In the End by Demitria Lunetta
Book Two of the In the After series
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
Another series, over! This was only a duo series, but still, look at me, finishing those series! Commitment is a wonderful thing. I didn't like this book as much as I liked the first book, but I'm glad I read this one. I almost didn't bother with an advanced copy!
Amy is heading to Fort Black. Kay's brother Ken is there, and Amy is hoping that Ken will help her, because Doctor Reynolds has Baby. Reynolds is experimenting on Baby, and Amy is hoping that Ken will protect Baby from Reynolds (since Ken is also a doctor and researcher). But Fort Black isn't exactly a paradise compared to New Hope.
There are three parts to this book, but really, there are too: Fort Black, and New Hope. Fort Black isn't like New Hope, but it isn't amazing, either. There really isn't a government, but there is a Warden, and his word is law. Yet, everyone must fend for themselves. There are very few women in Fort Black, so immediately, Amy is claimed by Jackson, the Warden's nephew. Jacks is a really good person, but he is tough, strong, respected. I definitely liked Jacks a lot - he always had Amy's interests in mind, despite not knowing her for very long.
So Amy lives in Fort Black for a while, looking for Ken. At first, it's like chasing ghosts, because no one has seen Ken. Meanwhile, it seems like everyone is trying to kill or hurt Amy. I think the author started to go in circles, honestly, and I was not amused. But I kept reading.
Amy leaves Fort Black when she finds out that Baby is doing really badly. All the blood loss (the doctors are drawing blood for research) is making her sick and lifeless. So Amy has it in her mind to take down New Hope, save Fort Black (which is in chaos) - but first, save Baby. If Baby can be saved.
The plot wasn't something I really enjoyed, especially once Amy goes back to New Hope. But I liked the romance! I can't say much about it, but I'm happy with the direction that Lunetta took the romance. Even if the boy only seemed like a love interest, he was as excellent love interest, and a really great character.
See below for what I did not really like! There were some things.
What I Did Not Like:
I mentioned that I wasn't a fan of the plot. I felt like the author kept going in circles, when Amy was at Fort Black. Looking for Ken, some tries to jump Amy. Looking for Ken, someone attacks Amy. Jacks protects Amy, Jacks defends Amy, Jacks is a perfect person. But literally, the Fort Black part of the story goes around and around and around.
And that's the majority of the book. When we get to New Hope, things happen quickly. Attempt to rescue Baby, waitwaitwait, then the climax. I wasn't really impressed with the structure of this book, nor was I impressed with the plot.
It felt like Lunetta was grasping for straws, honestly. The curveball thrown in the beginning, about Baby being taken by Doctor Reynolds, seemed really forced. I definitely rolled my eyes when I read that. Could it be more cliche?! Or predictable?! Or forced?! I knew it wouldn't be long before Baby would be taken by Doctor Reynolds - and it's amazing how the author made that the whole story in this book.
Also, way to throw a somewhat love triangle in this series. The series is only TWO BOOKS LONG, and yet, Lunetta includes a love triangle in this series. In my opinion, it's pretty obvious where Lunetta is going with the romance, and I'm happy with the boy that Amy chose, but still. Seriously?! One book spent with one boy, one book spent with another... no. No thank you.
The "scare" factor was missing. I didn't feel like terror, the fear, the paranoia that I felt in the first book, involving the creatures. The Florae dominate the plot in the first book, but it didn't seem as important in this book as the first book. Baby was more important. Honestly, is one person more important than the survival of hundreds? Thousands? I know it seems like a difficult choice, but it's not.
I think in general, this book just wasn't impressive. The first book wow-ed me, but this one was a bit of a letdown, honestly. I had some pretty high standards for this book, but it just felt forced and cliche. Meh.
Would I Recommend It:
If you read the first book, be sure to read this one as well! It's not AMAZING, but it's definitely worth the read, for closure. Book one left much to be discovered. But if you haven't read book one, then ehh, don't bother with this series. You could skip these two and not be missing out.
3 stars. Something wasn't there, comparing this book to the first book. What sucked me into the first book - the energy, the fear, the survival mode - wasn't quite there in this book. However, it was a pretty good sequel and conclusion novel. I'm glad I read this one, especially for closure!
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