Revoking the Apocalypse in After the End

After the End by Amy Plum


4.5/5 STARS


Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Author: Amy Plum
Published: May 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 336 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts

I just love everything about this book. Juneau is such an awesome character and probably one of my favourite fictional heroines now. Everything was just so darn cool. I NEED BOOK TWO.

I also learnt that Juneau is the capital of Alaska in this book. There you go.

Unique Defined

“Why did I feel safer in a postapocalyptic world than in this functioning, civilised world?” ~ Juneau

After the End was a great book. It was also the first book by Amy Plum that I had read and it convinced me that I just needed to read everything else she’s written (I’ve since read Die For Me and you can see my review of that here). I can’t believe that I have to wait so long for the sequel! This was such a delightful and quick read and a great spin on the dystopian genre. I loved everything about this book and I adored the characters. If you’re looking for a good dystopian book that IS NOT about a corrupt government then, my friend, you have found it.

Setting the Stage

Juneau is a teenage girl who lives with her tribe in a nomadic-like lifestyle. They live in yurts (which, aside from incredibly fun to say, also look very cool – and I don’t know about you but I used to play An Age of Empires and place them EVERYWHERE) in the Alaskan wilderness after escaping from the destruction of WWIII – and they’ve been there for 30 years. The children in this tribe have a distinctive ‘starburst’ colouring in one of their eyes – supposedly a side-effect of being close to the ‘yara’. What’s that? It’s sort of like magic but interpreted more as a power source from being ‘at one’ with nature. And Juneau’s very good at using it – she’s the apprentice to the guy in her tribe who currently runs everything to do with it, as such. What can you do with it? She can tap into the memory of animals to see what they’ve seen (excellent for spying) and she can also use it to conjure an image in her mind of where a person is at. In this sense, she can use it to track and one-sidedly communicate with people. Her senior is able to predict events with it, too, but I don’t believe Juneau masters this, not in this book anyway. This whole yard business is much more important to the story than you might originally think.


But then . . . 

Whilst out hunting one day, her entire tribe is kidnapped. Juneau doesn’t know who has done this or why but she sets herself on a mission to save her family and, for the first time, leave the boundaries of her tribe’s land.

This is set in the future and Juneau has been taught her whole life that WWIII happened and that nuclear weapons destroyed the world as we know it, leaving behind a barren radioactive wasteland and she was one of the lucky ones to be living in a safe and working ‘society’, her tribe. Of course, this is all a lie: which is the plot of the story. What would you do if you found out literally everything you’ve ever known was a lie? And more importantly, how would you feel if the people you trusted had told you this lie – why would they do that? On top of this, Juneau believes that there are these ‘baddies’ out there (gangs that live in the wasteland and not in a tribe) and knows that these are to be avoided at all cost. As the story progresses, we learn a lot more behind the truth of this lie. Outside of Juneau’s world, society has continued much the same as it always has – what you see in the cities and whatnot is very similar to today’s society. Which means that Juneau has no idea who she can actually trust or what she needs to do.

What I Loved

There were so many things that I adored about this book. For starters, Plum’s writing is so easy to get into and helps propel the story along at an exciting pace that makes it impossible to put down. Like, try this description for size:

“The thought rockets through my mind and ricochets around once or twice before I catch it and twist the life out of it.” ~ Juneau

Poetry, right?

But most of all, I loved that Plum starts the story wth something that feels very much so like a plot twist. In most dystopian books like this, finding out the ‘truth’ behind the ‘lie’ is usually the last thing to happen in the first book – and it catches you in a wicked cliff-hanger. But NOPE. Plum ain’t having none of that. She spears your attention from the get-go – because where does a book even go from there? I guess you’ll just have to read this to find out.

I love that this story is able to stand on its own two legs as this adventure and discovery journey of a young girl trying to save her family. What happens within the first book is really quite simple yet it still makes for compelling reading. It’s fascinating to see how Juneau copes and the need to know what happens next is REAL. It’s all really fascinating and Plum still manages to surprise us with a few quirky twists along the way. She even leaves room for a love interest, *waggles eyebrows*.


“I’m lying here in a tent, pretending to be asleep but actually fearing for my life as I watch a bunny murderer have a conversation with our campfire.” ~ Miles

Now I’m not going to tell you what role Miles plays in this book. Why? Because I didn’t even know this was dual perspective going in to the book so I’m not going to tell you why that is. All I really want to say is that Miles was a great character: he just wants to impress his dad but also enjoy life whilst he’s young. When he’s suddenly introduced to Juneau he’s totally shaken up and has no idea how to be around her. I can’t wait to read more of him in book two. Did I mention this is a ‘reluctant’ love interest? Hey look – now who’s interested?


“Life is easier in black and white. It’s the ambiguity of a world defined in greys that has stripped me of my confidence and left me powerless.” ~ Juneau

Juneau was really cool and she’s totally now one of my favourite YA heroines. She’s incredibly resourceful and really intelligent, too. Not to mention she’s got her head screwed on straight and places ‘saving family’ before ‘boys’ on the priority list. Which was nice and refreshing from the normal “I would die for Riley!” and my family’s already dead troupe (high five if you got that reference). I JUST REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT SHE’S PLANNING TO DO NEXT. Argh.


I’m very excited for book two seeing as I loved this one so much. This felt like a ‘fresh’ read for me and, as I said before, I just want to read all of Plum’s work from now on. She has definitely become an ‘auto-buy’ author for me! I hope book two lives up to my expectations and I hope Juneau finally gets some answers!!

View all my reviews


 Have you read After the End? What did you think?


Let me know in the comments below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~


8 thoughts on “Revoking the Apocalypse in After the End

  1. I loved this book when I read it years ago and I still remember the story and te huskies and the starburst eye. I don’t tend to like apocalypse stories but because of how different this is I think it’s wholly different boys really nice to see someone else enjoy this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely a story to stick with you being as unique as it is! The huskies were so adorable!! I was sad that we didn’t get that much husky action in the book so I’m reeaaaally hoping they return in book two.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really want to read the second book but can’t really find it anywhere here. She isn’t that popular an author in Scotland. So would have to do it online and I hate online

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a feeling it’s not out yet, or just the hardback is. I’m waiting until June…I think…and that’s when the book depository says the paperback I want is released, *dies from wait*.

        Going into a shop is always sooo much nicer than online shopping, but I find it so much cheaper to order from Wordery or The Book Depository. You might be able to request Waterstones or somewhere to get it in? They’re usual fantastic with their selection 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well. It’s good to know it’s not out. I wreck books so i always feel bad reading them and pretty much just do ebook. But there’s so many books out its hard to get to but hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

        Liked by 1 person

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