Until The Beginning
Sequel to After The End
Harper Teen, May 2015
Juneau and a now convinced Miles are trying to find the imprisoned clan members being held somewhere in New Mexico. When Miles is shot and they have to hide from his father as well as the group that Whit, former shaman of the clan, is working with, Juneau is tested. Not only must she cloak them, the vehicle and the cabin with invisibility, she has to save Miles’ life. That results in her making a frightening choice and giving him Amrit. If she doesn’t he’s certainly going to die. He survives and begins to develop his own powers as they return to the road.
The closer they get to where the clan is held captive, the more challenging things become. Juneau has to become more comfortable with modern technology, while Miles has to wrap his head around the fact that not only was Juneau telling the truth about her powers, but he has them as well and must learn to use them quickly because he has no choice.
They have to break into a private hunting preserve that’s guarded by mercenaries as well as a sophisticated electric fence. Once inside, they not only have to deal with someone desperate to get the Amrit, but must free the clan as well as rescue separately held hostages. Things are further complicated by the arrival of the other party interested in the formula just when it looks like Juneau and Miles are ready to make their escape.
The first part of this book is slower paced than book one, but that’s because Juneau and Miles are getting to know each other while she’s wrestling with how reality contradicts almost everything she was led to believe as she grew up in the Alaskan wilderness. However, once they start the rescue effort, the action is fast and furious, leading to a very satisfying ending. If you’ve read book one, you will certainly enjoy this one. If you haven’t, you’re in for a double treat.
Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS., January 2016.