I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: In The After #2
Published by HarperTeen on June 24th, 2014
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult
The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures.
It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.
Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.
One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.
If this series wasn’t a dualology, I wouldn’t have picked up the second installment. With closure that close on the horizon, I couldn’t say no.
In the After opened on a postapocalyptic landscape and had an interesting survivalist feel to it. Like the first chunk of the Will Smith version of I Am Legend, the story was compelling in it’s horrific simplicity. Unfortunately, this abruptly ended with the appearance of special operatives, who take our main character and her young companion into their society. The abrupt tone change upset me when I read the first one, but with the second one bypassing any intriguing survivalist tendencies by jumping straight into another society, I didn’t feel as abruptly torn out of the prose.
Amy is on a quest to find Kay’s brother, Ken. He’s a doctor, and very interested in finding an antivirus to the Florea outbreak. So much so, that he might help Amy retrieve her companion, Baby from New Hope (where she’s being brainwashed and sucked dry of all blood, because motivation).
She makes her way to the other settlement, Fort Black, a re-purposed prison. There she meets Jackson, whom becomes her personal guide and eventual love interest. Fort Black, in many ways, is still a prison. Inmates now wander around freely, mixing with the general survivors. Women are ‘claimed’ by men, offered protection from rape or worse. Those with jobs that keep the prison running get to stay in the cells. Those who do not live in a shanty town in the exercise yard.
A place like this is just as corrupt as it sounds. Justice is served without trial. Those in charge intimidate. There is one former inmate who gets off on being abusive and strangling women. But despite all of this, the corruption runs deeper, as Amy finds out.
The schemes are simple. The action is predictable. The characters remain stagnant in their growth. The book still offers a nice amount of closure, despite adding a love triangle. Yes, Rice was a bit lackluster in the romance department, but there was no need to either add another male love interest, or keep Rice in that status.
Satisfied with the ending. It didn’t live up to it’s potential, but it didn’t disappoint me either.