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Erupt by Lou Cadle #BookReview

Mt. Hood in Oregon erupts with terrifying power.

A shock wave slams into a helicopter carrying two volcanologists. A thousand-degree cloud of ash hurtles at hurricane speeds down the mountainside toward two hikers. Suffocating ash rains down on the campsite of a troubled teenager, stranding him and his family miles from help.

Massive mudflows rush down the river valleys and into 23-year-old Chad Keppler’s small town. His lifelong dream is to be a firefighter, but after he fails the physical test, that dream seems about to slip away. But he can do this one thing: wade into the swirling, debris-filled mud, to prove to himself that he has the strength and courage it takes to save lives.


Title: Erupt | Author: Lou Cadle | Publisher: Cadle-Sparks Books | Pub. Date: 2014-June-30 | Pages: 251 | Language: English | ASIN: B00LF067BK | Content Warnings: At end of post | Source: Kindle Unlimited | Starred Review

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Erupt Review

After reading Outland (again) and discovering that the next book in the series still wasn’t out, I went in search of another volcano-oriented disaster thriller to scratch that particular itch, and discovered Erupt. Now, unlike the Turtledove book, which some reviews seem to indicate is something close to being a disaster in it’s own right, Erupt had a solid 4-star rating on Goodreads, and it was available on Kindle Unlimited, so I gave it a shot and was quite pleased to have done so.

Now, this is about the eruption of Mt. Hood and is not on the world-ending end of the spectrum, so if a reader opens it expecting a case of “Oh fuck, oh fuck, we’re all going to die” there’s disappointment to be had. However, if one is a fan of movies like Dante’s Peak (Sorry, Sam), this will scratch exactly the right itches.

Erupt follows four main sets of characters: A Hmong-American family, mainly from the POV of the teenage son, Jim, a school librarian (Ellen) and her meet-cute from a lodge (Ty), as well as a wanna-be fireman (Chad) and the EMT he’s assigned to work with (Francie), and vulcanologists Norio and Akroyd. Cadle does a great job of keeping the four sets of characters distinct and interesting in their own way. He has a good touch with making the human element important but keeping the action going.

The only issue I had with the people was that sometimes it took me a moment to shift gears between Ellen and Ty and Chad and Francie (though there are NO sparks between Chad and Francie), though I dare say Norio will irritate people who are much more concerned with the human element, as he is data-driven. (For the record, I thought he was a bit of an ass myself, but I got where the dude was coming from.)

The action is solid in Erupt. Cadle takes the bare minimum pages to set the scene, and then the shit hits the fan a little sideways and a lot deadly. He places the readers right there with the characters, holding their breath as the ash is falling, wading through the mud of the lahar as they try to rescue others, etc. His prose is simple yet effective and–at least to this volcano-virgin–it sure seems like he knows what he’s talking about.

I was caught up in the story right until the very end, and prayed he wouldn’t screw the pooch in the epilogue. Unfortunately, a pooch was screwed. Th epilogue felt almost tacked on and as if the author tried too hard to hammer home certain things that really just didn’t need to be hammered home. Not enough for me to drop it down into unstarred territory, though.

Overall, do recommend checking this out and will probably be returning to this author again in the future.

Don’t be like me. Support non-Amazon owned companies and check out Erupt on Storygraph, and consider purchasing it through our Bookshop (this is an affiliate link and we will receive a small cut of the profits if you choose to buy this way.)

Published inStarred ReviewsThriller Book Reviews

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