Friday 29 April 2016

The After-Room by Maile Meloy

I decided to finish off The Apothecary trilogy this past weekend during Dewey's 24 hr Readathon.

It was a great readathon choice.

The After-Room was a quick, easy, entertaining read.

It started off terrifically and I raced through the first half. Conversations with the dead, a mind-reading magician and a trip to Italy kept the action and the drama intense and suspenseful.

But, just like the second book, the ending fell away.

Too many things happened at once, and in this case, for this adult reader, there was too much romance. As a teen reader, I probably would have adored the lovely romantic ending - it was neat and sweet.

I suspect Meloy lost focus at the end and forgot what the book was meant to be about - was it romance, was it mystery, was it magical or was it historical? It's reason for being just seemed to fizzle out. By the end I was even confused about who the intended audience was. So many elements were obviously junior fiction and the writing style was junior fiction, but the content was veering towards teen/YA.

However, the black and white illustrations by Ian Schoenherr were tremendous.

My review for The Apothecary and The Apprentices.


  1. Back in the day I was very keen to read The Apothecary, of course I haven't managed to yet. I didn't realise it was now a trilogy. I'm still a bit tempted.

    1. I really enjoyed The Apothecary, I'm just not sure that Meloy knew how to end it. The 'big idea' that carries a successful series (like Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter or The Hunger Games) through was missing in this one. It ended with a whimper not a bang!


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