The Next Thing I Knew

Rated 3.85/5 based on 14 reviews
The afterlife is the last thing on Lucy's mind until she and every other human on the planet drop dead and find themselves in the hereafter.

Lucy drags her social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the rules of the afterlife and, more importantly, to discover who or what killed everyone and why anyone would do such a mean thing. More

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Words: 83,960
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465810922
About John Corwin

John Corwin has been making stuff up all his life. As a child he would tell his sisters he was an alien clone of himself and would eat tree bark to prove it. For John, making stuff up was about one thing: teasing his sisters.

In middle school, everything changed. A class assignment to string random words together into a coherent story led to the birth of Fargo McGronsky, a young boy with anger management issues whose dog, Noodles, had been hit by a car. The short story was met with loud acclaim from classmates and a great gnashing of teeth by his English teacher. At this point, our esteemed author realized that making stuff up had broader uses.

Years later, after college and successful stints as a plastic food wrap repairman and a toe model for several well-known men's magazines, John once again decided to put his overactive imagination to paper for the world to share.

In 2009 John started work on No Darker Fate after having a bizarre dream. During the course of the day he morphed the dream into the outline for a complete novel.

No Darker Fate is his first published work.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Tish Metheny on Feb. 02, 2012 :
What kind of book is this? Maybe a sci-fi paranormal action romance? Anyway, it was good: engaging and imaginative with ghosts, aliens, angels, zealots, battles, betrayals and a smidgen of romance.

The book starts with all of humanity discovering they are dead and in some sort of afterlife that they call Heavenly. The whole concept of Heavenly was so intriguing, I found it hard to put the book down. The pace was good and the author provided plenty of plot twists. Nothing predictable here!

Why not four stars? I liked the characters, but never felt any real connection to them. The moments of triumph and tragedy didn't have as much impact as I would have liked. Also, some things that happened were never adequately explained, although that might take place in the sequel. The last is that
***SPOILER ALERT***
the saving the world part was a little too easy so that there wasn't much suspense. Considering the power and intelligence of the Shaval, that part of the story could have played a bigger role and been far more dramatic. The only real difficulty they ran into was Harb's betrayal.
*** END SPOILER ***

Thanks to the author, John Corwin, for providing a free copy of the ebook from Smashwords.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Diane on Jan. 22, 2012 :
As the book begins Lucy suddenly realizes that she and everyone else in the world is dead. They are now in a mystical place which they call Heavenly but can return to earth where their bodies remain. The good thing is that they appear to be ghost like and fly. As Lucy and her friends decide to find out what happened to them they learn they can even travel into outerspace where they come upon some interesting and extremely freightening things.
When I first started this book I thought that I wouldn't like it which turned out to be wrong. It's really a Sci-Fi/Paranormal with a little bit of Romance mixed in. With
ghosts aliens,spaceships and alternate realms it pulled me in and kept my interest to find out what would happen next. The only thing that I didn't like was the ending which was kind of abrupt though it makes me hope that there will be a sequel to help smooth that out. I think that it's an easy read that's good for most ages.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: SamanthaTowner on Dec. 10, 2011 :
The Next Thing I Knew by John Corwin reads like a chocolate truffle. The well-crafted story is a treat and fun read with a juicy core of greater issues and philosophy. This is an excellent book that can be read on many levels ranging from simple popcorn fun to serious consideration of death and what comes after. I don’t want to scare those off who want to read a fun book as this one is. I mean the broad plot points are that everyone is dead and aliens come into the picture, fun stuff. However, within this broad points the author allows for an open-ended thoughts and plots that the reader choose to or not to think of deeper issues within.
The characters in the story are fairly well fleshed out and were portrayed in very realistic manner. There really were no “super powered” protagonists to ease the way but just everyday people dumped into situations. While the plot might seem wacky, unusable fluff the author actually makes it work in a surprising way that is almost unbelievable but oh so good for the reader. The author didn’t wimp out on the ending and provided a great wrap up to the story. Even for those readers that are consummate series readers this book won’t disappoint.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Hazel G on Dec. 09, 2011 :
The Next Thing I Knew (Heavenly, #1) is the first YA novel in what appears to be a new series by John Corwin. The story starts off with Lucy, a teenage girl who wakes up dead only to realize that she's not the only one floating around in a ghostly form. She, along with a group of friends, try to discover what has happened and try and save the human race from literal extinction. Along the way, Lucy finds love, heartache, the hero we all wish we had inside of us and a new meaning to life.

