Signed ARC Giveaway of In the End by Demitria Lunetta & Thoughts on Setting

In the End (In the After, #2)

Today I am thrilled to be able to share with one of my readers a signed ARC of In the End by Demitria Lunetta (seriously doesn’t she have the most beautiful name?). Tomorrow, June 24th, this sequel and conclusion to In the After releases. I loved the first book (my review) and interviewed Demitria last year.

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Waiting on Wednesday #25

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait to-read” selection is: In the End (In the After #2) by Demitria Lunetta

In the End (In the After, #2)Summary:
It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

Why Am I Eagerly Waiting For In the End?
I loved In the After, the characters had heart and were unique. This book gave me a few nights of creepy dreams. I loved the suspense and tension and can’t wait to see where Lunetta will take the story next.

Interview with Demitria Lunetta
Review of In the After

Interview with Demitria Lunetta Author of In the After + Giveaway

Today I have Demitria Lunetta here to talk about her debut novel In the After. I am so excited to have the opportunity to have her on My Friends Are Fiction. I loved In the After; I think it is such an original survivalist book that really ingrained in my subconscious. For weeks after reading it I couldn’t shake the world or characters

 In the After (In the After #1)

I’m so happy to have you here, thank you for joining us.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m very glad you enjoyed In the After!

In most survival stories the monsters dwell at night and the survivors during the day. Switching this dynamic really creates a different atmosphere for your survival tale. Was there a specific reason you went that direction?
I love horror books & movies, especially those that feature scary creatures. Most of these creatures stick to the shadows and use night as a cover. When I thought about my creatures though, I wanted them to be unique. I thought about taking these norms and flipping them. These creatures (referred to as They) are ravenous, flesh-eating monsters, but they have poor eyesight, making them more active during the day when it’s light out. They also hunt by sound. This means that my MC, Amy, lives in a world of silent darkness. She only goes out at night, making the usual world of frightening shadows her comfort zone. The day becomes a time of terror, when They own the world.

Amy was able to survive in her parent’s fortified home because her father used green technology and her mother was a bit on the paranoid side so had an electric fence installed. How did you figure out what Amy would need to survive? Do you ever think about how your house would stand up to aliens or crisis?
Since They are so relentless, I knew Amy would need a little help surviving the initial onslaught. I had to imagine how a perfectly normal 14 year-old would be able to live for so long after almost everyone else has died. I didn’t want her situation to seem contrived though, so I made sure her home fit in to the context of the story line.

My home, on the other hand, would not last so long. There is a fence, but They would tear through that in an instant. Even if I managed to avoid Them by being completely quiet, I don’t have a large supply of food so I’d probably be a goner!

I felt like In the After focused on humanity and the coping mechanisms different people utilize to try to survive a crisis. Amy and Amber have opposing methods could you relate to either of them?
Amy and Amber are very different. Amy is strong and determined, and sees Amber as weak. This may sound strange, but one of my favorite characters is Amber. She’s not a hero, by any means, but she’s very real. She’s a survivor, though not the kind most readers are used to. Her survival technique is to fit in and follow. She wants to be protected and are willing concede a few freedoms to be safe. She knows that survival is a tricky game, and she’s learned to play it to perfection.

After reading ItA I had nightmares for a couple of nights, did the process of writing or researching disturb your sleep?
Writing never gave me nightmares, I think I was too engrossed in the story, in the plots and dialogues for it to disturb my sleep. Not that it wasn’t disturbing to destroy the world, I just think as the writer creating the world was less frightening than reading about the world. Immersion through reading can feel very real and I’m glad that my book was able to draw you so far in to the After.

Is there any creature or superstition that really terrifies you? Mine is Bloody Mary—I will not to this day mutter her name three times.
If I think too long about any apocalypse scenario it becomes frightening…not so much zombies or aliens, but things that are more likely to happen, like an economic collapse or breakdown of society. People can be scary. That’s why I wrote New Hope the way I did.

