Book Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta

SERIES. In The After
RELEASE DATE. June 25, 2013
PUBLISHER. HarperTeen
PAGES. 400
FORMAT. ARC
AGE GROUP. Young Adult
GENRE/S. Post-apocalyptic, Science Fiction
FIND IT. Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS. 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.

THOUGHTS. Science fiction is probably one of the many genres with a huge market. In such a crowded market, it’s always riveting to find new concepts or unique themes that authors could offer but only a few of them can manage to pull it off. Demitria Lunetta’s debut novel is not far from that fact.

Set in another fear-provoking world, Lunetta devised a surprisingly remarkable science fiction thriller that involves one of the disturbing science fiction themes: aliens. It has been a while since I’ve encountered these creatures on a novel. I've read a couple of books that have succeeded in capturing that dark vision of an alien invasion, and Lunetta’s vision is in spades among them except that hers is far more fresh, original, frightening and has a shocking origin which I cannot afford to divulge.

Aside from the chilling thought of the world being ravaged by aliens, it is the almost true-to-life journey of Amy and Baby to survive in the terrifying After--which how the characters called the time of the invasion--that really sent me a gamut of emotions. Within the first ten chapters, I instantly developed a connection with Amy and Baby. It’s a struggle to me to see Amy and Baby, despite their early loss of innocence, courageously fight for their lives and what is left of the world. With Amy’s eloquent and vivid descriptions, I could really feel the dominating darkness, fear, hopelessness, hunger, isolation, and silence that surrounded them (not to mention the aliens). In spite of all their struggles and sorrows, they share something inspiring that will never ever vanish from the world: their heartfelt sisterly love. If I could just practically leap into the pages of the novel to get Amy and Baby out from the vicious imagination of Demitria Lunetta, I would have done so even before the beginning. I admit, I want to hate Lunetta for creating such harsh world for two endearing characters but at the same time I want to praise her for creating two heartrending, realistic, and gutsy characters that deeply touched my emotions and stayed with me long after I turned the last pages.

Another aspect that I can’t help but to bring out is the romance. Despite the fact that falling in love is the least that can happen in an alien-infested world, readers can expect a dash of romance here and there. Though the romance felt forced and rushed to me as though it was some glitter thrown there for an added effect that didn't shine at all; nevertheless, it doesn't keep you away from the real story.

Spectacularly entangled with confounding mysteries, surprising twists, breakneck actions, and a stirring tale of survival and love, In The After is a poignantly written unforgettable journey of an endearing duo as they confront a world roamed by terrible creatures with a shocking origin. Part post-apocalyptic, part dystopian, and part science fiction this debut novel by Demitria Lunetta will surely keep readers constantly holding on to their breaths and their flashlights as they discover the human capacity to survive the bleakest of times.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Chicago native Demitria Lunetta holds a BA in Human Ecology and has spent countless hours studying the many ways in which people are capable of bringing about their own destruction. In case the end is near, she always carries a good book and a chocolate bar—the two items essential for post-apocalyptic survival. IN THE AFTER is her debut novel.

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