on 4 June 2013
(Source: Downloaded for free from Amazon.co.uk)
26-year-old Dani and Zoe have been best friends forever, but currently though they're separated - Dani at College and Zoe working in her home town.
A new flu virus is sweeping the country though, and people are getting sicker and sicker, and then they begin to die. Dani and Zoe miraculously survive though, and start off on a mission to travel towards each other and to meet at a safe haven. Dani travels with Zoe's brother Jason who she has always secretly had a crush on, and Zoe travels with her dead roommate's best friend Sarah.
Will both Dani and Zoe survive? Who and what will they encounter on their travels? And what else can they expect after the ending?
This story had so many holes in the plot, and was so repetitive it really irritated me.
Dani and Zoe were both okay characters, but they were just so immature! They acted more like 6-year-olds not 26-year-olds, and the constant gossipy emails that they sent each other were so annoying. Not only was it seriously annoying that they had computers, but every email was just a recap of what had happened in the chapter, so it felt like I was reading everything twice. This book could have been half as long, or it could even have just been made up of the emails and still made sense.
Now, the internet.
The phone lines are down, there's been an apocalypse, but the internet is still working. In fact you can even access the internet using your dead cell phone. How is that possible? What sort of crazy wi-fi do they have that works without phone lines or phone signals? And wouldn't servers be affected by this lack of phone lines? Wouldn't the computers that house the basics of the websites need phone lines? This was annoying.
And also, you're fighting for your lives, you're on the run, do you take your laptop with you? When you stop at a store to stock up on essentials, does this include art supplies?
I can see why the laptop might be useful with the internet still working, but wouldn't survival gear be more important? Dani even comments on how clever she is to have taken her laptop because other people didn't, what she doesn't take into account is that the others have all had survival training, and bought useful things like hunting knives and water.
The art supplies are just a joke. Who thinks about painting when the world has ended? So frustrating. How these girls survived is a mystery, it certainly wasn't survival of the fittest.
If all this wasn't annoying enough, one of the blokes puts on a firework display for Zoe. Would you really do this? Would it not be like a big signal saying `we're here!' wouldn't they want to keep a low profile? Just please! This is so silly!
I'm not going to go into why this annoyed me anymore, needless to say it took me a couple of tries to get all the way through it cause I just kept wanting to hit my head against the wall, and I won't be reading the next one in the series.
Overall; a disappointing post-apocalyptic story.
4 out of 10.
Thank you kindly to the authors for the copy of this book to review.
The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.
Right, the first thing I need to do is apologise for the "sitting on the fence" feel to this review - there were things I loved about this book and things I really didnt get on with. This being my first foray into fiction termed "New Adult" it was the Post Apocalyptic aspects of this one that drew me to it...
This had a good if cliched premise, reasonably well executed for the most part - with two female protagonists - Best friends who find themselves at opposite ends of the country when the virus hits and determined to be reunited. I liked that idea very much as a focus. As the survivors become "changed", again, it was an aspect of the read that I was drawn to. The writing style is engaging, light, and involving enough.
However, I also had several issues. Most importantly the continuing ability of the two friends to interact via email. It seems most unlikely and takes you out of the story somewhat. Also despite their age, these two sound more like teenagers than the young ladies they are described as - and quite often act that way as well. This didnt really work for me, nor did the heavy romantic content - I was not convinced that A) within a very short timescale after discovering your boyfriend was dead you would be emailing anyone and B) that not that long after that your attention would be taken by another man.
Having said that, despite its faults, I did enjoy this. The road trip aspect of it was good, and the ending had enough of an edge to make me want to find out what happens next. Still,on a very personal reading level, I prefer less romantic content and more action and angst in my post apocalyptic fiction.
If you like this type of novel with a strong romantic element rather than a more relentless survival aspect feel, then I think you would enjoy this. I'm not sure what age group I would direct it towards - certainly it is more adult than young adult in content but equally I'm not sure the characters would stand up to the scrutiny of a totally adult audience. There is certainly room for development here.
Happy Reading Folks!
on 22 May 2013
I was torn about what rating to give this book. On the one hand, it was entertaining, fairly gripping and I found myself wanting to read the next instalment. On the other hand, getting through the book was a hard slog in places and I did skip a few pages here and there.
Set after a flu-like pandemic has wiped out 90% of the world's population, the story follows best friends Dani and Zoe as they make their way from opposite sides of the US coast to each other and presumably safety. Both meet up with and join various groups along the way and discover that the virus has changed the survivors in ways no one could have imagined.
