I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.After the End by Amy Plum
Series: After The End #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-05-06
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Nature & the Natural World, Young Adult
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Michael Grant's Gone series meets M. Night Shyamalan's The Village in this riveting story of one girl's journey to save the very people who have lied to her for her entire life. Amy Plum, internationally bestselling author of the Die for Me series, delivers a fast-paced adventure perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Robison Wells.Juneau grew up fearing the outside world. The elders told her that beyond the borders of their land in the Alaskan wilderness, nuclear war had destroyed everything. But when Juneau returns from a hunting trip one day and discovers her people have been abducted, she sets off to find them. And leaving the boundaries for the very first time, she learns the horrifying truth: World War III never happened. Nothing was destroyed. Everything she'd ever been taught was a lie.As Juneau comes to terms with an unfathomable deception, she is forced to survive in a completely foreign world, using only the skills and abilities she developed in the wild. But while she's struggling to rescue her friends and family, someone else is after her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about her secret past.
If you have a readathon coming up, like the April Dewey 24 Hour Readathon, it would behoove you to put Amy Plum’s After The End on your stack, if you have it in your possession. After The End has all the hallmarks of a perfect readathon book: first chapters, exciting story, consistent action, and a relatively short page count. Friends, I really gobbled After The End up. I was entranced by Juneau and Miles, the two main characters and their journey.
Juneau lives in the Alaskan wilds in the wake of Mount Denali (I always thought that was just a Northface jacket, FYI) with her clan. She is a fantastic hunter and is poised to become the next Sage of the clan. You see, Juneau lives in a world that has been ravaged by World War III and nuclear war. Her clan are among the only people who survived and so, they must watch out for brigands who want to disrupt their way of life. Her clan leads a life that is harmonious with nature. All is well until one day, Juneau comes back from a hunting expedition with her two dogs, Beckett and Neruda to discover that her clan’s outpost is empty and blood is everywhere. Fair warning, there is dog death, but not of Juneau’s dogs that you meet, but of dogs you haven’t met. Meanwhile, the other main character, Miles is in LA and working in the mail room of his dad’s pharmaceutical company after being expelled for cheating. When Miles overhears his dad talking about the girl being key to everything and about the girl running away, he gets it into his head to go after the girl because it will impress his dad and go a long way to getting Miles into Yale, now that he has been wait-listed. After The End follows the incredible journey that Juneau and Miles must take to save Juneau’s clan and to improve Miles’s standing with his dad.
Juneau is a total survivor, y’all. I love reading about characters who know how to live off the land and rugged individuals. I love it even more when it’s a girl. Weird, I know, but there’s something that’s so appealing to me about being self-sufficient. Anyways. Juneau cares very deeply for her Clan and her dad who was also abducted, and so, she goes beyond the boundary of her Clan’s territory and slowly discovers that World War III never happened and that much of her life has been a lie. So, Juneau has to rectify what she’s been told and believes with what she sees with her own eyes. She has to sort between truth and lie and adjust to the modern world.
I actually really enjoyed Miles’s character development as well. He starts the book off as a smarmy little bastard. Like, he’s a typical teenage boy. He does some stupid things and it seems like he expects no consequences for his actions because he is loaded and dad can just buy his way out. Then, he gets so determined to find the girl, to find Juneau. They meet and it’s a bit like oil and water. Miles thinks that Juneau is off her rocker. She talks a lot about these visions she has and what she is supposed to do. Juneau doesn’t trust Miles and that is with good reason. Yet, as the book goes along, as the two continue their journey following Juneau’s directions, it is like Miles matures and stops being such a dick. It’s actually gratifying to see his character develop, I will admit. Don’t get me wrong, he still does some stupid and not so good things, but it’s in keeping with his character and makes logical, established sense.
Plum’s world building in After The End is actually really unique, at least that is what I thought. Like, you don’t quite know what is what. You see, Juneau has this ability to connect to this thing called the Yara which is like the material spirit of all living things and to get it to do her will. Well, it’s more complicated than that. However, she has a crisis of faith and isn’t sure if the Yara is real or if it is something else. Juneau learns to question everything. There are things that Juneau can do with the Yara called Reading which means that she can look at a fire or interact with a person in an altered state to view her family or to view a prophecy of the future and the path she should take. Juneau is also good at what is called Conjuring, meaning she manipulates elements to perform feats that will help her along the way, like disguise and such. It’s cool. I am curious how Plum’s foundation for Juneau’s “magic” will play out in the next book in the series.
After The End is a fast read. It is written in alternating first person chapters between Miles and Juneau. There might just be a little bit of romance too, but I won’t go in depth on that in this review. I found all of the action to be exciting as well, like I am the sort of person who might read a chapter or two between tasks on my to do list, but this was a book where I was reading five chapters at a time and totally zooming along. Seriously, if you have a readathon coming up After The End by Amy Plum will serve you perfectly.
By: Amy Plum
Published by: Harper Teen
Hitting Book Shelves on: May 6, 2014
About Amy Plum
Each stop on the tour will be hosting a giveaway! We’re giving away:
– 13 SIGNED After The End books
– 6 iPhone After the End shells.
*This is open Internationally*
To enter, please be sure to fill out the form featured on each stop along the tour.
The first 300 people who pre-order AFTER THE END and show proof of their pre-order will receive one of these limited edition After The End water bottles. *see below*
The Blog Tour
Be sure to follow the entire After The End blog tour! Trust me, you don’t want to miss this Truth or Dare themed tour stops! Authors like Beth Revis, Kimberly Derting, Josephine Angelini & more will be on the tour. As Amy mentioned in her recent newsletter, the truth-or-dare theme is particularly relevant to AFTER THE END, since Juneau’s oracle has said she has to tell the truth or she won’t find her clan.