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.
This story was not at all what I expected, something completely different and therefore a lot of fun to read. It definitely has its flaws, but just like her first series about the Revenants, it was easy for me to ignore these and just enjoy the story. Overall this story came as quite a surprise to me because I expected a different kind of atmosphere but recognized Amy’s style that made me love her first series too. It is not an action packed story but an interesting adventure, a thrilling road trip that I couldn’t put down before I reached the end.
Starting this book, you have no idea what you’re going to get. And I’m not going to say anything about what this book really is about because it came as quite a surprise to me and I think everyone else should go into this book without knowing and experience the same. There is something about Juneau and her clan, why they pretend to live this life after a third world war that I liked a lot and made this an interesting read.
What mostly kept me reading was the mystery about her clan, why they would disappear like that or get kidnapped. Even though we learn about some clues pretty early it’s still rather fuzzy and there is a lot more to find out.
What I liked a lot is that we do not only read from Juneau’s POV but also from someone else who lives a normal life. Reading from Juneau on the one hand who lived all her life in the wilderness thinking WWIII happened and on the other hand from someone living a wealthy life in the city, gives an interesting view on these events. It was also interesting to see these too meet and them getting to learn about each other’s lives.
Having multiple POVs in this case is also a good way to give us clues about what happened to Juneau’s clan, some that she has no way of finding out herself.
I loved that this story mostly is about a road trip. Juneau wants to find her clan and has to follow clues to get there. With her being used to wilderness this is more camping than staying in hotels. She and her companion also don’t get along most times and with certain facts about Juneau’s clan she sometimes appears rather crazy talking about those, which leads to a lot of arguments.
With two different groups of people wanting to get her this is not your usual road trip but comes with a lot of ups and downs and makes a thrilling ride that ends in a way that makes you crave the next book.
Juneau is suddenly confronted with a completely new world and has to adapt. People around her have to get used to her unusual lifestyle. I enjoyed reading about these characters and seeing slow progress in adapting and getting used to each other. It was fun seeing Juneau being confronted with all these different things the elders didn’t teach her, especially all the technology. She still wasn’t completely clueless though and I was glad that she wasn’t this frightened little girl, the damsel in distress.
When it comes to Juneau but also one of the secondary characters, the character development is well done, a progress I enjoyed reading about.
The only thing that made me not give this book a 5 star rating is that everything in this story was just too easy and there were too many fortunate coincidences. In some ways Juneau was prepared too much for this. In my opinion it would have made an even more interesting story if she didn’t adapt so easily, if she weren’t provided with certain things to help her. This way it felt like the elders new this would happen and could have prevented it in the first place.
If you liked Amy Plum’s first series you will probably enjoy this as well. These characters might not be as charming as Vincent & Co are, but they are interesting, have depth and it didn’t take long for me to care about them. After the End is a fun and thrilling road trip that has some surprises and a big mystery in store and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to get more clues about what is going on.