Ashfall (Ashfall (Trilogy - Hardcover))

Ashfall - Mike Mullin This was an odd book. For a story about a supervolcano erupting, it was...well, rather dull. Sure, lots of really powerful stuff was going on, lots of horrible stuff, but it was conveyed to us sort of like a travelogue. "I went here. I did this. Then I went here. Then this happened. Then I went to a third place. Something else happened." It really felt less like a narrative story and more like Alex was just...traveling around, reporting what he saw in various places, with very little to connect the various events. Even when he met up with other characters, it didn't get much better. Then it was just two people wandering around, doing various things. And while there were some very powerful visuals and situations presented...I just didn't feel an emotional connection to any of them.Also, there was a bit near the end, where they ended up in a refugee camp, and it just... Hm, how to put this... I can believe a lot of bad things about my government. I can believe they would mismanage a disaster through oversight, ignorance, poor planning, or hubris. I can believe in corruption running rampant on an individual scale, nurtured along by a lack of official controls. What I can't believe is the unmitigated, sanctioned greed and cruelty displayed in this book. It slides a bit too far off in tin-hat territory for my tastes. Also, the bit at the camp is where he started talking about "oh, woe, for we have forsaken our own humanity by choice," even though before this he'd seen cannibalism, rape, and murder. Makes it pretty heavy-handed that this is a pet issue of the author's.But still, the book appealed to my logistics-loving, survivalist side. It's always fun (for me) to read about the nuts and bolts of what to do in a disaster and how to manage and all the nifty, creative tricks that people will imagine and invent. I eat that stuff up, and this book is good for it. Plus, it's obvious that the author did a lot of research. So that part was fun, and there weren't many bad messages or horrifying (on a literary level) parts. Overall, if it's something that appeals to you, it's worth checking out.