Why the “Early Arc Review”, you ask. I simply ADORED book one in this series: “IN THE AFTER“ . After reading the “ARC” for the 2nd and final book (In...moreWhy the “Early Arc Review”, you ask. I simply ADORED book one in this series: “IN THE AFTER“ . After reading the “ARC” for the 2nd and final book (In The End) *dramatically cries* I honestly could not wait. One more micro second. To share the review with you, my blogger friends & fellow book obsess-ers..err…enthusiasts. Hey, a little obsession is not all bad, is it?
Let’s break this bad boy down & keep this review nice, short, and enjoyable.
COVER: Bold, black, font-Check. Set against colorful, but not distracting print background-Check. Pleasing to the eye & enjoyed the “non spoiler” aspect of the cover.
Pick Up Point: Sometimes a long time passes in-between books 1&2, 2&3, and so on. A good “P.U.P” score means I do not have to re-read the prior book to get back in the stories groove. I refreshed my memory by re reading my review & the Goodreads blurb. I was able to “sync” with the story mighty quickly. P.U.P-B+
CHARACTERS: Immediately I am re introduced to the main character: Amy. Set not too long after book 1 has ended. In a style that reminded me of “I AM LEGEND” (the movie), Amy tells us the in’s and out’s of life since she has left “New Hope”, and a few very important people behind. IE:Baby. Happy to be reunited with an old, familiar, character I found the transition to be a smooth one. Amy’s re telling via her “thoughts” helped me be in “her shoes”. She had a few advantages this time that helped protect her from the “creatures”. We meet a few new characters that add danger and flavor to the tale. Tank: a ‘roided out psycopath with Amy playing a part in his violent fantasies, Jacks: the “night in shining armor”, tat artist, nephew to a powerful, but sadistic creep, genuinely good dude, you root for him- not as a love interest for Amy, and a few other “side characters” that truly bring the story together.
STORY: As you have already gathered Amy has left “New Hope”. Along the way, after a long “radio silence” she gets word that “Baby” is in trouble & is told to find “Ken”- the seemingly only hope for both of them to survive. Upon arrival at “Fort Black” Ala’ “The Walking Dead” style Amy is immediately introduced to the grim, sick, reality of life behind “safe” walls. It’s either life in the over crowded, under fed, no medical care, violent prison, or life in the wild. The prison portion was written beautifully and masterfully. I loved how the author set me smack dab in the prison via her words. her descriptions were so vivid I smelled the stench of unwashed bodies, the desperation, felt the fear, felt the anger, experienced the creepy crawlies of Tank leering after Amy- as if I were Amy. This story was less about the creatures, but more character driven than the first. We got the full effect of how society can fall to pieces during an apocalyptic situation. How truly fragile the thread is between a law abiding society and a free for all one. Each page drew me in deeper. It was so exciting to meet the different characters, “see” the prison through their eyes & the authors colorful words.
I felt the ending was bittersweet in a way. While it seemed like (and was) a good ending, I felt there was so much damage, of every type done to everyone, that I would never dare call it a truly happy ending. There were no real victories in my opinion. I was happy, don’t get me wrong, for how a few circumstances worked out, but I knew deep down they (characters) were not to rest easy for quite while after “The End”. I would love another book in this series. I’d love to see the story move towards a happier time, the characters more carefree. The end of the story is just perfect if you think about it. It was realistic and raw and I loved how it was not rainbows and puppy dogs. What needed to be wrapped up for us, was. The grim reality of their situation was too honest, yet refreshing. If that makes sense.
So….: I was taken on an honest and dark ride set in a world after society has fallen apart. I was given rays of hope via certain characters that not all goodness was lost. I was shown how to be a hero in a time when it was easier to be a criminal. This book, this story, the characters, I loved every bit of it. A definite must read for ANY dystopian fan.(less)