Afterworlds is two interwoven stories, opening with Darcy Patel a high school senior who “wrote” Afterworlds during National Novel Writing Month and manages to get a giant book deal for it and a sequel, “Untitled Patel” as Darcy’s younger sister calls it. Darcy decides to delay college for a year so she can move to New York and complete the rewrites on her book and learn more about publishing. The second chapter switches to Darcy’s book; a paranormal romance about Lizzie who’s caught in a domestic terror incident in the Dallas airport. As things kick off, Lizzie calls 911 and the operator, once it’s clear that Lizzie can’t get somewhere safe, suggests that she play dead. In the process, Lizzie manages to “will” herself dead. While “dead” Lizzie meets Yammaraj and his ghost sister who are helping the dead along. The two are surprised to find Lizzie because, while she is among the dead, she is still alive, like Yammaraj. The book then proceeds to alternate between Darcy story and Lizzie’s story. The two storylines reflect and influence each other in interesting and surprising ways.
This is a great book and I really enjoyed it. I think I would have liked reading it, but I listened to this and had a wonderful experience. I had tried reading it several months ago, but never got hooked for some reason. Afterworlds alternates narrators, one for Darcy and one for Lizzie. As I’ve listened to audiobooks, I’ve noticed that they are generally performed, the narrators do voices and generally emote wildly. This was not so much the case for Afterworlds. There is very little emoting and the voices are generally very slight, the performance is mostly just tone changes. It felt a whole lot more like reading a book. Listening to this was a completely different experience and has ruined me for other audiobooks for a bit. Ha! I just looked, there is a short excerpt on Westerfeld’s site for a Darcy chapter. If this sounds like something you might like, I’d recommend listening to it, but it’s a good light read if you decide to pass on the audiobook option.
-Review by David D., Circulation Manager