In The After by Demitria Lunetta
Release Date: June 25, 2013
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In this heart-pounding thriller from debut author Demitria Lunetta, one girl must fight for her survival in a world overrun by violent, deadly creatures. Perfect for fans of New York Times bestsellers like Across the Universe.
Amy Harris's life changed forever when They took over. Her parents-vanished. The government-obsolete. Societal structure-nonexistent. No one knows where They came from, but these vicious creatures have been rapidly devouring mankind since they arrived.
With fierce survivor instincts, Amy manages to stay alive-and even rescues "Baby," a toddler who was left behind. After two years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a survivor's colony built on a former government research facility. On the surface, it appears to be safe. But there are dark and twisted secrets lurking beneath that, once uncovered, could have Amy and Baby paying with not only their freedom...but their lives.
Demitria Lunetta will hook readers with this suspenseful, cinematic, action-packed page-turner, while giving hungry YA audiences a new heroine to cheer for.
Right from the start I loved this book. You are thrown into the action from the beginning. The story is mostly told in the present with flashbacks of Amy's past. I think people who liked Ann Aguirre's Razorland series would love this book. It is action packed with a relatable main character. I read this book in one day, so that pretty much shows how much I liked it.
Amy Harris was fourteen when They first came. The monsters are hideous, snarly, scary predators that are incredible fast with impeccable hearing. The monsters took everything from her, friends, family, a normal life. She has to adapt to survive. In one of the first flashbacks you see her having to venture out of her home for the first time to get food and her looking back thinking she should have died. She has to learn to kill to survive. She eventually finds a toddler in the grocery store and deliberates whether she should rescue her or leave the toddler to die, but saving herself. Luckily, she rescues the toddler and names her Baby.
Baby is sweet, but mysteriously quiet. I enjoyed how Amy still told Baby fairy tales, which gave Baby something to believe in. Even during a post-apocalypse it was nice to think you can still get a Happily Ever After. Since Baby is only three when she is found she has no vocal skills and Amy develops an adapted version of sign language to use with Baby. I really liked that addition to the novel. I though it was something different that I haven't seen in the science fiction that I have read before. This way of communication probably saved them and allowed them to survive in silence for so long.
After three years of surviving she and Baby are rescued and brought to New Hope. To be honest once they were rescued and brought to New Hope I kind of lost a bit of interest in the story. I think this was mostly because I really liked Amy's narrative of survival and it switched from survival to her adapting to society. I also didn't really like the introduction of the love interest. I think the book could have stood on its own without this. It has a great story about survival and adaption. It just always seems a love interest is thrown into YA science fiction.
Overall, I thought this was a great debut for the author. It had a strong plot with interesting characters. There were some points that were predictable in the book. I guessed half the ending, but the other half I didn't really see coming. I can't wait for the author's next book.