Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Sunrise (Ashfall, #3)

Sunrise (Ashfall, #3)Author: Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall, #3
Released: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Format: Hardcover, 466 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors' constant companions.
When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever — and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.
This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.
Ashfall, Ashen Winter and Sunrise are, in that order: the good book, the better book, and the best book by far. In this final installment, Mullin shows a level of maturity that was beyond him in the previous two books, and proves to us that – while his characters slowly developed and grew – he was also busy becoming a much better writer.

I was not among those readers who fell madly in love with Ashfall. While I liked the story and even enjoyed Alex’s voice, I felt that the faulty pacing was impossible to ignore. A year later, the same thing happened with Ashen Winter. While I enjoyed the characters and the overall darkness of the story, I struggled with the lack of oscillations in the pacing.

Sunrise is a whole different ballgame. It is long, it is slow, it is, at times, excruciatingly detailed. But it is also a well-rounded book, a complete work that functions perfectly in its entirety. I’ve noticed reviewers complaining about the first half, but for me, the process Alex and Darla had to go through to find their place under the sun and rebuild was more than necessary. Through it all, Alex matured admirably, and his growth – both emotionally and within the community – made perfect sense to me. Darla, happy to stay in the background and be the moral support he desperately needs, followed him every step of the way.

And if we’re to be perfectly honest here (which we always try to be), the Ashfall series was always pretty much Darla’s show. She was the supporting pillar and she carried this whole thing on her back, until the very end. While she did seem idealized at times, no one can resist a true hero, especially in the shape of a thin teenage girl.

There were more than a few surprises in this book, unexpected, unwanted and very painful. But each and every one served a specific purpose, and they all led to a very satisfactory ending.

Bravo, Mr. Mullin. I wonder what you’ll give us next.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced  the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. So happy to hear that even though this won't be a favorite of yours that you were very satisfied with the way it all came together. I have thought about picking this one up many times before and now I am kind of glad I waited a bit, or at least until all the books were out.

  2. I agree that this was quite probably the best book of the lot! I absolutely enjoyed it and didn't mind at all the slightly more slower pace of the building of the community, since the book does start with a bang!
    Fantastic review, Maja!

  3. This is one of the few dystopians left that I actually want to read, but I was waiting for the last book to come out before starting . . . guess I need to get on that, huh? Great review! I'm glad the series ended well for you ;)

  4. I love dystopian and after mixed reviews didn't start this series, but you and I often agree particularly in this genre, so I am going to add them again.

  5. I've never heard of this series, I'm so glad I checked my bloglovin today and saw your post! I'm definitely going to check the previous books out. I really enjoyed your review!

  6. It's really interesting how Darla evolved into the main character, even though the story started out as Alex's. Yes, he's still important but Darla...she's extraordinary. I enjoyed the first two and am looking forward to reading the finale to a strong series.

  7. I agree completely that these books are - absolutely - Darla's show. I love her and Mullin wrote a different type of kick-ass heroine far before other female writers even caught on. Still, I remain one of those readers who loved Ashfall best, though I'm thrilled to see you loved this installment, Maja. Wonderful review and, like you, I cannot wait to see where Mullin takes us next! :)

  8. Awesome to hear that it was a satisfying ending but sorry to hear about the faulty pacing

  9. I have my review up for this on Monday, and I actually liked the first portion of the book better than the second, I though the final chapters took on too much and didn't have time to resolve. Still this was an interesting series and I loved the character growth. This one certainly kicks you in the gut in some places.

  10. I was not mad about Ashfall either. I liked it well enough, but I never really felt much of an urge to continue with the series in the end. You've changed my mind though, Maja! It's good to hear that the story gets better with each book, and that the final installment has a satisfying ending. I'm glad you were impressed. Lovely review as always!

  11. I have heard some really good things about this series and while I haven't started it yet I'm really glad that this series gets better with every installment. I'm really glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Maja :)

  12. Yeah I still have to pick this series up :P

    I am really glad to hear that the conclusion didn't disappoint though. I always feel like it's harder with Dystopia/Post Apocalyptic to pull of an ending so I am glad to hear that the book managed it very well.

    Lovely review, Maja!! :)

  13. It's been suggested to me not to read this series, so I don't think I ever will, but, it is really impressive that you could see how much the author improved over time and it's great to end a trilogy on a high note!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  14. This series definitely sounds interesting! Thank you for the review!

  15. I can't wait to dive into this series when I have a little time. I got the first book for Christmas last year, but haven't read it yet.


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