I was really glued to In the After during the first part of the book when it was sort of like reading a mash up of I am Legend and Falling Skies. Amy is left on her own after everyone around her has been killed by Them. The news has reported that they are aliens who have landed to take over the earth. Soon there is no more news and as far as Amy can tell no other people. She observes how the aliens behave and figure out how to hide from them and get around them. I thought it was different that they were day time creatures instead of night time creatures and I liked that about the story.
One day while scavenging for food in a grocery store Amy finds Baby who is 3 or 4 years old. There is never an explanation as to how Baby got there in the first place, although we learn some other important things about her later. I kind of thought this was a hole in the story. I loved Amy and Baby and I think their relationship is one thing that made the book work so well. However, in part two the post-apocalyptic survival story turned into a dystopian society story. From then on I thought it lacked something. The interaction between Amy and Baby became sparse and we are introduced to a lot of other characters that I really didn't care about.
I saw the origin of Them from a mile away, but was really hoping that I was wrong. I wish they had really been aliens and not infected humans. In that aspect it was a lot like the creatures in I am Legend, only these were green with big claws and fangs. It was also like a million zombie stories that are already out there. I just really wanted to be reading an alien book. I thought some of the explanation for how they came about was kind of stupid, and a bit of a stretch that someone would have been dumb enough to cut themselves on a slide that contained a virus like that. I'm pretty sure they take all kinds of precautions when dealing with things like that.
Amy was mostly pretty smart while she was living on her own, but after she was brought to New Hope I thought she kind of stopped being smart and started doing some really stupid things. Knowing that the doctor didn't trust her and had his eye on her, you would think she would have been quieter about her suspicions and rebel in a more covert manner. Unfortunately she makes stupid mistake after stupid mistake for the whole rest of the book. Even in leaving at the end she is making a stupid mistake, because she doesn't take Baby with her, and the doctor had already pretty much told her he knows baby is the one thing she cares about. Amy could have just walked out of New Hope at any time, there are no walls to keep any of them in, but she doesn't because she convinces herself that giving up some of her freedom is worth the safety that New Hope gives her, which of course brought to my mind the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin. "They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Unfortunately Amy doesn't leave when she should and then she is unable to until her friends finally break her out.
While I liked this book ok, I wish it had ended with this one instead of being a duology. At this time I feel like one book is enough so I'm not planning on reading the next one.