Between Worlds, But One in the Same (Afterworlds – A Book Review)

Afterworlds

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Published: 2014

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated T for two worlds, two characters, and two stories that are unknowingly intertwined for all time.

Believing is dangerous.

Darcy Patel put her college future on hold when she learned that her teen novel was going to be published. This, she thought, was what she wanted for her life. However, keeping up in the fast lane of the writing and publishing world isn’t as easy as she thought. Lucky for her, she’s taken under the wings of a few seasoned and unseasoned authors to help her navigate this world and face new challenges.

Woven in between Darcy’s life over this year is Lizzie’s. Within Darcy’s novel, Lizzie learns to slip been the real world and the afterworld following a terrorist attack that she nearly died in. As she adjusts to this new life, a threat emerges, and she realizes that her new gifts might not be enough to protect those she loves.

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As my first Westerfeld novel, this wasn’t a winner. That’s not to say I won’t ever read his other books. I’ve got his Uglies/Pretties collection waiting for me on my book mountain! I had high hopes for this one. It sounded so interesting from its back cover. The stories seemed connected and the characters held curiosity but I wasn’t able to get attached. In any form. Not to the world setting, characters, or plotline. The two of us were not vibing.

Two stories, one book. Talk about double the joy!…? Or so I figured. With either one, I couldn’t get invested. There just didn’t seem to be enough emotion behind them. I’m saddened to say they came off bland and uninteresting. I didn’t expect glamorous but I also didn’t expect a lack of intrigue, most particularly in the exposition. The imagery was lacking and small. With the worlds for both Darcy and Lizzie seeming so new and breathtaking in their own right, I thought there would be more to it that would get me feeling the same, but I found myself getting more excited to get to the end and be done. The book came off as grey as its cover.

While each of the main characters had new struggles to face, they also had new prospects. Love has many layers, I just didn’t expect it to seem so far away. While the powerful tried to make an appearance amid new, overwhelming explorations, the emotion just came across wooden and forced. It was almost as if there wasn’t enough room for it. While the love both Darcy and Lizzie harbored was fresh, I just didn’t find it as important to the grand story as everything else. Darcy was getting settled and facing the stress of keeping her job as an author. Lizzie was still coming to terms with her powers and understanding them. So much newness just didn’t leave room for much romance or even on-romance.

Overall

I’m still very excited about Scott Westerfeld. This just wasn’t the book for me. There wasn’t enough to keep me hooked. It’s definitely okay to pass on this one. Not extremely noteworthy.

Quotables:

“I’m not very good at fooling myself.” (p. 29)

“Being an author sucks, doesn’t it? It’s like telling a joke and nobody laughs for two years.” (Imogen, p. 94)

“All’s fair in love and art.” (p. 261)

More to come soon…                                                                                               

  -K.

Song Today? The Afterman by Coheed and Cambria.

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