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This review is from: After the Fear (Young Adult Dystopian) (Kindle Edition)
"After the Fear," the debut novel by Rosanne Rivers, is a thrilling read. As a dystopian-esque YA that features people forced into gladiatorial battles to protect their families and hometowns, it will suffer the inevitable comparisons to "The Hunger Games" ... but it stands on its own merits.
The storyline is intriguing. The drama isn't overwrought and there are enough surprises and action scenes sprinkled throughout to keep the pace crisp. Sola and Dylan are compelling leading characters, even if Dylan seemed far too humane for a person who'd been killing for so long. Coral was reprehensible as the girl we love to hate and Shepherd Fines was flat out creepy.
I've said it before; forgiveness isn't really my thing. As such, I admit rooting against Coral from the beginning. I really didn't want a creative twist that allowed her some sort of redemption/salvation in the climactic finale ... but I braced myself for it (and I won't say whether or not it came!).
Alas, Sola's request/wish was predictable. However, it was also understandable, so I won't hold it against the author. In fact, here's a shocker: Rivers left us with no immediate sense of whether or not a sequel is coming/needed. I'm sorry; do stand-alone novels even exist in the YA world? JK, of course, but the author--intentionally or otherwise--built a foundation that simply begs for further stories.
I highly recommend "After the Fear" to all YA, urban fantasy, paranormal, and supernatural fans.
See this review during Rosanne's book tour stop at vaempires.com on 3/26/13.