AFTER THE RED RAIN by Barry LygaAfter the Red Rain by Barry Lyga, Robert DeFranco
August 4th 2015
Pages: 400
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Dating & Sex, Dystopian, Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley

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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.

"A fast-paced, nail-biting, action-packed must-read with a compelling commentary on the consequences of overpopulation." -Emily Giffin #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed and The One & Only"Stunning ... like a future-shock movie playing in your head."-Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series

Reading time 5 mins

This book was pretty interesting right from the start. After the Red Rain tells the story of boy meets girl in a world beyond hope. It also exploits the idea that it is amazing what you can get used to.

Deedra Ward’s life is pretty bleak. As an orphan, she has only had herself to rely on. She lives in the Ludo territory and is under constant surveillance. She is almost out of resources by the end of the month. Air quality is poor. Food is genetically modified and scare. She goes to work everyday in a factory where they make air filters. Her work earns her rent and rations. While scavenging the ruins by the shore Deedra spies a boy crossing the river. It seems impossible since the river is the divide between territories and very polluted. She pulls him out of the water without thought for herself and the two have an instant connection. He disappears and Deedra goes back to her life. Things are different the minute he shows up at the factory to work along side her. He is faster than others. With Rose in her life Deedra’s world gets much larger as she starts to question the things she has always come to accept as unchangeable in her life. What she doesn’t know is that Rose is harboring a secret about his true nature. It could save or destroy her world.

Gah! How can I possibly tell you about this story without ruining it for you. I am going to start by telling you that I enjoyed this story right away. The territory that Deedra lives in is horribly depressing. Deedra is a good girl. She is a ward of the state and doesn’t question the rules set before her. Deedra and the people of Ludo territory live in the runes of a city. At some point, the red rain came and wiped out civilization as we know it. Plants and animals are almost non-existent. It seems like too many people for such a small space. The introduction of the boy named Rose into Deedra’s world really sheds hope for her. Rose is this mysterious person. Entering Ludo territory is forbidden, so right away she sees Rose as a person alone, like herself and she wants to help him.

The truth about Rose is that he may be genetically engineered. When the magistrate’s son gets murdered Rose is the prime suspect. This little rift in Ludo territory separates Deedra and Rose. Their relationship grows as they miss each other, realizing what they might mean for each other.

This story has everything it needs to be a good dystopian tale. It has an orphan girl, a mysterious boy, a bleak existence for the people, good world building, an almost romance, and the promise of more to come. Everything was going great until about 1/3 in when instead of staying in Deedra’s POV, we start getting into random people’s heads. I can forgive this because I was still really interested in the base story. I just found this to be such an odd move. Things were going so well. I started really looking critically into the story and I’ll admit that parts of this fell apart for me.

This book has the work of three individuals in it. I get that the author wanted to give credit where it might be due, but I could feel the story trying to go other places. Some of the sentence structure started to irk me as well. I understand that it might be a stretch for these three men to understand the inner workings of a young girls heart, but her inner dialogue didn’t flow well for me. The cast of characters worked a little too well for convenience. The right people come along at just the right time.

But, there was some wisdom in this book. I can’t deny that the mystery of Rose kept me flipping pages as Deedra and Rose starts to actually figure things out. I enjoyed their slow burn sort of romance. It was an instant connection, but the romance didn’t even begin until past the half-way mark. This story touches on real feelings and consequences to living without thought for the future.

I struggled with rating this and was almost tempted to give it 3.5 stars (then i remembered that i DON’T do half stars and rated up). I enjoyed most of this story and I will probably check out the sequel when (and if) it comes out. There were quite a few unanswered questions and without a sequel, well, that just sucks. I don’t care what actors may have had a hand in this one, I found this story very entertaining.

My Rating

4kissesThis book was also authored in part by Rob DeFranco and Peter Facinelli.

About Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek. According to Kirkus, he's also a "YA rebel-author." Somehow, the two just don't seem to go together to him.

When he was a kid, everyone told him that comic books were garbage and would rot his brain, but he had the last laugh. Raised on a steady diet of comics, he worked in the comic book industry for ten years, but now writes full-time because, well, wouldn't you?

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl is his first novel. Unsoul'd is his latest. There are a whole bunch in between, featuring everything from the aftermath of child abuse to pre-teens with superpowers to serial killers. He clearly does not know how to stick to one subject.

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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