Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: In the End by Demitria LunettaIn the End by Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After #2
Published by HarperTeen on June 24, 2014
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures.

It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

Considering how much I loved In the After (book #1), I was thoroughly disappointed with In the End. The pacing was slow, most of the book felt like filler and I couldn’t stand most of the new characters we met.

Amy was still a pretty good character, though she spends a good deal of this book getting into trouble, not listening and doing stupid things. When someone told her to stay put, to wait until things were calm or safe, she just didn’t listen. I really wanted to scream at her. If she had stayed put, like she was told to, she would have avoided at least 80% of the trouble she ran in to. And while Amy grew and matured a LOT in In the After, her character development was almost non-existent in In the End. It’s almost like she peaked at the end of In the After.

We meet a lot of new characters in In the End. I only sort of liked two or three of them. But even then, I feel like we didn’t really get to know them, so it was hard to like them. And that’s despite the fact that two of them were major characters for almost all of the book. We just didn’t get to see enough of them or learn enough about their past and who they were. I liked Jacks in the beginning. He was calm and mild-mannered, yet his attitude screamed “cocky leader.” As the story went on, I wasn’t crazy about certain things and it wasn’t until the very end of the book that I realized I liked him a whole lot more than… Well, someone else… But.. Spoilers, so I’m shutting up – read the book! And I liked Brenna immediately but I never trusted her, so that messed with me because I was always waiting for her to turn on Amy.

Baby was one of my favorite characters in In the After for so many reasons. She was a young child, but she was smart, resilient and knew how to survive. She had an intriguing back-story, too. But she was BARELY in In the End. That was really disappointing. And when she WAS in the book… Well… Sigh.

As I mentioned before, most of this book felt like filler. It had Second Book Syndrome, except in this case, the series is a duology and only has two books. So that was a pretty big disappointment. Honestly, most of the book just felt like its only purpose was to get the reader to the last 20 pages. Because, really, that’s when things finally picked up. Until that point, the book was slow, boring filler and completely predictable. Nothing ever took me by surprise.

Another huge complaint I had with this book? Sexism. Lots and lots of sexism and the idea that women belong to men and are nothing more than “property.” These women were branded with tattoos to mark which man they belonged to… UHHHH, NOPE. This knocked it down initially from a 4-star to a 3.5-star rating. And then the slow pacing, predictability and filler-like feeling dropped it to the final 3-star rating. Also, as a minor side-note, sooooo many parts of this book felt like Walking Dead rip-offs.. Just saying.

I wish this book had some more redeeming qualities I could talk about, but it just didn’t. I adored book one but I could rant for hours about this book. I usually avoid spoilers in my reviews. But if this review had spoilers, it would be triple the length that it is now with all the ranting.

So unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book. I feel completely let down by it. Personally, I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it to someone, though others might enjoy it where I didn’t. I still think Demitria Lunetta is a brilliant writer; she crafted a gorgeous, creepy world, described it to us vividly and kept me turning the page, still eager to see how it all ended despited how much I didn’t enjoy it. I’ll definitely still be watching out for future books from this author.


Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Review: In the After by Demitria LunettaIn the After by Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After #1
Published by HarperTeen on June 25, 2013
Pages: 455
Format: Hardcover
Buy on Amazon

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

In the After was a deliciously creepy, gritty survival story. I loved the plot, the writing, the pacing and the characters. I was intrigued by the world Lunetta created and, when I got to the end of the book, stunned by the revelations.

I loved Amy. She was strong, smart and resilient. The first few chapters SHOULD be classified as an info dump, but the way Lunetta wrote it was fascinating and I couldn’t put the book down. Normally, a character grows from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. But we saw a huge amount of growth in Amy just in the first few chapters alone. She was alone for so long and, yeah, at first she crumbled under the fear and isolation. But eventually she learned how to thrive, how to survive on her own. And a typical girl her age never could have cared for a toddler on top of that.

Baby was a fascinating character. Right from the beginning, she was different. I always knew she was different and I had my theories about her from day one. The bite, the mark… I knew something wasn’t right. She was highly intelligent for a child, though, and a great companion for Amy. Though young, she knew how to be silent, how to hide and how to take care of herself.

The second part of the book held so many answers, yet for every answer we got, three new questions popped up. Also, 98% of the time, when the MC stumbles into a thriving community of survivors and someone starts talking of their desire to ‘isolate the best, weed out the worst’ and bring about a ‘new civilization’ in Dystopians and Post-Apocalyptic stories, it usually means trouble. It never ends well. That wonderful utopia, away from the all the evils of the outside world, is usually hiding some nasty, dark secrets. And, as predicted, this was the case and bad things happened – I won’t spoil it for you, but there were many people that could not be trusted and many people I did not like, such as Dr. Reynolds and Amber and… Well, someone else… I can’t say… MAJOR spoilers. But you’ll see when you read it!

I loved Rice though. He was kind, compassionate, cautious and honest. He was good for Amy. He helped protect her and he kept her and Baby safe. He also kept some things from her.. But I do hope we see more of him in book two. I also loved Kay. She was such a hard-ass on the outside, but deep down, she truly cared for the safety of New Hope and for Amy. Gareth was another one I loved; he was the father figure Amy needed, as well as her protector. Finally, Vivian was the friend Amy deserved and I’m disheartened with how her story ended, though I had a feeling it would happen very early on and it DID lead to a major revelation.

Part three of the book was definitely the most action-packed. It held almost all of the answers and had at least three HUGE, MAJOR revelations. I actually had a ton of theories as early as half-way through the book. Unintentionally, Rice gave away a lot of things in his actions and words. Lunetta really pulls the rug out from under us in this section of the book. Everything you thought was true… Well, you’ll see.

Overall, I completely loved this book. It was creepy, intriguing and page-turning. Lunetta is definitely an author on the rise and I’m incredibly excited for the second and final book in this duology, In the End.