Tuesday, May 20, 2014


This is a review of the audiobook for IN THE AFTER by Demitria Lunetta. First I'll review the book itself, then the 'audiobookness' of the book. THEN I'll give away a SIGNED copy of IN THE AFTER!

Blurb from Audible:
Amy is watching TV when the world is attacked by Them. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to survive - and even rescue "Baby" - a toddler she finds in an abandoned supermarket.
Then, 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.

Oh man, I loved this book. Maybe more so because I didn't think I would. I had shied away from it because I *thought* it was like a lot of other dystopian books that I've read lately (to remain nameless) all action no depth. But Amy is a deep character. She is not just reacting to situations - attacks by flesh eating 'them', having to become completely silent so as to not attract 'their' attention. She's got a rich internal life, and moral struggle. Should she leave Baby behind? Should she just save herself? When she reflects on what her life was like 'in the before' she realizes that the world she used to live in is gone forever.

Or is it? When she's rescued and brought to New Hope - a colony that tries very hard to replicate life 'before' - Amy is skeptical. She's an intriguingly prickly character with conflicting motivations and feelings. This makes her strong and real - she's no cardboard cut out heroine.

The scenes I love best are the ones between Amy and Baby. Their bond is amazing and I love the way Lunetta conveys so much emotion between the girls as they live in a silent world - using sign language, walking on bare feet, always hyper vigilant against the slightest sound that could bring 'their' attack.

The twists and turns in IN THE AFTER are unexpected and when they come, and you cast back in your mind to see if there were any hints that came before, you realize they were there, you just missed them. I didn't know how Amy would survive, not just physically but emotionally and the end made me impatient for more.

The good news is 'more' is coming. IN THE END the sequel to IN THE AFTER comes out June 24th. I can't wait.

I listen to a lot of audiobooks - it's how I get to read as many books as I have to/need to. If I had to wait to have some quiet, alone time in my household of crazy, I'd still be waiting. Audiobooks allow me to read while I'm cutting the lawn, driving, running and ignoring my kids caring for my children.

But the nature of audiobooks is such that the narrator becomes nearly as important as the book itself. A very good narrator is practically invisible, a voice in your head that stands in for you. A bad narrator - or even one that just rubs you the wrong way - can kill your book-enjoying buzz. I could not finish listening to FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo because the narrator got on my very last nerve. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick up the paper version soon and have a better experience.

The narrator for IN THE AFTER is Julia Whelan and she does not disappoint. She captures the tone and character of Amy perfectly, managing to convey the girl's fierceness and vulnerability at the same time. She also does a very good, seamless job of speaking in a slightly different voice when speaking another character's dialogue. Some narrators do this with a very heavy hand. They try to put on a 'voice' or accent so you know that the person speaking is someone other than the main character (especially in a book that is first person like this one.) I think Julia Whelan does this effectively but subtly. I never felt taken out of the story by the narration.


This is the lovely swag I have for you! A signed copy of IN THE AFTER along with a bookmark and sticker. All you have to do is leave a comment below and, if you'd be so kind, follow me on twitter if you don't already (@magpiewrites)

I'll select a winner at random on Monday June 2nd. Good luck!


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