Ashen Winter, by Mike Mullin (fiction) – survival, danger, love amid peril

book cover of Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin published by TanglewoodEnormous snow drifts where green summer cornfields should be thriving…

How long will the volcanic ash in the atmosphere keep the sun from shining through?

Can teens armed with determination, taekwondo skills, and dwindling supplies rescue their family members in peril?

Grab Ashfall (book 1, reviewed here) at your local library or independent bookstore so you know the whole story, then bundle up warmly to continue Alex and Darla’s chilling journey through Ashen Winter on its October 8th publication date.

Gotta admit that I was a trifle nervous traveling through Yellowstone National Park a few weeks ago, seeing the steam from its thousands of “thermal features” rising up into the blue sky on a freezing morning. Glad that it’s all being monitored – but will we truly have enough warning if the supervolcano threatens to blow sky-high?

Book info: Ashen Winter (Ashfall Trilogy, book 2) / Mike Mullin. Tanglewood, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk: The world now is all snow and questions for Alex, trying to locate his parents after all communication was wiped out by the supervolcano eruption, trying to keep himself and his girlfriend Darla safe and alive in the unending winter.

A scrap of news now stirs the teens into action: his parents were accosted by bandits while hiking across the state to find Alex and are alive – for the moment. Desperate times and dwindling food supplies are turning some people into savages of the worst sort.

The government is keeping ashfall refugees within the affected area, in camps that lose more people to starvation and cold than to escape. Avoiding their patrols, staying clear of bandits (and worse), holding onto all their supplies – it’ll be a tough journey, but Alex must find his parents.

As Alex and Darla leave his little sister at their aunt and uncle’s farm, they hope for the best and prepare for emergencies – possible injuries, bandits, sinkholes in the snowpack. But a sudden encounter and an ambush separate them early in their journey, leaving Alex to seek help from the townspeople they met on their earlier travels in order to rescue her.

Can Darla stay alive and unharmed in the hands of the gang?
Can Alex convince anyone to go along on the rescue mission?
If his parents did make it to the next refugee camp, can the teen help them escape?

This second book in the post-apocalyptic trilogy answers key queries for Alex and Darla (and readers) following the initial Ashfall (book one) while leaving the survivors to wonder what happens next. (One of 5,000 books recommended on

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