After the Fear
You have not attended a Demonstration this month.
In Sola’s city, everyone obeys the rules. Stay away from the trigger cameras and regularly update your Debtbook, and you just might survive. But having to watch the way criminals are dealt with—murdered by Demonstrators in the Stadium—is a law Sola tries to avoid. When a charming Demonstrator kisses her at a party, however, she’s thrust into the Stadium and forced into the very role she despises.
Armed with only natural resourcefulness and a caring nature, Sola narrowly survives her first bout. Her small success means she’s whisked off to a training camp, where she discovers a world beyond the trigger cameras and monitoring—a world where falling in love with a killer doesn’t seem so terrible.
Yet life as a Demonstrator has no peace. Sola must train her way through twenty-five more Demonstrations before she can return home to her father. At the end of each battle, only one survivor remains.
Sola could face anyone in the Stadium . . . even a loved one.
***My Book Review***
And so we reach book number 5 of my Dystopia Reading Challenge of 2013. At first I found this book a little confusing. So many new ideas were thrust upon me in this new dystopian world that I had to reread a few sections to get everything straight. However,I am glad for the in-depth immersion at the very start for immediately I am drawn into this universe which the author, Roseanne Rivers, has created.
Once again I found myself comparing this book to the common theme for YA dystopia in which teenagers are put in a situation and then made to kill each other. As a result, I can’t recommend this book highly enough to fans of The Hunger Games.
We find the main character, Sola – a deliciously flawed and at times selfish girl – sent off to fight as a Demonstrator. Demonstrators are people who have wronged the government and are then ‘selected’ to participate in bloody battles to the death. You find out your new status as a Demonstrator via an update on your Debtbook page.
Yep, that’s right, Debtbook.
At first I laughed and thought it an odd way to work Facebook into a book and then the author explains the ‘official’ reasoning behind this title. Every civilian is issued their own Debtbook (which is kind of like an iPad) and the name is given to represent the massive debt the country still owes to other countries. This is how the dystopian world of After The Fear works. I am not sure how the demonstrator games help to lower the national debt, but that’s okay – neither do the characters…
Throughout this book I was constantly blown away by the eloquent descriptives. The author constantly managed to tie up complex emotions in a matter a few short sentences. Similarly, the descriptives at times are beautiful and there are not so many that you are bogged down with imagery of everything around you. They are like small, sweet flowers at the start of spring that pop up here and there and completely enhance the whole story. The way the author describes the absolute horror, devastation and trauma Sola experiences after her demonstrations truly make me want to puke from fear.
I found, once I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down. Each chapter ends in such a way (and not necessarily with a cliff hanger) that you are compelled to turn over just one more page to see what happens next. Nice work Rivers, nice work.
Now, onto my own personal little bug bear. And it’s not exclusive to this book, it seems to be a constant throughout all YA fiction that involves a female character. Sola, you are beautiful. I am sick of female YA characters that don’t know this and are constantly surprised when the hot love interest is actually courting them. I am thankful the author mentions this and then doesn’t ram it down your throat quite so much as a lot of other books in this genre have.
Now, speaking of main characters and love interests, I love the character of Dylan in After The Fear. He is dashing and honourable (as much as you can be when you have to kill or be killed) and there is a broken thing inside of him that every female reader will want to fix. However, at times, I found it a little forced between him and Sola. There were also times when there seemed to be a little tension written in just for the sake of adding tension.
A few times I found myself shaking my fist at this book. When Sola kept fainting at each demonstration was one. How she managed to turn into this awesome killing machine after only a month of training, another. Then the author goes ahead and throws in one of her gorgeous imagery paragraphs and I find my irritation is dispersed. Strange, but true. I really love the way the author can do this.
After The Fear develops slowly into this massive story that you didn’t see coming. The plot thickens, and thickens, and then thickens some more until it is such a solid mass that you can’t escape from the gelatinous gloop! Rivers has no fear when it comes to pitting characters against each other and Sola’s final showdown battle is unbelievably epic!
As far as dystopia novels go, this one is a great one and I certainly recommend it highly. I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
About Rosanne Rivers
Rosanne lives in Birmingham, UK and considers it one of her favourite cities, second only to Rome. She delights in writing for children and young adults and hopes to bring readers to an unfamiliar yet alluring setting. Rosanne was inspired to write when she read the Harry Potter books, and at age fourteen, she wrote romance fanfiction on just about every pairing you could dream up from the HP series. She currently lives with her partner and two bunny rabbits and is working on a post-apocalyptic adventure book for middle grade readers.
You can purchase After The Fear by clicking on the appropriate links below:
- Review: After The Fear, by Rosanne Rivers (alifeamongthepages.wordpress.com)
- BLOG TOUR: I Am Alive by Cameron Jace BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY (racheltsoumbakos.wordpress.com)