In The Afterlight



Goodreads Summary:

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

Compared to the first and second book, I did not like Ruby for a huge segment of this instalment. She’s isolating herself, not trusting the others to be strong on their own, and she just doesn’t seem like the same character.
Luckily that’s why we have Chubs, Zu, and Vida to give it to her straight.

Her treatment of Liam is horrible too. He’s not in his best light either for much of this book, but I don’t think he ever deserves the way she holds him at arms length. And I’m not too fond of her relationship with Cole. I get that they are kindred spirits, but she’s putting him above all the people she’s known and trusted for much longer than she’s known him. And Cole and Liam are just horrible to each other – making the tension between those three that much worse.

It’s basically just all of the characters swimming around in their giant vats of self pity for the first 3/4 of the book.

After 300 pages of angst, we finally get Ruby back! After she learns what the Cure is, and isn’t, she finally accepts herself. And once she’s released from carrying the burden of Cole’s secret, she and Liam are able to hash it out and heal, becoming the awesome team they can be again. The ending I thought was very conclusive. Ruby comes full circle, as does Liam (who still has a lot of things to deal with though), Chubs is appreciated fully for his intellect, and Zu – oh, Zu! – she faces her demons and comes out stronger than ever. I also thought the ending was good given the age of the characters. With a lot of empowering YA books, we forget how young the characters are. Ruby is still 17, Liam is 18, they have to go back home – to different states – and live with their families again, giving them back some of the childhood they missed out on, I appreciated the reality of this.

Overall, not my favorite of the series, but still a great book!


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