Friday, February 9, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: In the After by Demitria Lunetta


Title: In the After
Series: In the After #1 
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Genres: Young Adult, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 455
Pub Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Source: Personal collection
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars


Synopsis: Amy Harris's life changed forever when They took over. Her parents—vanished. The government—obsolete. Societal structure—nonexistent. No one knows where They came from, but these vicious creatures have been rapidly devouring mankind since They appeared. With fierce survivor instincts, Amy manages to stay alive—and even rescues "Baby," a toddler who was left behind. After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope. On the surface, it appears to be a safe haven for survivors. But there are dark and twisted secrets lurking beneath that could have Amy and Baby paying with not only their freedom . . . but also their lives. 
             - - -
This is how I think of time: the past is Before, and the present is the After. Before was reality; the After, a nightmare.
I love a good apocalypse-themed book! In the After was both good and bad. The book was broken down into three parts, and part one: Phenomenal! Exactly what I want in a book like this. The book is pitched as The 5th Wave meets Across the Universe, and I would say this is very accurate.


• When I think of the apocalyptic novels I've enjoyed, I think of survival. I love the ones where something catastrophic happens—whether it be aliens, zombies, natural disaster, war, etc.—and people are forced to live without the conveniences they once did. I don't care HOW it happens, really, just that the aftermath and details all match up and are realistic (or as much as they can be with a science fiction theme). The first part of this book gave me this. Amy is a high school student. Aliens invade the planet and eat people. Not many humans are left alive. Amy was lucky enough to live in a home with solar power and an electric fence to keep her protected. She learns a little about the creatures taking over the planet and learns how to avoid them when scavenging. They are attracted to sound and hibernate at night. Amy learns to be silent and even stops speaking. Eventually, when looking for food and supplies, she comes across Baby—a child among the destroyed supermarket. Baby is just there, eating silently, unharmed. Amy is shook to the core, but takes the child with her. They become a pair. All of this felt believable to me, you know? I like stories with survival aspects. Learning to forage, to keep away from bad people, to protect yourself and the ones you care for. Understanding what it means to be truly alone. Part one had this, and I enjoyed it A LOT.

• Amy as a character was fantastic, even into the parts I began to dislike. She had amazing instincts. She was a bit naive in the first couple chapters, but learned quickly what people can be like and how to navigate the world she was now living in. She adapted fast and kept herself and Baby alive. She was admirable and a great heroine.

• There wasn't a ROMANCE in the book. There was a guy that Amy sort of liked, they shared a kiss or two, but that was basically all it really ended up being. I admire the author for not making it into a romance; she more so focused on the science fiction aspects and the survival of humankind. Screw a romance in the apocalypse!


• So, part two and three is where things started to go downhill for me. Part two was Amy being taken onto a "ship" and learning that her mother is not dead as she had previously believed her to be. Her mother is part of a community where people have school, jobs, etc.—all on this ship. "New Hope" they call it. The idea of a community is cool, sure, but how it came to be wasn't explained well enough and they were just sort of THERE. It was a little confusing, to be honest. How did they make ships? How did they DO all of the things they've done? Who knows. So, lack of explanation = suckage.

• Things got cliché. So, turns out, the aliens are not aliensafterall. They are people. Wow, never saw that coming. *eyeroll* Wait, yes I DID. It was so damn obvious and I am honestly just sick of this premise. Scientists get a wild hair up their asses, they create a virus or something to help them in a war, things to wrong, people become zombies, zombies kill kill kill, virus spreads, world ends, etc. etc. Can we stop? Can we do something DIFFERENT? I prefer aliens, I do. I was happy with this! GIVE ME THE ALIENS BACK!!!

• Frankly, Amy's mother is an evil wench. The end.


• This had to come after my dislikes for it to be understood, but I very much liked the fact that the book highlighted that humans suck. 
All of Them are monsters, but not all monsters are Them.
Not long after arriving on the ship and being reunited with her poor excuse for a mother (I mean, this woman knew Amy was alive and just left her to fend for herself for YEARS), Amy learns that being a part of this community may very well be worse than just surviving on the ground with the monsters. In New Hope, if you are a female, you are REQUIRED to help repopulate. You must pump out babies in order to live there. If you don't? Bye. This is so screwed up! I really enjoy a book that shows how completely and utterly disgusting people can be. Of course, Amy is our heroine and she fights against the BS she sees on the ship and, ultimately, makes the decision to go in search of something better.

Overall, I liked the book. It had flaws, for sure, but it was still a good read. I liked Amy and I liked the overall feel of the book. I do recommend it if you like science fiction or apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic themed books. Just be prepared to question a lot of things. I do plan on reading book two, though, so we shall see how it ends!