About the Book:
Title: After Darkness II
Author: J.F. Johns
Series: After Darkness – Book 2
Publication Date: Jan. 9, 2021
Synopsis: Year 2160
RULE #.1 Humans AND Cyborgs are prohibited from communicating in any shape or form with each other.
RULE #.2 Curfew is from 12 p.m until 7.30 a.m
Applicable to ALL citizens, humans AND cyborgs.
RULE #.3 All propaganda against the government, written or verbal is a crime.
RULE #.4 All the above laws if broken are punishable by death.
WELCOME TO THE NATION
Are you ready?
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I was so excited when J.F. Johns offered me a copy of After Darkness II, the second book in the After Darkness series. If you read my review of the first book, you know that I fell in love with the characters, the dystopian world, the intriguing plot, the romance, the supernatural elements, and more. After Darkness II expands on these fantastic elements and left me eager for the third book in the series!
J.F. Johns has created such a unique and fascinating world, which quickly immerses the reader into the story. In a dystopian world where cyborgs, humans, and others live under the oppression of a controlling government, nothing is as it seems. The story is told from several characters’ perspectives, which offers an in-depth view of the thoughts and feelings of them all. It also shows events that happen simultaneously and how each contributes to and affects the others.
The characters are layered and dynamic, and I can’t get enough of them! Scarlet and Eric are relationship goals, and I adore their love story! Eric is so charming and funny, though he often uses his humor to deflect from his true feelings. He, like Kalem, will do anything to help the woman he loves, and I loved the way their relationship progressed. Scarlet is lost to the monster inside of her, but Eric never stops fighting to bring her back, nor does Scarlet. She has some amazing gifts, as do many of the other characters in the novel, and the way she uses them to save herself and her friends is amazing.
Kalem’s parents, the twins, and several other characters have important roles in the story, and I enjoyed their character arcs, as well. Kalem and Terra have an amazing found family full of dynamic, caring, and loyal individuals who will do anything for each other, which is good because the government and its leaders threaten their lives at every turn.
The relationship between Kalem and Terra is one of deep and unconditional love. Their love and connection are tested so much in this story. When Terra struggles with her memories, she is still drawn to Kalem. When she is confronted with unfathomable pain and possible death, Kalem can do nothing but try to help her. The depth of their feelings and the strength of their love continues to grow regardless of the obstacles that continually stand in their way.
Terra’s smile was so bright and genuine it melted Kalem’s heart. He wanted to frame it so he’d be able to look at it whenever he wanted to. But the beauty of such things couldn’t be locked up like that. Part of their beauty would be lost.
Petra’s evilness continues in this story, and her maliciousness knows no bounds. She is disturbing and disturbed, and her desire for power and revenge has irrevocably corrupted her. It’s interesting to see how Terra, Kalem, Scarlett, and the others work to figure out how to defeat Petra when she is virtually undefeatable.
Scarlet’s siblings are all fascinating as well, and I loved their roles in the story. They, like Scarlet, are immortal and have superhuman abilities, which are really cool. The powers also really helpful in fighting Petra, as she is also immortal and has some pretty scary powers herself. I’m eager to see more of the siblings and to learn more about them in future books and feel like they, with Scarlet and the rest of her found family, may be the key to changing the oppressive nature of this dystopian society.
As much as I love the amazing and well-developed characters, the plot is equally intriguing. This is such a layered and carefully constructed story filled with suspenseful action scenes, dramatic revelations, disturbing and malicious mysteries, and more. It kept me on the edge of my seat, excited (and a little afraid) to find out what happened next. I love how the author writes and how elements of the story that seem irrelevant become super significant.
The unpredictability, the unique story-line, the amazing characters, and, of course, the romance make for a gripping and immersive read. The story also touches on issues like PTSD, abuse, and death. Some of these scenes are intense, but the characters’ determination, survival instincts, and commitment to each other fuels them. I enjoyed the strong messages of hope, perseverance, fighting for what (and who) you believe in, and love. I’m so thankful for my copy of the book, and I can’t wait to read the next one!!!
- The relationship between Kalem and Terra! Their love really does defy all odds.
- The other fantastic characters. There are so many to love and to loathe!
- The constant, unpredictable twists and turns.
I think family can sometimes be the hardest to love.
Scarlet had always been the light that shone among them all.
He felt her hand touch his arm. There was so much emotion behind such a simple gesture. Fear of what the future held, love for her son and even excitement at the changes surrounding them. The touch burnt through Kalem like the uncertainties that now lived deep in his soul.
He resembled a lone wolf, still and quiet, those grey eyes perfectly constructed to pry on their prey. To hunt. To kill. But wolves marched in packs and Kalem had never been good with company.
This is the second book in the series, so I would recommend reading the first before before starting this one. Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book: