Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld


Do you ever find yourself splitting your attention between two equally awesome and compelling novels, and then scolding yourself for it? Well, with Afterworlds, there’s no reason to scold yourself! There are two stories included in one book, both of different genres. Afterworlds tells the story of Darcy, the girl who writes the novel, Afterworlds, which is also contained within the book. For the sake of this review, Darcy’s story will be referred to as real life, because while the Afterworlds chapters have a title, Darcy’s fictional life doesn’t.

Without further ado, my review of Afterworlds!

Spoilers Ahead!

The IRL part of Afterworlds tells the story of Darcy Patel, a girl who wrote Afterworlds in 30 days during the Nanowrimo event. She sends it off to an agent, who helps her get published. From there, she’s thrust into the world of publishing, with parties, new york apartments, and most importantly, young love. Darcy falls in love with a fellow writer, by the name of Imogen Grey. Darcy’s chapters are marked by issues with their relationship, publishing issues, and the struggles of being a young writer in New York City.

The actual Afterworlds part is where things get interesting. It starts off with a terrorist attack at an airport, which serves as Lizzie’s introduction to the afterworld, known as the flipside. At the urging of a 911 operator, she plays dead to avoid getting shot. She loses consciousness, and wakes up later when everyone thinks that she’s dead. Of course, she also meets Yamaraj and Yami, twins who live in the flip-side, Yami is a ghost, but Yamaraj is like Lizzie, a psychopomp, who can traverse both the flipped and the normal world. When she finally returns home as the only survivor, she most deal with ghosts, serial killers, and vicious predators in the afterworld, while managing her real life connections.

I LOVED this book. When I picked it up at a thrift store for ONE DOLLAR, I was thrilled. I had seen it on goodreads, and I really wanted to read it, so I’m sure you can understand how excited I was when I found it. I found myself flipping through the pages, on the edge of my seat. The fact that the two stories alternated by chapter left each part with a cliff hanger feel. I thought that I would like the Afterworlds part of the novel better, but the IRL part was also amazing as well. The characters were surprisingly well developed for a two part novel, but then again, with nearly 600 pages in the hardcover edition, I wouldn’t really expect any less. We’re pretty much getting two full length novels with loosely connected storylines together in one book!!! It’s totally worth the cost, even if you buy it from a bookstore rather than a thrift store like I did. There’s so much to love!


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