Review

After the End

After the End

After the End

by Amy Plum

Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Fantasy
Published: May 6th, 2014
by HarperTeen

three-stars

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Summary:

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

Review:

After the End is, without a doubt, a highly original and entertaining read; despite the few qualms I had with it. The direction Amy Plum takes on her world is unique and utterly compelling and like nothing I have read of before.

It’s been thirty years since the war. My parents and fifteen others escaped in the very last hours, after the first firestorm of nuclear explosions triggered the aftermath . . . the creeping death of radiation and famine and genocide. They came here to Alaska’s unspoiled territory, far from any city that would have been targeted for destruction.

Juneau has lived in the Alaskan wilderness with her tribe for her entire life after the world was damaged by the nuclear explosions, radiation, famine, and genocide of a treacherous World War III. Luckily, the few survivors bonded together and journeyed to Alaska – the most radiation-free land they could find – and survived for over 30 years by being one with nature.

But one day, after returning from a hunting trip, Juneau’s tribe disappears; and as she sets off to find them, she realizes a shocking truth…

Beneath me lies a city. It is not in ruins. It isn’t decimated by war and poisoned by radiation. It is a thriving city with massive glass buildings glistening in the late-afternoon sun.

As a character Juneau is absolutely intriguing. We sense her naΓ―vety, and how truly confused she is about everything that happens to her. You can’t help but feel sorry for her as she gets overwhelmed by the constant hustle and bustle of modern-day society. But, despite her sheltered past, there’s no denying that Juneau is a strong, determined protagonist; and that she’ll do anything for those she loves.

My problem with the story is that it is rather predictable and all of the problems seem to be solved a bit too conveniently for my liking.

All in all, if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read with a highly original concept and plot, After the End is definitely something you should look at. If you want something complex and mind-boggling, I wouldn’t quite say this is the read for you.

three-stars

55 thoughts on “After the End

    1. She is definitely a great character! She has just the right mix of naivety and intelligence and determination to make her feel real. It did have a bit of 1st book syndrome, but it was wonderful nonetheless.

  1. I’ve heard some mixed reviews for this book, but as soon as I read your review and the book having no insta-love? It suddenly sounds A LOT more interesting πŸ˜€ This is actually a really cool concept, having a character that’s been lied to for their whole life about a fictional war that’s never happened. It would be awesome to read about her journey as she manages to come to terms with the truth. I don’t really understand the magic parts of the story either. The Yara feels so out of place in this book since it’s not a fantasy novel. But I’m so glad you enjoyed this one Zoe, it definitely sounds like it’s worth a read, with well developed characters. xx

    1. There have definitely been A LOT of mixed reviews, haven’t there? It is a fascinating idea; both from a character standpoint and a physiological standpoint. It’s really interesting how Plum chose to develop her as a character. Haha – I agree! It was entirely random! Thanks Joy! Even if it’s not a favorite, it was still enjoyable nonetheless. πŸ™‚

  2. I must say, I was a lot more annoyed by how convenient this book is compared to you. Just…my god everything was WAY too easy. Honestly, half the time I was just sitting there shaking my head at how easy the Yara made everything. Actually, even when not using the Yara, things were too convenient…like when Miles dropped the book of maps and it coincidentally opened up to the page which had the place where Juneau needed to go. -_-

    Interesting that you enjoyed the romance! I guess I can see why you liked it- it definitely wasn’t instalove, but personally I thought it was a bit mediocre. I just didn’t see them really connecting, didn’t really see the development. Then again, that might be because I was so annoyed by the conveniences and by how short the damned chapters were haha. Might have clouded my judgement about everything else πŸ˜›

    1. It was really annoying! I was able to overlook the convinces a little bit, they still really bothered me and I’m glad I wasn’t the only one.

      Hm…that is interesting. I’ll have to find your review and see what you thought of it in more detail, but I definitely see where you’re coming from. If you couldn’t connect to it, that could have been a definite problem!

  3. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews about this one, and I’m getting hesitant to read it, for dystopian and sci fi novels, I’m either a hit or miss. Meaning I’ll hate it or love it. I’m feeling that I’m closer to going to hate it, by the reviews I read at least. But I’m glad that this was an good read for you πŸ˜€

    1. There have definitely been some mixed reviews, which is a shame because it’s such an enjoyable story despite its flaws. If you don’t think you’ll like it, I don’t think it would be worth the read, but let me know what you end up deciding! Thank you!

  4. I’ve read quite a few reviews for this one, and they really do seem to be all over the place πŸ˜› Some love it, others hate it and some are like meh. I’m not really sure if I’ll read it or not. Naive characters really do annoy me lol. So does conveniences on things that honestly should be impossible/end the novel. On the other hand this one seems to be quite unique, which really is a rarity in YA these days. I also enjoy the fact that the main character is strong, but not in the traditional sense of the word. The romance also sounds like something I could support, I’m all for well developed relationships void of any insta-love c:

    I think my enjoyment of this one really would depend on how far I could suspend my beliefs. I suppose I’d have to pick a day where I’m feeling right to do so πŸ˜›

    Great review <33

    1. They DO seem to be all over the place, don’t they? πŸ˜€ I’m the same way with naive characters, but Amy didn’t necessarily annoy me because she actually had a reason to be naive. Originality is – like you said – so hard to find, but somehow this one manages to pull it off!

