A horrific explosion levels part of the city and Camryn Kingfisher is the sole survivor. Amidst controversy, conspiracy theories, and threats from government officials, Camryn longs for the truth. But the only person who she can turn to is a transparent boy in a lab coat named Quint. Unsure whether he’s a hallucination or a ghost, Camryn has no choice but to trust him as they become embroiled in a plot that is bigger than either of them realize. In a race where the fabric of time and space is at stake, they must figure out who caused the explosion before the culprit comes back to finish Camryn—and her city—off for good.
This book was not what I expected at all. Camryn is the sole survivor of a horrific explosion at a research center. However, she did not come out of the accident alone. She wakes up to find a boy in a white lab coat named Quint attached to her. Is he a hallucination? Is he a ghost? Why her? The book started off as normal as I would expect it to. Camryn suffers from Panic Disorder so she is prone to anxiety attacks. While she is recovering in the hospital, she is made aware that the explosion could have been caused by terrorists and her deceased mother is a suspect. Immediately, she needs to figure out the truth and listening to her, maybe, hallucation she steals a government tablet. This is the point where everything I thought this book was going to be, completely changed. I was honestly blown away with the twists this book took. I finished it in one sitting because I just needed to know what happened next. The writing was decent, nothing outstanding, but the delivery of the story is what sold me. Afterimage gave me a lot more than I was expecting. I really enjoyed seeing how the whole story developed.
The characters in this story fit perfectly. I really enjoyed Camryn’s character and her development. She starts off being hindered due to her Panic Disorder, but once her world completely changes, so does she. While her disorder still causes her problems, she finds her inner strength to push herself forward. Anxiety is a huge issue that affects many people. The attacks that Camryn face are easily imaginable creating a realistic character. One of my favorite aspects of the story was the relationship between Camryn and Quint. I really liked the development between them. Their relationship wasn’t hostile but it wasn’t flirty either. They depended on each other because they had to. They hate each other, but they don’t. The different events impact their feelings in a more practical way. It wasn’t an immediate “I’m in love with you” but it wasn’t the “hate turn to love” either. It was refreshing to see a different approach to building relationships.
Overall, Afterimage by Naomi Hughes was a nonstop adventure with twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. While the writing is decent, it was really the story that swept me away. The buildup of the characters was done in a refreshing, unique way that helped enhance this thrilling story. This was a great debut novel and I am looking forward to more novels written by her. I highly recommend this book for those who like thrilling, twists, and conspiracy stories.