I was lucky enough to see when the author was offering a few codes to read this and review it on his Facebook page. I’ve been a huge fan of Mike Mullin’s Ashfall series since I read the very first book. This was a neat novella, kind of a prequel novella, that told about our other main character, Darla, and the events from the time of the volcano exploding up until Alex came into her life.
Darla lives in Iowa, on a farm with her mother. The day it starts there is a plume of smoke from a neighbor’s farm. Darla’s mother wants her to go check on them, but before they can go to do that, there is a terrible noise that starts, and they can only think to go hide in their storm cellar. The noise goes on and on. At one point Darla is able to get her mother some headphones that at least cut the noise back to a dull roar. After a long time, at least a day, if not longer, the noise stops. And Darla and her mother go back to the house, and try to figure out what they are going to do for food and water. There is no electricity, which means getting any water from the well will be impossible. Unless Darla can come up with a way to build a manual pump for bringing the water up.
You see, as we know about Darla from the other books, she is pretty handy, and seems to know her way around machines and the like. We learn in this novella about why she is like that. How her father played into her life. We also learn about how her relationship with her mother is, and how their experience with others in the first few days or so of the disaster affect how she feels about strangers.
The detail told of how the ashes are totally relates and reminds me of reading the first book. But in the different environment and with the different perspective on it in this book, it was very interesting to read about again. My only issue with the story was that sometimes all the engineering/MacGyver type of things that Darla was doing got kind of long and too detailed maybe. But then again, I know there are probably people, like Darla herself, who probably really loved the reality that I know the author built in to all of those aspects of the story.
Definitely another great addition to this world. Now I am just waiting for the fourth book to be finished so that I can find out what will happen next!