‘After The End’ tells the story of Juneau, a 17 year old girl who lives as a hunter in Denali, an area just outside Seattle. She believes, along with the rest of her clan that the 3rd World War in 1983 destroyed most of the outside world’s population. Her and her clan live a life centered around and based upon an ancient magical system called the ‘Gaia Movement’. She has learnt to connect with the ‘Yara’, the earth’s central core, enabling her to visualize things like people’s locations, memories of the past and glimpses into the future.
One day, Juneau is sent out to hunt for meat by her mentor Whit. When she returns, every member of her clan is gone, the whole settlement destroyed. She takes it upon herself to find out what happened to everyone. Juneau makes a plan to visit the cave on the mountain to look for Whit, but he is not there.
She comes to discover a city alive and thriving, and her whole world is turned upside down. She has been lied to her whole life, and now she doesn’t know who to trust. Juneau decides to explore this untouched world, in an effort to find her clan and her dad.
The story is told in dual perspective, and we meet a boy called Miles, thrown out of school for cheating at his exams. Desperate to make his dad proud of him, Miles overhears a telephone conversation in his dad’s office and takes it upon himself to follow it up. Miles’s dad owns a pharmaceutical company, and they believe that Juneau’s clan have discovered a drug that gives people immortality and stops them aging. This is not the case, being able to connect to the ‘Yara’ is what stops the aging process and protects the people from illness and disease.
Miles and Juneau’s paths cross. Juneau trying to find her clan, and Miles determined to hand Juneau over to his dad.
The resulting story is an intense, gritty survival story, with acceptance and self discovery at it’s core. The relationship between Juneau and Miles is lovely to read. The author also has a beautiful writing style, making the book easy and joyous to read.
The sequel and conclusion ‘Until The Beginning’ is now high on my list of books to buy and read this year. I can’t wait to see what happens next, especially after the shocking cliffhanger at the end of book 1.
A brilliant book with huge action and even bigger heart. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.