Im not a huge fan of YA novels but I wanted to give this one a try because it sounded interesting. I wasn't disappointed at all with this book. I found the writing was well constructed and flowed easily throughout the pages. There was enough action and enough plot points to keep you interested and anxious to see what happened next. I really liked all the inventive sci-fi/paranormal type elements as well as the adventurous and heroic nature of the characters. I can honestly say, I've never read anything quite like this story before. I picked it up not knowing what to expect and once started, had it finished by the next morning. The only real criticism I had with this story was the dialogue was at times a bit rushed and juvenile. But again, this is a YA story, so it makes sense it should be written as such.

I think anyone who reads this will find they can relate to something or someone within the pages. I personally hope to read the next one in what has become a great start to an intriguing series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Maghon Thomas on Dec. 08, 2011 :
I'm very stuck with my rating on this one... This book has a fresh, new perspective on death, and I even loved the plot. It was very well written and no major word/translation/grammatical errors or anything like that. But for what ever reason, I really struggled to finish this one. I liked the characters, they were even well rounded and believable, but maybe it was all the different aspects... Ghosts, aliens, giant robots, spaceships, angels.... I dunno, but I have decided to get the next installment of this series, because I did really like the plot process and hopefully the next one will be an easier read for me! :) 
I would also like to thank mr. Corwin for a copy of this book! He sent it to me for reviews and since I think that's just the coolest, his book is going to go on my blog in the next few days!! :) I do recommend this one to anyone who enjoys sci-fi reading. 
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lolita Verroen on Dec. 08, 2011 :
This review was originally posted on goodreads.

This is a really original book. I also would like to say I find it a strange book. Due to the originality of the story I decided to give it 4 stars. I love reading original stories and someone recommended this book to me, I couldn't find the paperback version so whenn this book was part of R2R I decided to enter and read the e-book.
This book is about Lucy and it starts with the moment she finds out she has died. And not only she has died, but the whole human race. Lucy and her friends start to find out what they can do as ghosts and what their limits are. And then whenn you finally start to get a sense of what is possible in this world something new happens and you have to get used to this. And this happens everytime whenn you get the feeling you know the world of this book. From urban fantasy it changes to some sort of science fiction. I found myself sometimes struggling to continue this book. I really like the originality of the story, but sometimes it is a bit confusion. Sometimes the story moves too fast and sometimes too slow. In the 200 pages of this book so many things happen. It is difficult to get used to the world, because what you think this world is and what the book is about changes everytime. I find it difficult to evaluate the book. It is really different from the books I normally read. a minpoint is the short size of this book, someitmes I felt there was not enough time to adapt to the new changes. And at the end of the book there are still so many questions and lose ends. And I would've liked some more elaboration on lucy's thoughts and feelings.
So to conclude: this is a really orginal, but strange story with many twists and turns. Everytime I was surprised again by the unexpected new directions the story took. I enjoyed the book, but it still took me some time to finish it. Further I think the story could've profit from making the book larger, there is still so much open. Or maybe I just am not used to read stories that leave so much open at the end. This book is certainly a recommendation for those who like original stories and love being surprised by a book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ronda on Dec. 08, 2011 :
I've never read a book like this before, I think it is more Sci Fi than paranormal but good just the same.. I would have given this 3.5 stars as opposed to 4.

I started of by being very very curious, how was a story going to be built upon starting with death? I soon found out...

I got to a part where Lucy found out about another species (I don't want to say much because of spoilers) and this part almost made me put down the book, it just wasn't for me but the curiosity on how the book would develop won over... thankfully...

