Afterworld is the intriguing novel, written by Lynnette Lounsbury.
After Dom’s untimely and sudden death, he awoke in the last place he thought he’d be. Stuck in Necropolis, a ‘waiting place’ between death and what comes after, Dom discovers that death is just the beginning. As the youngest person to ever come to Necropolis, he is different from anyone else. He’s instantly a celebrity. It isn’t long before Dom catches the attention of Satarial, a Nephilim planning on throwing Dom into his brutal gladiatorial games for his own amusement.
But when Dom’s still-living sister Kaide suddenly appears in Necropolis, everything changes. Dom realises that his only option is to compete in the Trails. There, he could win what he needs to go into the Maze and escape to the next phase of death. By his side, he has the alluring young Guide Eve, and a Guardian, Eduardo, who is hiding a big secret.
For me, Afterworld wasn’t a novel that really stood out from all the others I’ve read. Although the plot was interesting, the overall book wasn’t particularly great and the characters weren’t anything special. I liked the idea of this book being about what happens after death, but as soon as I saw the words ‘vicious gladiatorial games’ in the blurb, I immediately thought: Oh no. The thing is, I can be really fussy about what types of books I decide to read. If the blurb mentions anything about zombies, gladiators or it is set in the past; I am less likely to read it. I will admit that there are probably some really spectacular books out there that either have zombies or gladiators or are set in the past. Perhaps all three. Here’s a challenge: write or find a novel that is set in the past and includes zombies and gladiators. I’d be fascinated to read that! So anyway, when I saw the word ‘gladiatorial’, I immediately became doubtful about this book. I thought of gladiators fighting one another with swords in an old, falling down arena. Ummm… boring. But this book actually surprised me with the gladiatorial scenes. They were just so alive and I felt like I was actually there. However, for the whole middle part of the book I struggled to keep reading. I took a long time to get through this book because I just wasn’t enjoying what events took place in the middle. The one part I liked about this book the entire way through was the idea of using ‘minutes’ instead of money. People would earn minutes and pay with minutes. When one accumulated 10,000 minutes, they could attempt going through the Maze. It was interesting. I liked the beginning of this book and I liked the ending, I just though the rest could have been done a little better.
I think the main reason why I didn’t really enjoy reading this book at times was because of the characters. Dom was meant to be fifteen, but he was just so mature. I mean, mature teenagers are great… and rare. Both his actions and thoughts were so mature and I felt kind of detached from him. I would have felt more connected with him if his flaws were more prominent and he made more reckless, teenage types of mistakes. Also, Dom’s lack of emotions after he died was unconvincing. I think if he showed more emotion I would feel for him more. I really liked Kaide. She was fun to be around and made me laugh. I just really liked her personality and I loved how she’d see the good in every situation. I was really pleased she became more involved in the story towards the end. Although Eva was kind enough, I didn’t really feel anything for her and Dom as a couple. I never paused and though: Awww… they’re so cute together! She was nice most of the time, but a lot of the time, particularly in the beginning, she was quite insensitive towards Dom. Seriously, Dom had just died and she’s telling him to stop being melodramatic? If I were Dom, I’d be screaming and crying and totally uncontrollable, which would probably result in Eva hitting me to get me to shut up. She just didn’t seem like the comforting type. Overall, there were some characters I liked and some that I didn’t, but emotions weren’t any stronger than that.
I liked the idea of this novel. It was interesting, but also kind of religious. It included angels and a God, which they called the Awe. I’m not really a fan of novels that are built on the ideas of religion. The author focussed on Christianity and biblical characters. I guess that without the idea of the Awe and angels, this book wouldn’t be what it is now. I partially liked this book and I was satisfied with the ending, but I won’t be reading it again in a hurry. I’d give Afterworld by Lynnette Loundbury a score of 6.5 out of 10.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin Publishers Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!