Rating: 2 out of 5
Expected publication: May 6th 2014 by HarperTeen
She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.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.
Review:I was very excited when I found out Amy was writing an apocalyptic novel. I loved the Revenant series and her writing style. Then after reading the synopsis I thought, ok, maybe this one won't be for me but I'll try anyway.
No one can take away Amy's imagination. The start of AtE is a draw. Immediately you're reading about lives of teenagers who live outside the norm. A teenage girl, Juneau, is preparing to be the next Sage. I get the impression she'll actually be leading the tribe.
The WW3 destroyed the world. The radiation killed everyone. Although, not everyone because the founders of the tribe took off to Alaska and have been there ever since. And not the hunters out there either. The hunters keep looking for the Juneau's people but Juneau's tribe know how to hide. They use the Yara.
Okay, alarm bells. there are a few adults in the tribe. A teenage girl? The last Sage was her mother who died years ago. Nobody in the tribe has the same skills as Juneau, which is why she's been specially mentored by a guy called Whit. He's honing her magic skills and her ability to work with the Yara. A magical connection to the earth which you can use to your advantage. Like hiding from hunters.
Juneau comes back from a hunting trip to find all her tribe are gone and their dogs have been shot. They haven't deserted, they've been abducted by those flying things in the sky. Hunters.
This is going to be interesting, I thought. A bit of action and adventure, and out in the wild stuff. To be honest it all fell a bit flat after that.
Juneau grabs enough food for her and the dogs and heads off to find her tribe.
But she finds a fully functional city, where people are walking and talking. No signs of WW3 here. She's been lied to. All her life she's been told the world as it was died 30 years ago. But she's been betrayed.
Yes, there are signs of being hurt. She's angry. At last, some emotional response.
In comes Miles. The second POV of the book. He's a drop out from school. Some might say he doesn't appreciate what he has. Namely a father who basically leaves him alone but gives him enough money to do what he wants. The father also works for a leading pharmaceutical company that are hunting Juneau. Miles decides, after overhearing a few of his fathers phone calls, to go off to Seattle and find this missing girl. For his father.
Okay, he can't stand his dad. And now he's going to travel from LA to Seattle and find a girl with only the briefest of descriptions? Seriously? This kid doesn't even have any skills. And Seattle's a big place.
What do you know? He finds Juneau. After a bit of traveling here and there, with the introduction of a rook (Whit's) and another witchy kind of lady who helps Juneau out, they're on their way to finding Juneau's tribe.
Then the romance starts happening. I didn't want this. I didn't like Miles at all. And I didn't really like Juneau. In fact, Amy Plum did her best to make the two characters sound as unappealing as possible, what with Juneau's starburst in her eye and Miles lack of personality. But still, after knowing each other for a day or two they start having zings when they touch, and think of kissing each other. I don't think so....
The book ends on a cliffhanger after Miles gets shot.
This is probably what I would call a road-trip book with two unlikely characters learning about each other along the way. But I didn't get any of the emotional buzz I usually get when reading an Amy Plum book. Really, there was nothing enjoyable about it at all. I didn't really care for the Juneau or Miles enough. Every story arc felt too forced, too convenient, too much fell in their laps too easily.
I will read the next one, if only for closures sake but I was thoroughly disappointed. The plot of the story could have been so epic, so big, but turned into a very small one dimensional trek.
It's unusual for me to not like a HarperTeen book, usually their quality of stories is incredibly high so I almost want to apologise to Harper Teen for NOT liking this one.
Amy Plum is the international bestselling author of the DIE FOR ME series (Indie Next List pick, Romance Times top pick, and recipient of a starred review from School Library Journal). The books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages. The trilogy is accompanied by two eNovellas entitled DIE FOR HER and DIE ONCE MORE and a compendium entitled INSIDE THE WORLD OF DIE FOR ME.
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