Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In the After ~ Demitria Lunetta (arc + audio) review

In the After (In the After #1)
Harper Teen
June 25, 2013
464 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Some books take a very long time to read. Usually it's because they aren't any good. Yet, there is that rare occurrence when it's because of how outlandishly, superbly, absurdly amazing a book is.

Why would that make reading the book take a long time, you might wonder. Simple: you don't. want. it. to end. Ever.

That's what happened with In the After.

In Demitria Lunetta's post-apocalyptic debut, Amy is a young teen, home alone while her mother's at work - like almost always - and her father's out, when the world as she knows it comes to an end.
"The had footage of the structure in the park. Something emerged, turned toward the camera, stared. Still coughing, I pressed PAUSE on the DVR remote and stood.
That was the first time I saw an alien." -pg 8
The world's population is decimated when They attack, devouring humans but Amy manages to survive, staying safe day by day. She even finds "Baby" a toddler who soon becomes her only companion in the After. The two do everything they can, in the relative safety of Amy's home, to stay alive and avoid Them.

When what looks like a rescue presents itself, it not only brings more surprises then Amy is ready for, but more questions as well. And possibly even some new dangers.

In the After jumps right into the action fantastically. The scene seems harmless enough, at first, but soon enough it's clear that it's all but the end of the world. It's a great place to start with Amy as we see that she's not some commando, but a typical girl, losing her family and all that she's known as 'normal.'

Though only Amy is present, thanks to her description of her situation -- from where her parents are that morning, what she's eating -- even before They arrive and change everything, makes it feel almost as if they're characters. We don't meet them, but they have such an influence on her life and actions.

There is almost always tension present: the nail biting kind when Amy is in clear danger and you're left wondering how she'll get out of the situation;  a more subtle underlying kind for the ever-present she's under from Them and later. The tension, the suspense and the mystery of where the tale will lead keeps you wanting to read more and more.

While, all the while, not wanting the story to end.

Almost a third of the way through the book, there is an event that takes place. I love how it shifts the story -- and how it was not what I expected, even as things progressed. The newness that it introduced was a great change. I could easily have gone continued with how the first third of the book transpired, seeing where that took things but I don't know that it would have been as brilliant. It's a brilliant twist in the story, one that you're not going to see coming but will love.

Lunetta thought of a great catalyst for the shift in the storyline, something that I didn't see as that when it first happened. The style of the narrative in the latter part of the book is incredibly enticing. It keeps things unfolding in an extremely intriguing manner.

Even when given limited time or examples for interaction, the characters in In the After seem very true and well developed. Despite the very unreal situation, they seem very realistic and they're relationships, reactions and actions are very understandable. Amy and Baby are both compelling, you can feel the love they have for each other, the worry, as well. You fear for their survival along with them.  When something that seems good turns out maybe not to be, your breaks for them.

There's so much else jumbled in my head that refuses to quite straighten itself out -- the more I love a book, the less coherent sentences seem to want to happen.

I do know that I'm not sure I'll be able to wait until June when In the End the second book comes out . . . I'm glad I managed to read the ending to this as slowly as possible, though so it's not as far away as it could be. Easily one of my favorite reads of 2013.

*Goes back to telling people in person to read this*

Rating: 10/10


Another book you're likely to enjoy: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


advance copy won from Epic Reads! (love you Epic Reads & Harper)

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