After The End: Book Review by Dinh
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding form whoever else might still be out there.
At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.
When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything is a lie.
Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she is trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.
Synopsis is from hardcover book, 322 pages, and published in 2014 by HarperTeen.
After The End by Amy Plum was a quick and fast paced read and I gobbled it up in no time. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book since this was the first book by Amy Plum that I have read and had not expectations going into the book.
Plum is an international best seller for her series Die For Me (Die for Me, Until I Die, If I Should Die).
What I enjoyed the most of the novel were the two main characters Juneau and Miles, and the plot.
Who doesn’t like a strong character? I liked Juneau right away. She is a warrior and raised to be a leader or sage of her clan.
We see her strength at the onset of the book. Juneau with a crossbow, along with 2 huskies on a hunt, and coming back to her encampment sees that it’s deserted and must decided what to do- she only thinks in ways of what a leader would do.
Miles….well I didn’t like him at first. He’s a rich, bad boy but has a good heart as it turns out. As the story progresses, he becomes more likable and by the end of the book I liked his character. Plum did a good job in making Miles like-able.
The interaction between Juneau and Miles are realistic enough to for me to enjoy as well. They do have conflict with each other which makes it believable.
Also, the inner thoughts of each character together with the blatant mockery Miles makes of Juneau makes their relationship believable. As the story moves along you can see the development in their relationship from conflict, to understanding, and then acceptance.
It’s a nice long development of their relationship which makes it satisfying to read. I don’t like it when you cut the chase.
When I first started reading this I thought it was going to be like The Village by M. Night Shyamalan but then it changed direction. I liked the premise of the story- similar to The Village, where the elders isolate themselves and live a different existence because of a belief they hold.
What I like about this plot was that it was about a young girl’s journey to save her clan. Moreover, a strong female role trying to solve big problem in an unknown world to her.
In addition, the plot also involved big business, where big pharma intervenes to get its hands on the next big drug. This aspect of the plot gives it intrigue and more high stakes which is always fun to read about.
I liked that it was set in contemporary U.S.A and had mythical and magical elements in it. The idea of connecting to the Yara, and the ability to conjure and the use of the mystical powers was really interesting. I love the supernatural and mystical things happening in the book that was explained by the Yara.
“We live inside a super-organism, and everything within it is connected by a powerful force.”
Writing and Pace
I found it satisfying to read a book that had the two narratives. The book is writing in two narratives. One from Juneau’s perspective and the other from Miles so we get a good idea of what they are thinking and can enjoy their personalities.
The chapters varied in length and some are short with only one page for a chapter. I liked how the concepts of Plum’s story came together as it was laid out.
The book moved along quickly because of the plot, but also because of the way the book was laid out. With short chapters it is easy to continue reading.
In addition, Plum’s style of writing is very light which made this book a page turner. There’s quite a bit of dialogue as well, which made it quick to read.
Was there any thing I didn’t like?
Some parts of the book just glossed over the fact that Juneau was new to this world of technology and other things which didn’t make the story believable.
She lived in the Alaskan wildness and did not have any modern conveniences but she adapted quickly when she had to find and rescue her clan. I think Plum could have made it harder for Juneau so it would be more realistic.
The ending of the book just stopped. I understand it stopped because it was a cliffhanger but I wasn’t expecting it and it threw me off.
My Final Thoughts:
With a catchy title and a great cover who wouldn’t be interested in checking out After the End? If you are a into reading Young Adult books I think you will enjoy reading it.
It is a fast paced adventure set in contemporary US but has supernatural elements tied in. The characters and the plot are good and it’s light reading so you’ll enjoy the entertainment factor if you don’t read too much into it.
I will be checking out Plum’s sequel book Until the Beginning for sure!
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Do you like Young Adult books? After reading the review of After the End, does it pique your interest? Let me know what you think!