I got a copy at Ashfall at the ALA Convention in New Orleans in 2011. My daughter and I met Mike Mullin and I have to say he's a terrific guy. He spent time talking with my daughter talking about her softball team, because she had just come from a tournament and he signed her copy of the book especially for her. It was really nice.
I kept putting off reading the book until just recently and now I'm a little mad at myself for taking so long. It was an awesome book. Very well written and intensely engaging. I read the whole thing in a day and a half. I couldn't put it down.
On the day the Yellowstone caldera erupts Alex is home alone for the weekend while his family goes to visit his uncle. He's alone when his house catches on fire and goes to a neighbor's house to ride out the first couple of days. Things get bad FAST. He decides he has to go find his family even if he has to walk the entire way.
Ashfall tells the story of his journey to his uncle's house and the people he meets along the way. He meets Darla a girl who saves his life. She decides to go with him when she has no reason to stay in her home any longer.
When I finished Ashfall I knew I needed to find the second book stat! I did and it was just as good. The second book Ashen Winter picks up with Alex and Darla at the Uncle's house. Alex's parents have set out for home looking for Alex so he decides that he must back track and find them and bring them back to the relative calm of his Uncle's farm.
Ashen Winter was quite good, not as good as Ashfall in my opinion, but second books in a trilogy are rarely as good as the first. I didn't feel quite as connected to the characters because Darla wasn't as present in Ashen Winter and Alex was like a crazy person trying to find her. Also, when Alex finds his parents, they are really creepy in my opinion. I don't know if that was the intent, but it seemed like they went way off the deep end. The book is definitely worth the read to keep up with the series and keep people watching shows like Doomsday Preppers.
Looks like the third book Sunrise is due to come out some time in 2014. That's a bit of a bummer. I don't like having to wait so long to tie up a story!