Afterworlds, Afterworlds Scott Westerfeld, author, book, book reviews, books, characters, contemporary, Edelweiss, fantasy, fiction, grim reapers, novel, psychopomps, read, reader, review, science fiction, scifi, Scott Westerfeld, writer, YA, young adult
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, (Darcy) Fantasy (Lizzie)
Point of View: Third (Darcy) First (Lizzie)
Released: September 25, 2014
Predictability: 3 out of 5 (Where 1 is George RR Martin (If the characters make a plan or think about the future I know it isn’t going to go that way.) And 5 is Cinder (where I guessed what was going to happen long before it did, but it was still a great book.)
Source: Edelweiss. (I’ve been requesting novels from Edelweiss for months, but this was the first one I was accepted for!)
My Rating: 6/10 Stars
Notes: Contains a lesbian couple, (girls kiss) and underage drinking
Darcy Patel just graduated high school. Last November she wrote a novel called Afterworlds and it’s been accepted to a large publisher with a terrific deal. She now plans to move to New York to work on editing her book.
In Afterworlds (Darcy’s book) Lizzie had a near death experience and accidentally crossed over. There she met a handsome guy named Yamaraj, who’s a psychopomp, a sort of grim reaper. Now she’s trying to get back to normal life, except she’s seeing ghosts.
I really liked Uglies, so when I heard the premise to his new novel I knew I had to read it. I’m not really much of a contemporary girl though, so I only really enjoyed Lizzie’s story. I was tempted (but I behaved myself) to skip over Darcy.
This was a really hard book to review. It was good, but it could’ve been so much better and it was a bit on the long side at 600 pages. (Not that 600 pages is long, but it sure felt long.) Since this is essentially two books in one I think I’ll have to review them separately.
The Good: Talk about side characters with personality! I loved that the little sister was the mature one, just like me and my sister! (I’m of course the older immature one.)
Darcy’s relationships all felt real, not only with her sister and her writer friends, but also her love. It wasn’t perfect, but it felt realistic as she learned for the first time what it’s like to be in a relationship.
As an aspiring writer I also enjoyed seeing how Darcy went through the publishing process, though the plot was a bit slow for me.
The Bad: I felt like I wanted to put my fingers in my ears so I wouldn’t hear spoilers for Lizzie’s story! Also hearing about the writing threw me out of Lizzie’s story at times, making me realize that I’m reading. (I hate that) For instance there’s this scene when everything’s really creepy and scary and suddenly the word bungalow is used and I remember where Darcy heard that word and it totally jarred me out of the story.
The Good: It was clever to do the book in the book in first person, that way it felt more real.
Such a great first chapter! There was enough character for me to care, then it went right into the action. I also loved the way the author described the panic of the scene. I had high expectations after this chapter, unfortunately this is the best chapter of the book.
Not only is the concept interesting, but the world of the Afterworld is awesome. I loved how they used the river to travel and it came out looking like ink. All of the little things were well done, from their powers, being invisible and walking through walls, to the bad guys, and even the way ghosts were held here by memories.
I wish it was clear whether ghosts are people (like I think they are) or if they are just memories themselves. Darcy even talked about this so obviously the author knew about this problem. That’s one of the weird things about this book, in Darcy’s story we hear about all of the good and the bad in the writing of Lizzie’s story.
The Bad: Though I like the idea of Lizzie’s love I didn’t feel it. It felt like love at first sight since they don’t know each other very well. Yamaraj is all mysterious, which is okay, but other than him being very handsome and nice, she doesn’t really get to know him. (If she does it’s off screen so to speak)
There was one part towards the end that I really didn’t like, it was brutal and dark. I know this is a book about death, but I didn’t like the way it was handled. (Sorry for being so vague, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I felt like I should mention this.)
Overall Darcy’s story has what Lizzie’s lacks, the characters and relationships, but it doesn’t have the cool plot, world, or powers that are found in Lizzie’s story. I think this could’ve been a great book if only the author had tried to write one book and not two.
I recommend only reading Lizzie’s story or reading it first to avoid spoilers and the whole realizing you’re reading thing.