SUPERVOLCANO: ALL FALL DOWN
In book two of Turtledove’s brilliant post-apocalyptic fantasy trilogy he picks up two years after the volcanic eruption. Setting himself apart from other writers of dystopian fiction, Turtledove not only gives us the big picture, he also humanizes it by focusing on the tragedies suffered by the individual, especially his Ferguson family. His descriptions of a near-future hardscrabble life are graphic, nigh unimaginable, but, most frightening of all, they seem possible. To be enjoyed completely, this series should be read in order.
The supervolcano under Yellowstone blew two years ago, wiping out much of middle America. What passes for life goes on, with some faring better than others. Power is sporadic, fuel is almost nonexistent, food is scarce and people are surviving however they can. Near L.A., cop Colin Ferguson, his wife, geologist Kelly and his son Marshall survive better than most of the United States. Colin’s oldest son, Rob, has been stuck in Maine since the volcano blew, where it’s winter most of the year. Meanwhile, Colin’s daughter, Vanessa, having barely escaped deadly ash, struggles to remain alive in a refugee camp. (ROC, Dec., 432 pp., $26.95)