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Hanna, BSG

After the Fire

After The Fire by Will Hill is an extremely interesting novel following the therapy process of Moonbeam, a seventeen-year-old survivor of the fire that destroyed her home. This can also be viewed as a social commentary about the importance of perspective and the strength of persuasion as well as questioning powerful public influence such as the government.

The plot of After The Fire is well crafted using a large amount of flashbacks. However, it is in these flashbacks that I believe the main fault of this book lies. Once you realise that Moonbeam is speaking these flashbacks out loud exactly how they are written it seems rather weird as they are certainly not written in spoken language. Try reading one of them out loud and you will discover that, while being well written, they just do not work. This is made especially strange since, at first, when Moonbeam does not trust who she is talking to, there is a lot of irrelevant and personal detail that one would not tell someone they do not trust. Something else that struck me as strange is how well Moonbeam remembers conversations that happened over two years ago. This was most likely done to allow the book to flow better but perhaps suggesting that Moonbeam was giving a more simplified version of events would have allowed the reader to still be treated with a nicely shaped view of the Base while seeming more realistic.

Moonbeam's character was incredibly crafted to work well with the story presented. She challenges the reader's perspective of life without being immediately abrasive or irritating. Her character development does not make her seem easily manipulated or weak. There were a few instances where I absolutely did not agree with Moonbeam and what she was doing/feeling but I feel that every good book character should have these moments since they help broaden a reader's horizons. How boring would reading be if you agreed with everything a character says and does?

However, my favorite part of the book is the repetition of the opening scene. It manages to pull the reader in the first time it appears, but the second time it holds so much more meaning. It embodies all that the reader has learnt throughout the book and I would have been satisfied if the book ended there but included some kind of epilogue showing what became of the characters.

After The Fire delves into some serious issues so I would recommend readers to be 12+ but I would definitely recommend reading it even if I feel it goes over the tops of some reader's heads.

Posted on: 16th April 2018 at 09:57 pm

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