Sunday, 9 February 2014

Review&Interview with Lynnette Lounsbury, author of Afterworld

Released: 26 February 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
At the Other End:
Dom is the youngest person ever to arrive in the Necropolis, the 'waiting place' between death and what comes after. And it isn't long before he catches the attention of Satarial, a cruel Nephilim from the beginning of time, who has grim plans to use Dom as entertainment in his vicious gladiatorial games. When Dom's still-living sister, Kaide, appears in the Necropolis too, Satarial has the leverage he needs, and the stage is set for the biggest shake-up the afterlife has seen in centuries.

Dom's only option is to compete in the Trials and attempt to win the chance to enter the Maze. In his favour he has an enigmatic young Guide, Eva, and a Guardian, Eduardo, who may not be what he seems. But will they be enough?

Sum Up:
A riveting novel, showing us that even the youngest people can change the course of the world... scratch that, the Afterworld.

Behind the 409 Pages

I really enjoyed this book! It is so different from the things that I have been reading, and it was really refreshing. Never before have I seen of something like the world that Lounsbury has created, it was everything that an Afterworld should be, including the added humorous bits from some of the things that happened (i.e Dinosaurs LOL!)

I did like this novel, but the start of the novel until the end of part 2 didn't hold my attention. I feel bad because I even felt like reading different books while reading this. But I didn't want to put this down and mark it as a DNF because I was so entranced by the actual world and wanted to know more about it, as well as what would happen! This curiosity overtook all else, and I kept going through the book. It wasn't until Dom entered the Maze that things became really interesting for me. I wasn't hooked, but I wanted to read this book and I was starting to really enjoy myself. Because I wasn't really interested much in the first half of the book, most references seemed to evade me. I didn't know what the Awe was (until it was explained when she visited Dom), yet it was like he already knew who she was before the visit seeing as he referred to her as that before.

I love the whole Dom and Eva coincidence. It was heartwarming, as well as made for a fantastic ending. These were two brilliant characters (including Eduardo) and I loved every moment of them, especially after the middle of the book when everything was really entertaining for me. It might be different for you all, you might love the start and not agree with me, but for some reason this happened to me. Even if it does happen to you, you will still continue the book because of how intrigued you are about everything. It's not like other books how if you don't like it, the unanswered questions just fade into nothing, these will haunt you if you don't continue reading this book. I haven't experienced this before in books, so it might sound strange to some.

I didn't really like Kaide. She got on my nerves a lot in this book. I know that it would have been weird if she wasn't included, especially from her personality. But it was just annoying sometimes. It wasn't until the battle at the end and getting to see her POV that I started to like her a little. Not a lot, but just a little. She seems to transform with death from some ditzy happy-go-lucky girl, and into someone who can see the good in people and make the right decisions for the community, not just herself. It was annoying when she was still in her ditzy stage (with Satarial) and I was glad that at that stage, she took a step back from the main story as we continued with Dom, Eva and Eduardo. 

I really didn't expect what Diana was. Seriously, that came up under me and I didn't know what was happening until it hit us! I like this bit, because we find out who she is with the other characters. 

I really liked the ending of this book. It was bittersweet and a kind of fairy-tale ending. I didn't expect what would happen after Dom and Eva saw the Awe, but then after they see her I got worried for a few moments at the end, but then there was a sigh of relief when I figured out what happened. (Yes, you're going to have to read it yourself to find out what I'm talking about!)

Buy Afterworld from all good bookshops and online! 
Author Bio:
Lynnette Lounsbury lives and writes  and drinks too much coffee by the beach in Bronte, Sydney and she knows its not a bad life. She works at AFTRS, the film school, and in her spare time does some lecturing in Writing and Ancient History. Her inspiration comes from travel, reading and of course her crazy children - a pirate and an inventor, and her husband - a film maker. 

Find Lynnette:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

YAY!! This is Lynnette's first ever interview!
1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
I’m pretty new to the scene actually, AFTERWORLD is my first novel. I run a travel website for young writers so I’ve done a lot of travel writing over the years as well – kind of legitimizes my need to travel a lot. I also wrote a short novella a couple of years ago called “Jack Lives Here” which is available as an ebook.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
It hasn’t been released just yet, but I can tell you that it was a strange feeling to hold it in my hands. It seemed small. Like it didn’t quite capture all the hours and ideas and thoughts of the last couple of years. But at the same time it did make me feel relaxed – now I can’t make any more changes. Its done and I can let it go and let people read it.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
I am a historian as much as I am a writer. Particularly Egyptian and Roman history and I love their mythology surrounding death and the afterlife. So many people across history have so whole heartedly believed in a journey after death that I figured it might actually be something that was real -  just by sheer force of all that belief! And I thought it would be interesting to follow a young guy - someone who hadn’t believed in anything – through that journey.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
Since the book is still fresh I haven’t had any official ones …yet. But I’ve had a lot of readers go through it across the different drafts and my worst review ever came from my own Mum who said to me… “I liked it up until the main character died. Then it got a bit silly.” (This isn’t a spoiler – he dies in the first chapter!). After that, I think I learned to be tougher and I remind myself that I am not writing for everyone, just for a group of people who love fantasy, myth and adventure.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
I don’t plan on paper, just in my head and usually only a plot point or two ahead of where I am in the writing process – it evolves as it goes. My writing process has always been to write a paragraph or two whenever I have a chance. But I do try to get up early every morning and write before everyone wakes up.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
I didn’t get to contribute to the art, but I was given about eight options and asked which one I liked. I chose the one that finally ended up on the cover instantly, I was really drawn to it. Fortunately so was everyone else on the team. It seemed to capture how big the Afterworld was and how small Dominic felt and it seemed to draw you in… and I liked that.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I am always writing. I am working on two books right now, another fantasy novel set in Australia’s future, and then a story that explores young revolutionaries and revolutions. Both of them are YA novels and both use my love of history as a foundation. I have been reading all of Lenin’s speech at the moment as inspiration. There is a lot that is relevant and useful in history that gets forgotten, so I love to bring it back to life in my writing.

8. Top 5 books

  • Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  • On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  • Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates – Tom Robbins
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo
  • All of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Books.
9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
The Alchemist – by Paulo Coehlo. This is such a simple story, but it has inspired so many millions of people to follow their first and most important dream. I would love to do that.

10. Why read your novel? 
Because it will make you think about life and death and some of those big questions without depressing you (I hope!) and it’s just a fast, crazy adventure as well.

This novel was received for review via Allen & Unwin Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.

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