Review: Until the Beginning by Amy Plum

Review: Until the Beginning by Amy Plum Until the Beginning by Amy Plum
Series: After the End #2
Published by HarperCollins on May 5th 2015
Pages: 336
Format:ARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review
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When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

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First, this is the sequel to After the End. (You can find my review here.)  So if you haven’t read that… well, this won’t make much sense to you, so probably go read that first? I will say, before we get into the actual review, that this sequel is definitely a win. I liked the first book, but this book really pulled everything together wonderfully, so if you had doubts about it being a duology, no worries there! 50488-whew-gif-5ub7

First, I am going to talk about the one thing I wasn’t so fond of in the first book: The magic. In Until the Beginning, it is fleshed out much more, with a lot more explanation and purpose, and basically negates all of the trouble I had with it in the first book, to the point where I actually really liked it! There were a few revelations that were a tad farfetched for me, but on the whole, it was a solid attribute in the story.

Now, to the best part of the book: Juneau and Miles!adore Juneau and Miles, and their witty banter, and their escalating romance, and trust and understandings they have come to. They have both grown tremendously during these two books, all while maintaining the best parts about their individualities. I really don’t think character development gets better than that. Juneau is strong and wise and ready to do anything for her people, but Miles helps to bring out her softer side, her more vulnerable side. Miles is still level headed and realistic, making Juneau a bit more grounded. But she is able to show him what it means to be loyal and to fight for what you believe in, and Miles starts to believe in himself. Basically, Amy Plum can do character development like no other.

And there is a road trip! I do love a road trip, especially when there is a time constraint and unknown dangers. This book, of course, has both. There are secrets to be uncovered, mysteries to figure out, and the great part is, that both Juneau and Miles’s strengths and resources are needed to figure out their next steps. Oh, and no worries, there are major swoons to be had as well! I don’t want to talk too much about the plot, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but it moved along wonderfully, I read the book quickly because I was anxious to know what was coming next!

Bottom Line: If you haven’t started this series, I recommend. If you have, and liked After the End, you will probably love Until the Beginning. It has all the good parts of After the End, but expands on them and explains and reveals so, so much. And come on, it’s Juneau and Miles!

4hstrs

Posted May 4, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 18 Comments


18 responses to “Review: Until the Beginning by Amy Plum

  1. The magic was definitely my favorite aspect of After the End, and I’m glad that was more fleshed out and given some air-time in this one. 🙂 I didn’t love the characters at all in the first book, so it’s fabulous to know they they go through a lot of character development. Fantastic review, Shannon! I might just continue this duology.

    • Oh I LOVED the characters in this one! And the magic is very purposeful and well thought out in this one, so I think you will like it! Did you like After the End at all? I think if you even kind of liked it, it’s worth continuing since this one is definitely better and ties things up nicely 🙂

  2. I went back to read your review of After the end, and the unique plot you’re talking about has caught my interest. I’ll be reading it now that book #2 is released and book #1’s cliffhanger is no longer an issue ^^

  3. You’re making me want to read it now, when I was pretty adamant that I wasn’t going to, since the first one really bored me (but I think it also had to do with the mood I was in at the time, so I should give it another try). I preferred Mile’s over Juneau’s perspective (to be honest, I can’t even remember Juneau much, which, you know, is bad, considering she’s a main, haha) but I think I’d like he more this time. 🙂

  4. I can see how After the End will be in my June TBR gahhh! Girl, I need to stop reading your reviews…seriously. You will make me overfill my TBR and push back books I want to read. Your reviews are amazing. I need to read this!

  5. I’M REALLY GLAD YOU LOVED THIS SHANNON. LIKE REALLY GLAD. GOOD FOR YOU.

    I didn’t really like After The End much, so I won’t pick this up, BUT I’M GLAD TO SEE THE MAGIC/SCIENCE EXPLAINED MORE THIS TIME!

  6. I’m glad to know that the second book has finally filled the gaps that the first book did when it came to the magic (and consequently, world-building?). I tried the first book and have forgotten to continue it (what a failure I am sometimes), so I’m much more inclined to continue it knowing the second book is better than the first! At least there’s something to look forward to!!

    • Yes, it really did, thank goodness! I was worried, but it came through, for the most part. There was ONE thing that didn’t make sense to me, which was why I deducted the half star, because it irked me (but it’s spoilery so I won’t mention it!) but otherwise, yes, the gaps are filled! Hope you like it when you do read it 😀

  7. How have I not heard of this series? I guess I just wrote it off as another post apocalypse. I wouldnt have expected magic! Witty banter too, okay you’ve convinced me.

  8. We pretty much have the exact same thoughts! Didn’t like the magic in the first book, but it’s used to a much better effect in the second. And I just love Juneau and Miles together SO much. They have excellent banter. 🙂

    • I agree! I think part of why I didn’t like it in the first book was I wasn’t expecting it at all. But also, there were SO many questions. I think it was tied up nicely in this book. And yes, I ADORE Miles and Juneau- they were just so fun together!

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