After the Fear
by Rosanne Rivers
Publication Date: January 19, 2013
Published by Immortal Ink Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback ~314 pages
Tour Host: Rebecca Hamilton
You have not attended a Demonstration this month.
In Sola’s city, everyone obeys the rules. Stay away from the trigger cameras and regularly update your Debtbook, and you just might survive. But having to watch the way criminals are dealt with—murdered by Demonstrators in the Stadium—is a law Sola tries to avoid. When a charming Demonstrator kisses her at a party, however, she’s thrust into the Stadium and forced into the very role she despises.
Armed with only natural resourcefulness and a caring nature, Sola narrowly survives her first bout. Her small success means she’s whisked off to a training camp, where she discovers a world beyond the trigger cameras and monitoring—a world where falling in love with a killer doesn’t seem so terrible.
Yet life as a Demonstrator has no peace. Sola must train her way through twenty-five more Demonstrations before she can return home to her father. At the end of each battle, only one survivor remains.
Sola could face anyone in the Stadium . . . even a loved one.
I don't even know where to start - After the Fear is a fantastic debut novel by Rosanne Rivers and it blew me away. Sola is an incredibly strong heroine who lives in a world where the motto is "Kill or be Killed." Set in a dystopian society (the former United Kingdom), the citizens must help pay off the national debt by participating in demonstrations. These demonstrations bring in money. What are the demonstrations? Well, they are a sort of Gladiator battles where a trained Demonstrator fights to criminals to the death. Sola is forced into training as a Demonstrator and must win 25 fights to gain her freedom.
Sola isn't some girly-girl (despite her fainting); she is a hardened, tough, and fierce girl who never gives up. I love that Sola isn't some sniveling girl - she fights and she fights well. She also has another side to her; she has compassion, something that is sorely missing in this society full of killers. Dylan- the Demonstrator that she kissed is a 'eh' kind of guy, but Coral was the perfect mean girl. She made me want to kill her myself. I love when an author can build characters that I want to hug, kiss, or in Coral's case: throttle.
While I can see some similarities to the popular series The Hunger Games, this is not a knock-off. After the Fear is about a world that has been turned into a big-brother state fighting to stave off more debt. This is a reality that doesn't seem so far off these days. Add in the social media outlets and the Debtbooks that are issued to everyone to keep up on their Demonstration status, and you have a society who is always kept in fear of being chosen to die. I found the world that Ms. Rivers built to be believable, too believable in some cases.
The book is written beautifully and where some YA novels are lacking in their descriptiveness, Ms. Rivers doesn't shy away from complicated and eloquent prose. The way she develops emotions and brings truths to the surface is masterful. Even the horribly violent scenes (of which there are many) are written in a way that makes you think you are there, which might be a good or bad thing depending on how strong your stomach is. Ms. Rivers elicits such fear and horror in her writing and builds it and works it so it thickens and you feel it slowly creeping up; and with a novel like After the Fear, it would not be the same book without the mist of fear that surrounds you.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading After the Fear. It is one of the best dystopian novels I have ever read and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the genre. The characters are complex and engaging as is the the plot. Note that is not for the faint of heart and is extremely violent and gory, but if you an take it, you will not be disappointed!
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.
Rosanne lives in Birmingham, UK and considers it one of her favourite cities, second only to Rome. She delights in writing for children and young adults and hopes to bring readers to an unfamiliar yet alluring setting. Rosanne was inspired to write when she read the Harry Potter books, and at age fourteen, she wrote romance fanfiction on just about every pairing you could dream up from the HP series. She currently lives with her partner and two bunny rabbits and is working on a fantasy YA with a twist.
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