Title:In The Afterlight
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Source/Format: Borrowed from the Library, Hardcover
More Details: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publisher/Publication Date: Disney-Hyperion, October 28, 2014
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
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. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds. They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids. Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire...
The story basically picks up right where the last book left off, and Ruby & Co. are dealing with the fallout, struggling really, as they try to find the quickest and safest way out of L.A.. So, immediately, the tension was set up basically from page one. The plot took off from there quickly transitioning from point A to B and so on. Watching the story unfold was nothing short of entertaining, and I finally got some much needed answers about the series. So looking at this trilogy as a whole—it was well thought out with some solid world building.
The characters were great. Although, Ruby blamed herself for every little thing and still made some questionable decisions, she grew on me throughout the trilogy. I liked her more in In the Afterlight than in the last two books. And all of my favorite characters were back. I especially liked the friendships in this book—Zu & Vida—and it was nice to see that Ruby had friends who were female too. Not friends who were secretly enemies, but actual friends.
And then there was Clancy. I thought he was terrible in book one and two, but his presence in this book—the things he did—ugh, just no. There was nothing about him that made me even remotely sympathetic to his character. I get that he had a hard life that was worse than many of the other characters, but he had a problem with believing his way was the only way.
The ending was a little open-ended. While the essential plot was wrapped up nicely, there was still a little uncertainty about the future of the kids who were afflicted by IAAN. There was no immediate miracle solution, but the ending also hints at a better future with time.
At the end of the day, In the Afterlight was a good conclusion to the trilogy.