Book review: In the After

 In the After
In the After
By: Demitria Lunetta
Published by: Harper Teen
Release date: June 25, 2013
Genre: YA sci fi
400 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

I was looking forward to getting a little creeped out while reading In the After. I was hoping for scary creatures popping up in unexpected places, getting the heart racing. For the first part of the book, I got exactly what I was looking for.

Our main character, Amy, is a girl who finds herself utterly alone shortly after she witnesses an alien invasion on TV one day while both of her parents are out. The creatures quickly annihilate the human population of her town, and she assumes, the surrounding area as well- if not the entire planet. Because her father installed solar panels, she continues to have power long after it's gone from the rest of her town. Because her mother surrounded their house with an electric fence, she is able to keep the creatures at bay long after they have seemingly wiped out everyone else. Amy eventually finds that she isn't the only human remaining; she comes into contact with a couple in her own town, before being rescued and taken to a colony where people continue to struggle for survival.

There were elements of the book that I really loved- for example, I was fascinated by the alien behavior of the creatures. Their supernatural hearing made for some heart-pounding moments when Amy "hid" by remaining absolutely still and silent, mere inches from the deadly creatures that had killed so many people she loved. I also really liked reading about how Amy and Baby figured out a way to communicate silently through a modified American Sign Language.

There were also elements that didn't quite work for me. Days after having completed my reading, I struggle to reconcile the first part of the book with the scenes from after the rescue, which read like an entirely separate piece of writing. I feel like I read two novels in one- not just that there were two story arcs, but the tone and pacing were very different. Also, the romance plotline was lacking; the story might have been improved if it wasn't there at all, since it was neither engaging nor convincing.

Even though I have my complaints, I still loved this book. The originality of the both the plot and the featured creatures were really fun. Amy herself is a very likeable main character, and Baby is an even more interesting little puzzle. The science that's going on in the second part of the book is intriguing; just the kind of thing that a true sci fi geek like me loves. I'd pounce on a sequel, because I'm so invested in this world after reading book 1 that I want to know what happens. I'm rooting for Amy, and want to see her not just survive, but thrive.

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


  1. I loved this one too! It stuck with me for days after I read it. A really wonderful book.


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