3.5 out of 5
A post-apocalyptic novel with a cinematic twist from New York Times bestseller Barry Lyga, actor Peter Facinelli, and producer Robert DeFranco.
On the ruined planet Earth, where 50 billion people are confined to mega-cities, and resources are scarce, Deedra has been handed a bleak and mundane existence by the Magistrate she works so hard for. But one day, she comes across a beautiful boy struggling to cross the river. A boy with a secretive past and special abilities, who is somehow able to find comfort and life from their dying planet. A boy with an unusual name…Rose.
But just as the two form a bond, it is quickly torn apart by the murder of the Magistrate’s son, and Rose becomes the prime suspect. Little do they know how much their relationship will affect the fate of everyone who lives on the planet
After the Red Rain had/has the potential to be a fantastic read. In some ways, I loved it. In others, it fell flat. I don’t know, maybe I was expecting something that was going to blow my mind, I don’t know why… I’ve never read anything by Barry Lyga, yes I know, I shouldn’t get my hopes up for an author I’ve never read. It wasn’t the author that drew me to the book, it was the cover (DON’T JUDGE ME) and then the description.
So basically, nobody knows what the Red Rain was, some call it an act of God, some call it the planet getting revenge on mankind because they overpopulated the planet… you find out towards the end and yes it is disturbing. But lets just think about this for a minute… Earth housing 100 BILLION people. No plants, no animals, polluted skies, starving people and then all of a sudden BAM 50 Billion gone from the red rain. I’m sure if you put your mind to it, you can figure it out.
We have our main characters, Deedra who is an orphan, who has lived on her own since she was 12. Deedra survives on rations from the work that she does in a factory that she firmly believes is building air scrubbers. She has a scar on her neck that she absolutely loathes so much that she is constantly touching it in the book and thinking about it and covering it up, she thinks it makes her hideous and I’m not sure why that was such a sticking point considering she lives in a dying world where the government doesn’t give out enough rations for people and they have to scavenge for extra food.
Then there is Rose… A man named Rose. I actually found him intriguing, considering he’s not exactly human, has no idea where he came from. He’s like a clean slate that has been walking the Earth for years. He questions everything, but has a genuinely good heart. He’s attracted to Deedra for the first time because in his life he’s never seen anyone do something so selfless as saving someone.
When the Magistrates son is murdered, Rose is the person they look too, the newcomer, the one who stopped Jaron from trying to sexually assault Deedra. The one who showed up to the factory with a fake brand and tried to insert himself into society.
Eventually we find out what is going on in the factories and what Rose is really capable of, and at the end we’re kind of left with a cliffhanger. Not a huge one, but one that makes you wonder what is going to happen next.
After the Red Rain left me wanting more… more creativity, a different approach from the mundane that has become dystopian novels lately. It seems like everyone is the same nowadays, maybe its because the genre has become so popular with the rise of YA books being published. I feel like I expected something completely original, never seen before, don’t ask why… some days I’m convinced that the book gods will shine down on me and give me these things. Apparently they did not shine down, but I don’t regret reading this book, in fact I look forward to the second one.
I can see the potential in this book, and I can see the potential that the second book can have.
This ARC was provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks so much!!