Book Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta

In The After headerThe possibility of aliens or zombies wiping out humanity is a terrifying thought that has plagued my mind for as long as I can remember (I have a healthy imagination, though there are truth to the potential of each possibility in a form).  Now thanks to In The After, I get to blend the two for heightened nightmares with zombie aliens.

Amy was lucky to be in her parent’s well protected home when the apocalypse happened.  With an electrified fence, solar panels, clean water, etc, she had a better chance than most did when the aliens showed up, killing a large number of the population in days.  Well, not just killing, but eating.  Amy and a little girl found in the aftermath live on their own, surviving by venturing out at night as quietly as possible, but eventually they realize that they might not be the last survivors after all.

The book is broken up into a three parts, with the first part being a straightforward retelling of the beginning of the end, and how Amy and Baby survive the day to day.  Questions arise about the alien invaders during these pages, and as I got comfortable with where I expected In The After to go the story quickly shifts in a new direction, leaving plenty of my expectations behind.

As Amy and Baby become accustomed to the discovery that they are not alone with the aliens, the mystery of these creatures continues to evolve in a way that is a little disappointing for me in the end because it’s the unsurprising answer to the who, what, and why of it all.  With that said, the way in which the story is told as Amy pieces her memories of the last few months together in parallel with the current storyline is what I ended up being most grateful for, keeping the momentum of the story going strong even as some of what is revealed isn’t exactly what I hoped for.  This also means that a lot of the revelations are pilled on top of each other in the final chapters of the book, but it makes sense structurally.  Not only that, but it sets up the anticipation for what is to come in the sequel.

A lot of questions remain for the following book in the series as Amy continues her fight for survival and answers.  There is also a strong possibility at revenge for this mistreated girl unwilling to blindly conform, and though the telling of the next part of the story will probably be structured far more straightforward than the chapters I loved in this book, I cannot wait to read what Demitria Lunetta has to follow up this debut novel.

Final Grade: 4 out of 5     

Questions for those who have read In the After:

  • Were you surprised by how easy it seemed for Amy to kill the creeper who tried to get her to take him to her home?  Not saying this wasn’t necessary and I understand why she did it, but calling the Floraes to kill him was pretty intense.
  • If baby was a test subject with Rice and the other foster children, why was she back out in the city?  Lab rats aren’t usually so poorly kept track of.
  • Remember when Amy originally sees the hovercraft in the park early on in the book?  Why were the humans releasing Floraes back into the wild?

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