Sunrise, by Mike Mullin (book review) – bandits outside the walls, challenges within

book cover of Sunrise by Mike Mullin published by TanglewoodLeadership is needed,
Hope is required,
Young people must prevail or die.

The final volume in the Ashfall Trilogy is a blockbuster! Alex and Darla have survived cannibals, bandits, the US government, and near-starvation in Ashfall  (my review here) and Ashen Winter (my review here).

Now they must organize citizens against an oncoming threat or decide to leave the townspeople to their own fate… what a burden for kids just old enough to drive.

Full disclosure: I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book since I won the right to name a character in it through the Authors for Henryville auction which raised money to rebuild school libraries after the 2012 tornado there. The character who shares my husband’s name in Sunrise is somewhat like him (not always the case where naming rights are involved – thank you, Mike); no spoiler to tell you that he dies, because many, many people die in the perpetual winter brought on by the Yellowstone supervolcano eruption, so I’m tangentially in the book as his widow.

I just discovered Darla’s Story eBook,  told from her point of view,  paralleling Alex’s narrative in Ashfall  from the supervolcano eruption to their meeting on her Iowa farm under perilous circumstances (makes this a trilogy with 3.5 books).

How well would you survive a frozen future?

Book info: Sunrise (Ashfall Trilogy, book 3) / Mike Mullin. Tanglewood Press, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk:  After a year of perpetual winter, Alex and Darla face tough choices when his uncle’s farm suddenly fills with townspeople who think the armed bandit attack is a one-time problem.

Everyone is tired of subsisting on kale and frozen pork, but when refugees flood Uncle Paul’s Illinois farm after renegades attack the nearby town, it’s up to young people like Alex and Darla to find medical supplies and more food (and maybe retaliate against the aggressors).

When folks move back to town but refuse to post guards against the bloodthirsty psychopath’s brigands, Alex and Darla lead another group to establish a safer settlement, complete with greenhouses and electricity from a repurposed wind turbine.

Why is Mom staying in town instead of with Alex?
Why won’t the Mayor post guards against the next attack?
Will Alex and Darla stay alive long enough to make their love a true commitment?

This final volume in the Ashfall Trilogy pits short-sighted leaders against vicious villains, the need for community against the will to go your own way, and the unforgiving brutality of volcanic winter against the hope of love and the possibility of springtime. (One of 6,000 books recommended on

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