L2 Books, 2/14/2013
Trade Paperback, 478 pages
The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.
My Thoughts:When people started getting sick, "they" thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family...they're all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them-with the rest of the world-but I didn't. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I'd ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O'Connor, I'm twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We've all had to start over. I've been stripped of my home, my dreams...all that is me. I'm someone else now-broken and changed. Other survivors' memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won't let them consume me. I can't. My name is Zoe Cartwright, I'm twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.We've been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing-we'll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we're strong...we're survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamiliar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.
And more than anything, we have to find each other.
After The Ending by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue is a post apocalyptic novel that focuses on two 26 year-old friends, Dani O'Connor and Zoe Cartwright, and their journey from opposite coasts to join up with each other. A pandemic flu virus has either killed or changed everyone. Some survivors develop special talents and abilities, some just go insane. Dani and Zoe discover their new abilities while traveling with others and trying to meet up in Colorado.
The novel is told in first person and features Dani and Zoe exchanging emails while they survive the flu and then try to get to Colorado. Zoe is on the east coast while Dani is on the West. Both women grew up in Bodega Bay (of The Birds). After Zoe's brother, Jason finds her, Dani heads south with his group to check up on their relatives. Zoe heads out with friends who survived on the east coast.
Here in lies my dilemma with this novel: I love post apocalyptic fiction, so I was predisposed to love this novel and overlook all sorts of flaws in order to follow the action. And I tried to do just that to the bitter end of After The Ending. But there are simply too many flaws and inconsistencies and "why" and "what"questions that kept popping up.
The biggest what" had to be the emails exchanged between the two on still operating Wi Fi access. And, okay, gas is scarce, but the internet is up and running and emails can still be exchanged. Really? This is totally improbable, and, well, annoying. Honestly then why weren't they using cell phones or tweeting since technology is available. Wouldn't there be some sort of official information on this miracle internet? Why would Zoe have to see the headlines of a paper to be shocked that so many were dead. Uh, the young adults in their mid-twenties that I know would have already been following the news - online - rather than have to read newspaper headlines.
As After The Ending is the first book in proposed series of novels.
So, I read to the end of the novel, ignoring everything that was bothering me - and the list grew pretty long. I also grew to dislike both characters. And the men they want. And most of the other characters. But, most importantly, why, in a novel with a superflu that kills so many and changes others, would you have people heading to Colorado where a group, The Colony, is broadcasting, when they can get a signal through? (They should have used the internet.) This all just screams comparison to Stephen King's The Stand. This novel isn't as fully realized as The Stand.
Okay - so After The Ending had the potential to be very interesting, but, alas, it wasn't the novel I thought it would be. If you like romance novels with a post-apocalyptic-lite setting, this may be a recommended choice for you, but it was so-so for me.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of L2 Books via Netgalley for review purposes.