Review: Aftertime

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: AftertimeAftertime by Sophie Littlefield
Series: Aftertime #1
Published by Harlequin LUNA on February 22, 2011
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
two-stars

Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many 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 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.

Sometimes I kind of think I should have made my blog dystopia-themed, since so much of what I read these days falls into that category. This one is a pretty interesting world, although vaguely reminiscent of some others I have encountered. The story was relatively slow moving at several points, despite the thrilling content. It wasn’t a bad read, but did not leave me wanting more.

The biggest problem I had with this book was Cass. I just could not relate to her. She is a recovering alcoholic, a bit of a nymphomaniac and a mother. The way she thinks often makes me want to knock some sense into her. She is incredibly mistrusting, and yet entirely willing to take advantage of those who are helping her. Her actions in the last chapter struck me as inconsistent; she suddenly stops worrying about all of that and embraces a new path. Too sudden!

On the other (well-gnawed) hand, the zombies in Aftertime are definitely amongst the scariest I have read about. For one thing, they are super extra creepy. They do the usual zombie things, like continuing to follow a food source, even when they have missing limbs. What really freaked me out though was the progression of the disease that made humans into Beaters. First the Beaters eat whatever of their own flesh they can reach (their arms) and then they discover fresh human flesh. When they catch a person, they like to eat the flesh off of their backs while they are still alive. Yikes! Plus, these zombies are learning how to strategize. Now, that’s just not fair.

Aftertime is sort of like a combination of Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. If you liked the aforementioned books or some terrifying zombie action, this book’s for you!

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