Review: After the Ending by Lindsey Farleigh & Lindsey Pogue

Now, I'm a sucker for a post apocalyptic novel. I loved The Hunger Games, The Eleventh Plague and The Maze Runner. Those are all young adult novels, so I had hopes for After the Ending by Lindsey Farleigh and Lindsey Pogue--an adult post-apocalyptic book that didn't have Mad Max overtones? Well, some things worked for me and others just didn't.

The book is told in epistle format--letters (emails, actually) back and forth mixed with first person narrative and follows Zoe on the East Coast and Dani on the West Coast. They're best friends from a coastal community called Boca Bay who are separated by work and time when The Ending shows up in the form of a virus that wipes out up to 80% of the population. We see Dani's roomate Callie succumb on the evening of Dani's birthday and shortly thereafter her boyfriend Cam dies. One of the interesting things I found in this book was the fact that it happens during and right after the end of the world. So many of these books are quite a  while after the fact. All the buildings are in decay and falling down with a few salvageable bits, but the corpses have all been conveniently turned to dust by that point. This book--not so much. It's one of the main problems as our two girls each gather a group of  former military and survival minded civvies around them and travel across the country to Colorado. Apparently, there's a safe haven near Boulder at someplace called "The Colony."

So, the what do we do with the bodies and the plight of mani-pedi loving girly girls faced with the end of the world was intriguing. It does force you to pose the question of--what would I do? Seriously, unless we ransacked a LensCrafters' warehouse with my brand of contacts or glasses in my Rx, I'd be bait for the first batch of Crazies we stumbled across. Here's the kicker with this End. The virus, if it didn't kill you, did one of two things. You either went stark staring mad or you developed "abilities." Our girl Zoe becomes an empath, Dani a telepath, Harper can see flashes of the future, Sanchez and Chris can mindspeak, Jake is indestructible and Jason is a walking null. There are a few others who, as far as I could tell, have neither powers nor are nuts with no explanation--Sarah, Holly, Hunter and Biggs among them. (I kept waiting for a Wedge to show up.)

I had a fews issues with this book. The narrative style didn't bug me. I've read a few books told back and forth, though this one is a bit choppy in places and I forgot who I was supposed to be following for a moment. Apparently, the only people who survive after the End are these two girls and a bunch of military people--so, lots of buff guys. There's not one old, near sighted or overweight person in the book who's not a baddie. Speaking of baddies . . . our two girls both have female mind manipulating crazies (Cece and Clara respectively) who decide they hate them because the buffest, baddest guys in the bunches love our girls. It ends in a cliffhanger. They think they've managed to avoid one of the awful futures foreseen by Harper, but it turns out (I assume since there's very little detail before the thump of the ending) that they were wrong, but it's Dani who gets snatched and not Zoe.

Overall, I'd give it two stars. Not something I'd really read again, I think. There were some cool descriptions, but I just couldn't care about our narrative girls. Seriously, I was more upset when one of the dogs died than when Clara attacked Zoe or was it when Cece attacked Dani? You see, that's exactly what I was talking about.  


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