Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta

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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.

Review: In the End by Demitria LunettaIn the End by Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After #2
Published by HarperTeen on June 24th 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

She thought it was the end of the world... But it was only the beginning of the end.

It's been three months since Amy escaped New Hope. Since she's seen Baby, or Kay, or Rice. And she's been surviving on her own, like she did before she was "rescued" and taken to what she thought was a safe haven. Then, in the midst of foraging for supplies, her former fellow Guardian's voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Any had hoped she would never hear:

Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it's a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy will have to make her way to Fort Black, a former prison-turned-survivor colony. There she will need to find Ken—Kay's brother—for he holds the key to Baby's survival.

But before she can do any of this, she'll have to endure the darkest places—and people—of the prison. And one small slip-up could not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the survival of he people in the After.

Demitria Lunetta has created an utterly compelling conclusion to the story she set forth in In the After. Readers of the Hunger Games trilogy will not be able to pit down this book, which is gripping from beginning to end.

Ok so, I was all about ready to rate this book a 4-star, and then I learn this is actually the finale. Wait, what? Ok let’s rewind a bit. As a sequel, it’s actually pretty darn good with some intriguing developments in the plot, and we get to see more about how survivors turned evil in the midst of the apocalypse. But then I finish the book, look up on Goodreads, and see that this is actually a duology. Whoa! No! This did not feel like a finale at all. The blunt ending is now especially crappy knowing that this is it… I am now very much disappointed. Booo! Buuut, I did enjoy being horrified while reading this, so I do give it that credit.

I seriously read this whole book as a middle-book. And if it was a middle book I would be praising it. I particularly loved the writing and the atmosphere she crafted of this post-apocalyptic story – as I did in book 1. The grim, violent world that Amy now has to live in is terrifying. We finally arrive at what you hope is a safe haven, only to learn of how unsafe is actually is. It just harbors a different kind of danger. Instead of flesh-eating monsters, we’ve got a walled-in society ruled by criminals. Literally – it’s a prison-turned-fort. I do love how realistic this world building is. I wholeheartedly believe that if the end of the world would come, a lot of people would lose their humanity and fight like savages just to survive. With no laws, no government, and people with nothing left to lose, I’m not sure who I would be more afraid of – the monsters, or the men. I think the cruel world that Demitria has portrayed here is realistic under its harsh circumstances, which makes this series all the more compelling, and especially frightening. This sequel shows us more of this brutal world as Amy travels to Fort Black to find the one person who can help her save Baby.

This is essentially the whole plot of this novel – rescuing Baby from evil scientists. Being a mother, this storyline hit me head on, emotionally, and I could really feel Amy’s desperation. I completely understood her willingness to do whatever it took to save her sister. It also shows how values are put to the test when we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Most of the book, however, is spent at Fort Black trying to find the man who can help her. While there, at Fort Black, Amy finds out more secrets behind the virus and the scientists’ search for a vaccine. We also meet a new love interest (though the romance has a pretty minor role in this series), as well as some key players in this whole conspiracy. Even though we do learn a lot in this aspect, I did find the pacing could have been tighter overall. The plot drags for a while, halted by reckless decisions stemming from her stubborn nature which, although admirable (who wants to act as a “claimed woman”?), only turned her into a huge target. She could have went about this in a smarter, more efficient way. Still, I love her determination and independence throughout. When you look back to the beginning of this series, you can see how much she has grown into this strong, take-no-shit survivor. But anyways, back to the pacing, after Fort Black, all of a sudden it’s this sort of race to the end where everything seems to happen at once – and without a hitch, it seems – which would not be so bad for a middle-book, but as a conclusion it definitely lacked a decent climax.

While I was all ready to give this novel 4 stars, that was when I expected there to be another installment after this. As a conclusion, In the End falls short and leaves me quite underwhelmed. Many aspects of this ending – from the romance to the fall of the villain – left me disappointed. I will keep hoping that there will eventually be a 3rd book to give us more closure than whatever this was.

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Find my review of In the After here!

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3 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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13 Responses to “Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Oh abrupt endings are the absolute WORST! I’ve been hearing very similar things from other readers as well and while I liked the first book, I think I will be skipping this one. I think I will have issues with Amy’s stubbornness as well.
    Great review, Giselle.

  2. Chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture

    I understand how you feel when it comes to finishing book and then finding out it’s actually the finale. HAHA I had that experience with Kasie West’s Split Second.

    Maybe the author just wanted to get this over with HAHA no harm done at least you get to read another book that might be better than this. HAHA Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Michelle

    I’m still surprised that I haven’t got to read the first one in this series yet! (The covers are so similar that I always end up forgetting which is first haha) Wait, finale? I’m now afraid to go on and read this duology because it was left crappy. ._. Great review, Giselle!

  4. Henrietta

    Even though you were disappointed by the blunt ending, I think you must have enjoyed the plot quite a bit to give the book 3 Hot Espressos. From what you shared, I think I’ll like the character growth of Amy. Great review, Giselle!

  5. Lisa @ TenaciousReader

    Oh no! Hate when the end isn’t satisfying. Perhaps there will be one at a later date. There have been a couple of books I initially read and that seemed to be pitched as standalones, but then they did well and turned into trilogies. 🙂

  6. Rashika

    You know, this series sounds oddly familiar to one I read YEARS ago. Anyway, I know a lot of people were disappointed by this instalment and I am sorry it didn’t turn out better for you :/

    I think it sucks even more because, it seems like it was a good instalment but not a good conclusion and that’s just the worst. I HATEEEE not having closure. You’re a lot more generous than I would have been in that case because not having closure haunts me like crazy and just ruins an entire book (and series) for me *sigh*

    MAYBE the author will decide to write a novella for closure??? I have my fingers crossed for you!

    Lovely review, hon! 🙂

  7. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Hmmm . . . I’m wondering if I should bother with this series all now. It all sounds very . . . anticlimactic. Which is a shame, b/c I have the first book. But hey, that’s what we have used bookstores for, right? Great review, Giselle! Sorry you were disappointed.

  8. Pili

    Damn it! I’m so disappointed to hear that this one read like a very good middle book but not so much as a conclusion! I hate open and abrupt endings so much! I really enjoyed In The After, so of course I will be reading this one, but I’ll be warned about the ending!
    Thanks for a great review Giselle!

  9. Dani

    I am currently reading this. I’m about 5 chapters in…
    I hope the ending doesn’t leave me feeling unfulfilled as it did to you. But I really hate bad endings. I was actually surprised that this “series” only has two books.