Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: 20 Years Later by E. J. Newman

Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 313 pages
July 5, 2011, Dystopia Press

LONDON, 2012: It arrives and with that the world is changed into an unending graveyard littered with the bones, wreckage, and memories of a dead past, gone forever. LONDON, 2032: Twenty years later, out of the ashes, a new world begins to rise, a place ruled by both loyalty and fear, and where the quest to be the first to regain lost knowledge is an ongoing battle for power. A place where laws are made and enforced by roving gangs-the Bloomsbury Boys, the Gardners, the Red Lady's Gang-who rule the streets and will do anything to protect their own. THE FOUR: Zane, Titus, Erin, Eve. Living in this new world, they discover that they have abilities never before seen. And little do they know that as they search post-apocalyptic London for Titus' kidnapped sister that they'll uncover the secret of It, and bring about a reckoning with the forces that almost destroyed all of humanity.

Source: Mark Long at Dystopia Press (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

In 20 Years Later, a different London existed. It was divided and ruled by gangs. Bloomsbury Boys was headed by Jay. Young and brave, he stood as the leader and the older-brother-figure of the boys he led. They were in constant battle against the Gardners, suit and tie-wearing men who were grown-ups and twice the size of the boys they fought with. The Red Lady’s Gang was probably the strongest of the three gangs with strong hunters for its members. These three gangs surrounded the place where Zane and her mother, Miri, lived. Territorial, loyal, always ready for fights, the gangs were not easy to deal with. But Zane and Miri has lived with them in peace for the past years.

I was quickly sucked in by 20 Years Later. I was completely engrossed with the story. The world they lived in was a very different one, with all the knowledge and the technology absent. This has made them more innocent, even childlike. But at the same time the lack of knowledge of the past world has made them harsher in their decisions and in their behavior. The modified language was very fun for me, especially the language of the Bloomsbury boys. The hint of child-talk was apparent in words like nuffin (nothing,) and honest-like (honest.)

I started reading it, wanting to find out about the discovery of one of Bloomsbury Boys, Dev, who was Zane’s friend. He saw a ‘giant’ in the hospital. The fierceness and recklessness of the Bloomsbury boys was a far cry from the sheltered Zane. He was careful, innocent and had a younger mentality for a 15 year old compared to most 15 year-old boys in our time. The character I liked the most was Jay. He was not only busy keeping his boys ready and alert for future Gardner attacks; he was also often busy swaggering, making sure he looked confident, cool and capable.

The story of how the Four came together was one filled with violence, adventure, and discoveries. They all had unexplained special abilities and were connected to one another. Distance couldn’t separate them. The gangs couldn’t separate. Even the unknown and the startling truths they were about to uncover could never separate them.

Well-written, original, adventurous and riveting, 20 Years Later offers a unique take on the future, a dose of wonder, danger and excitement and a blast of terror. I highly recommend this to dystopian readers! Pick this up if you’re up for something different.



  1. I've had an ARC of this one FOREVER... I need to read it!!

  2. This sounds like such a great post-apocalyptic novel!! And I knew your review would be good after you were gushing about it on twitter :D I'm really curious to meet these gangs and see how they interact in this scary future London. Great review, I'm so glad you loved this!

  3. This sounds fantastic. I really need to make a list of dystopian books to read because there seems to be many wonderful ones. Thanks for introducing me to this book.

  4. Thank you! And once again, you girls have to give this one a try! :) It's worth it!

  5. I'm so glad to hear how much you liked this one. I've been on the fence about picking it up - now I have to!!

  6. Thanks so much Precious, I'm so glad you enjoyed it :o) And as I said on Twitter, it made me happy that you liked Jay, as I must confess I am fond of him too! Em x