Ashen Winter (Ashfall Trilogy, Book 2)

 
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Ashen Winter (Ashfall Trilogy, Book 2)

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.

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com

+++++++++++++

It is a struggle to survive the volcanic winter that follows the eruption of Yellowstone. Alex and Darla have to struggle even harder when they learn of the possible whereabouts of Alex's parents. He and Darla set off to find them which results in Darla being shot and inadvertently kidnapped by a cannibalistic group. Now Alex has to figure out a way to find his parents while still finding Darla before she is forced to endure too much.

Love, love, loved this book. I'm a fan of Mullin and Alex and Darla. This is a boy-narrated disaster story that girls will enjoy too. Darla is a great female character: smart, practical and mechanically inclined. This is a great follow up to Ashfall. Alex and Darla are both terrific characters: strong, capable and intelligent. My favorite part is when Alex needs some help and supplies. Guess who he turns to? Go on, guess! ......... .............. ...................

A LIBRARIAN!! Score! I always knew we'd be invaluable in case of emergency.

Anyway, the story is good. Lots of tension and worrying about characters but not to the point where it gets repetitive. Plus we've got a great heroine in Darla. She's capable and has more practical knowledge than Alex does. Not to say that Alex is useless, he is pretty skilled with tae kwon do and determination. I just love that Alex and Darla work together as partners.

This would be great suggested reading for a science class. It could easily jumpstart a conversation about climate change. It works for a psychology class too. Some of the people start doing some rather extreme things in order to survive which would lead to some extremely interesting discussions about what people are capable of.

Warning: I'd probably keep this one in high school due to a couple of "intimate" moments. Nothing too racy though. 594 pages Ages 14 and up 978-1933718750

Recommended by: Stephanie Lott, Librarian, Texas USA

See more of her recommendations at: http://www.lifeisbetterwithbooks.com

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