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After Elias

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  86 reviews
A tragedy shatters Coen’s carefully constructed life.

When the airplane piloted by Elias Santos crashes one week before their wedding day, Coen Caraway loses the man he loves and the illusion of happiness he has worked so hard to create. The only thing Elias leaves behind is a recording of his final words, and even Coen is baffled by the cryptic message.

Numb with grief, he
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 12th 2020 by Dundurn (first published September 2020)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Anna Luce
★★★★✰ 4.5 stars (rounded up to 5)

From its heartbreaking first pages, to its lump-in-your-throat epilogue, After Elias is an emotionally charged novel.

“People can bring you pain, but nothing will hurt more than the pain you inflict on yourself.”

Grief, guilt, regret, and fear dominate Tan’s narrative. Coen Caraway and Elias Santos are meant to have a fairy-tale wedding and live happily ever after. One week before their big day, the airplane piloted by Elias crashes into the Arctic Ocean, leaving
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
“You look so happy. I want to believe it. I really do. But I know how good you are at pretending.”

A plane crashes into the ocean, and Coen Carraway loses the man he loves. He and Elias are due to get married just one week later on a paradisal Mexican island. Among rumours and suggestions in the news that the crash could have had a sinister cause, Coen decides to go ahead with the celebration planned for their wedding day, turning it into a celebration of Elias's life.

Friends and family of Coen
Maria Zuppardi
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful story that will have you wondering what’s really happened right until the very end (and beyond)
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest critique.

I had not heard of the book or the author before coming across the this LGBTQ+ title while “browsing” through NetGalley. It was a quick read, but not for any luck of substance, quite the opposite. There was a great mix of universal truths and “home truths” along the way, many heartbreaking moments, often leavened with hard-won humor, and some interesting twists along the way. Ultimately, I would say that this book ab
Stephen Kilpatrick
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was very lucky to read an advanced copy of After Elias. First of all stop what you’re doing and read this book. And let me grab some tissues. Wow. I honestly only chose to read this because of the cover (I love planes) but what a surprise. I read the whole thing in 2 days. After Elias tells the story of Coen who is Elias’s fiancé dealing with the aftermath of Elias’s sudden death in a plane crash. The scenes in Vancouver gave me nostalgia for the time I spent living there a few years ago. It w ...more
Vanessa N
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book before it was published and it is amazing! I promise it will make you gasp, cry, long and I don't want to give anything away, but you will definitely have a moment of shock where you flip the pages back reread a few because you can't believe what happens. I strongly recommend it.
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, arcs
What is life anyway if not merely a collection of stories we tell ourselves?

This a debut book that drips with melancholy and dread. Intentionally so I might say. Though, to Tan's credit there is also some levity, and love flickering within the darkness. Hope and healing are just beneath the surface, and for much of the novel they are out of Coen Caraway's reach. You see, he's just lost the love of his life, his life line, in a deadly plane crash. Mere days before their wedding. And for many of t
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
What are these feelings? They have no name.

Thank you so much Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this book before its release in exchange of a review.

I picked up this book because it sounded heart wrenching and bittersweet, and it was just that, but in a very unexpected way.

We follow Coen, a man who lost the love of his life and fiancée in an airplane crash few days before their wedding and we see how we tries to cope with grief in his own way.

But then, many truths started coming
Natalie Jenner
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
AFTER ELIAS by Canadian debut author Eddy Boudel Tan promises from the start to be a puzzle: an airline pilot about to be married is killed in a crash and immediately pegged as the main suspect in the disaster. But this is no simple mystery, and the layered psychological struggles and revelations of Elias's grief-stricken fiance kept me furiously turning pages until the very end. With chapters that shift through time along with the narrator's emotions, a cast of very real but relatable secondary ...more
Andrea Wesley
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of After Elias. I was instantly drawn into the story as Coen learns about his fiance's death days before their wedding, eager to see his reaction to such a devastating tragedy. The events that follow (the suspicion cast on Elias after a mysterious message is revealed, Coen's determination to proceed with the wedding as a celebration of life despite everyone's apprehensions, the memories that allude to a darker truth beneath the surface) had me captivate ...more
Oct 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, lgtbqplus
1.0 Stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free e-arc.

