After the End by Amy Plum

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The basics

Title: After the End

Author:

Series: After The End #1

- After the End (May 2014)
- Until The Beginning (May 2015)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

In short

Juneau and her clan live in the Alaskan wilderness. They are the survivors of the Third World War, or so they think. The adults in Juneau’s clan do not age, and the children are born with starbursts in their eyes and superpowers too. Whit, Juneau’s mentor is the clan Sage, the one who Reads the elements and protects the clan. In three years time, Juneau will takeover from him. When Juneau returns home one day from hunting to discover her entire clan kidnapped, she sets out after them. Soon, she discovers that she’s been living a lie all this time, because there never was any World War III in the first place. She teams up with Miles, a boy who secretly plans to hand over Juneau to his father, who is looking for her. Juneau finds out that Whit is a traitor who is also after her for some reason. With all the mental turmoil, she feels her connection with the Yara weakening and uses Miles as an Oracle to ask the Yara for guidance. When Miles discovers what she did, he betrays Juneau and calls his father’s men. Before the men can catch her, Juneau runs off into the night, and takes refuge with an eccentric psychic named Tallie. She realises that she needs to go back to Miles as he is the only one who can take her to her clan. Once together, the Yara guides Juneau towards New Mexico, but before they can leave, Miles’ father’s men catch up with them, and take Juneau away. While held by Mr. Blackwell, Juneau learns about the drug for immortality that Whit has developed, which gives birth to superpowers and an ocular mutation in their offspring. Juneau’s entire clan was the test group for his drug, Amrit. But when Whit failed to live up to his promise to Mr. Blackwell, he went after the clan himself, only to to find them gone, which is why he was after Juneau, the last clue. Miles helps Juneau escape his father, and while on their way, Whit and his men find them, and Miles is shot. To save his life, Juneau performs the Rite, which will connect him to the Yara and give him longevity.

What went down

  • Juneau lives in the Alaskan wilderness with her tribe. It’s been thirty years since World War III, when Juneau’s parents and a few others fled the destruction. The world beyond is now barren, desolated and rife with harmful nuclear remnants. Juneau is next in line to become the clan Sage, when she takes over from Whit, her mentor and friend.
  • One day, when Juneau is out hunting, she hears the sound of airplanes and rushes back to the clan, only to discover that they’ve all been kidnapped. Her father leaves her a message in the dirt, telling her to run.
  • Using her powers, Juneau finds out that her people are being transported somewhere in a flying machine. She sets out to try to find them, and soon after she leaves familiar territory, she discovers a world that shows no signs of damage from a war. After asking around, she realises that there never was a World War III, and Whit had been lying to them all these years. An Oracle tells her she needs to make her way to the source, so she travels to Seattle, which is where her parents were from.
  • Meanwhile, Miles Blackwell, who lives in California, is kicked out of school. His  father promises to get him into Yale, as long as in the meantime, he proves he can be responsible. While eavesdropping, Miles hears his father (who owns a pharmaceutical company) talking about some girl that he is searching for, who has been spotted in Seattle. He makes his way there, thinking he’ll find the girl himself, and thus impress his father.
  • An Oracle in Seattle reveals to Juneau that a guide will help her find her people, and that he will take her far – southeast, to be specific, which is where her people are held. When Juneau & Miles meet, Juneau immediately realises that Miles is her guide. Miles hides his true intention from her, and agrees to take her to her people.
  • A crow comes to Juneau, carrying a message from Whit, through which Juneau figures out that Whit is not being held captive, but actually helping the people who have her clan captive. Juneau realises she cant trust anyone but herself. To worsen matters, her connection with the Yara seems to be weakening. Mile suggests that her doubts about Whit might be affecting the connection, which is something Whit taught her about.
  • That night, Juneau uses Mile as her Oracle. When Miles finds out what she did, he gets furious and calls her father’s men to hand her over to them. Juneau overhears him and flees the place. As she runs off into the night, with the men in hot pursuit, she stumbles upon an eccentric lady who says she’s been looking for her. Tallie gives Juneau shelter and helps her elude her pursuers.
  • After a few days, Juneau goes back to Miles, because he’s the only one who can take her to her people. With the help of her powers they find out that they need to go to New Mexico. Just before they set out, Juneau is captured by Miles’ father’s men, who take her away.
  • Mr. Blackwell tells her about Whittier Graves, a scientist, who approached him about a drug for immortality and superpowers, which he called Amrit. While the drug was successful on the test group, it also caused a mutation in their offspring – a starburst around the iris. Whit had promised to bring Mr. Blackwell the data, but had failed to turn up on the appointed day. Upon investigation, they found the clan’s site abandoned, and Whit missing, which is why Mr. Blackwell had started the manhunt for Juneau, who was also part of the field study.
  • Miles helps Juneau escape his father’s house, and they both make a run for it.

How did it end?

Whit and his cronies find them and are in hot pursuit. Miles is shot, and bleeding profusely. Juneau manages to take over the car the drive them to a safe shack. There, they find out that the shot will most probably kill Miles.

Unable to bear the though of losing him, Juneau calls on the Yara and performs the Rite, which will bind him to the Yara and give him immortality.

anything else

Yara: A superorganism inside which everything is, and everything is connected by it. It is the current that moves through all things.

Oracle: a pperson acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy is sought from the Yara

Reading: Making one’s will known to the Yara by using the elements in order to get an answer to something.

Conjuring: Affecting the nature of something. Eg: camouflaging oneself

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