In the After
by Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After #1
Published: 25 June 2013
Harper Teen, Hardcover, 455 pages
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.
Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.
When I started In the After, I was a little concerned on whether I should be reading yet another YA sci-fi novel just a week after finishing The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, which I adored. I didn’t want to obsessively make comparisons, which can’t really be helped. However, I needn’t have worried because In the After definitely stood out on its own.
Lunetta is undoubtedly a wonderful storyteller, weaving mystery and horror into the nail-biting start about survival. Amy and Baby led such a foreignly silent life in the first half of the story, it literally sent chills down my spine. Imagine not talking for 3 years! I would’ve definitely gone cray cray. That’s also why I loved Amy & Baby’s relationship so much, silence was not only golden to them, it could also be the difference between life and death. Seeing such a strong bond grow without the need of any spoken words was simply beautiful.
In the second half of the novel, Amy and Baby were taken to a colony of refugees and survivors called New Hope. Since the synopsis already hinted at the fact that New Hope was darker than it seemed, I was practically suspicious of every single person there. I felt the way Amy and Baby had felt when they first started staying in New Hope. Although protected from the vicious aliens, it was so confined and strict, pretty much suffocating, especially since Amy and Baby had been living according to their own rules for 3 whole years.
Every detail of Amy and Baby’s integration back to civilization was utterly real and relatable (just put yourself in their shoes!). The romance aspect of the novel was excellently played out too. It was barely there and innocent, which perfectly fitted the kind of person Amy was made out to be. It would have been pretty awkward if an academically superb girl, who skipped one (or a few) grades, jumped into an intense and steamy relationship that escalates too quickly. Lunetta definitely knows her characters well!
The downside of In the After, however, was that I probably wouldn’t have liked Amy had I known her in real life. She was kind of a know-it-all and the fact that she had been so judgmental while in school just rubbed me the wrong way. Though I had to admit, her wariness of others did help her survive in the After. Moreover, I had a big issue with the fact that Amy’s physical fitness did not deteriorate after two months of being out of commission. The cause of which I shall not say for spoilers’ sake. Although others might not mind it as much as I did, it’s just there was so much action and I didn’t see how Amy could’ve pulled all of it off.
Despite that, I would say In the After was a thrilling and adventurous read that any action lover would gobble up, albeit the slightly predictable truth about the aliens. The pace was excellent with not a dry moment and I would definitely recommend reading it ASAP!