Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date 25th September 2014 from Simon and Shuster UK Childrens.
Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…
So, my first Scott Westerfeld book then, which seems to have been a bit hit and miss with his fans ( I suppose I’m one of them now), but I loved it – having gone in with zero expectations, it captured my imagination, kept me enthralled and it is one of those books where even now I’m thinking about the characters and wondering what the heck they are up to.
What we have here really is two books for the price of one – in one narrative we follow Darcy, thrown into the deep end of the publishing world, when her fast penned novel “Afterworlds” is picked up by a major publishing house. Alongside that tale and in alternate chapters we have the book itself – here we meet Lizzie, survivor of a terrorist attack who finds herself suddenly able to walk the underworld and see the dead.
It was an interesting concept to be sure – I really couldnt tell you which side of the coin I enjoyed the most – one moment I was engulfed in the world of writers, publishers, editors and book tours, then the next fully immersed into a paranormal alternate universe. Both worlds were richly imagined, both had romance intrigue and adventure and whilst one was firmly set in reality the other allowed fantasy to fully flourish. The yin and yang was perfect for me, a foot in two places at once which appealed to the multiple story arc reader in me and is why I always have several books on the go at once. Here I could do that with one novel – what could be better?
Kind of satirical in nature – a YA book about a girl writing a YA book which includes the YA book itself, Mr Westerfeld seems to have had a lot of fun with it, which comes across in the reading experience – I also love the underlying element on Hindu Gods and was impressed with the characterisation overall. If I have one small complaint it is that I want to know more now. In the story Darcy is optioned for further books in the “Afterworld” series and therefore of course there is both an ending and a beginning here. A fully satisfying finale for sure, but also so many possibilities both for Lizzie and Darcy. I sense author stalking mode coming on…
Overall a fantabulous read, one that will appeal to both the adult and teenager in you and all I can say now is I must get hold of everything else Scott Westerfeld has written. If, as some have claimed, this is not his best work then boy have I got some excellent reading ahead of me. Certainly I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a darn good yarn.
Happy Reading Folks!