Until The Beginning (After the End, #2)

22445886*Potential Series Spoilers IN THE FIRST LINES.  You were warned.*

First Lines: Miles has been dead for one hour.

I checked this out weeks ago, but it just languished on my shelf for ages.  Wasn’t what I was in the mood for, you know?  But I finally just kind of picked it up, knowing if I didn’t read it now, I never would.

*Again, Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

Juneau cannot get over the sense of betrayal she feels.  After her clan was kidnapped, she learned that everything she’d been taught about the world had been a lie.  World War III had never happened.  But she’s desperate to rescue her clan.  With Miles, she’s going to go across the country if she has to to get to them.  What Juneau doesn’t know is that she has a huge target on her back…and those with power know that she’s the key to everything they want…

I still really like the premise of this book.  I love the concept of Juneau being completely out of her element in the modern world, but she’s got this fantastic skill set that comes from being one with nature.  (That makes her sound like a hippie…)  Miles and Juneau are kind of like yin and yang, which is incredibly awesome.

And I do like Miles and Juneau.  I kind of like Miles more, though, because, like me, humor is a defense mechanism for him.  So he’s constantly making these little quips that are just so funny.  But Juneau’s great too because even though she’s so young, she feels this massive responsibility toward her clan and she will do what it takes to protect them.  I kind of like that quality in a heroine.

But one thing that I thought was missing from this book was more of a relationship with the minor characters.  I mean, it’s basically The Miles-and-Juneau Show for the entire book.  Whenever a minor character appears, they are only there for a dozen pages and then gone.  (That’s a minor exaggeration, but it’s still remarkably true.)  Even characters like Whit don’t have that big of a role in this book.  I was a bit disappointed in that.

Random note, the more I read Amy Plum’s works, the more I see a few similar themes/motifs running through her novels.  Sacrifice, death, immortality, etc.  Anyway, just wanted to mention that.  The English teacher in me…

I’m about to give you a contradiction: while there is a lot of action in this book, there are also moments that are kind of boring.  Much like old-fashioned warfare, it’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait with this story.  You know when the fights are coming, so you anticipate it.  And the fights are worth it.  But cross-country traveling, as any road-tripper can tell you, is a tedious business.  There’s not a lot that happens in that part of the story.  It drags on a little there.

Still, I thought this was a nice conclusion to this duology. I’m glad they didn’t try to drag it out into a trilogy because that was just not going to work.

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