Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Becky's View: After The End by Amy Plum


After The End by Amy Plum
♦publisher: HarperTeen
♦release date: May 6th, 2014
♦hardcover, 336 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: After the End, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
"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.

Review:  After the End is the start of another promising series from Amy Plum.  I honestly wasn't sure going into this one---I've lately started to cool on dystopians a bit, but to my wonderful surprise, this turned out not to be a dystopian at all!! Most of the story takes place in modern west coast America, so frankly this reads like a contemporary adventure with a touch of earthly magic thrown.  This turned out to be a story that I simply couldn't put down.  

I've seen many people liken this to the movie "The Village" (which I actually liked,...so sue me lol) but beyond the very basic idea of a group of adults who start a commune and pretend like the outside world doesn't exist, the similarity pretty much ends there. When Juneau returns from a hunt to find her village ravaged and her clan missing, she doesn’t hesitate to strike out on a quest to rescue them. Following clues given to her by a magical connection to the earth called the Yara, she’s led to a place that she’s been told her whole life no longer existed: the modern world. Having been taught that everything was destoryed by a third World War, Juneau is shocked to discover the truth: there was no WWIII and her whole life is built on a lie.  Her strength and determination is clear by the way she takes this all in, but still forges on, knowing she can't let this shock derail her mission to find her family.  Even knowing her father lied to her, she tells herself she can deal with that once she knows he is safe. 

The story is told is alternating viewpoints between Juneau and Miles, a boy whose father is after Juneau for reasons he doesn't quite understand.  He’s desperate to be back in his father’s good graces and thinks finding Juneau will do just that. He and Juneau have a hard time seeing eye-to-eye; she’s wary of trusting him and he suspects she’s insane. There are times when I thought he was just being an ass, but then to look at it realistically, he was just having a hard time buying Juneau's story and her odd ways---it's likely the way most people in the modern world would react to a person who claims to be magical and says she was raised in what sounded very much like a cult to him.  Still, they manage to be curious enough about each other to eventually form a bond.  It made for a story that's not centered around a romance, which was fine by me in this case, as I really liked the way their relationship progressed.  The action and adventure of the plot stayed in center stage, which is what kept me turning page after page.  I also really enjoyed the nature magic the author created and how Juneau grew to believe more in herself than all the talismans and trinkets she was taught to depend on.


I definitely intend on picking up book 2; my investment in these characters demands it after that ending! The ending leaves you dangling in the worst possible way---still exciting and heart-stopping, but an utterly torturous cliffhanger.  But even with that, this thrilling story of earthly magic, determination, and a girl rediscovering the world is truly engaging. 


Find Amy Plum online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase After The End:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

 

12 comments :

  1. I also loved The Village. Scared the bejeezus out of me!

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    1. LOL, oh good. Glad I'm not alone on that one. :D

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  2. After The End is already in my reading list but I really thought this was another dystopian book too. But I'm really intrigue about all that magical stuff Juneau's believing to and how Amy Plum incorporated. Great review Becky!

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    1. Thanks, Von! Yes, especially with that cover, it definitely gives a dystopian feel! The magic is really neat, closest to what I think of as like Native American folklore "one-with-the-earth" magic. I hope you really enjoy this one when you get to it!

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  3. Agh! Evil cliffhanger? But still. It sounds like an awesome book :D And I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. <3 Great review sweetie. I'm excited to read this book as well; hoping to read it soonish :)

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    1. Yes, excellent exciting ending, but one of those cliffhangers that makes you crazy for a year until you find out what happens next. Torture. But I still loved this. LOL

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  4. I loved this one too! Such an awesome premise for a dystopian. And gosh, that cliffhanger killed me, I can't wait for book 2! Great review :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did! We can be tortured over that cliffhanger together! Haha..

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  5. This makes me happy because I've won this book thru Goodreads First Reads program, just waiting for it to arrive. It makes me happy knowing I have an exciting read to look forward to.

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    1. Lucky!! I think I've entered a billion giveaways on Goodreads and never won a single one! LOL. I hope you enjoy this one, Tammy!

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  6. I've been looking forward to reading this book since I saw that cover! I didn't even have to read the synopsis (although I later did)! I still want to read it and I couldn't be happier that it's releasing very soon! I'm not psyched about the story leaving me tortured at the end though...I hate that! It makes me feel like I'll go insane if I don't get the next book soon. And I have a question, does Juneau and Miles strictly stay friends or does it develop into something? Thank you for reviewing this book! :D

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    1. In my best River Song voice: "Spoilers, sweetie!!" :D



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