So I finished Ashfall, last week? I think it was last week, I'm not exactly certain. I was preparing for a keynote speech I had to give and the last few weeks are a blur--eh, let's go with last week.
I thought it was really good. I loved Darla, Alex is a great MC, useful, reasonable, but not a Gary Stu, which is refreshing. Loved that the book was told from the POV of a male protagonist, which you don't see as often in YA. The world that Mullin describes is painful, bleak, horrifying, terrifying, and frighteningly possible. I think he did a fantastic job of creating an entertaining and horrifying read.
I will say this. It's not an easy book to read. There are no punches pulled, which did make it difficult to continue at times. Honestly, I had to set it aside and pick up something fluffy to distract me before I could continue with the story on a couple of occasions. This, to me, is a sign of an author who is willing to follow the story wherever it may take him, which I really appreciated as a reader and really applaud in a YA book. It's lovely to see an author respect the intelligence and maturity of teen readers and not talk down to them.
My only thing (and I'm not going to call it a complaint or a criticism, because it's not) was how it ended. I very much appreciated it not ending on a cliff, praise Jeebus, the story had a beginning, middle and end. Yes, there's more to the story, but it's not an "Alias Season 2 Cliffhanger of Doom" (as I've taken to calling these things) so I'm grateful. (***If you have not watched Seasons 1 & 2 of the show Alias Do Not Watch that link!!!***)
The way it did end, however, reminded me of TS Elliot's line in The Hollow Men , "Not with a bang but a whimper." It just sort of...ended