Afterworlds Book Review


Regan Mies

“That’s the thing about truth. You could erase it all and it was there to be discovered again.” Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds is a chilling thriller—contemporary—paranormal romance. The novel itself is a combination of two books, and the first tells the story of Darcy Patel, and eighteen-year-old who has just graduated high school and been signed with a publishing company for the novel she’s written. Darcy convinces her strict Indian parents to let her postpone college for a year to try her hand at living and writing in New York City.

Darcy, as the main character, is a bit whiny. She’s naive and insecure, but she’s also brilliant and creative. A lot of this novel is about personal development and individual growth, and I thought that it was done wonderfully.

One of my favorite things to read about has always been people talking about their own writing–their process, their characters, what they do, what they don’t do, their favorite part, etc. I love reading about people who are passionate about things, even more so when I share these same passions. A big part of Afterworlds centers around the publishing agency and Darcy’s up-and-coming novel. This “behind-the-scenes” look at creating a novel was fascinating.

The second book within Afterworlds is told in alternating chapters and is the novel that Darcy actually writes and spends her time revising. Though paranormal romance isn’t always my thing, I found myself intrigued and completely engrossed in Darcy’s book, titled Afterworlds. In her story, the main character, Lizzie, is the only survivor in an airport terrorist attack. After her close encounter with death, she can walk into the chilling Afterworld among ghosts, predators, and those half-alive like herself.

I liked this half of the story as it stood alone, but I liked it more when I read it as a reflection of Darcy. Afterworlds is brilliant in the way it connects the story Darcy writes with the development and realizations Darcy faces in her own life.

Enjoy with a cup of steamy ramen noodles, when you’re wanting to feel inspired or adventurous. Enjoy in a big city cafe or riding in the passenger seat down a deserted road. Afterworlds is a book to read when you’re looking for something unique, character-driven, and action packed.