Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

Title: After the End (After the End #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Release date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: eARC
Pages: 254
Source: Edelweiss

"I have no idea what is truth and what is fiction. I'm all I've got now. I can't trust anyone."

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 from 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 was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's 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.

After a string of okay-ish/mediocre reads, I'm really glad to say I loved this one! After the End is an awesome YA dystopian with a unique premise and a fantastic protagonist. And with that ending, I've got to say the sequel is already on par with my other most anticipated ones.

Juneau lives with a few dozen others in a remote Alaskan area, in the aftermath of World War III. There's no electricity, no technology. The survivors live as hunter-gatherers in the wild. They aren't helpless, though. They have established a connection with the earth, the Yara, and with it come abilities unheard of anywhere else. Juneau's one of the best at them. But when her entire clan is abducted suddenly, she's left all alone and realizes she has to find them. After leaving Alaska, Juneau's shocked to find a thriving civilization in cities that are most definitely not ruined. Everything she knew has been a lie, and Juneau needs to figure out why.

Dystopian heroines are normally really awesome and badass anyway, but Juneau's definitely one of my favourites. She has that brave, courageous personality, and she's also very determined. She's really out of her element in the modern-day world, since she's not used to any of it. But she adapts amazingly well. There are people chasing her, and she manages to hold her own really well too. Of course, that's with help from Miles, the boy she needs help from but can't trust. Miles, too, needs Juneau. But he won't tell her why. So when the entire truth comes out, there's a lot of betrayed feelings.

We get an alternate dual POV from Juneau and Miles. In the beginning, we find out more about Juneau and not much about Miles. In fact, he seems like a guy throwing away his life and all the amazing opportunities he has. But we get to know Miles a lot more as the novel progresses. In all honesty, he's not the best male protagonist. Kind of far from it, actually. But despite his flaws I grew to like him a lot later on. All Miles wants is to show his father he's capable of something, and worthy of heading to Yale in the fall. And finding Juneau is his key to that. His close-mindedness annoyed me at first but then I realized I wouldn't have believed anything of Juneau's powers either. 

I liked the two of them together, though. Even when they didn't trust each other. It's pretty hilarious seeing Miles's reaction to someone as eccentric as Juneau. He really does think she's crazy at first. And for quite a while, too. Juneau, on the other hand, thinks Miles is completely useless if not for the fact that he has to help her get around. But somewhere over time, they get over their differences. I love seeing the little seeds of affection being planted, and then growing into something more.

Finding out the truth about everything Juneau's ever known is definitely shocking. I wasn't expecting it, and though it does provide a reasonable explanation for everything, it took away some of the magical element of things. But there are other questions I have that are still unanswered, and I'm really intrigued as to how the author will resolve those in the next book.

I have a feeling this will shape up to be an amazing dystopian series - though I heard somewhere that it's a duology. In which case, it'll still be amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading After the End, and it's reminded me why I love this genre so much.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

3 comments:

  1. I didn't like this one as much, don't get me wrong, I thought it was okay, there was just something...missing for me. I couldn't really connect to either of them, but I did prefer Juneau than Miles (and the both of them together was hilarious, and was probably the only thing that kept me reading). I just didn't feel there was much of a plot than just a set-up for the rest of the series, which is okay, but I was just a bit bored. Glad you enjoyed it more than me though! :)


    Kirsty @ StudioReads

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  2. I didn't really enjoy her Revenant series, so I'm looking forward to reading this. I'm glad that it is quite an enjoyable one!

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  3. Hmm I am getting sorta tired of seeing the same kind-of-ish dystopian novel after dystopian novel. But this one seems different because she knows the world is out there now and she has to adjust to it. I am looking forwards to trying this to get a break from the regular.

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/04/sherlock-holmes-game-of-shadows.html

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