The Color of After by Emily X.R.Pan is a contemporary novel with elements of mystery and supernatural within. It was the cover that drew me in at first, but the synopsis that made me buy it. It was also not a book I would normally buy and I have been trying to expand my horizons a little.
For me there are 3 different sections of this novel that are thrown around interchangeably. There is the present in which the story moves around, smoke and memories in which the moments of the past of others is walked through, and lastly the past between Leigh and Axel. At times this could get slightly confusing but this could also be because I would get invested in one part and then the next chapter would change to another part.
What I did enjoy was going on the journey with Leigh and learning about a new culture and place alongside her. That was one of the most intriguing parts of this book because it wasn’t something I had much knowledge of before I read this book. I will say though that I felt there was a disconnect in the book in the same way there was a disconnect between Leigh and her grandparents.
The Last hundred pages were definitely my favorite part of the book. It was where everything started to come together and the pacing felt perfect. All the twists and turns I wanted in the beginning and middle of the book shine here. I especially enjoyed the reveal of the character Feng because this book does a good job of making you suspicious of her.
I also loved how the theme of the bird carried throughout the novel. It was literally woven into the fabric of the novel starting on the cover to the symbol in Axel’s email. The bird was not always seen, but was in some way present.
I would give the Color of After a 3.5/5 star rating. I enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t my absolute favorite. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t feel well when I was reading the book that was coloring my judgement.