Science fiction is probably one of the many genres with a huge market. In such a crowded market, it’s always riveting to find newer concepts or unique themes that authors could offer but only a few of them manages to pull it off. Demitria Lunetta’s debut novel is not far from that fact.
Set in another fear-provoking world, Lunetta devised a surprisingly remarkable science fiction thriller that involves one of the disturbing science fiction themes—aliens. It has been a while since I’ve encountered the grotesque beings on a novel. Based on my experiences as a reader, few have succeeded to capture the shuddering vision of an outside invasion through a book, but Lunetta’s version is unbelievably convincing and different. In The After offers more than a shudder and more than the frightening thought of aliens. There is a far greater danger and fear that Lunetta definitely had managed to produce—a single, huge, openmouthed twist that will totally ruin any of your initial allegations, beliefs, and theories.
Aside from the chilling thought of the world being ravaged by aliens, it is the almost true-to-life journey of Amy and Baby to survive in the terrifying After that really sent me a gamut of emotions. Within the first ten chapters, I instantly developed a connection with Amy and Baby—a connection impossible to cut. It’s a struggle to me to see Amy and Baby, despite their early loss of innocence, courageously fight for their lives and what is left of the world. With Amy’s eloquent and vivid descriptions, I could really feel the dominating darkness, fear, hopelessness, hunger, isolation, and silence that surrounded them (not to mention the aliens). In spite of all their struggles and sorrows, they share something inspiring that will never ever vanish from the world: their heartfelt sisterly love. If I could just practically leap into the pages of the novel to get Amy and Baby out from the vicious imagination of Demitria Lunetta, I would have done so even before the beginning. I admit, I want to hate Lunetta for creating such harsh world for two endearing characters but at the same time I want to praise her for creating two heartrending, realistic, and gutsy characters that deeply touched my emotions and stayed with me long after I turned the last pages.
Another aspect that I can’t help to bring out is the romance. Despite the fact that falling in love is the least important thing to do in an alien-infested world, readers can expect a dash of romance here and there. At some cases, the small amount of romance thrown felt forced and rush to me; like it needed a certain spark to be noticed; like it needed slow-moving moments for a more satisfying romance. Nevertheless, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story and I know what Lunetta wants to pertain. Admittedly, it won’t matter to me if Amy falls in love or not as my anticipation for the next books mostly centers on her and Baby especially with the stunning heart-ripping ending.
Spectacularly entangled with confounding mysteries, surprising twists, breakneck actions, and a stirring tale of survival and friendship, In The After is a poignantly written unforgettable journey of an endearing duo as they confront a world roamed by terrible creatures with a shocking origin. It’s part post-apocalyptic, part dystopian, and part science fiction—possibly a first in the science fiction genre. This debut novel by Demitria Lunetta will surely keep readers constantly holding on to their breaths and their flashlights as they discover the human capacity to survive the bleakest of times. I for one am a witness to that.
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