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2014-06-18T10:09:45+02:00

After The End by Amy Plum

Publié par Léatitia

 

 

After the End 

by Amy Plum

 

 

 

To start this review, I have to say that I had great expectations for this new series written by Amy Plum. I loved the Revenants saga and I could not wait to read something different from such a talented author. I followed the blog tour and the excerpts revealed in the last few months and it prepared me for what I was about to discover when reading After the End. I was not disappointed at all. Before explaining why this novel deserves five stars (goodreads), I want to point out that Die For Me and After the End are not in the same genre and are two very different reading experiences

Here we don't have just one main character, but two! With a smart and well-constructed succession between both narrators, the story is told from Juneau and Miles' points of view. The two belong to radically opposed worlds, one of them is based on lies and a strong supernatural belief. The other is much closer to the world we know, since Miles lives in our era. That is what could make After the End a dystopia, but it would be reductive to define the novel as such. It is much more than that.

 

We make a striking entrance into Juneau's world, a wild and snow-covered landscape in Alaska, and then things quickly change. Her group is kidnapped, her village is ransacked and even her mentor, Whit, is missing. Juneau is alone, even more when those who took her family and friends come back... for her.

On the other hand, Miles is not so happy either, but for much different reasons. Indeed, as he was expelled from his high school a few months before graduating and earning his freedom, he understands that it would be in his best interest to get on his father's good side. The latter is the wealthy boss of a pharmaceutical company, whose financial interests are international. And there's more! Motivated by the discovery of a scientific formula which would make him even richer and more powerful, Blackwell decides that finding Juneau is his priority. As Miles hears his father's phone conversation about it, the teenager knows that it's his opportunity to be recognized by his father. And that is when he leaves to follow Juneau's tracks, while she is traveling the United States to find her clan and understand why her life was based on a web of lies. World War III never happened and it's time for Juneau to meet the world that fascinates and terrorizes her.

 

I was already interested in the idea of reading about a roadtrip through the United States, and I wasn't disappointed to find a lot of cleverness, intensity and originality in this novel. Much like in her previous series, Amy Plum gives us something new and extraordinary. The Yara, a sort of mystical power coming from the earth, is easily discovered and understood, despite the constant questioning of a certain young man (Miles). What Yara really is is essential to Juneau. It's part of her identity, and despite her doubts and her loss of confidence throughout her adventure, it's a bigger part of her than she can imagine. I'm not going to say too much, I'll let you discover. As a budding writer myself, I was impressed by this fantasy and creation.

Another thing I really loved is the opposition between the two main characters. Their relationship is nice and funny to see as it develops. I knew what to expect from Juneau and Miles, as to their personalities and attitudes, but I was still surprised and I loved them. I got attached to both the characters and their problems. And reading from their point of view really helped me to love both of them and to get hooked easily and quickly read about their adventures. You have to understand them and also to ask yourself the right questions, such as: what is true? Where is this story going to take them? How will they get through this? And it wasn't always easy because their opposed personalities triggered behaviors and reactions both believable and questionable. So you don't have a choice, you have to get all the information by carefully following the story. The ending, although it's a bit cruel to the readers, also met my expectations. What can I say besides I can't wait to read the rest of the adventures of Juneau and Miles?

 

Now a few words about these unique characters

Juneau

For Juneau, it's obvious and logic to say that she's not like everybody else. Deep down, she's wild and suspicious, you wouldn't want to face her in an arena. Strong and brave, to quote Miles, she still has something of a lost little girl in my opinion. That is mostly because she evolves in a world she doesn't know, all this electricity and modernity can be frightening when you've just discovered the 21st century. Her beliefs and faith, even though they were tested through this trip, remain a point of reference and a permanent feature for her. If she doubts, it's probably because she needs to, in order to tell the truth from the lies. Smart and powerful, you can identify with her and love her like a friend. But as I said, she's far from weak and I enjoyed reading about a determined fighter.

 

Miles

On the other side, we have Miles Blackwell. Rich, arrogant and sarcastic, with his handsome face and the story behind it, he has everything I like. What I liked about him was his attitude, even when he seemed heartless. There was something about him that told us he wasn't indifferent to Juneau's story. But all of his questions are rational, they are questions everyone would ask when seeing a girl talk to a ravenor to the ground. The shock between these two extends and makes the evolution of their relationship realistic and endearing as well. There is no love at first sight and it's enjoyable and refreshing to read.

 

The lack of supporting characters isn't a problem in the novel. Most of the book is based on the trip and the quest for truth. Of course you get to know Whit and Miles's father through their point of view and brief interactions. You could be worried or disappointed to not meet friends more or other characters, but I think it makes the encounter and the trip more centered on the essential part of the story.

 

To finish, I'd like to say that I really love the writing and the rythm in After the End. The words and the succession between the two points of view are intense and enjoyable to read. I read this book over two afternoons, so in two sittings. I really can't wait to reunite with these characters and the story. Because Amy Plum hasn't told us everything and there are still unanswered questions. It makes me want to read the rest even more and it leaves us time to imagine what is going to happen next. Of course, I expect to be, once again, amazed and surprised by the sequel.

I hope my review convinced you to read After the EndAs for me, I am sure that, while I wait for the sequel called Until the Beginning, the second and last book in the series, I will gladly read this one again. If you haven't get your copy yet, you can buy it on Amazon and pretty much everywhere I think. I will make sure After The End is available at my favorite bookshop.

 

Enjoy your reading!

 

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