Title: After the Ending
Author: Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: By far one of the best fiction books I’ve read this year! You’ll have to read the review for more, because there were far too many good things about it to fit here.
After a virus kills nearly everyone they know, best friends Dani and Zoe are stranded on either side of the country and working their way towards each other. They quickly discover that those not killed by the virus are developing side effects, from murderous rages to unbelievable new abilities. In order to survive the frightening new world, they’ll have to develop their own new abilities and learn to fight to survive.
Although post-apocalyptic novels are a dime a dozen lately, After the Ending was brilliantly unique. I haven’t read anything else that has such relatable characters or that so vividly captures the terror of watching the world around you fall apart. The authors also avoid two things that bother me in most post-apocalyptic or dystopian novels and I loved them for it. First, many books have characters who take too long to admit that something out of science fiction is happening. I realize that I would take some convincing before I believed the events in this book were happening to me, but I think the sci-fi I’ve read would allow me to adapt. The characters in this book are, in my opinion, right on the money, adapting to their new reality at a believable speed. Second, a lot of books draw out interpersonal conflicts by having characters be so stupid I want to shake them. The characters in this book instead actually talk to people when they have problems with them. As a result, the plot advanced at an exciting pace and the authors were able to fill the book with an incredible amount of adventure.
In general, the characters were believably intelligent, not too perfect, and very relatable. While their e-mails to each other did sound a little young for their age, I thought the authors did a pretty good job capturing the way real people talk without giving the writing an unprofessional feel. The e-mails were integrated into the story nicely and didn’t break up the flow of the writing at all. In fact, I think they added information about the characters’ feelings which benefited the story telling. The view point swapping was also executed flawlessly. I’ve never minded books that swap between multiple view points, but I still appreciated that the authors would sometimes give a character consecutive chapters when something exciting was going on.
Finally, the science was a little bit of a stretch, but fairly believable. Of course it turns out someone nefarious is behind the whole thing, but the authors don’t rub your face in the fact, which for me made it feel less cliche. The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but an acceptable one since the main conflict of this book was resolved first. The writing was superb and this is by far the best edited independently published book I’ve read, on top of it’s many other good qualities, so I’m waiting with bated breath for the next book. Highly, highly recommended! (Also, only $3 for the kindle version and free if you have prime, in which case you really must give it a try!)