Synopsis of Afterworlds
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld follows a young girl, Darcy Patel, as she navigates the world of publishing when she lands a book deal at only 18. Instead of traversing College campuses as a Freshman, she moves to New York City, with a large advance burning a hole in her pocket. Her story includes wild writer parties featuring her favorite authors, living in a budget blowing apartment, and revising her book in time for her deadline. There may even be a little romance with a fellow debut author.
Told in alternating chapters, Darcy’s novel, also titled Afterworlds, is Lizzie’s story, beginning with a deadly terrorist attack that leaves her the only survivor. She is still alive because she pretended to be dead. It worked a little too well. Now she can walk the flip-side and can see ghosts. After finding a ghost she shares a personal connection with she finds her mission, though she is warned by the flip-side walker who saved her life, she is walking a dangerous path.
In concept, Afterworlds was a very creative idea, however, it mostly just felt like I was reading two books simultaneously. There were a couple of parallels and obviously we have Darcy talking about her book, but I wish it had more. I didn’t find this aspect to be a huge detraction from my overall enjoyment of the book. Though, if you are a one book at a time type of person you may have trouble with this.
I enjoyed both Lizzie and Dacy’s stories overall. The majority of the time I felt myself being more invested in Lizzie’s story. Dacy’s life seemed way too easy for someone who is only 18 and she was pretty clueless about everything. You really shouldn’t spend your entire book advance on rent alone. In case you didn’t know, which Darcy didn’t. I did really appreciate when Imogen called her out though. This scene may have been the most satisfying of Darcy’s chapters.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Warnings: A few instances of strong language, Violence
First Published: 2014
Page Count: 599