Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on August 4, 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine
A postapocalyptic novel with a cinematic twist from New York Times bestseller Barry Lyga, actor Peter Facinelli, and producer Robert DeFranco.
On the ruined planet Earth, where 50 billion people are confined to megacities and resources are scarce, Deedra has been handed a bleak and mundane existence by the Magistrate she works so hard for. But one day she comes across a beautiful boy named Rose struggling to cross the river--a boy with a secretive past and special abilities, who is somehow able to find comfort and life from their dying planet.
But just as the two form a bond, it is quickly torn apart after the Magistrate's son is murdered and Rose becomes the prime suspect. Little do Deedra and Rose know how much their relationship will affect the fate of everyone who lives on the planet.
I haven’t read a Barry Lyga book before, but I’d heard good things about them. AFTER THE RED RAIN has an interesting summary — I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic books — so I gave it a go.
But after finishing, I’m honestly not sure what I read.
AFTER THE RED RAIN asks a lot of questions and introduces some cool ideas, but fails to follow through on answering those questions or developing those ideas. I don’t know if this book is a standalone, but if it is — I’d recommend not reading if you’re the type of reader that likes a complete ending. There’s quite a bit left unresolved at the end, which left me disappointed.
The setting of AFTER THE RED RAIN was my favorite thing about the book. There’s no explanation for how the world ended up in its current state, but the current state is well established. People live in Territories, go to work for their ration, and that’s about it. There’s nothing to hope for, because although I saw Ludo Territory as a miserable place, with dangerous air and rain, food recreated from the DNA of extinct animals and plants, and citizens tracked through their brands, Deedra and the others don’t know any better. They don’t know anything about the past, so they think their world is good, and getting better. That aspect of the book was well done.
But the rest of AFTER THE RED RAIN… I got the impression this is a book written to be a movie. There are some chapter long fight scenes that I could see recreated in an action flick. There’s Deedra the orphan, surviving on her own and doing okay, but then falling in love with the mysterious Rose. There’s a corrupt government magistrate and a mad scientist. There’s a shocking revelation about “the Red Rain.” There’s a scene where Deedra and Rose stare off into the scant sunlight and talk about making a difference.
I wanted more character development for Deedra and Rose. I wanted to know where the heck Rose came from, and what his purpose was. And so on. I wanted answers! I also think AFTER THE RED RAIN was too long, limping along at a slow pace to the vague ending.