Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Reads: Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin!!

I'm gonna be starting this week's Friday Reads with the sequel for one of this week's Mark This Book Monday entries. It's always great when a sequel builds up over the previous book but also manages to stand on its own. No middle book syndrome for this one, sometimes I felt like I needed to take a breather with everything that was happening but I also had to keep on reading to see what happened next!

This one is also part of two of my challenges, the 2014 Series Challenge and the Dystopian Reading Challenge 2014!

Ashen Winter (Ashfall, #2)Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ashen Winter is exactly what a middle book in a trilogy should be, full of a plot that will stand on its own, that moves the general plot of the series along and that will make you want to keep on turning the pages!

As always, you ought to expect some spoilers for book one, Ashfall, in this review, but I will do my very best to keep it as spoiler free for the main plot points of the book.

Ashen Winter starts where Ashfall leaves us, with Darla and Alex finding some sort of a safe haven, that proves to be not as safe as everyone would have wished. But Alex still feels like he needs to find his parents, so he and Darla decide to trust what little information they have and mount an expedition of two to try and locate and bring back Alex's parents.

This is another book where Darla and Alex are travelling, and though they are more prepared and know more about surviving in the new world, with the volcanic winter and the hardships of it, it's still as dangerous or even more than it was before, since all the survivors are making their choices on how they're gonna ensure they continue to survive.

While Ashfall was more about living through the catastrophe and the consequences of it while trying to get your head around the new reality that you had found yourself in, Ashen Winter is more about surviving and trying to adapt to that new reality, and how it will change you as a person, or not.

One of the biggest strenghts of this book is not only how it shows us the harsh conditions people have to deal with, but also how people would react to those conditions, and how that extremeness can bring out the worst and best on people. I really like how it doesn't forget the criminals and how prisons might be affected, so not only regular people can change and be monsters, but also, you have to contend with the regular monsters out and finding themselves in a lawless place.

Alex and Darla are pushed to their limits even more than in Ashfall, and I love how strong their relationship is. How they're there for each other, being strong when needed and never giving up on one another. I really liked how they kept having to remind the adults that even if they're just teens, things are not what they used to be, and they have to be taken more seriously after all that they've been through.

This book is full of tension and I kept on thinking... what else can happen now! Damn it! Everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong! The climax and ending was quite heartbreaking and when you hope that they'll find some measure of safety and quiet to try and deal with all the physical and emotional scars, they find themselves thrown into another battle about to begin! It is not exactly a cliffhanger per se, but I'm quite happy to have the final book here to be read now anyways!

All in all a fantastic sequel that kept me tense and scared for the character turning page after page! 4 to 4.5 stars.

View all my reviews


  1. Ehhh, dystopia/post-apocalyptic. I'm steering clears of those right now (definitely have read wayyyyy too many in the past years). It's good to hear that this is a good sequel! Many times, the sequels let us down, and we end up not finishing a series. It sounds like Mullin has the imagery and worldbuilding down!

    Fantastic review, Pili!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. This is a great series that I highly recommend for whenever you feel like reading dystopia/postapocalytpic again, Alyssa!

  2. Great review Pili :D I'm glad you enjoyed this book. <3 Been so long since I liked it. Agh. But I did enjoy it as well :D It's an interesting story, isn't it? :) Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. Thanks a lot sweetie! The story is great for the characters, the plot and even the little survival tidbits you can learn!

  3. Good Reads and fast delivery. I cant believe the struggles these people are going through. My 16 yr old got me hooked on this Tril.
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