Author: Amy Plum
Genre: Young Adult // Adventures // Romance
Format: Audio Book
Source: Audible.com (Purchased)
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 (goodreads)
Years of lies and an a mysterious abduction takes Juneau halfway across the US in an attempt to find out what happened to her clan. And we're ALL in for a surprise.
Plot: After the End opens by transporting the reader to a different world. World War III has destroyed most of the US, only Juneau and her clan are able to continue to survive because they are closest to the Earth's life force. From there, the book quickly goes through an abduction of her clan, and her quest to find out what happened to them. Even though the pacing was slow, I felt like a LOT of things were happening. I would have liked to have learned more about Juneau's upbringing and also more time on her trying to make sense of modern cities. Nonetheless, the overall mystery was intriguing enough to keep me listening to the end. Unfortunately, the ending left me with more questions than I had answers.
Characters: The novel is told through the view point of the two main characters, Miles and Juneau. I preferred Juneau's POV mostly because I enjoyed her as a character. I liked that she was strong but also vulnerable. Plus, she could gut a rabbit without blinking an eye - I want her on my team in a post-apocalyptic world! Miles, on the other hand, I wasn't sold on. In the beginning chapters, Miles is presented as a punk kid who brings weed to school and cheats on tests. Maybe it was due to the narrator, but I didn't get the "punk kid" vibe from him, he actually sounded really mature for an 18 year old. Clearly there HAS to be some sort of romance between our two teenagers, but it was really light, and when "the kiss" finally happened, it sort of seemed out of nowhere. The novel focused so much on the mystery of Juneau's people, that it was difficult to squeeze a proper romance in as well. There are some secondary characters that are in and out of After the End who I found to be interesting and I hope that they make more appearances in the upcoming novels.
Audio Book Performance: One of my favorite aspects of audio books is that they usually have two narrators which makes the experience more enjoyable. Both narrators did a really nice job, Emily Rankin conveyed all of the stress and emotions that Juneau well, and Graham Hamilton was very pleasant to listen to.
Short N Sweet: After the End was an exciting adventure that would have made me a more invested reader if the characters were developed just as much as the mystery was.