      I think you’ve said it perfectly. Definitely pick this up on a day when you’re feeling a bit lax, and you’ll probably enjoy it a bit more.

      Thank you Larissa! <3

    1. There have definitely been some mixed reviews, haven’t there? Although, despite the minor issues I had with it, I’d still say it was enjoyable nonetheless. And hurray for no instalove, right? πŸ˜‰ Thanks Jeann! <3

  5. I’m probably going to skip this one. Just because I’ve heard it called convenient WAY too many times, and that always drives me bonkers. Plus I don’t have so much time for “meh” reads. πŸ˜‰ Hehe. I do like the fact that the romance is really well written! And the uniqueness of the world? Yesssss please.

    1. Convenience = BOO!; well-written romance + a unique world= YES – am I right? πŸ˜‰ I’d still give it a try if you’re in the mood for something light, but if not, you should probably pass this one.

  6. I bought this one a while before I started seeing reviews, and your review cements that I probably should have saved my money really. Like Cait, the storyline seems to rely on everything falling into place with little explanation for anything. That shits me something chronic. I thought this was going to be a hardcore dystopian, but it sounds like it might have been inspired a little by Ashfall with the whole journey type scenario. Fabulous review Zoe, always brilliant.

    1. Convenient storylines are just no fun, right? πŸ™ It’s definitely not a hardcore dystopian by any stretch of the imagination, which was, frankly, not what I was expecting. It does have a roadtrip, but it’s completely different from Ashfall, although I guess I can see where the similarities lie. Thank you Kelly! <3

  7. I saw a lot of mixed reviews about this one and well at the end I’m not really interested anymore. I have Die for me to read so I think I’ll start with that.

  8. Thanks for the great review and for sharing your thoughts with us, Zoe! The synopsis is very intriguing and I’m glad that you found it to be unique. I’m sorry that the world-building wasn’t the best. I’ve heard quite a few mixed reviews about this one, so I think I’ll have to pick it up for myself one day.

    1. Thank you for always leaving such lovely comments Ebony! <3 It's definitely got a unique premise! πŸ˜€ It's a shame that the world-building was a bit lacking, but besides that, everything else was pretty enjoyable, so that's nice. πŸ˜‰ Let me know if / when you decide to read it!

  9. I definitely had mixed feelings about this one as well. In contrast, though, I thought the romance in this one was really boring. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. I agree with things being too predictable, though. At least you managed to enjoy this one more than I did. Wonderful review, Zoe!

    1. Hmm…that’s odd! The things you disliked I liked, and the things you liked I disliked! Although we both disliked the convenience! I’ll have to scrounge up your review and see what you thought in more detail. Thank you Aimee! <3

  10. All i’ve been seeing is mixed reviews for this oneβ€”but the majority of people always say it didn’t leave any real impression on them. I have to admit i’m still interested in reading this book since i liked Amy Plum’s last series and i like the synopsis of this one but i just don’t know when i’ll get around to reading this one!

    1. Yeah, there have been mixed reviews for this. It’s unfortunate, because despite a few minor hiccups, it was a really enjoyable read. I agree though – it didn’t really leave an impression on me either, which is a shame. Definitely give it a try if you like Amy Plum’s writing! It’s definitely enjoyable! πŸ˜€

  11. Yup, the more reviews I read about this one, the more convinced I am that this truly isn’t for me. I don’t even care about the romance anymore, however slow-burn it is – the conveniences and the holes in the world-building are enough to make me run for the hills. Those grate on my nerves…. A LOT! Thanks for the wonderful review, Zoe!

    1. Convinces are the worst, right? It makes the plot move so slowly and so tension-less. I want the characters to struggle and, as a result, grow as individuals. They don’t need to be aided! If that would bother you like it did for me, I’d probably recommend giving this one a miss. Thank you for always leaving such lovely comments Faye! πŸ™‚

  12. I’ll the reviews I’ve seen for this have been 3 star =/ Not sure if I want to bother with it or not… However, if it’s a quick read with a strong MC and sweet romance maybe it’s worth looking past the few hiccups. Insightful review as always Zoe! =)

    1. It has definitely had some mixed reviews, no? It’s definitely enjoyable, but if you are going to read it, make sure you’re in a mood where you’re willing to overlook the convenience. Like you said, a few hiccups are okay as long as it’s enjoyable in the end. πŸ™‚ Thank you! <3

  13. “Plum relied on the Yara to solve improbable plot points.” Yep. Goes along with the conveniences issue I had with the book too. I agree, things were just too easy for everyone which took a lot of fun out of the book. I gave this one 2.5 stars because of the originality like you mentioned. Definitely has its issues but I’m curious about the way this one ended.

