Book Review: Supervolcano: Eruption by Harry Turtledove

Supervolcano: Eruption by New York Times Bestseller and alternative reality author, Harry Turtledove, tells the story about a what if scenario about Yellowstone National Park and the largest inactive volcano in the world. What if the caldera, which is what it is called, blows its cap and effectively destroys several western United States? What happens to the United States and the world? Harry Turtledove is the author who has answered these questions in his own way. Harry Turtledove, the author who has written many books on the alternative histories of the World Wars, the Civil War, and many more, has written a novel about what could happen if Yellowstone’s caldera blows up. Supervolcano: Eruption is the first in a supposed trilogy that tells the story about the eruption and its impact on a family in particular and the world.

Colin Fergerson is a cop and has been one for a long time, so when he feels he has to get a way for a while; to get away from a failed marriage; he heads to the one place he has never been too. He heads to Yellowstone National Park, to see the Park in all its glory and beauty. What he does not begin to understand is that soon his life will never be the same. Soon after he gets there, he meets a geologist and an small earthquake rumbles through the park. He also finds out from Kelly, the geologist, that there are several areas of the park that are active and that she believes that the unthinkable may be going to happen soon. The various areas of the park that are very active are building to a possible volcanic eruption. Of course, Colin could not leave the park without getting to know Kelly and eventually they start a relationship. Colin also comes with baggage: An ex-wife who has a younger man, a daughter who is bitter and tells it like it is, two sons; one of which is trying to stay a forever student in college, while the other is a singer in a band that is not the greatest.

The unthinkable happens and Yellowstone erupts. At first it is just a few of the smaller areas of the park erupts but apparently that is just the beginning. Kelly and several of her colleagues are in the park when major earthquakes erupt and they have to leave. But. They have no way out and the earliest that they can leave is the next morning. They are rescued and just in the nick of time too. After their rescue, Yellowstone erupts and if you remember what that eruption was like in the movie, 2012, then that was like that, but much, much, much bigger. What follows is hellish and horrendous. Colin’s family and Kelly are scattered all over the United States and he has no idea if they survived or not. Soon, you find out what happens to his family, Kelly, and other people who become a part of the ongoing story. As the United States grapples with what life is like after the eruption; life as the people know it is now completely and utterly different. It seems the only state that is not completely disrupted is California but they do get the effects of what is happening. Life does go on even at a reduced rate. Will humanity survive? What will happen to the world and the climate? Will Yellowstone erupt again? These and more questions are in the book.

I enjoyed reading this book, since I like to watch disaster movies and read them also. I thought the author did a fine job of researching what he could and inventing the rest. I look forward to reading his next book in this trilogy and seeing what happens to the people in the trilogy.

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