Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: In The After by Dimitria Lunetta

In the After (In the After #1)
Goodreads Summary: 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.
Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta
Goodreads / Barnes and Noble

Genre: Young Adult, post-apocalyptic
Pages: 455
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library

First Line: "I only go out at night."

Favorite Quote: "All of Them are monsters, but not all monsters are Them."


I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from In The After before I picked it up. I hadn't heard much about it beforehand, but it definitely sounded post-apocalyptic. Also, I was fairly certain either zombies or aliens would be involved - the whole "they won't stop chasing you until you're dead" thing kind of gave that away. This wasn't something I was planning on reading, but the summary sounded really interesting so I was more than willing to give it a go. It's been about a week since I finished it, and I've been thinking about how to rate it since then. Overall, it was a pretty good story but it didn't leave a big impression on me. I had to stare at the cover for a few minutes before realizing that beneath all the weeds and cracks is a road, which is kind of odd because I can't recall any of the characters actually being on a road. Ever. In The After is a decently thick book, but honestly I had next to no problem flying through the whole thing.

The novel is divided up into three parts. I think doing that was a smart decision because it felt like all three were different from each other in weird ways. The main characters goes through a lot of changes so that contributed to the feeling, but at the same time tone of the story wasn't the same each time. I know that sounds kind of strange; I'm not sure how else to describe it though. My favorite was the first one, when the invasion of the creatures first happens. Amy and Baby live together in Amy's house, and the reason they are able to do so is because there's an electric fence that surrounds the property and shocks any alien-thing (they have a proper name that starts with an F) that touches it. It just felt so suspenseful and edgy; Lunetta does a good job at making her villains creepy. I pictured the aliens pretty vividly, and living in a world where you could make next to no noise would not only be depressing, but very scary indeed.

With the way Amy describes herself from the Before, I don't think I would have cared for her much as a person. She even says herself at one point that she was a stuck up little know-it-all. She didn't treat her parents very well and seemed very annoying. She thankfully wasn't that way in the After, when she was learning how to survive and everything, so she was a lot more bearable. I wouldn't say she was one of my favorite heroines or anything, because I don't truly feel like I connected with her much, but I enjoyed reading the story through her eyes. I did find Baby to be a little unbelievable. I have a four year old in my house and there's no way he would have the instinct to be silent all the time like she did. He's actually very smart, so I don't think that little children would behave that way realistically. I could see it when she got a little older, but three or four is a bit too young.

I had a bad feeling about New Hope from the beginning, and not just because its evilness was hinted at in the synopsis. Amy's mom works for the government, and it seems like in books like these those types of people are almost always the bad guys. The twist that occurred towards the end was surprising considering all I had been led to believe about the aliens up until that point, so I'd had to say the plotting is good. I did get a little bored in the middle when things kind of settled down, but the pace picked back up almost immediately. The side characters were okay. My favorite was probably Kay, because I loved her rebellious and sarcastic nature. I really hope to see more of her in the sequel. I was kind of indifferent towards the romance in In The After. Though I was very grateful there was no insta-love (and believe me, there easily could have been), I still wish I liked it more. Rice was a nice guy, but I had a hard time understanding why Amy would develop feelings for someone who worked so closely with her mother. Also, I found his character to be borderline flat.

Although I did have a few complaints about this one, when you put all of them aside this book is really hard to put down and I have to give the author credit for good writing, pacing and plotting. The characters were probably the weakest aspect of the story, in my opinion. However, I am glad that I picked up In The After because overall I liked what it had to offer. I believe there's only going to be two installments in this series, so I'll be sure to check out the sequel when it comes out next year.

3.5 stars 

Books in this series:

1. In The After
2. In The End

Other Opinions: 

Alice Marvels
Books of Amber

If You've Read The Book: Were you surprised about the big reveal? I kind of suspected that they weren't really aliens all along. 

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