Book Review: After the Ending by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

T.B. Melanie October 30, 2013 0
  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Building Action
  • Climax and Falling Action
  • Love Stories

After the Ending by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey PogueA virus has swept through the world killing most of it’s population in just days. Now those who have recovered from the virus with their minds intact have to figure out how to survive in this new more dangerous world. Dani and Zoe are best friends inseparable for most of their lives, but now trapped on opposite sides of the continent. Dani has lost almost everything and everyone she knows. Her roommate and boyfriend both die in the virus and she loses hope of survival too until Zoe’s brother Jason shows up. Zoe fairs a little better but she knows that she’ll need to become a whole new person to survive. Then other people’s emotions and memories start to invade Zoe’s mind. Survivors are starting to mutate into something new and Dani and Zoe know that the clock is ticking and they must find one another no matter the sacrifice.

To Meet In The Middle

Written in the rare style of other books like P.S. Longer Letter Later, After the Ending is written by separate authors telling the story of two separate characters through interchanging chapters. Dani is written by Lindsey Fairleigh and Zoe is written by Lindsey Pogue. This story did an exceptional job of using details from each of the girl’s lives in their friend’s narratives and made the whole book seem like one flowing narrative instead of two separate stories. Dani and Zoe each respond to the other’s concerns and still keep their own lives and stories rolling.

The beginning of After the Ending is quite the heart devouring saga. As the book description and the summary above say nearly everyone that Dani and Zoe care about dies or is missing.  Dani’s description of her boyfriends death is particularly heart breaking. Yet, somehow the story is able to move on. Through grief the girls don’t dwell but are shaped and it makes their character development all that much stronger. The authors even come up with a few good reasons to move the story line along without paralyzing the characters in grief.

The girls’ e-mails and powers both revealed extra details and backstories on many of the characters that might have been left out otherwise. That gave depth and interest to the story that other dramatic friendship stories often lack. This story was not just about Dani and Zoe but about all of the relationships and people they come into contact with.

The combination of a virus-apocalypse and mutating survivors into having special superpowers was an interesting twist on a common idea. The authors worked hard to keep most of the powers believable and plausible; as far as superpowers go anyways. Most of the powers revolved around thought or intuition – so superhero enthusiasts, think more like Alphas and less like X-men –  and there were no laser beams coming from anyone’s eyes or anyone growing metallic claws. I hope that the authors will stick to these type of powers and maybe even delve into the ‘why’s’ further in the future.

Reading reviews of After the Ending reveals that it seems that most readers have either loved or hated this style of writing. The friendship aspect, the drama it creates, and the fact that Dani and Zoe tend to repeat events in e-mails seem to be the deciding factor. For this reader, the repetition and the drama were enjoyable and well worth four stars.

You Might Like This Book If:

1. You enjoy a good post apocalyptic or dystopian story. I have a feeling that the following books will make for a great series. The next book called Into the Fire is scheduled to be released this fall, 2013.

2. You are looking for a different style to read. The melding of two minds is not always done to such a perfect point that one continual story can be created, but Ms. Fairleigh and Ms. Pogue have certainly achieved near perfection in this endeavor.

3. Finally, you might like this book if you enjoy true friendship stories. Zoe and Dani are very devoted friends and even travel across the country to be together. I especially loved the C.S. Lewis quote at the very beginning of the book. “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has not survival value, rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” How perfect to show how Dani and Zoe’s friendship was not an essential item to their survival but it gave them a reason to survive to move on and to make one very interesting book.

In the end, I only have one question for the authors: Why did the best friends end up across the continent from each other in the first place? Jobs? College? Boys? It certainly made their lives a lot harder, whatever it was. If you’ve read After the Ending, why do you think they were so far apart?

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