    1. Exactly! It’s never fun when there is no struggle or pain on the character’s part. It makes it unrealistic, and it makes the plot so boring. I’m definitely going to continue the series because of the originality and the ending as well. Hopefully it doesn’t have the same convenience issue!

  14. I love it when an author takes risks, and in this case it sounds like it paid off. I don’t mind a bit of predictability as long as the story is good overall. I’ll have to read a couple more reviews for this one before I fully make up m mind, but yours was a good start. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It definitely paid off! I agree, as long as it’s not too, too predictable. That’s definitely a good idea! Thank you for always leaving such lovely comments! <3

  15. Brilliant review. I have to admit to rating this book pretty low, mainly for all the reasons you listed for why you didn’t like it. The Yara didn’t make much sense to me and I wondered how Juneau could do half the stuff she was capable of. I have to admit to feeling like it didn’t need to be a series, feels like a story that could easily have been solved in one book. I didn’t mind Miles and Juneau as characters but I don’t think the romance really worked. I don’t know, I just expected more from this one as it had such an intriguing premise.

    1. Phew! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt the Yara was just completely unexplained. I agree…this definitely could have been a standalone easily; but, not surprisingly, it was chosen to be dragged out. πŸ™ I personally loved Miles and Juneau’s romance, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from. High expectations often leave us disappointed.

  16. I love the sound of this book. I think the premise is pretty unique, and there’s a lot of room for an amazing storyline.
    I think Juneau sounds like an awesome character! I am always a fan of a likeable character, and her loyalty sounds pretty amazing.
    No instalove is always a plus for me, because instant love in an inappropriate circumstance is annoying. I like the fact that their relationship develops at a nice pace.
    It’s a bit disappointing about the Yara as a plot hole device, though.

    1. It’s certainly unique!
      She is definitely a likeable character! Even though she’s naive from being sheltered all her life, she’s still extraordinarily intelligent.
      I was happy about that too! No instalove is a plus for me!
      It is…but, otherwise, it was a pretty solid read. πŸ™‚

  17. I’ll be honest, I’ve been steering clear of this one because it just strikes me as ‘yet another dystopian’ with nothing unique to offer. That sounds so harsh, I know lol! I guess I’m just getting a bit bored with dystopia now and need a more fresh approach.

    The complexity of this sounds like it’d make my fragile brain hurt a bit πŸ˜›

    1. Honestly Allie, I don’t blame you. It doesn’t sound harsh at all…I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’m the same way!

  18. I am still on the fence with this one, I have a copy and the reviews are all over the place. I think I would like the unique story line but the stuff you mentioned about Yara solving everything would bug me too. Thanks for the insight!

    1. Heidi – I don’t blame you at all! There have been so many mixed reviews on this one, I agree, so it’s hard to know what to think. The unique storyline was great, but, like you said, the Yara solving everything was quite annoying.

      No problem! Anytime! Thank you for the lovely comment! <3

  19. You did a great job on your review. I liked that you mentioned the predictability of the story. I definitely like to be surprised and with stories like this one you almost expect it and 20% in and you have it figured out is a bummer. I’m going to put this on in my maybe stack. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Ginny! <3 I agree...it's no fun if you can see what's going to happen before it's revealed. Definitely think about it - it's got a surprising entertainment factor! πŸ˜‰

  20. I agree, the premise is quite different and even though you found certain flaws and it wasn’t it didn’t make it to your favorites shelf, I’m glad that you still ended up enjoying this! It might also be predictable in certain areas but I like the fact that it’s a quick read, when I’m in the mood for dystopia, I’m certainly going to give this a shot. Fab review, Zoe! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Amir! Absolutely – in the end it’s the enjoyment that counts, and, despite its flaws, I have to admit that this was pretty entertaining if nothing else. Definitely give it a try when you’re in the mood for a dystopia!

      Thank you! <3

  21. I love your rating style , Pity about the world building and predictability.
    Great reviewing style you’ve got .

    (For some reason wordpress doesn’t let me comment if I link up my profile/use commentluv. Thanks for stopping by.)

    Krazzyme @ youngreadersathome

  22. As good as this sounds (especially the perfectly paced romance!), I’ll probably skip this one – only because I lack patience for books with unique names for people, places, etc. It takes me forever to remember them :/ But I’m glad you liked it despite some issues πŸ™‚

  23. There’s definitely a lot of mixed reviews about this, but glad to hear that it has an original idea and Juneau is a great character. Too bad the plot was predictable, though πŸ™
    But it’s Amy Plum and I’m sold when I read her name, so well yeah πŸ˜€

    Thanks for sharing, though! Great review!

    Neysa @ Papier Revue

    1. The reviews have definitely been mixed, right? You either love it or hate it!

      It’s a shame that the plot was predictable, because it had so much potential – great characters and a highly original plot – so that really ruined everything I enjoyed about it!

      Haha! This is my first Amy Plum book, so I’m not sure how this measures up to her other books, but I’m definitely going to give her Die for Me a try! πŸ˜€

      Not a problem! Thank you for the lovely comment! <3

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