In the After review
Where to begin with the awesome that is this book?
The synopsis doesn't define Them so I was just kind of assuming They were zombies. Now, I love me some zombies (like, for reals, I'll take zombies over faeries/vampires/werewolves/etc. any day), but I'm loving something even more these days: aliens. Sadly, aliens are so very rarely done well. I was super disappointed when I found out the aliens were as cliche as they could get: two arms, two legs, green. The only cool thing was there crazy sharp teeth. To be fair, though, by the end I was perfectly content with their appearance, intrigued even.
I like Amy. She's a great character. The love she feels for Baby is amazing. Sure, sometimes it makes her a little too single-minded, but it's a good and realistic flaw. I also really like that she talks about how she really broke down in the beginning, but ended up pulling it together and not only taking care of herself, but a toddler as well. When she and Baby are taken to New Hope, she's always wary, but wants to believe in it. I like that, unlike a lot of post-apoc and dystopian MCs she stays alert, but also really wants to believe she's found a home and a new life.
Really, a lot of characters deserve a shout-out because Demitria did a great job at giving the side characters personality, but I want to focus on Baby. I was a little how much I'd enjoy a book with such a young character playing a major role, but I loved her. First of all, the synopsis led me to believe Amy was going to be packing around this squealing, drooling baby in the post-apocalypse, but Baby's actually somewhere around 6. So instead of just being this weird extension of Amy, she has her own personality. She loves Amy fiercely, and relies on her, but she can also take care of herself. I mean, Amy didn't even find her until about a year, or something like that, into the After. This tiny kid managed to live with carnivorous monsters on the loose all by herself. That's pretty freaking awesome.
I like that the end of the story brought just enough answers that I was satisfied, but left plenty of loose ends which gives me hope for the sequel. And it seems Demitria isn't afraid to kill of characters, so I nervously look forward to her stomping all over my heart in the future (makes me sound like a masochist, but we all know death of favorite characters makes for a good story.)
The Nutshell: In the After was everything I want in a apocalypse/post-apoc/dystopian book. There's some alien action, some evil humans (or at least one really evil one), just the beginnings of a romance so it wasn't all used up in book 1 leaving book 2 out in the cold, plenty of suspense, and, you know, quite a lot of death, albeit most of it anonymous.