Book Title/Author: In The After by Demitria Lunetta
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen June 25th 2013
Genre: Science Fiction – YA Post Apocalyptic
Other Books From Author: None — debut.
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!
In one day, everything and everyone was gone as creatures descend on mankind and quickly devour anyone in their path. Our main character, Amy, and the toddler she found that she calls “Baby” seem to be one of the only survivors around. They have to sneak around quietly to not draw the attention of Them to find food and survive — all in silence which is the only way to be safe. Amy lives in her house from before and only survived because her parents were crazy about solar power and had a top notch security system with an invisible fence that the They can’t breach. Years have gone by with Amy and Baby surviving just like that and they rarely have come across other survivors until one night when they are rescued and taken to a colony of other survivors. Life in New Hope, headquartered out of a government research facility, seems perfect and almost like life in the Before until Amy realizes that not everything is as it seems in this safe haven.
In the After by Demitria Lunetta was one of those thrilling books that had me wishing I had superhuman abilities to zip through the pages and still be able to process what I’m reading. I LOVE a good survivalist story especially one set in a post-apocalyptic world. While In the After wasn’t perfect, it definitely entertained me and kept me guessing what lurked around the corner. There’s no denying that.
If the second half of the book would have held up to the first half I think I’d be prancing around this here blog with maybe a bit higher praises but still it was certainly a really great book. This book was a page-turner and was quite good but it got off kilter for me in some ways in the second half. The first half was definitely the more bare bones survival story set in a world ravaged by these creatures called Them. I loved learning about how they survived and adapted and also how Before was woven in there as well as everything that happened between the day these creatures invaded and the present day.
Demitria Lunetta created this horrifyingly bleak world and made me see it just as clearly as if I was watching something like The Walking Dead which I love and stirs up so many emotions in me always. I felt the despair and the helplessness and the questions of “how long can this go on for?” I also really loved learning how Amy found Baby and seeing the intricacies of their relationship — one founded on absolute silence which has been important in their survival. It was such a beautiful relationship and I could see how Baby is what really kept Amy going when it probably would have been easy to give up. It definitely was a nice contrast to the other encounters with humans that Amy had in a world that was all about “survival of the fittest” and helping only yourself at all costs.
The second half wasn’t BAD by any means — it was just different and definitely swung the story in another direction making it feel a bit more of a dystopian sort of story than the post apocalyptic, bare bones survival-type story. The second half of the book was thrillingly twisty and honestly had a couple shocking moments that left me gasping. You crafty woman, Demitria. I think your enjoyment of the second half will depend on what you were hoping this story would be like. After the first half I was hoping for something kind of like The Walking Dead where there might be some other survivors and they band together but still remain a survival story at heart as they learned more about these creatures and adapted to this scary world. I’m not saying I didn’t LIKE where the story went but I had to adjust my expectations and deal with the somewhat dragging introduction to the New Hope community and the new characters that were introduced. There was a lot going on honestly but I felt myself skimming a little bit to get to the good parts. Luckily, the shocking twists, revelations and conspiracy kind of feel kept this book appealing to me and worth it in the end.
I hate comparing books but two post-apocalyptic books about alien type creatures (this and The 5th Wave) have come out this summer and people have already asked me. I’d say that this one was a quite a bit quicker paced & action packed than The 5th Wave but, for me, The 5th Wave, had a bit more depth with a lot of exploration of humanity and morals when every day is a fight with survival — all things I mentioned in my review of The 5th Wave. I felt as though, with In the After, that I came out realizing there was a lot more to this story than I originally thought. Gah I don’t want to give spoilers so I’ll shush now.
In the After by Demitria Lunetta was an exciting post apocalyptic story filled to the brim with action and the kind of twists and turns that truly keep you hooked set. It wasn’t perfect for me and the first half was significantly more engaging to me but the plot definitely become a lot more layered in the second half with revelations that make this scenario quite more complicated. Demitria Lunetta was able to convince me of this terrifying world and pull me in until I came tumbling out on the final page — breathless and so happy I was safe and sound in my lounge chair at the pool. The final page will leave you clamoring for the next book with all the twists, turns and trouble that our heroine faces. This book would make a crazy good movie!
Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Did you see some of these big twists coming because I sure didn’t. Finding out the one thing kiiiind of made me think of a certain fave show of mine so I’m excited to see how that plays out.