Author: Amy Plum
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She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.
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. (Goodreads summary.)
First of all, look at that gorgeous cover, how could you not want to pick up that book and instantly start reading it? My only issue with it is that those two gorgeous dogs are in this book for about five minutes and I feel like the cover lied to me. But, I was especially excited to get started on After the End when I received the eARC. It looked like a really intriguing read and I adored the premise; but this turned out to be very different to what I had been expecting and what the blurb had given away.
Juneau has spent her whole life believing that her clan is surviving in the Alaskan wilderness because her parents and the other adults managed to escape World War III back in the 80's. It is here that she has learnt to use the Yara, which everything is connected to, in order to Conjure and Read. She can think of a person and be able to see them and feel how they are feelings. The last thing Juneau expects is to fund her whole clan missing after a hunting trip. Her hunt to find them leads her to leave their land for the first time in her whole life and it is then that she comes upon a city. Not one wrecked by the devastation of a war, but a fully functioning city with technology that she can't even imagine. It's then that Juneau realises she has been lied to her whole life and she is determined to find out why and what made her clan worth kidnapping.
I was really impressed by just how unique the story felt. When I first read the synopsis, I believed I was about to read a story that would be similar to the movie The Village, thankfully it was nothing like it. I can't remember ever reading a book like this or seeing one similar. The Yara and it's connection to the Earth was such a fascinating part of the story and one I wasn't expecting to find. I honestly wasn't sure where the story was going to go or what was going to happen because it left me with so many questions from the very beginning.
Juneau and Miles, the boy she meets who agrees to help her, both narrate the story and the chapters alternate between them. It's clear from the very beginning that Miles father is after Juneau himself, but we aren't really sure for what purpose exactly. They were both okay characters, but I didn't feel like either character really shone or stood out to me. They were both just there and the romance seemed like it was inevitable but I never felt it. There was very little chemistry between Miles and Juneau throughout this book.
This book was quite hard to get through at times because of how lengthy it felt. It isn't all that long, it just feels like it is. The storyline felt like it was being drawn out in order to turn this into the series, but it doesn't feel like it really needs one. This could have easily been a standalone novel, so I am confused that it's going to be a series. The plot moved along too slowly, if this had been a storyline that concluded in one book then I think it would have worked a lot better. It was a really unique concept, but it felt quite dragged out at times and like it was being forced to be a series and not a story that required multiple books.
This did have a unique story but it was far too lengthy. It felt like the plot was being forced to fit a series structure, when this actually feels like it could be a one book kind of story. I enjoyed this one but I don't have an urge to continue the series.
*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.