I did enjoy this book, different as it was, a good 3.5 stars! I liked the love story, I enjoyed the fun bits, I did have a huge amount of curiosity that kept me turning the pages... but sometimes I could just of easily put the book away.

However, I am pleased that I finished the book, a little strange in places for me but it would definately suit Sci Fi fans as opposed to the paranormal genre (just my opinion).

The author has written this book well, the plot was amazing when looked at from an overall perspective and the imagination that has gone into the story is out of this world!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Midu Hadi on Dec. 07, 2011 :
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/236155867
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Roxanne Kade on Dec. 07, 2011 :
I was lucky enough to get a copy of THE NEXT THING I KNEW through Read2Review.

The blurb was very interesting and immediately got my attention. When I first started reading I thought this was going to be a book based purely on paranormal elements but then it took an unexpected turn into the sci-fi realm and I was sucked in even further. The story flowed very well and each scene was filled with so much detail that I could actually picture myself in Heavenly. Lucy was an interesting character. I couldn’t quite decide if she was a gutsy, bad-assed teen with a chip on her shoulder or a sweet innocent girl trying to find her way in life, or at least the afterlife.

I loved the story’s uniqueness. It was action packed and full of adventure with a bit of romance thrown in to mix things up. Although the plot does not revolve around Lucy’s love life, I kept wondering who she would end up with. If I was her I wouldn’t have given Chris the time of day. He never showed any interest in Lucy while they were alive and suddenly, finding himself alone and in a strange place, he decides to admit his feeling for her. I would have told him to take a hike. Also, the fact that he got so angry with her when he found out about Nick, and left her so easily just increased my dislike for him!! Nick seemed like a great choice for her, but I secretly wished Lucy would stop thinking of Anil as a brother and end up with him!

Overall, this was a fun read. Thank you to John Corwin and R2R for giving me the opportunity to read THE NEXT THING I KNEW!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Roxanne Kade on Dec. 07, 2011 : (no rating)
I was lucky enough to get a copy of THE NEXT THING I KNEW through Read2Review.

The blurb was very interesting and immediately got my attention. When I first started reading I thought this was going to be a book based purely on paranormal elements but then it took an unexpected turn into the sci-fi realm and I was sucked in even further. The story flowed very well and each scene was filled with so much detail that I could actually picture myself in Heavenly. Lucy was an interesting character. I couldn’t quite decide if she was a gutsy, bad-assed teen with a chip on her shoulder or a sweet innocent girl trying to find her way in life, or at least the afterlife.

I loved the story’s uniqueness. It was action packed and full of adventure with a bit of romance thrown in to mix things up. Although the plot does not revolve around Lucy’s love life, I kept wondering who she would end up with. If I was her I wouldn’t have given Chris the time of day. He never showed any interest in Lucy while they were alive and suddenly, finding himself alone and in a strange place, he decides to admit his feeling for her. I would have told him to take a hike. Also, the fact that he got so angry with her when he found out about Nick, and left her so easily just increased my dislike for him!! Nick seemed like a great choice for her, but I secretly wished Lucy would stop thinking of Anil as a brother and end up with him!

Overall, this was a fun read. Thank you to John Corwin and R2R for giving me the opportunity to read THE NEXT THING I KNEW!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tana on Dec. 07, 2011 :
This book starts off with the main character Lucy waking up and realizing that she is dead; it appears she is a ghost. She start to wonder around her house her neighbourhood meets up with a friend who also confirms that yes everyone is dead. The Apocalypse must have happened.

In her travels Lucy finds her friends, family members, neighbours and even the boy she has a crush on. With nothing to do, no time limits, no school, iPods, facebook etc. Lucy and her friends start to explore the realm they all appear to be on, but is it heaven or someplace in between? They can move around from their realm to earth to outer space they can pretty much do what they want. In all of their exploring they end up finding small things and realize they need to figure out what happened to cause everyone on earth to die. The story is filled with alien’s, ghosts, space travel, a deadly virus and of course a love story.