While reading this novel I was diligently taking notes on my phone for the purposes of drafting this review; sadly, none of these notes reflect much praise or enjoyment on my part concerning this novel.

First off, I need to mention that I did not realise that the author, Eddy Boudel Tan, took heavy inspiration from the widely publicised tragedy of 2015, when the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 intentionally cr
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Though I can't think of many times the words tender and thriller would go together, a tender thriller is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of how to describe AFTER ELIAS. Through learning of the tragedy that ruins Coen's perfect wedding day, we fall in love with some characters, fall out of love, then fall back into a more complicated sort of love with them. AFTER ELIAS is ultimately a story of healing and realizing that all our loved ones are far more complicated than we would lik ...more
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! This is a debut author and I am so impressed with this book. This is a character driven story with some elements of suspense. Coen has planned the perfect destination wedding for him and his fiancé Elias. Coen heads from his Vancouver home to wait for Elias and their family and friends to join him in Mexico. Elias has one more flight as a pilot before he arrives for the wedding. Horrifically Elias’s plane crashes and there are no survivors. Coen decides to turn what would have ...more
Jessica Haider
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, lgbtq, fiction
Coen Caraway is waiting for his fiancé Elias to arrive in Mexico at the hotel where they plan to get married within the week. Then, the news arrives that the commercial airliner that Elias was co-piloting crashed into the ocean and that all 300+ people aboard are presumed dead. To make it worse, the last thing heard over the radio was Elias saying a mysterious phrase. People begin the suspect that Elias may have made the plane crash. Coen can't believe that Elias would purposely crash the plane ...more
Valeria Orlando
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading ARCs and I enjoy even more reading a debut novel. I usually read romance and I didn't really know what to expect from this book, even if I didn't find the cover alluring, I was intrigued by the blurb. The writing is very good, I liked the setting and idea behind the book. The story is heartbreaking and touched me deeply, maybe it is because of my own demons but I didn't cry so much reading a book in a long time.
Amy Dufera
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
After Elias is an impressive story with an important message. This Eddy Boudel Tan novel is an interesting one for sure.

It truly reminds you that we don't fully know anyone other than ourselves. We often forget this, think we know people, and when you really think about it, we don't.

This story starts with Elias' death. What follows is Coen's story, as he deals with, or doesn't deal with his fiancee's death. The mystery is well done, definitely keeping the reader intrigued throughout.

That said,
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Powerful and compelling, this was an introspective and poignant look at life and trauma and survival.
Olivia Ann
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Sometimes we try to control so much of ourselves that we are bound to become undone. Our emotions and instincts are not designed to be controlled. It is okay to not hold on so tightly”.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Ugh. UGH. THIS BOOK. I have not been this wrecked by a novel, let alone a debut novel, in a very long time. This book is equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming...which doesn’t sound like it should make sense but it SO does. I laughed, I cried,
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and Dundurn Press for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Can I give this book ten stars? To say this story---inspired by the Germanwings flight 9525 plane crash in March 2015---was jam-packed with intensity and suspense is an understatement---but not the type of suspense you'd find in a thriller or action scene. Grief itself can be intense and suspenseful, and After Elias captures that raw human emotion effortlessly with the reminder that there is no right or
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"What is life anyway if not merely a collection of stories we tell ourselves? The memories we embellish and and the things we choose to forget. These Illusions protect us. They help us survive."

After Elias is a beautiful heart wrenching, emotional read with dark themes of death, grief, regret, depression, and guilt. It takes a lot to make me cry but this had me trying to compose myself while reading the final pages.

Coen and Elias are so close to having their fairy tale wedding and ha
Emma P
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off, a special thanks to Stephanie Ellis and Dundurn Press for an advanced reader copy on NetGalley and Edelweiss +!

