Monday, 23 September 2013

Review: In The After

In The After

Publication Date: June 25th 2013      
Publisher: Harper Teen
They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.
The world as you know it has ended. For Amy, she was watching television when it happened, when the world was invaded by aliens and ended her life as she knew it. Her father was assumed dead, and her mother was protected, but still unsure whether she was alive. Amy was left alone, but after a few days she stopped wallowing and stepped up. She adapted. She lived.
She survived.
Day in, day out, a day at a time but she's here, she's still alive.
She doesn't know who else is still alive, and for all she knows, she's the last human on earth.
Slowly, she starts seeing more and more survivors and meets Baby, a toddler in the supermarket and takes her under her wing.
They start living.
A life, a structure, a home.
Until it's ripped out from under them and they get tangled in with New Hope.
A society of thousands, survivors and New Hope children born into the next generation.
The biggest threat Amy knew was outside.
It's a whole different story on the inside.
At first, I thought this was abut zombies. But it's 'aliens', and after reading the 5th Wave, that I absolutely loved, I thought I'd like this just the same. I did, but there was something just missing for me. Everything was there, the plot was thought out, if not a little predictable , the writing was engaging and it kept me reading, but the characters.
They were alright, I liked Amy's 'voice' and since the first quarter actually reads through with minimal actual talking, and kept me interested, I thought I was onto a winner. The story's told in three separate parts.
The After
New Hope.
As I went on it began to wane , I don't know I just lost interest with the characters completely throughout the middle, I preferred the After and The Guardian, it's where most of the action was. I got bored with the middle, it was necessary, and it was interesting to a certain extent but it took me a longer than usual to get through that part.
The production of the Florae I really loved, and they're not exactly what they seem. Like I said, a little predictable, I guessed it halfway through, but still it was good, and it was done well. The structure of New Hope, with the rules and procedures and regulations are what I've seen in others, and the corruption and cruel side of the secrets are alike every other post-apocalyptic world out there, but the difference with In the After is that it's about balance and what needs to be done and it's exceptional cruel and cold.  Worlds fall apart without leadership, but the leadership in question will also make it fall.
Amy was strong, she had her little breakdown and then she sucked it up and taught herself what she had to, to survive, even if it's unmoral. You live in a world where everything is wrong and bad, where rules no longer apply, everything and nothing is acceptable. Morals don't really matter. It made me respect her, the way she was. She might have been cold at times, but it was her cage, it protected her. As I said, I did like Amy's voice, even if it was a bit stand-offish, but she was a fighter and she didn't fall in line. She wasn't stupid.
Baby She was strange, exceptional quiet, a little weird and a little gullible. She had instincts, she knew how to be quiet, how to dissolve into the background, but her people instincts were bad, but she's only young, so there you go. Though, being in that kind of world I thought she would've been more suspicious, not so trusting, and I hated the way she kind of through Amy aside when somebody knew came along, especially after everything she'd done for her.
Rice, uhm. He was...there. He was guarded, secretive, a little annoying. I didn't really like him to be honest, but he wasn't bad. He protected his own. But he knew and he falls in line. I didn't trust him, he wasn't quite like Amy's mother, but he's getting there. At least he sees the bad as well as the good.
Amber..., nope. Still can't muster any sympathetic feelings whatsoever. See ya.
Let's talk romance, In the After has it, too, but it felt like it was added on for benefit and it didn't seem...real. I didn't get it to be honest, I didn't feel the connection at all and Rice just got on my nerves a little. I mean, he was nice, sure, but there was no spark. Nothing.
What I loved most was the intense  and chilling atmosphere, and the supermarket scene really reminded me of the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park, and it's one of my favourites. So I loved that, and the relationship between Amy and Baby pre Amber, and after Amber.  The scenes with the Florae were particularly awesome and you could really feel the fear, and the fact that the Gareth, the gay character in In the After, wasn't camp or stereotyped. And lastly, the modified sign language. Working with special needs children, I know the basics but I've always wanted to learn it properly.
Overall, it was a really interesting take on what you think it's being taken on. And then there's that. It's unique in its own amongst the others, like Julie Kagawas' Blood of Eden.
Definitely a must-read.
Rating: 4/5