Tuesday, September 25, 2012

After (Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia): Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling



If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe's wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.

New York Times bestselling authors Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Susan Beth Pfeffer, Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis, and Jane Yolen are among the many popular and award-winning storytellers lending their talents to this original and spellbinding anthology. 


I am not usually a fan of anthologies. I prefer full sized books. I want my characters flushed out, full of action, and usually if I’m going to commit to something then I want it to just be longer in general.

So the real question the becomes why should you buy this anthology?

The answer is simple, because of the authors.

Anthologies offer readers a chance to enter the worlds and writing styles of readers they’ve never tried before, giving them a sample of the authors works without feeling the obligation to finish or buy a new book by a new author.

And this anthology has taken some pretty incredible authors and put them together here. Garth Nix, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis, and Jane Yolen are some of the biggest names in the field of dystopian YA. There stories are fantastic and great reads for fans of their work.

My personal favorite short story in this anthology is Faint Heart by Sarah Rees Brennan. It didn’t feel like a short story, instead it felt like the first few chapters of a fantastic new novel. A novel that I really hope she finishes. The premise of the story is that the world was thrown into chaos for years, and the light that brought civilization back out of the darkness was the creation of the perfect woman. Every 25 years all of the single male population is rounded up and forced to compete against one another in a series of challenges that leaves only 1 man alive. This winner receives the hand of his perfect queen and the power to rule over all. This has been going on for years and seems  to work relatively well. The cast of characters includes, a poor thief who hates the queen and everything she stands for, a career competitor (who has trained all his life to win the queen’s hand) but doesn’t have the heart to kill others in the maze, and the queen herself, who doesn’t plan to be bought without her say so. All in all, the characters were well written, there was plenty of action, and I personally hope she writes more on this story at a later point in time.

As mentioned before, reading anthologies offers readers the chance to sample authors you haven’t heard of, alongside some of your favorite authors. This anthology is well put together, has a great cast of authors, and is perfect for fans of dystopian YA.


Publisher: Hyperion Book CH

Published: October 9, 2012

Price: $16.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/After-Nineteen-Stories-Apocalypse-Dystopia/dp/1423146190/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1348599990&sr=8-5&keywords=after

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