In the After
Series: In the After, #1
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Number of Pages: 400
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Awesomely Intense
Reviewed by: Blythe
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.
What is it that generally seals the deal for you when you're reading a post-apocalyptic or dystopian read? Do you strive to find that eerie feeling of inevitability that comes with the concept that the post-apocalyptic world you're experiencing through pages is one that you could possibly experience in real life? Or do you not care about the authenticity of the world and whether or not it is reasonable for our world today to reach the havoc to the point of the world in the novel? Where all you're really looking for is a quick and chilling read to pass some time, perhaps with a little, "What if?" lingering in the back of your mind?
I am the former type of post-apocalyptic/dystopian reader. As odd as it may sound, I love feeling so horrified that the complete and utter cataclysm presented to me in a fiction post-apocalyptic could possibly be a reality at some point in the future. That thrill of, "What if this actually happens?" adds such an inexpressible and thrilling ambience that immerses me into the novel more than anything else could be able to, and from then on I imagine that it's not only the characters in the novel fighting for their life in the post-apocalyptic, dystopian barren wasteland, but also me.
And that is why In the After is such a remarkable read for me. Although I may not have found the particular alien scenario to be one I see happening, Lunetta crafted her world in such a way that I couldn't help but picture myself in the world and have myself experiencing the apocalypse along with the characters. The novel itself does undeniably have some issues concerning pacing and the dystopian world represented in the latter half of the novel, which left me feeling rather detached at select times, but for the vast majority of the novel, In the After was nothing short of a thrill-ride for me, wherein I was experiencing every single occurrence in the novel along with the characters themselves.
The first quarter of In the After firmly establishes the of electrifying and wild world that is the After. Throughout some of the beginning of In the After we follow Amy as she finds herself one day dealing with the trivial things of everyday life in the Before, whether those actions are looked upon by Amy in flashbacks or dealt by her in the present, to her scavenging for food and struggling to survive in the harsh world overrun by the monsters--Florae--that have ravaged practically everything she once knew and loved from the Before. The juxtaposition of these two vastly different perspectives from the Before and the After made a huge impact on me and my reading experience as I started the novel, and I soon found myself thrust into the dangerous world of In the After along with Amy.
As well as that, character and relationship development takes center stage in In the After alongside the horror and suspense that accompanies the Florae. Similarly to T. Michael Martin's The End Games, In the After features a strong central, family relationship between Amy and Baby. However, I have to say I like the relationship between Amy and Baby in In the After more than the one between Michael and Patrick in The End Games for a few reasons, one being that Amy and Baby aren't directly related, but look to each other as sisters, and another reason being that I feel the relationship between Amy and Baby is met with much more depth and poignancy than Michael and Patrick's.
Lunetta's use of silence and its key role throughout most of the former half of the novel, as well as how Lunetta used silence to depict her world is both effective and downright chilling, and the placement of a touching relationship in a crude world brought out a brilliant and breathtaking contrast throughout the novel. Although there were quite a few parts that dragged as the somewhat dystopian society of the novel was introduced, In the After redeemed itself with surprising twists and thus I am able to say that, shocking, thrilling, suspenseful, and smart, In the After is an exceptionally impressive debut from Demitria Lunetta, and I have trouble thinking of a better and more exciting read to start off the summer.
Release Day Giveaway for In the After
To celebrate In the After's release today, I am offering up one hardcover copy to my blog readers! You can also think of this giveaway as a compensation for having to sit through my mess of a review above. (That is to say if you read it and aren't just jumping here for the giveaway.) This giveaway is US and Canada only (sorry international readers!). Good luck to all who enter!