The Next Thing I Knew is well written and the author adds humour to make it even a better read, I would say this book is more of a YA Science Fiction then a YA Paranormal book. It is a great read and what I really liked about this book is that it was different something new and fresh. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this book, I can see how this story can lead into more books in this series and I can’t wait to see what John Corwin comes out with next.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tana on Dec. 07, 2011 :
This book starts off with the main character Lucy waking up and realizing that she is dead; it appears she is a ghost. She start to wonder around her house her neighbourhood meets up with a friend who also confirms that yes everyone is dead. The Apocalypse must have happened.

In her travels Lucy finds her friends, family members, neighbours and even the boy she has a crush on. With nothing to do, no time limits, no school, iPods, facebook etc. Lucy and her friends start to explore the realm they all appear to be on, but is it heaven or someplace in between? They can move around from their realm to earth to outer space they can pretty much do what they want. In all of their exploring they end up finding small things and realize they need to figure out what happened to cause everyone on earth to die. The story is filled with alien’s, ghosts, space travel, a deadly virus and of course a love story.

The Next Thing I Knew is well written and the author adds humour to make it even a better read, I would say this book is more of a YA Science Fiction then a YA Paranormal book. It is a great read and what I really liked about this book is that it was different something new and fresh. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this book, I can see how this story can lead into more books in this series and I can’t wait to see what John Corwin comes out with next.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Alana Rock on Nov. 30, 2011 :
I have to admit, the book ended in a far different place than the initial blurb. The Next Thing I Knew is a YA book, but does involve many adults themes. Betrayal, Murder, Death... Everyone has suddenly died as the book begins, but the journey only starts there. Once Lucy and others find themselves as ghosts, they begin to search for missing family and friends, learn to "live" without their usual physical forms, and search for the reason everyone was dead. Lucy learns about herself, blossoming into a true leader while finding her way in this new "world." From there... it takes an entirely different direction than I anticipated.

It was well written, the characters were diverse and human. All were genuine in their feelings of jealously, love, retribution... it really showed the range of human behavior, including first love and fanaticism. Seemingly benign characters turn out far different than their initial impressions.

One of the few complaints I had about this book, was the feeling of "missing time". I would read a paragraph, and by the end of it need to re-read it because surely that much could not have happened in one single paragraph. But it had... it felt like many things were just barely scratched across the surface, but I wanted more details of all the events. I wished for more detail in several key events.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone interested in Ghost/Apocalypse (End of the World)/Science Fiction.

If you haven't read it, and don't want to see any spoilers, please don't look at the paragraph below. But- I do recommend reading this book!


Aliens? Wow, I did not see that coming. And then the different kinds, fantastic! It was really well thought out, included complex alien language for names and to add flavor. The alien terms were not distracting or jarring, but rather flowed with the story.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Christine Nadeau on Nov. 25, 2011 :
Lucy Morgan discovers she has died….along with the entire population of the world. Everyone she knows is now a ghost, living in a realm called “Heavenly.” With the knowledge that the future she was looking forward to is gone forever, she is determined to figure out how and why this happened. Together with the help of her friend, Kyle, they discover that even though they are dead, there is still more danger coming their way.

‘The Next Thing I Knew” is a very creative and unique science fiction book. Mr. Corwin provides excellent descriptions of “Heavenly,” Earth after the “Apocalypse,” and the different forms of alien life Lucy and her friends encounter on their path to understanding what happened to the human race. It was easy to imagine their new world and experiences, and this made the book a very fun read!

The book touches on three main themes: self-image, religion, and how different individuals cope with loss. These are difficult concepts to include in a YA novel while still keeping it light and fun to read, but Mr. Corwin accomplishes this well. He integrates these underlying themes seamlessly into the characters and the story.

Some parts of the story left me confused, and I wished the ending wasn’t so abrupt.

(spoiler - http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/237921363)

With that said, I found the book entertaining and fun! The story got me thinking more about the importance of religion, relationships, and how we view others compared to how we view ourselves and I enjoyed this aspect of the book!

Hopefully this is the first in a series - I would like to see how Lucy's story continues.

I would recommend it to readers who enjoy science fiction.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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