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Hi guys, I hope you’re all well and that you’re keeping safe during this difficult time.
Today, I’d like to share my review of After the Sky, a post-apocalyptic novel by Milo Fowler.
Earth has been reduced to a desolate wasteland following a nuclear war. The only survivors are those chosen to be sealed in bunkers below ground for the past twenty years. Now, as these survivors brave the outside world once again, they will encounter many challenging obstacles. They must work together to survive.
The story explores several different perspectives: that of Milton, Luther, Daiyna, and Willard, all survivors who have since been released from their underground bunkers.
Milton is the core protagonist, the lone survivor of his underground sector, for reasons that cause him to carry great guilt and shame in his wake. He lost the love of his life, all of his friends, and finds himself torn between getting close to other survivors, and pushing them as far away from him as possible.
Luther is a deeply religious man, repentant on behalf of the Earth for what was done to it by others. He’s a real team player and tries to bring people together where possible. His attitude toward the entire situation was admirable, his hope keeping others on track.
Daiyna came from a separate female sector. Both smart and intuitive, it’s understandable that she doesn’t want to be a breeder as her sector’s program had planned. She makes a fierce warrior, providing creative solutions to all manner of problems. She was by far my favourite character, but then again, I do love fierce female warrior characters.
Willard stands against our three other main characters. He is stubborn and believes only in his own approach to doing things, even if it strips the freedom and human rights away from others. Obsessed with keeping people ‘natural’, as God intended, he becomes a monster in the eyes of others.
I saw him to be a coward, hiding behind his strict ideology because he had nothing left of his humanity.
Likes and Dislikes
As always, I loved the first person, present tense writing style. Having the multiple points of view worked really well, showing how each character works differently while aiming to survive the harsh new conditions of the Earth.
The drama of the situation wasn’t lost on me. At first, the male and female sectors experience different problems, demonstrating their unique methods of problem solving, each with its benefits and drawbacks. If they should fail, they will lose their lives. Everything is at stake.
Conflict gradually escalated until it reached a peak that I couldn’t imagine the characters walking away from.
What was perhaps most fascinating was the twist that came toward the middle to end of the story, where a suggestion is made about the nature of their ‘post nuke experience’ not being entirely as it seems.
I definitely can’t wait to see what comes next in this series. I honestly couldn’t fault anything in this book.
Two particular quotes stood out form this book, really hitting home.
1) ‘As the saying goes, no community divided against itself can stand.’
2) ‘What is fear, really? Where does it come from? Is it rooted in our mortality?
What if we could live forever- would we fear anything?’
Both of these quotes had me thinking deeply about the nature of our problems, whether they stem from division between people, or from our own fears- from deep within us where even we cannot see their true cause. I believe that if we look within ourselves, we’ll eventually be able to find solutions to problems that have plagued us for generations.
Overall, I found After the Sky to be a really interesting read. I’ve read a few nuclear war / post-apocalyptic books before and each has something new to share: some nugget of wisdom buried within fine prose and mesmerizing characters.
If you’re looking for an interesting read that explores how a post-nuclear Earth might look, then definitely give this book a try.
My rating: 4 stars.
Thank you for joining me for today’s review of After the Sky, by Milo Fowler.
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I hope you all continue to be safe.
May love be with you,