Author: Lindsey Fairleigh & Lindsey Pogue
Series: After the Ending #1
Publication date: February 22nd, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
The first book in the emotionally charged post-apocalyptic series, The Ending.
The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.
When people started getting sick, "they" thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family... they're all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them--with the rest of the world--but I didn't. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I'd ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O'Connor, I'm twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.
The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We've all had to start over. I've been stripped of my home, my dreams... all that is me. I'm someone else now--broken and changed. Other survivors' memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won't let them consume me. I can't. My name is Zoe Cartwright, I'm twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.
We've been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing--we'll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we're strong... we're survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamiliar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.
And more than anything, we have to find each other.
THIS BOOK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT AND LANGUAGE.
I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
There are always those books that sound mediocre from the synopsis but blow you away once you tuck into their pages. This is one of those books for me. Don't get me wrong, the synopsis is intriguing and it is, of course, what originally drew me into the story, but there is so much more to it than what is written above.
Dani is a spunky redhead with a filter problem when she's angry and a determination that makes her instantly likable by almost everyone she encounters. When the Virus struck she was happy and in love with a man named Cam. She was living in Seattle and counting the days until she can see her best friend, Zoe, again on holiday break. When the Virus strikes and Dani is one of the few left alive and sane, all she can think about is getting to Zoe. She has no idea how she will achieve this goal until Zoe's hunky older brother, Jason, comes along and orders Dani to accompany him to meet up with his sister. Traveling with the source of Dani's adolescent fantasies and making their way to her best friend? Sign her up!
Zoe is working at an art gallery on the East coast. She is a long way from her family and her best friend. Determined to make her way to the only family she has left, she joins with a small party of friends and military strangers and starts their trek across the country. Along the way Zoe encounters more Crazies and cruel-hearted people than anyone could hope to avoid. In one particular incident she is rescued from certain death from a tall, dark, mysterious man who seems to dislike her on sight. He avoids her and refuses to even look at her most of their time together. However mysterious, Jake, chooses to be, Zoe is determined to know him and thank him for saving her life repeatedly.
Not everything in the book was realistic, of course. What book can be 100% factual without it being non-fiction? The internet seems to hold out for several days, weeks, months, etc, even though there are no company workers to keep it up and no endless source of electricity to keep the towers operational. Yet, in the story they had the internet right up until the end. I know they needed some sort of way for the girls to keep in contact, but it was just a bit odd to me. Not that it AT ALL ruined any part of the story for me. I absolutely adored this book and am dying to find a physical copy to add to my collection.
This book encompasses everything from adventure to romance and from lonesome fear to a feeling of togetherness and safety. After the Ending is a fascinating apocalyptic tale of a possible end to the world as we know it. A virus surging from the bowels of our society and descimating billions of human lives is not a completely implausible story. That may be what makes this book that Fairleigh and Pogue created such a frightfully amazing read.