Colin Ferguson and his wife Kelly. Vanessa Ferguson. Rob Ferguson. Marshall Ferguson. Louise Ferguson ... and Bryce Miller. Survivors, all. How does life go on after the supervolcano eruption? It just does, one day at a time. You do what you can with what you have. You get used to living life in the real world instead of on the Internet, because there’s no Facebook and no Twitter. Gone are the hefty Sunday newspapers we get every weekend, as well as the fast food joints we had the convenience of grabbing a last-minute dinner at once upon a time. For these characters in Harry Turtledove’s third book in the Supervolcano series, Things Fall Apart, life becomes a matter of living “Post Eruption” in a world everybody is still getting a little bit used to with each passing day. In this installment, we are also treated to a character we all got to meet in Book Two: Bronislav Nedic, a former Croatian freedom fighter Vanessa met on her journey back to Southern Cali and who she now has a relationship with. But his cute imperfect grasp of the English language and endearing hound dog eyes should not fool readers as it does Vanessa, for Bronislav pulls quite a shocking stunt in this story that I did NOT see coming.
But does Vanessa crumble? No way! She, like her father and the others, tough it all out. They keep going with their head held high. As the title goes, things DO fall apart in this story. It’s not just a nod to a famous line in a Yeats poem, but a fact of life. No matter how hard people try to create normalcy in this crazy world, it’s like more things “fall apart” and just don’t work the way everybody wants them to. The characters try each day to survive but there’s a generous helping of destruction and chaos. Also in that Yeats poem is the line “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” and we see anarchy indeed in this story. People stealing food, stealing so they can just get into jail to get a decent meal in their stomachs, people loitering and going crazy and people just losing it. Colin, of course, does not lose it. He keeps his head on his shoulders, as does Rob and the others. Especially Rob, who seems to adapt to this “new world” better than his siblings. In fact, Rob eventually embraces it.
I really enjoyed reading this third installment in the Supervolcano series. It was a book that was hard to put down. The characters have carried with them lessons learned from the last book, but they are also stronger and wiser. It’s good to see how they have managed to eck out their lives in a post-eruption world and the story really held my interest from beginning to end. It was a nice close to the last book, wrapping up a lot of loose ends and bringing closure to other things that were left hanging in Book Two. I look forward to reading the next book in this series, if there will be one.
An explosion of incalculable magnitude in Yellowstone Park propelled lava and ash across the landscape and into the atmosphere, forever altering the climate of the entire continent. Nothing grows from the tainted soil. Stalled and stilled machines function only as statuary.
People have been scraping by on the excess food and goods produced before the eruption. But supplies are running low. Natural resources are dwindling. And former police officer Colin Ferguson knows that time is running out for his family—and for humanity....