Whilst I loved the fact the authors focused on the strong friendship between the 2 protagonists, this ended up ultimately being one of my biggest problems with the book. Post-apocalyptic wastelands, crazed survivors and horrific loss are all swept aside in childish, immature emails between the pair (and don't get me started on the presence of Wi-Fi in a apocalyptic wasteland!) which read like the boy-crazed ramblings of a pair of 15 year olds. These women are supposed to be 26 years old, yet spend their communications talking about the totally hot guys they meet, the skanks who hate them because they're soooo hot and irresistible and hand waving away things like attempted rape and murder in a line of email. It also meant you were reading the same thing twice as Zoe and Dani recapped the last chapters events for each other which slowed the book down and massively disrupted the tone and flow of the story, not to mention trivialised the events that had occurred. I get what the writers were going for here, but the abrupt switching between dystopian novel and fluffy chick-lit really didn't work.
The premise of the book was interesting and for a while it looked as though it was going to be a great book, and the introduction of so called Abilities for the survivors put a fresh spin on an old story which has so much potential. I can only guess that the clashing tones of the book are down to the fact that there are 2 authors, but it was hard to believe at times that you were reading the same book when you read a heart-breaking letter to one of the girls from a deceased family member or an account of the horrors committed by the so-called "Crazies", only to flick on a few pages and read an email about how hot so and so was, or how skanky so and so was - seriously these things read like they were full of smiley emoticons and pictures of initials written in a heart - like I'd accidentally picked up something out of the Sweet Valley High series.
I'm interested to see where the story goes, despite the writing style of the book, but I'm not sure, if Book 2 is more of the same, that I'll be queuing up for future instalments.
on 27 July 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of this book and it contained some very good ideas such as the 'powers' they developed. Although I did have a few issues with it-
I agree with other reviews though that the characters acted more like teenagers than in their 20's. I am the same age as Dani and Zoe and I felt their constant obsession with flirting and relationships was childish. I also didn't enjoy the emails which I also thought were written very childishly and as another reviewer mentioned brushing over and joking about attempted rape and murder and focusing on girly crushes. Not forgetting the fact they maintained wi-fi connection!
However, I was gripped throughout and am definitely looking forward to the other books in this series.
on 21 June 2015
This is not very good, but strangely still readable. It's quite repetitive - the 2 main characters are very similar (and also so incredibly immature and self-absorbed that you wonder why on earth their respective love interests bother). The bad guys are also all the same character (three times we run into essentially the same jealous, manipulative killer). And the story has more holes than Swiss cheese - civilization has collapsed, almost the entire population is dead, and the wifi is still working (despite the power grid going down, so there's nothing to power the router, servers, nor any easy way to recharge the laptop battery). Then you've got the character who can see the future, that sees the bad thing happening that ends the book on a cliff-hanger, but doesn't bother warning anyone, AND the other characters who can see that he's had a vision, but don't bother asking him what it was.... these idiots would never survive the apocalypse.
on 23 July 2013
After the Ending: The Ending Series, Book One by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue
Rating ****.5 4.5/5
After the Ending, very cleverly and effectively covered a number of genres: Post-apocalyptic, SCI-FI and Romance. However, it was essentially about the struggle of two young women; who were more than friends and closer than sisters, to survive the horrors of the death and destruction of the world as they knew it. Their ultimate focus was to reach each other, from different parts of America, and somehow start to build a new life.
I was hooked. The pace was well thought out with lulls and highs which enabled the authors to build upon the mounting tensions. More than once I thought, "Oh, oh". I felt the cold and loneliness of the cabin, the loss of family and friends and the relief of belonging to a community. And the discovery that deaths were not only from the "flu" virus but suicide and murder.
Dani and Zoe are 26 year old friends and, although both have lost their mothers tragically early in their lives, they are still quite immature. As their stories evolve so do their characters; their quest for survival. Survival is the name of the game, in this type of situation you would form liaisons very quickly and associate with like-minded people; particularly those equipped with survival training. Who knows what the next day, hour or minute would bring. Grief is a luxury to be contemplated in those rare private times.
Ms Fairleigh and Ms Pogue, (LF and LP) are definitely skilled writers with a good sense of wit. I laughed at the description, "I am not enjoying this, I told my misbehaving nerve endings" and "cornucopia of wines, liquors and beers"
As the effects of the virus and mutations evolve it brings good and evil; the quite common after-affect on the brain is incomplete leading to insanity and darkness of the soul, the Crazies. In some people, it has the consequence of incapacitation and immorality and the exploitation of the "Abilities". The "Abilities" are powers; telepathy, visions, prophecies etcetera. I won't give any spoilers but all through this first book of the Ending Series, there are hints and clues of a deeper influence which has yet to reveal itself.
Yes, I found it slightly difficult to get my head around that connectivity to email was still available but I can appreciate for the plot to develop there had to be away for the girls to communicate. Anyway, I found their emails gave the novel a good, steady pace to start and lay the groundwork for what was to follow. The other thing, is the description of the "male heroes" all sounding very" hot". Yes, Jason and Jake fairly simmer but the novel could have done with some charisma attracting rather than handsome looks. The romance sizzled and was passionate but was never in your face; it was more about relationships that relieving sexual tension.