“After Elias” is the story of Coen Caraway as he deals with the loss of his fiance who he was set to marry in just a couple of days in Mexico. Instead of canceling the destination wedding he and his fiance had planned, Coen decides to turn the event into a celebration of life for Elias, but while he’s working through the shock and grief of Elias’s death, news stations start s
TABI⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
Jul 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
idk if reading this is a good idea for me since my boyfriend is a pilot and this will only fuel my fears about his job risks . . . BUT this looks beautiful and amazing so I need it
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with an advance copy of "After Elias" in exchange for an honest review.

Coen is a wealthy young Canadian with a severe depressive disorder who has traveled to the Mexican resort island where his luxurious wedding will be held when he learns that his fiance, a gruff, mysterious pilot, has died in an airplane crash that kills 317 other people, and which he might have planned. It's a set-up absolutely dripping with potential. "After Elias" could be a book about
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After Elias is fantastic. I know “I couldn’t put it down” is cliche, but I carried the book around with me instead of my cell phone and snuck in stray minutes of reading whenever I could.

Coen Caraway’s wedding to handsome and accomplished pilot Elias Santos was supposed to mark the beginning of the rest of their lives. Seven days before the wedding, the plane Elias is flying crashes into the sea, which is suspected to be an intentional act. Through the aftermath, as well as within narratives of
Sunni C. | vanreads
This was a very difficult book for me to review, but I think I've finally thought it through and hopefully my review does it justice! I struggled to write this review, because while it's a tragic book, it's also heartwarming in a way, so I was very confused by my conflicting emotions. However, after much thought, I think I have figured out why it is so for me.

The story follows Coen, a groom-to-be waiting in Mexico for his fiancée, Elias to arrive from his last piloting shift before their weddin
Brina (Brina and the Books)
2 Stars

Thank you NetGalley and Dundurn Press for providing me with an early copy of After Elias.

Read this and other reviews here: Brina and the Books

I was really looking forward to reading After Elias, especially after reading the foreword. My expectations for this novel grew even higher after learning what inspired Eddy Boudel Tan to write this story. However, the outcome couldn’t meet my expectations.
Looking back, it’s difficult to say what those expectations were in detail. I was probably hop
Apr 23, 2020 added it
I received a copy of “After Elias” by debut author Eddy Bouldel Tan. I had some issues with the plot and the structure of the book, but I enjoyed the read.

Seven days before his wedding, Coen’s fiancé, Elian, crashes a commercial jet into the Arctic Ocean. Coen is stuck at the resort in Mexico and decides to proceed with the wedding as a celebration of life. Rumors emerge that the crash may not have been accidental. Coen’s life starts to unravel as his parents, brother, and best friend travel to
Coen is staying at a lovely hotel and planning for a wedding when he hears the news that his partner's plane has crashed. In fact, Coen's partner - Elias - was the co-pilot. In a whirl of emotion and fear, Coen insists on family and friends coming down to the resort so they can turn what would have been their wedding into a celebration of life for Elias.

Through a mixture of the past and the present, Eddy Boudel Tan weaves a remarkable story. It's not often that I am completely surprised by a sto
Ramblin Hamlin
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Dundurn Press for the opportunity to read this book early in exchange for my honest review. After Elias releases October 6th.

Both heartbreaking and beautiful, this story lets us into the life of Coen who travels to Mexico ahead of his partner Elias. They are to be married when tragedy occurs. The plane that Elias is piloting crashes killing everyone on board. He has one final message that leaves everyone, including Coen confused and looking for answers. Coen must confron
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An emotionally powerful story and beautifully written novel. Full of mysterious twists & turns, and such carefully crafted words & sentences that immerse you right into each scene. It's a eye-opening rollercoaster that provides perspective on a wide spectrum of emotions. Definitely a great read, highly recommend it! ...more
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Eddy Boudel Tan is the author of two novels, After Elias (2020) and The Rebellious Tide (2021). His work depicts a world much like our own — the heroes are flawed, truth is distorted, and there is as much hope as there is heartbreak. Apart from being a writer and a traveller, he serves home-cooked meals to those living on the streets as cofounder of the Sidewalk Supper Project. He lives with his h ...more

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“Elias, I want you to know that I loved you. Despite your flaws. Despite your secrets.” 0 likes
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