After the End (After the End 1) by Amy Plum
Published by Harper Collins
4 out of 5 stars
Format: Egalley (out May 6th 2014)
I love Amy Plum, correction, I LOVED Amy Plum until the last Revenants book, where I found the series lost its magic (and I’ve still not finished it) but in general, Plums writing is well executed, fun and brings new stories about old themes to life again. So I was keen to read her first book in the new series.
After the End is a post-apocalyptic story, Juneau and her clan survived the 1983 third world war by escaping to the wilds of Alaska and living in one with the world. In Juneau’s clan no-one gets old or sick, and all children are born with a distinctive eye mark, a ‘starburst’ signifying their closeness to nature, or as they call it ‘the yara’. Juneau can read the earth, find loved ones at a distance and even tell the future. But she did not predict the day bandits came and took her family, shot all their dogs and left. Now they are on the hunt for Juneau and the secrets her blood might hold. Juneau’s journey takes her to some places she never expected and makes her question everything her family and clan have told her, but they are relying on her to save them – so with the help of one ‘who will take her far’ she journeys across an unknown world, fighting for survival and finally starts to discover who she really is.
What a great book, the first few chapters were confusing, flitting from one world to another with no clue about dates and timings, but it soon starts to even out and the reader works out whats happened, long before the characters do. I loved that sense of discovery that Plum has painted into the book, and whilst there is an undercurrent of magic and sci-fi, it doesn’t take away from the honest story, the heartbreak facing Juneau and the difficult choices she faces.
Its really hard to write the good bits about the book without giving the plot away, there is a love story, but its not overwhelming, and although obvious its still heartwarming. The ending is a jaw dropper and as I read this as an egalley, I’ve got even longer to wait than usual, which is extremely frustrating!
Plum has brought back the spark that was found in the first Revenants book, the world of the innocent characters explodes, but its done so well that the reader is there with them, feeling every hit as its goes along, and every time they pick themselves up another disaster is on its way!
An excellent read, and I’m looking forward to book 2, the only reason it got 4 not 4.5 or 5, was down to the confusion at first, whilst I know that the reader needs to be a little in the dark there was a bit too much ‘huh’ for me, perhaps something that will be solved with a good synopsis and/or some different chapter headings in the final edit.
***This egalley was kindly provided via the publisher and edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review***