Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta
In the After (In the After #1)
by: Demitria Lunetta
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Science Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 400 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars
After reading a string of contemporaries, I felt like I needed a change of pace. So I decided to give In the After a go! I'm always up for a post-apoc book! This book is divided into 3 parts. I will say Part One was the strongest for me. I was pulled in from the beginning. Lunetta had me completely captivated with Amy (our main character) describing the Before and After, as she refers to the state of the world. Before- everything was simple and normal and she really realizes the small things that you take for granted. After -is hard and lonely. Those small things you took for granted are nothing but a shadow of a dream you keep trying to hold on to. I liked Amy as a main character. She had her time to freak out and cry, but her survival instincts kicked in and she did what she had to do to survive. This is why I loved the first part of the book. It's all about survival. Lunetta does an amazing job creating this world where you are always on your guard, preparing for imminent danger. She is completely alone but is lucky her parents were so prepared. She is fortunate enough to be able to stay at home, have a safe place to live, a place to bathe, sleep, etc. However, she cannot stay holed up forever. She does eventually have to go out and forage for food. She finds a toddler, who she names Baby, and brings her home with her. For being alone for so long, Amy now finally has a companion. The two form a bond and Amy would do anything to protect and keep Baby safe. Baby is incredibly smart thankfully, and the two form their own form of communication (based loosely on sign language), as it is too dangerous to speak out loud for fear of Them coming. They are ruthless, carnivores who are only interested in killing and feeding on their prey. They are super fast, but they do not function as well in the dark.
Although Amy has Baby, she still longs to know if there are others still alive out there. However, she must be extremely careful as to who to trust. She does meet another human and finds herself in a potentially horrible situation. From then on, as craved as she is for human interaction, she will not make the mistake of being so casual in who she approaches.
Parts Two and Three are actually where the book took a completely different turn of events. We find out there is a human civilization called New Hope. Except the longer Amy stays, the more she realizes things are not as they seem. New Hope's ideals are not what Amy expects and she learns that not everyone is as trustworthy as they seem. This is not like dealing with aliens- Amy now has to protect herself against her own kind. I was ok with seeing how the society of New Hope worked, but then I felt like I was back reading The Program by Suzanne Young. And that was not the direction I expected this book to take at all.
We meet a whole slew of characters in New Hope that play an integral part of the story. My favorite being Rice, a seventeen year old who works as a scientist. He instantly takes to Amy and befriends her, trying to help her adjust to her new surroundings. We only get to know him on a very surface level though, so I am hoping for a bit more depth in the next book.
I am interested in the sequel because after the ending, I feel like it might go back to what I was originally looking for: a more in depth look at the world trying to survive in the wild. There are also quite a few questions to be answered and I definitely look forward to that. Overall- this is a decent post-apocalyptic book and I was very engaged and did not put it down.