What drew me to The Afterward was not only its promise of diversity, but it's premise. Too often after books, I think, "How will these characters continue their lives?" I adored how Olsa is pulled along in this epic quest, but then when she comes back, she faces real struggles of how to survive. So does Kalanthe, but I can't deny that Olsa was the character that drew my heart. Is fame really worth it?
Johnston's writing transports us from the past, to the after, allowing us to see how the events unfolded. What were these explorers and adventurers thinking before hand and how different are their lives afterward? Combined with the writing and the characters, The Afterward was a fantastic read. The diversity of the characters didn't disappoint as Olsa is bi and Kalanthe is gay. So you know that this sapphic romance warmed my heart.