Book Review | After the First Death

1 of 5 stars
After the First Death by Robert Cormier
So, when I heard the different titles of Robert Cormier, and hearing that he wrote bleak books, I was excited to read one of his novels for my YA literature class. Boy was I wrong in my anticipation!

A bus of preschool students has been hijacked and held for ransom. Miro is new at the job and wants to do Artkin proud, but has to deal with Kate, the substitute bus driver. While on the other hand, Ben is pulled into his father’s dangerous duty as part of the Inner Delta to try and stop this hijacking.

The first thing that caught me off guard was the very sporadic narrating in the beginning. Ben speaks in the first person, but sometimes reflects on the Bus and Bridge accident, sometimes considering suicide, and other times noticing what is going on in the present. Then it reverses time and goes to the very beginning of the hijacking incident, but in thrid person. Not only that, but it switches from 3rd person limited between Miro and Kate. Then, Cormier throws you for an even bigger loop by having Ben’s father start talking in first person.

I didn’t enjoy this book. I didn’t think the suspense was held very well. I have read books that have kept my heart pumping so hard that I HAD to finish it in that setting. This didn’t do that for me. I can’t put my finger on it, but just the way he wrote didn’t capture me at all. Even during the climax I was mildly interested.


Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.