Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta

In the After (In the After #1) They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

My Review:

I flew through the majority of this 450-page book in one day because I just couldn't put it down.  The story, the characters, and the world are all just so stunning.  This book has made me into a fan of Demitria Lunetta, and I look forward to reading the sequel, In the End.  I was hooked to this book the entire time, and there was never a moment that it felt too slow.  I loved In the After so much.


The world is both fascinating and one I wouldn't want to live in.  The world has been taken over by Them, aliens who feed on humans.  You do find out more about these aliens and their origin once Amy joins the community of New Hope.  New Hope is also an interesting part of the world.  The leaders of New Hope create rules that are overbearing and take away freedoms from their people.  They also are likely to make morally wrong decisions if they think they are best for the good of New Hope.    

Amy is a fantastic main character, a girl who learns to survive in the apocalypse.  Part of the reason that she can survive so well is because of her parents.  Her dad installed solar panels, so she still gets electricity in her house.  Her mom's electric fence helps to keep Them out of Amy's house.  Amy quickly becomes resourceful by learning how to be silent and sneaking out at night to get supplies.  Her resourcefulness really helps her not die in the After.

One of the most touching relationships in this book is the one between Amy and Baby.  Baby was three years old when Amy found her in a supermarket.  Her real name isn't Baby, but Amy decided to call her that since she didn't know Baby's real name.  Amy and Baby are all each other has for three years.  They develop their own modified ASL so they can talk to each other without making any noise.  By the time they get taken to New Hope, Baby doesn't really remember spoken English since she hasn't heard it in so long.  Baby and Amy are like sisters to each other, and the love between them flows off the page.  Baby is rather mature for a six year old, but I think that's a result of the situation she's grown up in.  

The relationship between Amy and her mother is interesting too.  Amy assumed her mother had died in the apocalypse, but not only is she alive, she is the leader of New Hope.  Her mother is really happy that Amy is alive.  Amy is glad her mom is alive, too, but she doesn't agree with some of her mom's decisions as leader of New Hope.  Their relationship is especially strained when Amy discovers the secret behind the Floraes.  Amy's mom will harm innocent people if she thinks it helps New Hope.  She also has instituted a rule that adult women have to give birth every three years until they are forty.  Amy doesn't like this rule, and she tries to find out how to get out of it.

The Guardians are an interesting set of characters as well.  Amy decides to train for being a Guardian when she finds out it will get her out of the giving-birth rule.  When she's training she learns that being a Guardian is actually a very good fit for her because she has already learned how to live outside New Hope, and the Guardians have to go get supplies out there.  I liked Kay and Gareth, two of the Guardians who Amy gets to know while training.  Kay is the head of the Guardians, and she also disagrees with some things that Amy's mom decides.

There is a sweet romance in this book that is really more of a friendship for the majority of the story.  These characters only kiss once within the pages of the book.  The guy who Amy comes to like is Rice, her mom's lab assistant.  He does keep secrets from her, since he knows all the things that she is trying to find out.  This doesn't help them easily start a relationship because Amy wants him to give her all the answers, and he won't.  It makes sense that this book wouldn't be romance-focused with all the post-apocalyptic stuff going on.

If you like YA post-apocalyptic, read this book.


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