December 22, 2012

Review of AFTER: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia by Various Authors

If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.

New York Times bestselling authors Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Susan Beth Pfeffer, Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis, and Jane Yolen are among the many popular and award-winning storytellers lending their talents to this original and spellbinding anthology.

add to goodreadsAFTER: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia
Publication Date:  October 9, 2012
Publisher:  Hyperion Book CH

Available for Purchase:
amazon / B&N / TBD / indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewIf there’s one form of literature that truly frightens me, it’s anthologies. Why? Because I personally find that when it comes to anthologies, I get really wrapped up in the plots only to find myself being cut off. The end. Done. Never mind how attached I got to the characters in the short story or how I expected a big plot, they just end and leave everything to the imagination. That’s why I love novels, because they usually tie everything up nicely. Like a ribbon on a Christmas present; Wrapped up nicely (Howdy, holiday reference).

The thing about After that sounded so interesting was the fact that it’s a series of short stories about life after the apocalypse. And yes, I did see what they did there. Anyhow, I was interested to begin reading After especially since the list of authors that they have seemed pretty impressive (I personally was excited to see what author Beth Revis had written). After not only shows all the possible outcomes of the apocalypse (should our world legitimately end, be destroyed by war or get ravaged by supernatural beasts) and for the most part, I enjoyed every moment of it.

From the starting story, The Segment, by author Genevieve Valentine to The Marker by author Cecil Castellucci, After was an anthology that has given me enough dystopia to never need to read another dystopian novel ever again. I mean really, almost every single possible topic and plot point was reached in the anthology. The only thing that I don’t think I got to read about was zombies, but even then, it’s not a major disappointment (however I was secretly hoping that Carrie Ryan would give me a final taste of her zombie universe).

My absolute favorite short story in After was Beth Revis’ The Other Elder. It takes place in the Across the Universe series and highlights the life of, you guessed it, the other Elder. It shows the dark secrets of the life of an Elder as well as the life before Amy woke up. I loved the Other Elder. I absolutely loved everything about it. The writing style, the main character’s brief point of view and I loved how it gave me off such a somber tone. I find that I can’t really say much what with it only being about ten pages long and risk giving away a lot of spoilers, but fans of Revis’ previous works will surely be pleased with the short story.

However, there was one story that I literally could not for the life of me, understand. I’m a bit of a spelling/grammar freak and the story How Th’irth Wint Rong By Hapless Joey @ Homeskool.GUV by author Gregory Maguire totally had my every pet peeve going crazy. It was like I was Bruce Banner and had to fight my inner Hulk from raging out at the plethora of spelling mistakes. So. Many. Mistakes! The opening sentence had them, every paragraph had them and I understand the need for realism… but still… Hulk smash.

After reading over fifteen stories of what happens after the world ends, I’ve gotta admit that about half way through I was getting a bit bored. Some of the stories began to get dull and the amount of dystopia stories going one after the other does get a bit bored. If there is one story that I want made into a full length novel… like now… it would be Faint Heart by Sarah Rees Brennan. It was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

I would recommend After to fans of dystopia, readers who don’t mind being given the same genre but with different plots and to those of us who want to know what happens after the world ends.

Table of Contents:

The Segment by Genevieve Valentine
After the Cure by Carrie Ryan
Valedictorian by N.K. Jemisin
Visiting Nelson by Katherine Langrish
All I Know of Freedom by Carol Emshwiller
The Other Elder by Beth Revis
The Great Game at the End of the World by Matthew Kressel
Reunion by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Faint Heart by Sarah Rees Brennan
Blood Drive by Jeffrey Ford
Reality Girl by Richard Bowes
Hw th’Irth Wint Wrong by Hapless Joey @ homeskool.guv by Gregory Maguire
Rust With Wings by Steven Gould
The Easthound by Nalo Hopkinson
Gray by Jane Yolen
Before by Carolyn Dunn
Fake Plastic Trees by Caitlin R. Kiernan
You Won’t Feel a Thing by Garth Nix
The Marker by Cecil Castellucci



  1. Michael

    Awesome Review, makes me want to read it. I haven’t read an anthology so I don’t know how I will like it. I really want to read it for the Beth Revis story. I will probably buy it soon. Thanks for the great review of it. =]

  2. Denise Z

    Thank you for sharing with us about this intriguing read. I have the same feelings about anthologies, for me sometimes it is just frustrating that the awesome story is over all too soon LOL This one does look like a buffet of tasty reads.

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