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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Book Review: Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld*

I've never posted a book review in over three years of blogging, which comes as a surprise even to myself, given how much I love reading, and the sheer number of books I own. However, I was recently contacted about an opportunity to review Scott Westerfeld's new book Afterworlds*, which I jumped at - I'd not heard of Westerfeld before but am always keen to discover new authors, and the idea of getting to read a book before it was published got me really rather excited. The copy I received is actually a bound proof copy rather than the edition which will be available for purchase; the quotations on the cover (along with the line "Limited Edition Book Proof"...) got me suitably interested in getting started! You can see my book below, along with what the actual UK cover will look like.
Afterworlds ProofAfterworlds UK Cover
"Darcy writes the words. Lizzie lives them.
Landing a major publishing deal, teenager Darcy finds herself in New York City, and suddenly surrounded by the cream of YA authors. At the same time, Afterworlds, Darcy's gripping thriller, begins to unfold. A novel within a novel..."
At first I thought the two stories could become confusing but I actually didn't find that to be the case at all; the two narratives ran smoothly alongside each other, each building at the same sort of pace. I found the parallels between the two stories really interesting; for example, both stories touch on budding romances, and both protagonists delay going to college, albeit for totally different reasons, in a way which makes you feel as though the book has come pleasingly full-circle.
I found both protagonists really well-written and believable, and I was really caught up in both the stories; I wanted to know what was going to happen to both Lizzie and Darcy. The supporting characters were nicely developed, meaning I felt as though I was really getting to know the people important to the protagonists as the story unfolded.
I also found some of the issues the story touched on, such as the appropriation of culture in art, really interesting, and found it made me think about the way certain groups of people and beliefs are presented in literature. As a voracious reader and someone with a vague half-formed notion of maybe, one day, writing a novel, I found the presentation of Darcy's experience of becoming a published author really interesting as well. Lizzie's story is what I'd call a paranormal thriller-slash-romance, with just the right amount of each - just the right amount of fantasy, beautifully woven into a world you can really believe in; it put me in mind of Neil Gaiman which is a compliment and a half as I love his work.
Afterworlds left me with a lasting impression (you know when you spend the next couple of days thinking about a book?) and I'm definitely keen to read more of Westerfeld's work now. Afterworlds will be published on the 23rd of September by Simon Pulse and is one I'd recommend for anyone interested in the world of publishing, as well as those who just love a good paranormal romance (think Twilight if it was written well, minus the vampires and with some pretty scary villains!). You can watch the trailer below if that's your sort of thing.

Have you read any of Scott Westerfeld's work? Do you like the sound of Afterworlds? Would you like to see me reviewing more books?

[*I was sent this book for the purposes of an honest review; as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.]


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Why is it that when somebody tells me that they thought twilight was badly written that their opinion on another books seems automatically more valid to me? :P It is fine for me if people like twilight or even worst fifty shades of fray. To every one their taste. But do not sell it to me as high literature.
    Okay but i am going of topic :P This book sounds interesting. I found it interesting that the apparently male author chose to have a teenage girl as a protagonist. But a good writer can make it work. I think i will take a look at this book when it is released :) Thanks for the review
    Mica (Sciencekoekje)


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