At the end of Supervolcano: Eruption, author Harry Turtledove left us with the night of Colin Ferguson’s marriage to geologist Kelly Birnbaum, as the newlyweds gazed out at what was left of Life as They Knew It post-eruption. Some of us readers, myself included, may have asked, what’s going to happen now? What will life be like now? How will everyone survive? In Turtledove’s second book, Supervolcano: All Fall Down, we find out.
Life does go on after the eruption, in whatever way it can. Meat is no longer the same meat we used to know and love; it’s whatever can pass as meat. Wheat and corn are crops that are seriously wiped out and crossed off the menu, so people learn to eat their bread and French fries with rye, parsley and turnips. Heat does not last very long in many homes, and the electricity is not on the same level it used to be, either. In fact, people have to start using typewriters and old fashioned whatchamacallits in place of computers and modern conveniences just because the power goes out so much. People have to cut down trees to create fires to stay warm, and a lot of people go back to hunting for their food in order to survive. What surprises me in this changed world, though, is that a lot of the characters brave through it all as though “this, too, shall pass.” They get married, have babies and create homes for themselves. They even keep working their jobs – well, those where jobs are needed (police, medical, transportation, etc.). A lot of businesses go bankrupt or close up shop simply because they can’t keep making what they used to make or they can’t keep selling what they used to sell. The cost of gas, where you can get it, is astronomical and the cost of food, with what food you can get at a store or restaurant, also goes through the roof. But life goes on.
Just as it happened in the first book, this story is told through the POVs of different characters. There is Lieutenant Colin Ferguson of the San Atanasio PD; Kelly Ferguson, who teaches at a college but also continues to work as a geologist studying the aftereffects of the eruption, as well as what is left of the site of eruption; Bryce Miller, former squeeze of Colin’s daughter who keeps trying to land a job where he can actually put his degree to use; Marshall Ferguson, Colin’s oldest who moves back home after finally graduating; Vanessa Ferguson, stuck at a refugee camp who literally “blows” her way out of there only to end up on some kind of scavenger mission; Rob Ferguson, who, along with his band is still stranded in Maine but eventually decides to call the Pine Tree State his new home; and Louise Ferguson, Colin’s ex-wife who is now a single parent in her fifties with a child she learns to love, even though he came from a no-good dirtbag who decided he didn’t want to be a father and left her after she got knocked up.
All of the characters have a long way to go to survive and all of them must find some way to make it through the problems each of them have to go through. They are all tough characters and even though some of them go at each other’s throat, they figure out how to make things work out so that everyone’s happy. Colin still has the South Bay Strangler case and Kelly still has the post-eruption work on her shoulders. Louise has to make ends meet for her and her baby and Marshall has to figure out “where to go from here,” a common dilemma a lot of college graduates face. I liked how the characters seemed to hold their own when it was “the moment of truth” and how it all seemed to fall into place in the end. Loved Colin’s wry humor and thought it was interesting to see what life WOULD be like post-eruption. All Fall Down gives us a good picture of what life would be like after the eruption of a supervolcano, and while it’s a picture to be appreciated, it’s not exactly one we hope would be a reality anytime too soon.
Life as we knew it changed dramatically after a supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park erupted, covering the country with ash and thrusting civilization back into the Dark Ages. Colin Ferguson, a lieutenant with the San Atanasio Police Department, tries to adjust to the changes while also staying connected with his family, spread out across the country. He and his new wife, Kelly, try to make the best of things, but when the realities of life before eruption throw a wrench into the machine, it’s only a matter of time before life will take an even darker plunge than before.
In Supervolcano: Eruption, one of nature’s most destructive forces released its ferocity on an unsuspecting world. Now, New York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove reveals how the survivors of the disaster adapt to their new environment…
In the aftermath of the supervolcano’s eruption in Yellowstone Park, North America is covered in ash. Farmlands cannot produce food. Machinery has been rendered useless. Cities are no longer habitable. And the climate across the globe grows colder every day.
Former police officer Colin Ferguson’s family is spread across the United States, separated by the catastrophe, and struggling to survive as the nation attempts to recover and reestablish some measure of civilization…