I loved Amy and Baby’s relationship and how they were such a good team. One aspect that really stood out to me was that they created their own form of sign language. Would you be able to survive in a silent world?
I’m not sure that I could, but people are amazing at adapting. I think I’m kind of a loud person, even just walking across a room could draw Them, so I’d probably be taken out before I knew what hit me. But maybe if I knew I had to be quiet, if my life depended on it, that would change things.

Baby was immediately one of my favorite children I’ve ever read in a book. Was her character derived from anyone specific?
When I first started thinking about In the After, I imagined a teenage MC, but also a little girl. Baby was always there, from the beginning. I didn’t base her on anyone in particular, but she has always been a part of the story.

I felt like it was realistic that a small child would be capable of adapting to extraordinary situations. Did you research how children react to trauma and crisis to help you write her?
I did research the ways in which children react to traumatic events. Baby is so strong, but she’s been through an incredible amount…things that haven’t even been uncovered yet. I think that Baby deals with her trauma well, she’s learned to adapt even better than Amy has. This is especially clear in New Hope.

Can you tell us anything about In the End?
I can’t tell you much, but In the End, we get to learn more about Baby and Rice. Amy has left New Hope, but she can’t break the ties that bind her to the people she left behind.

Random Questions:
What are you reading right now?
I am reading Grave Mercy…I’ve heard so many good things about this book so am really excited. I’m only a few pages in and already it’s amazing!

What are you working on next?
In the End will still need some edits and then I’ll work on how Amy and Baby’s story continues!

In the After has gotten great buzz and is such a wonderful book (read my review here). This is an international giveaway (if Book Depository ships to your location).
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Review of In the After by Demitria Lunetta

In the AfterIn the After
By: Demitria Lunetta
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

Thank you HarperTeen for an electronic review copy in exchange for a honest review

My Rating:

Summary (via Goodreads):
They hear the most silent of footsteps. They are faster than anything you’ve ever seen. And They won’t stop chasing you…until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

The Story:
The beginning of In the After was absolutely amazing; it had me terrified and completely intrigued. Lunetta takes us through a classic survival tale that I felt was perfectly done. We follow from Amy’s point of view, and I felt as confused and scared as she did. Lunetta did a wonderful job in creating fear and suspense. I especially loved that her monsters, referred to as ‘Them,’ were daylight dwellers instead of the typical nighttime terrors presented in other books. This fear of the daylight added a welcomed sense of unease.

Once Baby and Amy reach New Hope the tone of the novel changes dramatically. It becomes less a tale of survival and aliens and more a mystery. I appreciated how Lunetta interwove Amy’s past and present and found I was immersed in the mystery of what was happening around her. I preferred the first half not because of the writing or story telling but because I tend to prefer survival tales in general.

The Characters:
Lunetta provides her main character parents that prepared fairly well for disaster. Between a green father and paranoid mother, Amy has a home prepped and ready to keep her safe when things go wrong. Though this helps our main character it never felt contrived or too easy. Lunetta was able to make it seem completely natural and realistic, yet it allowed our character to flourish longer and more comfortably.

I enjoyed watching Amy’s growth as a person. When disaster strikes she is a typical teen and veers on spoiled. She had to adapt to an entirely different existence where daytime and noise are not safe. Her world becomes all about silence and darkness. Not only does she learn to keep herself alive she takes in a young child, Baby, and keeps her safe as well. Lunetta does an impressive job building a meaningful relationship between Amy and Baby, and does so without them speaking to one another in words but with unique sign language only they understand.

Various secondary characters are introduced and most of them are done very well. There were a few sprinkled in that I found rather grating, but they weren’t supposed to be likeable. Even with the characters I disliked I was still able to understood most of their motivations.

Final Thoughts:
I really appreciated In the After and the wealth of emotions it stirred in me. I am eager to read the next in the series and anything Demitria Lunetta writes.

Look for In the After available from HarperTeen June 25, 2013

In the After Book Trailer: