Release Date: June 25, 2013
Published by: Harper Teen
In this heart-pounding thriller from debut author Demitria Lunetta, one girl must fight for her survival in a world overrun by violent, deadly creatures. Perfect for fans of New York Times bestsellers like Across the Universe.Amy Harris's life changed forever when They took over. Her parents-vanished. The government-obsolete. Societal structure-nonexistent. No one knows where They came from, but these vicious creatures have been rapidly devouring mankind since they arrived.With fierce survivor instincts, Amy manages to stay alive-and even rescues "Baby," a toddler who was left behind. After two years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a survivor's colony built on a former government research facility. On the surface, it appears to be safe. But there are dark and twisted secrets lurking beneath that, once uncovered, could have Amy and Baby paying with not only their freedom...but their lives.Demitria Lunetta will hook readers with this suspenseful, cinematic, action-packed page-turner, while giving hungry YA audiences a new heroine to cheer for.
I'm always fascinated by post-apocalyptic survivor stories and Lunetta's debut was no exception. It was a captivating page-turner that kept me wide awake until the early hours of the morning. I was so wrapped up in Amy's story that I needed to devour every page I could before I fell asleep.
The story is set in a world overrun by terrifying creatures who have decimated the population. Amy is a teenager who has survived their invasion due to the benefits of her parent's former lifestyle combined with her own cleverness and discipline.
Amy's mother was a government employee who had concerns about their safety and security so she had an electric fence installed around their home. This keeps Them (Amy's name for the creatures) from being able to enter. Her father was very eco-friendly and had solar panels installed, a rainwater basin, and a vegetable garden planted. Also, she was taught to handle a firearm at a young age, so she's comfortable with carrying a gun for protection.
In the beginning when I first read about Amy's circumstances and how these advantages would benefit her during the end of the world, it felt a little too good to be true. There is little more that she would need to survive than a barrier that keeps Them out, available electricity and water, food, and a handgun that she's trained to use. A very lucky girl indeed.
But aside from these hard-to-swallow conveniences, I really enjoyed Amy's character and especially the way that she handled herself. Not only did I admire her perseverance during a time when others would have given up and lost hope, but also because she rescued a young child and made the decision to protect and care for her despite the potential burden this could have caused.
I thought the relationship between Amy and Baby was one of the main highlights of this story. They develop a comfortable routine and are able to anticipate each other's needs. And since they have to refrain from noise because it attracts the creatures, they communicate through a unique form of sign language that they've created. They're a perfect match, both very resilient and willing to do whatever is necessary to survive.
As the story progresses, Amy and Baby find themselves captured and taken to an area that is free of the alien-like creatures. It's a society rebuilding itself with a new set of rules designed for the good of mankind.
But Amy quickly discovers that what she thought of as their rescue and chance at a new life is actually a new danger of a different kind.
The moments of suspense, elements of mystery, interesting characters and blood-thirsty monsters all made In the After a novel that I couldn't put down.