In the After
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.
Before was reality; the After is a nightmare.
For a story that is solely supposed to be a combination of multiple different intense action scenes, I felt hardly any emotional connection to In the After. There is nothing particularly memorable about it or that hasn’t already been written about in one form or another, but I suppose I appreciate what Lunetta tried to do here.
The apocalypse has come. 16-year-old Amy was watching TV when the world was attacked by Them.
They were faster than I’d thought possible, a blur of green, the color of pea soup. Glowing yellow eyes sometimes caught the light and flashed gold. The creatures pounced, not bothering to kill their prey before feeding. They ripped skin and flesh from their victims, who screeched in agony. The cries always brought more of Them, eager for their next meal.
Amy manages to survive – and even picks up a helpless toddler named Baby that she found abandoned in a supermarket. After years of hiding, they’re finally 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…
Amy is a protagonist I feel indifferent to. She doesn’t have anything about her that makes me necessarily like nor dislike her, and I felt her actions and reactions were written realistically considering the upbringing and life she had. Yet, I couldn’t help but want a little more of her personality, a little more of her to be able to connect and relate to; because it seems likely she’ll get lost in the sea of other YA protagonists who are just like her.
There are a multitude of moments in In the After that I felt would have been better removed from the story. Lunetta inserts a lot of unnecessary YA troupes into the story – instalove, an unnecessary romance, a cliffhanger ending – in places where she could have used the pages to further develop the characters or add action.
All in all, a decent debut. Lunetta’s writing is decent enough, and the concept is intriguing. Unfortunately, it just didn’t have the amount of depth I would have preferred personally.