Title – ‘In The Afterlight’
Author – Alexandra Bracken
Published – December 29th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages – 535
Format – Paperback
Book Summary –
‘Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.
When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.
But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.’
*Warning – Contains spoilers*
What a conclusion. What a wonderfully written end to this amazing series! I’ve got to admit that before I started reading this book I was both incredibly excited and incredibly nervous. I wanted it to end and I also didn’t. This book was a pure emotional roller coaster and I loved it. The author, Alexandra Bracken, has never failed to impress me with her characterisation in this series and how she portrays the real emotional turmoil that each of the characters go through. I particularly like that in this final book we got to see the two sides of Ruby’s life after Thurmond come to life… the one with Liam and the gang and then the one as an agent under the Children’s League.
The action in this book was also utterly amazing, there was no shortage of it… it was pretty much non stop from the get go. The pace of which this book was written was extremely well done. There wasn’t a moment where I was left struggling to read on and continue with the story. There was enough actual content to really keep the whole thing going right to the end.
I really liked Ruby’s further development in this book, she became a real bad-ass whilst also properly coming to terms with the fact that nothing would ever really be simple and that no one could ever truly be safe… but that she would stop at nothing to try. And try she did. Her determination in this book was incredible, probably in the eye of some of the other characters it was a little overwhelming but despite not always believing herself to be good… she wouldn’t stop at nothing to protect those she loved.
I want to also mention that I am so glad Zu was brought back into this book. The whole group didn’t feel whole without her so when she was brought back into the story I was beyond happy. I liked that her innocence was somewhat gone, it made the whole thing seem more real. The fact that she didn’t have a smooth ride once she left the gang just summed up how hard it was for any of the kids surviving outside of camps and just how much they had to go through just to survive on the basics. Zu’s relationship with Vida was an interesting addition to this book and actually was a heartwarming one at that. It started off made of nothing more that bitterness and anger but actually developed into something incredibly sweet. I’m glad the two of them formed such a close bond and that it was with Vida’s encouragement that Zu finally found her voice once again.
I think one small element that could have been more written about was Cole’s death. Whilst I did see it coming and whilst part of me was happy it wasn’t Liam (because I think that would have totally ruined me!) I think a little more detail could have been thrown into the mix. Equally, whilst I know there are already novella’s out for this series, it’d be awesome to get a novella of that part of the book from Liam’s point of view. Especially as the two brothers weren’t exactly ‘best buddies’ but still family none the less.
Another element I liked was that Clancy didn’t actually die. I liked that his punishment was in the form of the ‘cure’ as it was the one thing he wanted to ultimately destroy. It felt like the right thing to be done to him after everything he’d put everybody through. Although I did love the little twist when we found out that it was Clancy controlling Ruby to send messages and gather information without her being aware or in control… it almost seemed a shame to waste such talent. But as it was he wasn’t using it for good… he was using it for control, which was never going to get him anywhere.
I really enjoyed the ending of this book. It felt right, it started at Thurmond and essentially ended at Thurmond. And whilst you could tell there was still going to be a lot of sorting out to do in terms of the government and what happens with the kids it felt right to be able to see the gang without the burdens they’d faced, even if it was only going to be for a short time. The fact they were reunited with their parents and reunited with each other felt like the perfect way to end. And I liked the Jude was never forgotten either. Even after he died he was always apart of their gang… and he would always be so… even just in memory.
I’m glad I read this series and I’m glad I fell in love with it. I’m sad to see it finished but at the same time the conclusion came at the right time… it wasn’t unnecessarily dragged out. I must praise Alexandra Bracken for this series and for the amazing characters, setting and plot she shared with us. This is definitely near the top of my list in terms of favourite books/series’ and I’m looking forward to reading more of Bracken’s work.
“They’d never fade, even in the afterlight of all of this”
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms? Yes!
Am I completely in love with this book? I’m totally in love with this whole series!
[I rate this book 5/5 stars]