After the Red Rain is a laughably bad book, but if I had paid for it, I’m not sure I would have laughed so hard. I’m not sure why Twilight’s Dr. Cullen (Peter Facinelli) is getting billing with Barry Lyga here. It might have been a joke they shared or a dare or some crap they sketched out on a cocktail napkin. Perhaps they were making fun of the way that YA fiction with a dystopian setting will sell no matter how bad it is. But it hurts Lyga’s credibility as an author. Maybe this is just a spoof, and I hope so for their sakes, but it is awful. Really. There has to be something going on because it was originally set to publish last November according to the specs on NetGalley, but it didn’t release until August 4. It should not have been published at all.
A postapocalyptic novel with a cinematic twist from New York Times bestseller Barry Lyga, actor Peter Facinelli, and producer Robert DeFranco.
On the ruined planet Earth, where 50 billion people are confined to megacities and resources are scarce, Deedra has been handed a bleak and mundane existence by the Magistrate she works so hard for. But one day she comes across a beautiful boy named Rose struggling to cross the river–a boy with a secretive past and special abilities, who is somehow able to find comfort and life from their dying planet.
But just as the two form a bond, it is quickly torn apart after the Magistrate’s son is murdered and Rose becomes the prime suspect. Little do Deedra and Rose know how much their relationship will affect the fate of everyone who lives on the planet.
This is strange and rather boring. The world building is not anything new or exciting. The characters are either bland (Deedra) or so bizarre (Rose) that readers will have a hard time connecting to them, resulting in indifference to their fates. Little beyond Deedra’s discomfort with her scar is universal enough to really draw readers in and allow them to see themselves in her shoes. The decision to develop a hero with such innocuous and weird abilities is just puzzling — Rose’s mutation is, frankly, laughable. I won’t be the only reader thinking about Little Shop of Horrors, especially near the end. Also, No, you cannot give a character a coat or tea made from the shed or pruned parts of her romantic interest and call it romantic. It is creepy, as is the stalking aspect of Rose’s personality. Pacing, too, is a problem. It is not consistently action packed, nor is the time used to develop a romantic relationship that will engage readers — even Deedra admits she knows little about Rose, so how are readers suppose to care about him? I enjoy this genre, and I wanted this book to work, but After the Red Rain didn’t bring anything new to the table and I had a hard time taking it seriously. I wouldn’t have read past the 30% mark if I hadn’t felt compelled to follow through on the obligation that comes with a request of an ARC.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.