I won the ARC of Sunrise (expected release 4/14) in a drawing – but that in no way affected my review – cuz I was gonna read this book if I had to beg, borrow, or buy it.
I loved the first two books of the Ashfall Trilogy (Ashfall and Ashen Winter) and have waited too long for the conclusion – I do enjoy stories of survival through catastrophes.
In the first two books we follow Alex and Darla after the super volcano under Yellowstone explodes, leaving most of the US dark and covered in ash and snow. They try to reconnect with Alex’s family, deal with poorly run (try more like immoral) FEMA camps, avoid cannibals and gangs who trade girls for food. Darla is brilliant at engineering and invents many ways to help them and others survive. Alex won’t give up on anything and risks his life for others many times, eventually gathering a small group of survivors with the resources to eke out a dismal existence waiting for the government or the sun.
Mullin is an expert at “making it worse” for his intrepid survivors and the conclusion, Sunrise, delivers in a huge way. This is a long book, over 450 pages, but it is not at all a slow read. Sunrise is difficult to put down because you don’t want to leave Alex and Darla in jeopardy, but also in the less harrowing moments, the reader learns (feels) the struggle and joy of building a safe place to live and survive in a world with almost no sunlight, enemies who want to steal all your food, or worse – eat you.
I won’t give any spoilers, but this is a wild ride that you won’t want to put down – and when you do, you might be tempted to go buy a few items from your local hardware store and hide them in the basement. I recommend this series both for those who read YA, but also those who don’t. The main character might be a teen, but he has to grow up fast and make very adult decisions. For those who love a thoroughly researched “what if”, this is an excellent read.