Review & Giveaway: Sunrise by Mike Mullin

SunriseSunrise by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #3
Published by: Tanglewood Press on April 15, 2014
Genre: Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Survival
Pages: 466
Source: NetGalley
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★½

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.

I’m thrilled to say that I LOVED Sunrise! I was a tad nervous going into it. Although I adored Ashfall , I wasn’t completely happy with Ashen Winter . But Sunrise brought the epicness back!

Mike Mullin did an excellent job recapping the first two books. It was done slowly and subtly (rather than info dumping), and he only gave you the information as you needed it. As a result, I had no problem slipping right back into the story. I was very subtly reminded as to who all the characters were, and what events had taken place. It felt so easy!

I think what I liked most about Sunrise was that it was a bit different. Ashfall was all about trekking across the country and trying to avoid gangs. Then Ashen Winter felt exactly the same, which was largely why I didn’t like it as much. But Sunrise had a different focus. It was more about settling, building communities, and planning for the future. It was fascinating to see how one small group of people grew into almost a small town, and seeing how their structure and politics developed.

Sunrise by Mike Mullin - Waiting for the sunrise

Of course there was still a little bit of trekking and a little bit of gang action, but it didn’t feel like the focus of the book this time around. But there were certainly a few truly horrific events that had me regretting reading Sunrise right before bed! You know in books and movies when something horrible is about to happen and there’s that deep breath, then all of a sudden someone rushes in to save the day? It’s a miracle! Yeaaaah, that didn’t happen. View Spoiler »

I think my one criticism would be the lack of information we get about the government. We sort of get vague statement like, “When we walked 150 miles we didn’t see any sign of government” But that’s not really a clear cut answer as to whether or not the government still exists in some form, and I was curious! I guess in the context of the book, it makes sense that the characters wouldn’t be able to easily find out. But as a reader, I was a bit disappointed that my curiosity wasn’t satisfied.

But otherwise, I really loved Sunrise! I immensely enjoyed the slightly different tone and the focus on politics and settling rather than trekking across the country. The book felt new and exciting rather than just a rehash of events from the previous books. And I like how the ending left me with a sense of hope, which I’m sure was exactly what Mike Mullin intended!

The Verdict


About Mike Mullin


Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. Ashen Winter is his second novel. His debut, Ashfall, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association

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This giveaway is sponsored by Books With Bite. It is one complete set of The Ashfall Series (Ashfall, Ashen Winter & Sunrise) from The Book Depository. Please make sure they ship to your country. Open to everyone! It also includes a second prize of Sunrise Pendants. This is also open International.

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The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. Yay I’m so glad that you loved this one! I actually never read Ashfall but instead just jumped right into Ashen Winter, but I remember how wonderfully Mike recapped the first book to the point that I felt like I hadn’t missed anything at all, so I can definitely see that same thing happening with Sunrise. I’m really scared about how I’m going to like this one because I hate visual kinds of images, and it sounds like it has that kind of stuff here. Fantastic review, though, Ashley! <33

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  2. I love when the recap is done subtly. I find Richelle Mead is awful at info-dumping everything about the entire world for the first few chapters, which is really starting to grate on my nerves.

    I’ll have to go check out Ashfall on Goodreads. I always had the intention of reading this series, but never got around to it. Hearing that it ends on a good note is awesome! I’ve read quite a few mediocre series conclusions lately :\

  3. I have this series on my wishlist and can’ wait to finally read them! Thanks for the chance!

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