Monday, March 16, 2015

After the End by Amy Plum

After the End by Amy Plum
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Goodreads- 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.
Okay, I'd like to say right off the bat that I thought the beginning chapter of this story was phenomenal!! I bought into the whole WWIII premise even though I knew going in that it hadn't really happened. But then the next page, or Chapter 2, is a spoiled 18 yr old getting expelled from his rich kid high school while his father tries to buy his son's way out of trouble. Ripped me right out of the story. I really was disappointed to be taken out of the wilderness so quickly. Eventually, it worked for me but I would have loved if the story had been written in Juneau's point of view for a longer period of time and then had the story from Miles' point of view. Just a little bit longer. But in any case, this story really was good. I haven't read Amy Plum's other series but I found this novel easy to read and really fascinating. I put myself in Juneau's shoes and tried to imagine what our world looked like through her eyes. Couldn't do it. I am not able to unknow what I do. But she is very wise for not having computers and smart phones and GPS. And her survival skills are top notch. As well as her abilities to be able to read people both literally and figuratively. Of the two characters, I preferred Juneau over Miles for most of the book. She was honest, spare with her words, her mind was clear, uncluttered with unnecessary thoughts or words. Silence with her was natural and not uncomfortable. I liked her being one with the Yara. She loved and communicated with her dogs. She took care of the earth. She made friends with homeless people. What's not to love about Juneau? She started out like a wise toddler and grew in a couple of days to the genius of our species or some species.
Miles on the other hand was a total screw up through most of the trip. He was a spoiled rich kid who didn't want to work in the mail room for four months so he tried to take the easy way out by finding Juneau for his dad and bringing her back to his dad. HA! HA! Joke was on him, though. He spent most of the trip believing he was with a woman with schizophrenia who was delusional at best and dangerous at worst. Then there was the raven Poe that she insisted ride in the back of his BMW, nesting in his clothes. I love the nuggets of information Juneau throws at him. When he complains that the bird will poop all over his back seat, Juneau says he won't do that because then he'd have to sit in his excrement and birds are smarter than that. Score one of many, many points for Juneau.
The story that Juneau and her clan had been isolated because they believed in WWIII and that they were survivors of the war is really plausible considering where they live. But as Juneau's beliefs fall apart, so does her belief in the Yara, everything she's  been taught by her mentor, even by her father. Her faith in herself is shaken so that she's not even sure what is true about herself anymore and her gifts are lost. She meets some interesting people in her journey to find her clan, even some of her enemies become interesting to her, providing some knowledge that she needs. It's a cliffhanger of an ending but seems to be heading in a good way. The book is very fast paced and my hope is that they eventually end up back in the wilderness of Alaska on Juneau's territory being chased by the bad guys. I want her to make painful traps and smear them with bear scent so that they are begging for death! But they aren't headed there now.
I highly recommend this one for book lovers of dystopians/realistic fiction with a little supernatural thrown in. There is nothing in this but a little kissing so that I think any age can read this one. I couldn't stop reading it once I got started. I am really excited about the next book in the series. And really happy I took a chance on this series. 


  1. I've been hearing this is a really solid novel so I'm planning to read it--definitely--but I'll be curious to see what you make of the sequel before diving in. Lovely review, Heather!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too! We now both need that next book! :D


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