have that one community lead by an evil dude who is eating people and causing general misery? It worked okay in this book, I just thought it was a bit uncreative and boring.
Darla is an outstanding character. She supports Alex well and is an absolute genius with everything mechanical. She has some great ideas and a lot ends up riding on her shoulders because without her this community would never have worked. I loved her practical attitude and admired her ability to get done what needed to be done.
Alex ends up becoming a great leader, but I didn’t like him as much. I am not sure how he stumbled into the position of leadership. At the beginning of the book he obviously is lacking in confidence and fumbles and stumbles quite a bit. I do admire his commitment to what he believes is right. I just thought the way people stepped aside to let him lead them was a bit unbelievable. Don’t get me wrong by the end to the book he is doing a very commendable job of leading this new community, but I felt like the beginning was a bit contrived.
Everything was tied up very nicely and the book was engaging and easy to read. I really felt like this is one of the most hopeful endings to a post-apocalyptic series I have ever read. I really felt like by the end of the series these characters actually have an excellent chance of surviving and making a great go of things.
Overall an excellent conclusion to this series. I loved watching Alex, Darla, and crew defeat the bad guys and put together a community that actually has a chance of surviving this harsh post-apocalyptic world. I think fans of this series will be pleased with the ending, it’s been quite the ride from super volcano explosion to creation of a community that could possibly make it in this world.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Series Reading Challenge
– Ebook Reading Challenge
– Chunkster Reading Challenge (450+ pages)
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– 100 Books in a Year Reading Challenge