- Age Range: 12 - 14 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Hardcover: 314 pages
- Publisher: Dystopia Press; 1 edition (November 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984498125
- ISBN-13: 978-0984498123
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,070,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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20 Years Later 1st Edition
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About the Author
E.J. Newman was born in a coastal village in southwest England and currently lives in Somerset. After graduating from Oxford University came stints in magazine publishing, website information architecture, and teaching. More information about her can be found at her blog Post-Apocalyptic publishing at www.enewman.co.uk.
Top customer reviews
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20 Years Later is a young-adult post-apocalyptic novel set 20 years after a plague reduces London to a concrete wasteland populated by gangs like the Bloomsbury Boys, the Red Lady's Hunters, and the Gardeners; some vicious, others honorable, but all dangerous, and willing to die to protect their territories.
The book opens with one of my favorite plot devices; the idea of some future traveler stumbling across a written manuscript that turns out to be the book you're reading. A nameless narrator hints at grand adventures which "everyone alive has heard of", and then tells the tale of how they all began.
In this case, those tales begin with Zane, a young man who has grown up under the protection of his mother, sheltered to the point of naivety as he is blissfully unaware of what lies more than a few blocks beyond the square he lives in. All that changes when he meets Titus, and then Erin, and they discover they are linked by more than just their friendship and the special abilities that each seems to possess.
Circumstances force them together, and then out beyond the boundaries of Zane's world, as they work to rescue Titus' sister from a new enemy. Their adventures begin to unravel the mysteries of Zane's past, and of the events that destroyed most of humanity.
As with most sub-categories of science-fiction, the post-apocalyptic genre is rife with young-adult stories, some of which rank among my favorites. There's something freeing about being able to gloss over some of the details, and just concentrate on the characters and the story. In the case of 20YL, I did find myself wondering about things like what some of the characters were eating, or where they were finding supplies, and some of the events at the end of the story seemed to happen a little too easily.
But none of that detracted from my enjoyment of the book. This isn't a story about the apocalypse itself, it's a story of three friends, their relationship and development as they explore their world and their past. Thats not to say there's a lack of post-apocalyptic imagery, far from it. This book would make a great movie, with scenes of the Red Lady's Hunters like medieval warriors in their leather armor, or the Bloomsbury Boys and the trophies of their defeated enemies that they wear proudly, all against a backdrop of London's streets, crumbling and littered with bones.
Overall, I can give 20 Years Later my hearty recommendation. I've actually read it twice now, and still look forward to being able to delve back into the world of Zane and his friends. We've only scratched the surface of what was promised in the prologue so I can only hope that we'll get to see all of those adventures in the two sequels that are planned, 20 Years Later: Legacy and 20 Years Later: Revelation. According to Ms Newman's blog, she's already getting close to finishing Revelation, so hopefully we won't have to wait long for at least Legacy to be available.
Add this one to your "to buy" list. I'm fairly certain you won't be disappointed.
I was not disappointed. The characters are very well-drawn, and you can see them in your head, just like a movie. For me, that's the mark of a very good book. You will care about them all quite a lot, even the supposed "bad guys/women."
It seemed to me that the author was struggling to create conflict between the main characters for dramatic tension, and it quite frankly got annoying at several points. Still, there was always resolution. The ending seemed to come very quickly. (I was looking at just a small portion of pages left and thinking, "Is this really going to wrap up?") It was bit neat and sweet, and I wasn't really happy about how the people were divided up, and the silly conflict between the two gang leaders.
On the other hand, as I said, I couldn't put it down, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the trilogy. Unlike The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, this story wrapped up and will begin a new one next book, so that's pretty exciting.
My kudos to the author for writing a story where I would definitely like to meet all the characters (and see the movie!).
Although some areas of the writing style wasn't pleasing, the story kept me interested throughout the entirety of this novel. It was fairly fast paced -- no need to worry about slow bits.
I truly enjoyed the ending, and love the hint about a sequel -- I can't wait to read more! It tells just enough about the characters and shows you the things they are able to achieve to make you want to read more. This would be a satisfying read for anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic fiction.
NOTE: I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I also received a hand-written note from Dystopia Press, as this was their first published book. I really appreciated the sentiment.