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 End by Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After #2
Published by HarperTeen on June 24th 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
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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.
Find my review of In the After here!
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