Review: Until The Beginning by Amy Plum

Until The Beginning (After The End #2)
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback/Own

When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.



Review: I thought this was a great sequel to After The End! I feel like we got a lot of growth with both Juneau and Miles. We also get a lot of answers to things we were questioning in After The End.

I have to say I really liked Miles in this book! Maybe even a tad bit more than Juneau. He really came into his own in this book! After going through the rite to save his life, he's able to do some things like Juneau can, but he has to figure out how to connect to the Yara first. Throughout the book, both when he's with Juneau or on his own, he works at making that connection and trying to use the powers he knows he should have access to. And after a while, he finally gets the hang of it. Him learning how to connect to the Yara really came into play in the second half of the book. Juneau takes off without him to try the direct approach to save her clan, leaving Miles behind. He then decides to go after her and find a way to help her, but in order to best help her, he had to find his power. I was really excited when Miles power got stronger and stronger as he practiced connecting to the Yara more and more. I also liked that he stood up to his dad in the end of the book and told him he didn't need his money anymore. He even stood with Juneau's clan to fight for their freedom when his dad and Avery Hunt were trying to attack all of them just to have the drug. Miles made a complete 180 from the spoiled teen he was in After The End.

I also enjoyed Juneau's growth in this book. I really liked that she grew into someone who made decisions based on what she wanted/needed, instead of what everyone else pressured or told her to do. She was confronted by Whit, who told her half the truth of everything, and then tried to desperately convince her to come back to where the clan was being held. While she consulted Miles for his opinion of Whit's revelations, she overall was the one who stood up and said no. Mostly because she was lied to and betrayed by him and she didn't wanna fall in that trap again. But she also didn't listen to her dads warning either. He replied to her note saying to leave and not try and help them. But she clearly wasn't going to abandon her clan either. But in a fun twist at the end, she decides to have time on her own and let her people sort out how they want to live their lives instead of just taking over as leader. She said if in the future, they decided they still wanted to be all together and have her lead them, she'd be interested in coming back. But she wanted time to herself and for them to discover the world they'd been hidden from.

I also loved the growth in Miles & Juneau's relationship. It went from both of them needing the other for their own personal reasons, to them genuinely wanting to be with each other and giving up things to be with the other. I also loved that Juneau's friends and family fully accepted Miles as a good match for Juneau after seeing all her went through to help her and the clan. Both of them made huge strides in the relationship.

I also liked that we got questions answered! Like why Juneau was so sought after in relation to the drug. Come to find out, it relates to her blood. There's a pretty big backstory about it and her family, but they apparently needed her blood. We also get the mystery surrounding the clans kidnapping answered. And it wasn't what I was expecting it was. It actually wasn't Whit's doing like I thought. But once it was explained who kidnapped the clan and why, it made perfect sense. And was not surprising. Lets just say I feel no remorse for what happens to the kidnapper at the end. He definitely deserved everything that happened to him.

While I really wished I could have gave this 5 stars, I can't. I did thoroughly enjoy the book, but felt like the intensity stayed the same as After The End. So my review for Until The Beginning and the duology as a whole remains at 4.

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