Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publication: September 25th 2014 by Simon and Schuster UK Children’s
Source: I received a free copy from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.
I don’t have enough time to say all the things I loved about this book. I could literally gush for hours. I have been looking forward to reading this ever since I saw the pictures of the large posters at BEA. Scott Westerfeld is one of my all time favourite authors and he did not dissapoint.
Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…
Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack.
But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.
I really enjoyed the idea of having a story within a story. It made it interesting and I enjoyed seeing how the things that were happening in Darcy’s life affected with how she wrote. It was very well put together and I don’t think that there were any points that I was bored or wanted to read either story more. I thought that both stories could have done with a little more substance, maybe it might have been interesting for Westerfeld to publish 2 different novels. However, I enjoyed the structure none the less.
Darcy was a very interesting protagonist. She is very diverse, coming from a family who practices Hinduism and, whilst not wanting to give spoilers, in a few other ways. Let’s just say a new otp was born. I particularly enjoyed her struggles to start a new life in a big city, whilst also navigating a first and unforgettable relationship. A really important part of the book was when Darcy is discussing cultural appropriation with some of the other authors. I think it will start an interesting debate and will probably open people’s eyes a little bit.
Darcy was a very strong character and I love her ability to be independent but also to care for her family and friends so much. I think she has the potential to be a true role model.
Afterworlds: Lizzie’s Story
I can liken this part of the story to a lot of teen romance novels. One/both of them have special powers, they meet, fall in love, a bad thing happens… However, this story was a little bit more than a love story. Lizzie was an interesting character, oddly accepting of her new condition and slightly cold hearted. Her relationships with various other characters were very interesting and made her feel different to the normal two dimensional romance characters.
I love feeling creeped out by a book and more often than once I went to bed wondering if there was anything else in my room besides me. This feeling was carried throughout the story and gave it an edge that books like twilight or The Hunger Games don’t have.
Buy this book if you enjoy romance, horror and adventure. Also buy this book if you like stories about development and self discovery.
P.S Don’t miss the tiny nod the the Uglies series somewhere in the novel.