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{January 14, 2014}   {Review} Darla’s Story by Mike Mullin (Ashfall #0.5)

Darla's StoryFrom Goodreads: Darla Edmunds has faced a lot of challenges in her seventeen years: Her dad died in a farming accident when she was fourteen. Her mother retreated into hyper-religiosity, leaving Darla to run the family farm almost single-handedly. But those struggles pale in comparison to the one she faces after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plummeting the world–and Darla’s small corner of Iowa–into a cataclysmic natural disaster.

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Fans of the Ashfall series will be happy to note that Mullin has indeed written a novella that focuses on the life and times of Darla and her mother prior to the volcano and their meeting of Alex.  However, as it is a novella, it is extremely short and, in my opinion, a bit redundant for readers who have already picked up the series.  For those who have read Ashfall, we already have a good knowledge base of Darla’s story as she’s told it before; all this novella does is give a birds-eye view as it all unfolds.

Truth be told, I wasn’t as impressed with this novella as I had hoped to be.  As I said before, it was a bit redundant for me as I’ve already read the other books in the series (this novella having just recently released as a prequel), and while I was interested in the novella, I didn’t feel like I learned anything knew.  Perhaps it would be a good jump off point for those interested in starting the series, but I certainly wouldn’t want readers to base their impression of the whole series on this novella, because the full books themselves have much more going on and leave readers on the edge of their seat in anticipation.  This novella, however, falls a bit flat, and Darla comes across as a somewhat boring person with a real chip on her shoulder—and while she is smarter than all the adults around her, the novella is too short to really show her true colors, and she puts a bad taste in the readers’ mouth.  Because I read Ashfall and learned to really like her, I had no issues with Darla in this novella, but I can foresee her attitude being a turn off for potential readers of the series… so I honestly don’t suggest reading this prequel prior to the first novel in the series, Ashfall.  Two and a half stars. 

2.5 stars

I purchased this novel from Amazon.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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