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After the Lights Go Out

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  699 ratings  ·  150 reviews
What happens when the lights go off after what might truly be an end-of-the-world event? How do you stay alive? Who do you trust? How much do you have to sacrifice?
'After the Lights Go Out is a terrifying yet hope-filled story of disaster, deceit, love, sacrifice and survival.' - Fleur Ferris

Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and t
Paperback, 330 pages
Published August 1st 2018 by Allen & Unwin
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 ·  699 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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AFTER THE LIGHTS GO OUT is a brilliant coming of age disaster survival story. It started to pop up on my radar as many blogger were starting to include it in their ‘Most anticipated releases for the second half of 2018’ lists. So when I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy I was overjoyed.

Pru Palmer is the main character and her father is a hard-core survivalist and conspiracy theorist. He is also a tad insane. Actually he has completely lost the plot but Prue and her sister’s trust their d
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

After The Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson. (2018).
*Young Adult Fiction

17 year old Pru lives with her 15 year old twin sisters and dad on the outskirts of an isolated mining community in Australia. The family are doonsday preppers and have a hidden bunker filled with supplies. One day when Pru's dad is at work, the power goes out. It's out everywhere and no one knows why. Everywhere quickly unravels as in the small town supplies are run
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
A gripping survivalist story with an Australian setting, reminiscent of Tomorrow When the War Began or The Sky So Heavy. However, this one has an added twist of the father being a survivalist who has taken extreme measures into protecting his family and training them in the art of surviving in the wilderness on their own. Not gonna lie, the father came across as a quack a few times and it was hard to understand his thinking, but I liked how Pru started questioning what he had taught them - as us ...more
Trigger warnings: violence, death, AIDS, anaphylaxis, (view spoiler).

I stand by everything I said last time. This was great and creepy and intense and generally fantastic.

This book had me hooked from the very first page, and it didn't let up the pace at all. It's equal parts dystopian and thriller. It's full of fantastic char
Zitong Ren
Provided by the State Library Victoria as part of the Inky Awards.

This would be the first book by an Australian Author that was longlisted for the Inky Awards(though by now the shortlist would already be out, and maybe the even winners, depending on when you are reading this). After the Lights Go Out is a dystopian/survival story that focuses in three sisters, Prudence, Grace and Blythe, alongside their dad who is a person that is called a ‘prepper’ which means that he is getting ready for all k
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, 2018
5/5 STARS. This review can also be found on my BLOG. :)


I finally got my teeth into this gorgeous book only a few weeks after meeting the lovely author and I really really enjoyed this book! You don’t hear much about contemporary sci-fi survivalist books nowadays and the concept behind this one was truly awesome and hella interesting.

So the fact that I read this book in less than 24 hours can give you an idea of how addictive and how well written this book was. I started reading it yesterd
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this and found it very difficult to put down.
Review to come, in the meantime...

I quite enjoyed this one and found it a lot easier to relate to the characters in this than I did those in The Boundless Sublime, though for the most part the writing wasn't as gut-punching and visceral in this book as it was in The Boundless Sublime.

Some interesting observations of preppers, paranoia, unhealthy relationships, and community.

The character did some silly things that seemed to immediately go against what she had been trained for... but then, if the
Quite enjoyed this one. A remote mining town in Australia. The lights go out, nothing electronic works, most of the people are 400km away at the mine. No problems for 17 yo Pru and her twin sisters; their father is a prepper who has built a doomsday bunker full of survival gear and has trained the girls in amazing survival skills. But Dad is away, the small town lacks food, water and medical supplies and Pru faces a dilemma - who is right, good old Dad with his dire warnings or the remaining peo ...more
This all seems possible. Loved the diversity and inclusiveness.

But that Rick. #prepper
The Nerd Daily
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Jayse Smith

The thing that makes Wilkinson’s novel scarier is the fact that the events which occur throughout are all things that could happen. What begins innocently enough when a father drags children to the mining town of Jubilee, which is literally the middle of nowhere, this feeling of innocence dissolves quickly as this YA novel becomes what’s being described as this decades’ ‘Tomorrow When The War Began’.

After what Prue Palmer believes is
Lexi // libraryoflexi
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!
I received this book from Allen&Unwin in exchange for an honest review.
And oh boy I was not disappointed! This was the Australian outback story about doomsday preppers that I didn’t know I needed in my life.
It was a ridiculously interesting book because I always wonder what I would do in an apocalyptic/end of the world situation and so I loved reading it.

I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that it was a completely different setting than I was used to. We’ve all seen some
Janelle Dazzlepants

After the Lights Go Out tells the story of Pru, the daughter of a mad doomsday prepper living in the Australian outback. Pru and her twin sisters think their dad is crazy and unnecessarily strict until one day their dad disappears and the world actually ends. Pru and the twins are left with a moral dilemma: do they let the town in on their secret and give up their stash, or do they save themselves and let their neighbours starve?

Rest assured, this is not a rapid degeneration into anarchy with i
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After the Lights Go Out definitely exceeded my expectations, I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. The plot is driven by action but also emotion that keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to work out what the outcome of every choice will be, and of course if they are even going to survive with the lights out. The book is very emotionally driven exploring what one will do for the sake of family.
I loved the fact that the novel takes place within a small outback town which is
Jodie- Readthewriteact
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was sent to me by the publisher for my honest review.

I feel like I have been searching for a book like this since I read John Marsdens Tomorrow Series and I am so pleased I have finally found it. Lili captures the essence of rural Australia and uses it perfectly as the backdrop of this doomsday tale.