Some of the characters really stood out for me, Harper, Chris and Biggs, they had real depth and very likable people. Chris, is the "mother hen" of the group but not afraid to take a stance against Jason, when required. Harper is the skilled medic/doctor who has a great sense of humour. Biggs is the stable, family orientated member of the group. There are many more characters, some well rounded and others evil.
Congratulations, LF and LP as After the Ending concluded, I just wanted to pick up book two, Into the Fire. I want to know what happens next; how will the girls survive? What secrets will be revealed? How does Sarah fare? How will MG proceed? At some point in the future, I see The Ending Series being made into a Sci-fi thriller series. So not, only do I want to read the whole series, I want to watch it.
I was given an ARC by NetGalley for an honest review.
on 29 October 2015
I'm sorry, but come the apocalypse, is the internet really going to still be working months after society has collapsed? Just one of the stupid concepts that has no merit. Terrible book.
on 1 January 2015
I got this for free. I gave it a chance as a serious end of the world, without the obligatory zombies, which I far more enjoy than the usual, overnight all humans become zombies except for some bloke in a hospital. Anyway this also failed and by chapter 10 I was praying for zombies not some 13 year old girls ridiculous idea of the romantic scrappy end of the world. It was free is the best comment I can make
on 28 September 2013
I didn't end up finishing this book, I didn't enjoy the writing style, as some was written in the form of email, and it flitted from person to person, which I do sometimes enjoy in a book, but unfortunately I felt the two characters it changed between were very similar, making it hard to distinguish between the two of them. It had a good basis for the story-line, but I feel it wasn't well executed. Maybe more aimed at a teen, than a twenty-something.
My first dystopian read of 2015 and it is a good one!
The first book in the Ending Series, After The Ending is a compelling read, enjoyable from the start all the way through to its thrilling ending.
Now books about the end of the world, viruses, billions dying are by no means a new subject, there are loads of them out there and what I try and look for is something a little different, which can be difficult as there are tons of books that do they same as this book which is people trying to survive in an inhospitable environment banding in to groups for support and defence with a bit of romance added in.
So what makes this book different or at least worth your time?
Well in my opinion, you may be the same, if a book is worth reading you tend to know in the first couple of pages and After The Ending got me hooked in straight away, it is told from the point of view of two best friends Zoe and Dani who are stuck on opposite sides of the country stranded by the virus which has rampaged it way across the country (which country? are you new to this!? America of course!! ( Sorry Americans I love you but if the s**t hits the fan I'm cancelling my holidays to Orlando!!)), these two have grown up together, they are each others lifeline and when they need each other the most the have thousands of miles in between them.
The story is all about the girls desperately trying to get to one another and the obstacles they have to overcome, the major one is what they call the crazies, the people who did not fall prey to the virus they have been left majorly mad, acting strange and very violent but thankfully the girls are not alone as they begin their respective journeys they come across friendly faces who help them, some familiar to them and some not. New friendships are forged and also some not so friendly relationships made.
Surviving and not getting taken out by the crazies is a good part of their day but Zoe and Dani along with their fellow survivors start to feel different, they experience strange things, some of them start to communicate with different creatures, some of them can can calm people down, some can heal quickly, it seems everyone who has not been killed by the virus or driven crazy has a new ability that they need to learn to control.
Now this is part of a series so this story is going to continue for a while (which is good!!) and as this book comes to the end I think you may get an inkling of where this story is going (no spoilers), the characters of Zoe and Dani along with their love interests, friends and furry friends are going to have to come to terms with their new abilities and they are going to have learn to survive, it is not just the crazies out there to worry about.
I really enjoyed this book as I said it reeled me in straight away but a couple of things could have done with more explanation, there is one scene where an old teacher of the girls is discovered still very much alive and a meeting with him and his fellow survivors happens, I would liked to have read about it, it is just briefly mentioned and it would have been nice to have heard about if they met any old faces and what has happened in that community, the other thing was that email seems to stay on for an awful long time after the country goes pear-shaped I struggle to get it hear on a good day and the last thing was just back story on few of the characters but YAY!! there are novellas on the characters in question and I have added them to my wish list along with the next two books in the series.
So all in all if you like a young adult dystopian novel with a hint of romance and danger set in our near future with the prospect of many more books in the series to satisfy your hunger for all things end of the world then this is it, as I mentioned above I need a book to stand out a little to make it worth while in amongst all the other similar stories, this stands out with a well written story, scope for exploration in the characters abilities plus it has the hint of a lot more to come.
Awarded 4 out of 5