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WesternSFA
SuperVolcano 2: All Fall Down
by Harry Turtledove
Roc, $8.99, 464pp
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
SuperVolcano: All Fall Down follows a few months after the close of the first in the trilogy, SuperVolcano: Eruption (click here for review)

Colin and Kelly are married and she is teaching at a nearby college, Marshall has finally graduated from college and has come home to live while trying to make a living as a writer, Vanessa is still in the refugee camp, ex-wife Louise is pregnant and abandoned and the serial killer is still on the loose.

In this book, there are more consequences of the eruption - gas is hard to get and very expensive when you can find it; leading to more people riding bikes and public transit. Food is not as plentiful as before and there is less variety, unemployment is up, as is crime, power is iffy and the Los Angeles area has seen snow over the winter and lots more rain – the whole world is colder and getting even colder.

We see how our main characters are coping in different parts of the US. Colin, Kelly and Marshal in the LA basin, Rob in Maine, Bryce in Nebraska, and Vanessa, first in a refugee camp then as a part of an official scavenger team across Kansas. There is a growing awareness of just how dependent upon modern technology we have become - Internet, cell phones, email, electricity - and just how hard it can be to adapt when those things aren’t available reliably or at all. And the reality that, no matter how bad things are, everyday life goes on from the mundane of losing a job to the horrific like a serial killer.

If you are looking for a slam bang adventure like S. M. Stirling’s The Emberverse series or Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire series then this is not for you. This trilogy is a depiction of the slow disintegration of the world after a natural disaster of epic proportions and, as such, is infinitely more frightening than Stirling or Flint’s series since there is the possibility that this could really happen.  I have grown interested in the fate of our major characters and look forward to seeing how they continue to cope in book three, SuperVolcano: Things Fall Apart (click here for review) ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

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