I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.In the After by Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After #1
Published by HarperTeen on June 25th 2013
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
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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.
A stronger first half than the second, but overall this is a highly entertaining post apocalyptic book! I mean: zombie aliens!
The world in In the After has just been attacked by an alien species who are terrifyingly similar to zombies. These creatures eat humans, they’re dumb, and they’re relentless (they keep trying to get at you no matter how painful it may be to them). It is a tad reminiscent of The 5th Wave, although that book philosophizes more on what it means to be human and the consequences of such an event on humanity as a whole, whereas In the After concentrates on the main characters’ direct survival story. It’s fascinating to see the adaptive capacity of human beings. This book is Amy and Baby’s story, and a great example of why I love this genre.
Amy was just a little girl when the aliens came. We’re initially introduced to her 3 years after, so her complete story is told with the help of flashbacks during her early days when she was clueless – she finds it a miracle she even survived. What I found the most interesting in those sequences were her discoveries regarding the aliens – their ways and habits. They’re quite the fascinating creatures. Amy’s past is also where we meet Baby, the other main character of the story. Baby, a fantastic addition to the story, was only a toddler when Amy found her. This child stole my heart from the first time we saw her stuffing her face with fruit, somehow still alive. Surviving in this world depends on stealth. If you can be quiet and blend in your surroundings, you’ve got a chance, and baby astounded me by how intelligent she was. This could easily have been unrealistic – being the mother of a hyper toddler and all – but I grew to believe in her instincts, and you also get an inkling that she’s not just an ordinary child. These two quickly form a bond like no other, a bond that I could feel in the deepest pits of my heart. There is nothing like the relationship between two people living a catastrophe, I think Lunetta did a fabulous job at making this the essence of the story. While this bond grows, so do Amy and Baby. We see them develop their own language, learn how to get by with bare essentials, and mature – especially Amy – into strong, capable, and intelligent survivors.
Halfway through, this book turns from apocalyptic to a dystopia when they’re brought to a survivor camp that soon has Amy unsettled with the controlling way it’s governed – forced gestation for one. This is when the book becomes a little less… everything; less exciting, less chilling (though we still have our moments), less characterization, and we lose the intimate relationship we had with two lone characters that has now grown to include a full blown cast. Fortunately the main characters were already well developed and my connection with them formed; it’s the characters we meet in the compound that don’t particularly stand out. I was reluctant to let them in my Amy/Baby niche. I also wasn’t a fan of the boring romance that blooms. I mostly found it distracting, as if it was maybe added to the book due to the annoying belief that every book needs romance. We do learn some interesting details, however, about the creatures and the current world situation. So while this second half didn’t take away what I liked about the book as a whole, it prevented it from a possible 5-star.
Perfect for fans of zombie and apocalyptic novels, In the After is an engaging read that surrounds with the fear of the unknown, leads us to the beginnings of a dystopia, and ends with the promise of a thrilling sequel.
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