I'm taking part in the blog tour for After The Ending, sponsored by Pump UpYour Book with a review!
Authors: Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue
Publisher: L2 Books (America)
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Publication Date: 22nd February 2013
Official Summary:When people started getting sick, “they” thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family…they’re all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them—with the rest of the world—but I didn’t. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I’d ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O’Connor, I’m twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.
The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We’ve all had to start over. I’ve been stripped of my home, my dreams…all that is me. I’m someone else now—broken and changed. Other survivors’ memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won’t let them consume me. I can’t. My name is Zoe Cartwright, I’m twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.
We’ve been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing—we’ll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we’re strong…we’re survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamiliar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.
And more than anything, we have to find each other
In short: A great concept and excellent details but with some unnecessary elements.
My opinion of this book changed drastically about a third of the way through, so at first it left me with mixed feelings. I detested the going on about Cam and he weird Cam-related dreams. I know Dani is trying to get over the loss of Cam, and it illustrates the emotion of losing the world well, I thought that it could have been done differently. I felt that Cam’s death wasn’t built up to properly, but on hindsight, it shows how suddenly everything fell apart – so ifit was intentional, clever move.
A large part of the book is spent subtly (and not-so-subtly) exploring the Survivors’ reactions and emotions after the Ending. And I’m glad to say that it was done really well, from the Crazies to the militants. I was constantly reminded of Partials and wondered why society wasn’t as well developed as in Dan Wells’ novel – but then you have to remember that this book is set immediately after the ending, and it shows the chaos brilliantly. Looking back on it now, the foreshadowing is there – but some of it is very easy to miss.
I had a problem with half of the book being narrated through e-mails between the two best friends. I’m sorry, but I have an extreme aversion to the use of acronyms in fully-fledged novels. It detracts from the reading experience and just annoys me. However, as the plot developed (and the acronyms disappeared), they started to grow on me, and I realize by the end that they had become very useful for a number of reasons: they help the reader keep track of time during the story, they showed the bond between Zoe and they helped build the post-apocalyptic atmosphere when one girl couldn’t reach a place with internet and the other started to worry because in a situation like that youjust don’t know.
There is one problem I had with this book, though. All that romance was completely unnecessary! I agreed with *MILD SPOILER* Sarah getting pregnant with Biggs’ child, because it felt right. Their relationship developed faster than normal because of the urgency after the Ending, but it definitely developed. And it gave a sense of continuity, of the hope of the next generation. *BIG SPOILER* But there was something I could not stand. Dani and Jason’s relationship or rather, the way they went about it. The relationship itself was sweet, long-spanning as it was, but did the authors really have to be that detailed about the sex scenes? Alright, they were mild sex scenes, but they were just out of place and could have been alluded to instead. At least Zoe’s with Jake was enjoyable and interesting. A lot of the time all Jason seemed interested in was sex. Even though Zoe lampshaded this by calling him (her brother) a heartbreaker.*END SPOILER*
Thankfully, After the Ending entirely redeemed itself.
I adored the friendship between Zoe and Dani. It was explained at the end of the book, but – fortunately – not in the form of infodump. What I loved most about it was that it was obvious. You would have known they were best friends without it being said, through the way they spoke to and about each other in their emails and face-to-face. I found myself enjoying the double-narrative, especially as they drew closer to each other and began to mirror each other’s actions. The etails of their friendship and care for each other were brilliant.
Partway in, drama finally appeared – but wow, it was amazingly plotted. *MILD SPOILER* Clara poisoning Zoe, albeit unsuccessfully, was one of the biggest *Oh no oh no* moments I have ever read, and the same with the note Dani receives from Cece. This was amazing for two reasons: one, it helped draw more parallels between the travels of Zoe and Dani, and two, it showed the deep psychological effects of the apocalypse, where not every insane person was an obvious Crazy.
I am a huge fan of secrets being revealed unexpectedly, so this book both pleased and annoyed me in different places. The start of the Abilities was very predictable, although again, it echoed the rushed feeling of an apocalypse, but one moment Zoe’s was being foreshadowed and about ten pages later, there we go. Jake’s foreshadowing was slightly better, but still too sudden. Also, may I mention how similar Jake was to Jacob from Twilight? With the *SPOILER* fast healing*END SPOILER*and the name? Except he isn’t a werewolf and has a genuinely interesting personality. Ouch.On the flipside, After the Ending did well with revealing real secrets, like the mystery of the Colony and the motivations of the army. I loved the gradual revealing of MG – and wow, the last page. Not exactly an evil cliffhanger, but a clilffhanger nonetheless. Curse you, gripping trilogies.
Overall, the book was a good surprise, and I was forced to drop my preconceived notions after the first part as the survivalist aspect heated up and I started to love it.
The authors are running a promotion on Amazon for this book on the 17th and 18th of May only, so I really recommend getting it. You can purchase the ebook on Amazon here
About the Authors:
Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book - as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalytptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she's not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats. You can visit Lindsey's blog at lindseyfairleigh.blogspot.com
Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her - whether she's traveling, people watching or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters. Lindsey's wrapped in blankets watching her favourite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man. You can visit Lindsey's blog at lindseypogue.wordpress.com.