By Cynthia Ayala
A virus spread, taking the world by surprise. Many died, but those that didn’t either became insane, driven to madness, or became something more. For Dani and Zoe surviving doesn’t just mean living, it means finding each other and returning home. But the dangers out there are closer than they thought and finding each other might be impossible.
Published February 21, 2013, L2 Books After the Ending by Lindsey Pogue & Lindsey Fairleigh is a young adult post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel following friends separated by miles trying to find their way home through all the dangers around them.
This is one of those books that one picks up because they’re bored and then find themselves sucked in and addicted to. That just means its a good book, well written and structured well enough to grab the reader. And the premises verges on uniqueness. On some level, it verges on the zombie-esque form of an apocalypse but then it turns into something completely different. Here when someone dies, they stay dead, but those living, they are gifted with abilities that remain grounded. These abilities aren’t outlandish making them fly or start fires, they stay grounded in the novel and don’t overwhelmed the reader. They function by giving the story a new element to work with, something to play with. And they bring out different sides of the characters.
This is a very character driven story that shifts perspectives. It’s a first-person novel that goes between Dani and Zoe who are both distinct characters in their own right, who have very different voices that drive the story. Their situations are also different. While they come from the same beginnings, this new world is reshaping them. At the same time, they remain believable characters, strong characters with different weaknesses and flaws. There is also the way they function with each other. The writers took a different approach in the novel with regarding the long-distance communication. They are communication through email but their voices aren’t lost and the way they communicate is so believable. It’s so easy to believe that these are two people you know talking to each other. It’s different than texting, not abrupt, but still short. The language is fun, it’s congenial and works to build the story and the character dynamics very well. They drive the story and they do it very well.
Again, the plot verges on uniqueness because it combines various post-apocalyptic themes to structure the story. There are two “road-trips” going on in the story, two narratives traversing the world that has now become foreign to them. They are struggling to survive. That’s the premise of the novel in a nutshell. And that seems inadequate because the story is captivating, the narratives and how they build the story up hook the reader.
This is a story that is addictive to read, and that’s what makes it so good. (★★★★☆ | A)