Author: Sophie Littlefield
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Post-Apocalypse
Publication Date: February 2011 (expected)
Synopsis: The world’s gone. Worse, so is her daughter.
Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many days—or weeks—have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.
And with her, nearly all of civilization. Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters—people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong. In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get her Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety. For the Beaters are out there. And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world….
☆:4/5 – pretty good.
Review: If you know me, you know it’s no secret that I love post-apocalyptic sci-fi. And I love zombies (or zombie-like creatures) even more. Throw in some government experimentation and world wars? I’m so down for whatever I’m about to read. And “Aftertime” is no different.
I found that this book was rather slow to start, but that could have been me (my concentration was kind of split at the time, so…). But once it did get started, it got started with a bang and went at a thrillingly fast pace until the end. Time flew and before I knew, the book had ended. It’s like a movie you get caught up in so much that you don’t even notice it was three hours long.
There were only two issues I had with this book, though: the romance with Smoke, and the description of the Beaters and how they came to be at the beginning. With Smoke, it kind of felt like Cass fell for him because he was there. There were plenty of other male characters (even if minor compared to Smoke), both during memories of Before and then the current Aftertime. However forced, it was refreshing to see how Littlefield emphasized the need to feel alive in order to survive after such an apocalyptic event, and to feel that included everything from sex to drugs to homemade alcohol. Sometimes this means wanting to spend all of your day totally drunk, and sometimes this means that you run up in the hills, and sometimes this means that you have sex with men (or women, for that matter) who are there. I also applaud Littlefield creating an addict for a protagonist with all of these temptations that should have gone away after the Siege, but instead only intensified with the need to either remember life or forget near-death. Not many female protagonists in fiction (be it romantic, sci-fi, or other) are this fierce and intense in their poor life choices. Littlefield makes no bones about the fact that Cass screwed up and screwed up big Before, but it led to something amazing in her daughter. Hence, her journey to find her.
The second problem regarding the novel was how it felt that Littlefield did more telling than showing in terms of how the Siege went down. While Cass waking up was a wonderful hook, I felt spoiled in terms of plot of how the Beaters came to be, how the world fell. I feel like some of the explanation could have been split between beginning and middle, or maybe even end in order to even things out. It was a lot to absorb within the first few chapters.
Otherwise? An awesome book. I’m looking forward to the sequel.