The characters are so well constructed. You hate the ones you are meant to hate and love the ones you are meant to love. The whole premise of this book with a catastrophic event and the inn
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, read-2018
★★ 3.5 stars ★★
I loved the survivalist aspect and the character development, however; the plot was a bit inconsistent at times and the romance aspect was unnecessary in my opinion.
Jay-Dee Davis
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
"After the Lights Go Out" is a an example of really good young adult fiction. It has a diverse set of characters whose actions are realistic and have an Australian flair that feels very natural and familiar. Lili Wilkinson has really captured the Australian psyche, and has anchored her characters to their landscape. It doesn't shy away from some of the bad parts of our country, including casual and overt racism and sexism in her characters interactions in the very manner that it occurs in everyd ...more
Chloe Hughes
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Scary, thrilling and un-putdownable!

Prue Palmer and and her sisters Blythe and Grace have been taught about doomsday preparations by their father Rick and when the day comes when the power goes out in their mining community and across the country, the girls have to rely on each other and the people of their small town when their father doesn’t come back from the mines.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
review to come closer to publication date as per press release
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After the Lights Go Out continues in the long tradition of Australian fiction about the struggle for survival in the outback, this time, updated for the 21st century. Pru and her twin sisters, Blythe and Grace, moved to the tiny town of Jubilee with their father, an End of Days prepper. Their mother has left the family, and the girls have been swept up in their father's conviction that when the end comes, via an EMP (eclectromagnetic pulse that will take out everything electronic), society will ...more
Clare Snow
Update: 11/3/20

Turns out I was wrong. My boss is a consultant for mining companies in WA (not for OHS) and he told me that yes, sometimes a mining company will pay for an OHS trainer from the US. He also says its a total junket, but mining companies have a lot of money to throw around. So maybe you should disregard everything I say and read the book. It is a very clever take on the apocalypse.

I really liked the story, the setting, Pru's family. Not so much her crazy Dad - but he was
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*for fans of Tomorrow When The War Began*
I'd also recommend this to people that want to read My Absolute Darling, but don't want to deal with the triggers of physical abuse that it entails.

I love Tomorrow When The War Began series, and part of that was the imagining of the social breakdown after any kind of mass apocalyptic event (natural or otherwise).

So when I heard this was based around a survivalist story, I had to read it immediately! And I wasn't disappointed.

Fascinating insight into the
Jayne  Downes
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this thought provoking book.
An electromagnetic pulse shuts down the power grid meaning computers, phones, cars, hospitals and supermarkets can't function. The inhabitants of a small mining town in Australia are cut off from the rest of the world and don't know what has happened but must work together sharing resources to survive. Prue Palmer's father is a doomsday prepper and has prepared a bunker with supplies; in his absence Prue has to decide whether to share these supplies with the
Carolyn Denman
Near on perfect! Loved the Aussie outback setting, and the believable and complex characters. The dilemma of choosing between protecting family only or supporting community is such a valid theme, and was brilliantly explored. And yes, I missed my train stop because of this book! Read it in a day.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
For fans of 'Tomorrow When the War Began' and 'Carousel'.

Prudence Palmer lives with her father and two twin sisters in the very small country town of Jubilee in Western Australia.

Her father is a doomsday prepper - a man who believes the world and government is out to get his family. Like any normal person, he has an underground bunker filled with years worth of food, medical supplies, solar electricity and weapons to protect his family.

Pru and her sisters play along with their father and his sch
Beppie Keane
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Would be 3.5 stars if Goodreads permitted!

My Goodreads Rating Rubric:
5 Stars: Author at the top of their game, could not wish for any improvements. If there's a sequel, I need to be reading it yesterday.
4 Stars: Excellent book that I thoroughly enjoyed, written by a skilled author; perhaps one or two minor things that threw me out, but not in a significant way. Will jump on any sequels as soon as I can (if applicable).
3 Stars: I enjoyed this book, but there were a few things that threw me out or
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People wanting to stay up late
Recommended to Zohal by: Amie Kaufman raves about this book
This is one of those cases of 'If you loved this book, then you'll love this book'.

If you loved The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James, then you will love this book :)

The writing is great, the characters are fascinating, the outback setting is beautiful and the story is gripping. The climax is very intense. An awesome survival story with a lot of substance on how communities and people are affected by catastrophes and how power dynamics evolve and develop. There are some more nuanc
Sam (she_who_reads_)
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book grabbed my attention from page 1 and kept me hooked all the way through. After The Lights Go Out is a fantastic survivorlist story, set in the Australian outback. The characters where really well developed, the writing was evocative, and everything that occurred seemed terrifyingly plausible. There were a few instances of some fairly heavy handed social commentary that came from one character in particular- and while I liked its inclusion, it tended to take me out of the story. I wish ...more
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent post- apocalyptic novel set in a small country town in Australia. Pru and her younger twin sisters Blythe and Grace live with their dad, who has built a bunker underground with supplies in case of the end of the world as we know it.

But when disaster happens thanks to a solar storm, the girls are on their own, with their father possibly dead along with others at the local mine. It is up to Pru and her sisters to make choices: put themselves first and help no one as their Dad trained th
WOW. This book is seriously intense and thought-provoking.

Do we let ourselves be ruled by fear and greed? Or do we come together with kindness and compassion?

How far would you go to survive? What would you do for family? This book does a fantastic job of exploring these issues in a terrifying but also hopeful way.

A terrific read set in the unforgiving but beautiful Australian outback with a diverse cast (Puerto Rican character, HIV positive character, and a bisexual main character).

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Lili Wilkinson was born in Melbourne, Australia, in the front room where her parents still live. She is an only child, and loves it. She was first published when she was 12, in Voiceworks Magazine. After studying Creative Arts at Melbourne University, Lili was employed by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria, where she manages, a highly acclaimed all-a ...more

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