"I cursed the Internet in the most inventive terms I knew -- by killing the telephone book and map business, it hadn't done us any favors." Alex in Sunrise
Alex Halprin and Darla Edmund's story comes to a satisfying conclusion in the finale of the Ashfall Trilogy. Sunrise apparently picks up ELEVEN months after the eruption of the Yellowstone Super-volcano that devastated much of the Midwestern US leaving Yellow and Red danger zones, and covers the span of three or so years as Alex struggles from being an innocent teenager we first met in Ashfall, to an adult who has survived a rough and tumble world to become a decent leader who people look up to.
Alongside Alex in his struggles to survive the post-apocalyptic world (besides Darla) are his remaining family members in Rebecca (sister), Max and Anna (cousins), Uncle Paul, and his estranged and outrageously pathetic mother who I abhor for her actions towards Darla and other stuff that I won't spoil. I will say that I wish there was more of Rebecca's participation in Sunrise, but was glad that Alex had family members surrounding him that were willing to do whatever it takes in order to survive against all odds. I would be remiss in not mentioning Ben, the autistic military strategist who will make you smile every time, Alyssa, and Ed the former cannibal who are all a part of Alex's inner circle and important cogs to building a new civilization.
Mullins imaginary in the Ashfall trilogy has impressed me with its realistic portrayal of what life could be like if Yellowstone actually did erupt or another horrific event that unleashes hell on earth. He writes vivid, and sometimes gory scenes that puts readers right into the story alongside Alex and Darla as they struggle with cannibalistic gangs, monsters who rape and torture children, mayors who are ignorant, foolish, and churlish while breaking up families, and wars against sister cities over resources and jealousies that lead to major death tolls on both sides.
Darla, who is apparently 3 years older than Alex, is still my favorite character in this trilogy. DESPITE some silly mistakes that cause her and Alex a whole lot of pain and suffering which I totally did not see coming at all, she doesn't stand around bitching and bemoaning her situation. I loved that she was taught by her father about machines and how to fix them. I love that she knows how to weld, build and drive big machinery, and in this story, she goes even further alongside Uncle Paul, and even Alex by creating an entire new community from scratch. I only wish that Mullins would have allowed me a moment of gratuitous violence towards Alex's mother for the way she tried to undermine everything Darla did, including loving her son.
Sunrise is more of a story of how the survivors pick up the pieces while struggling to live. It is Alex's story of determination, heroism, choices, and growing up from a innocent teenager, to an adult responsible for an entire community that follows him through hell and back. Although Alex is the protagonist of this story, it is because of those that surround him, and encourages him, and supports, and nudges him into becoming an even better adult and leader that gets his people to safety, and a brighter outlook on surviving a post-apocalyptic world.
*Recvd 01/23/2014 via NetGalley* Expected publication: April 15th 2014 by Tanglewood Press
Author - Mike Mullin
Title - Sunrise (Ashfall # 3)
Published by Tanglewood Press
Released: April 15, 2014
Genre - Post-Apocalyptic
Format: E-Book 466 pages