WRITING STYLE: 2.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2.5/5
Dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction are genres that have always managed to enthral the reader in me. It is very rare that I dislike a book from these genres.
When I first saw the book After Annihilation: Would You Want to Survive? in the Kindle Unlimited section, I was quite impressed by the cover and the blurb. The icing on the cake was the fact that the novel was by an Indian author.
That was enough for me to go for a quick download and read session. Now that I am finally done reading the book, I can’t say that it was such a great idea.
Read on to know more about my thoughts on this book.
What to expect?
The book is a post-apocalyptic science fiction which tells us the story of a world in the aftermath of a nuclear attack.
Though it has elements of dystopian fiction, it also has a hint of many other genres including a generous dose of drama, a decent amount of romance and a great focus on the socio-political power struggles.
So, if you are picking this book up expecting a lot of adventure, action and survival struggle – you would eventually end up being disappointed, just like me.
Who can read?
The book makes use of a rather simple language that doesn’t require much effort on the part of a reader. The writing is easy and breezy which means that After Annihilation can easily be picked up by a beginner level reader.
What is the story like?
It is the year 2034 and in a country called Iddis there are five friends who have just graduated out of college. Before their lives and careers can truly take off there happens a war, a nuclear war which changes the course of all their lives.
After Annihilation is mostly the story of a girl Madhavi who, by a sheer stroke of luck, manages to evade the nuclear attack and is subsequently rescued and taken to a city called Shunya.
It is in Shunya, the underground nuclear sanctuary, that Madhavi meets other survivors and starts piecing her life together. As the days, months and years go by she changes and she also sees the people around her change.
This is the story of Madhavi and a world that is forever scarred by a nuclear war.
How good are the characters?
The characters of the book are an okay bunch. There is Madhavi, the strong independent girl who eventually finds her calling.
Then there is Aarav, the cliché love interest and finally, there is Pranav who completes the love triangle. Too much Bollywood! Well, I say yes.
While the book definitely could have done away with a few characters and unnecessary relationship dynamics, I am just glad that the characters, on the whole, were a likeable bunch.
Let’s talk about the author’s writing style
The worst part of the book is definitely the shabby writing and the below average editing. No matter how good a book really is, if the editing is poor, half the pleasure is gone anyway.
The same was the case with After Annihilation. The book has poor editing and lacklustre writing that does not do much to live up to the reader’s expectations.
Instead of focusing on the after-attack survival struggles, the book hastily takes us to the designated nuclear sanctuary where life quickly assumes the monotony of half-hearted romances, petty politics, social melodramas and what not.
Needless to state, the reader in me was disappointed.
Is the climax good enough?
The climax of the book, just like the rest of it, is mediocre. When you reach the end, the feeling that something is amiss is very strong.
Here is a book that was full of possibilities but sadly, the way it is written makes it a rather dull read despite having a decent plotline.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
In the end, if there is only one line that I would like to say about After Annihilation, it is – it could have been better.
Everything apart from the genre and the backdrop of a nuclear attack was mediocre – be it the characters, the writing style, the climax, the romance, the drama, the proxy wars and the power struggles – just about everything was ordinary if not below average.
It is definitely not one of of thrillers that are mostly the norm for this genre. So yes, in simple plain terms – the book isn’t entertaining enough for me to recommend it to my readers.
Pick the book
- If you are looking for an easy read meant for beginner level readers.
- If you have not read much post-apocalyptic fiction before.
- If you are looking for a dystopian fiction in a presumably Indian setting and with Indian characters.
Skip the book
- If you are looking for something more serious and fun.
- If you are an ardent dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction fan.
- If you can’t stand amateurish writing.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of After Annihilation: Would You Want to Survive? using the link below.