Afterworlds

10 Dec

Unknown

 I love that Scott Westerfeld surprises me. Each new series is unlike the one before. I suspect that turns many people off, but I love it.

Afterworlds intertwines two stories, told in alternating chapters. First, we have the story of Darcy Patel, teenage author who has had a book accepted for publication during her senior year of high school. She decides to forgo college, move to New York and dive into the world of YA authors. I loved this because I figured Scott  Westerfeld knows a lot about how all this works. Darcy is young and naive, but willing to explore a new world. She struggles with rewrites because she poured her heart and sol into the draft she sent out. Although a girl who has always been lucky, Darcy is an engaging character and her naiveté and insecurity actually make her more endearing. What Westerfeld does brilliantly is alternate Darcy’s story with the novel she has written. This is a darker tale of life between death, terrorists and spirit guides who lead the deceased to the underworld.

I listened to the book on CDs generously provided by Audiobook Jukebox. This was really well-narrated by two readers: Heather Lind (Lizzie) and Sheetal Sheth (Darcy). The voices are different enough to easily differentiate the two stories, yet similar enough that they seem connected, just as Lizzie is connected to Darcy. Lind’s voice is a little lower, which is perfect for the darker story of the Underworld. The book is on 12 CDs, runs about 14 hours and is published by Simon & Schuster.

This would be a good  beginning book for a teen who isn’t a huge fan of sci-fi/fantasy, but might want to try it out. It would also be excellent for someone interested in becoming an author.

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