Alexandra Bracken explains the title for TD3, In the Afterlight on her Tumblr.
Okay, SO. As you probably could tell by the rejected titles, there were so many different ways to end the title sentence it made my head spin! Some were darker than others, some more hopeful, some not exactly grammatically correct… so why this one?
The word “afterlight” has two definitions according to Dictionary.com:
1) The light visible in the sky after sunset; afterglow
2) a view of past events; retrospect
You may have caught that I was struggling to incorporate the idea/theme of “memory” into this title since it plays such a big role in the series. For some reason, using the word itself didn’t work for me. (A lot of them sounded too Self-Help-y, to be totally honest.) So if we go with definition #2, the title is saying, essentially, that even in the future, the memory of the darkest minds still won’t have faded—their good acts? The terrible tragedies inflicted on them? The terrible tragedies they inflicted on others? The struggle people faced in surviving a truly hard time? It’s up to you to decide who “the darkest minds” in the series really are.
I think the more important definition might be the first one, though. The gang, to me and to each other, have always represented this last light still clinging to the world even as night is steadily coming on. More importantly, and without going into detail, it ALSO ties into how Ruby describes the way she views the future.
What do you guys think? Feeling the title? I know I am. Share your thoughts in the comments.