Aftertime (Luna Books)
February 22, 2010 by Luna
Paperback, 384 Pages
Cass knows pain, she's known nights of numbing pleasure after a bottle of vodka chases her inhibitions away. She's known mornings waking up to the unknown as she faces the nameless man who brought her there, needless to say, drinking has launched Cass's life into the arena of debauchery. That is until one of those nights produces a pregnancy, one that changes her, one that makes her fight to get sober, but eventually the bottle wins and her baby, her darling Ruthie is taken away.
Desperate to get clean and win Ruthie back, Cass will face the demons tormenting her, the only thing holding her back: a government California-experiment that has turned many of the residents into flesh eating "Beaters" aka zombies. Just what a recovering alcoholic, eagerly seeking her baby needs!
Nobody knows how far wide the disease has spread, but the entire country is dealing with the effects. Through the chaos Cass finally finds Ruthie and together they find shelter with a group of survivors, only to be thrust into an afternoon nightmare when Cass is attacked by Beaters and Ruthie disappears from her life again. When Cass wakes in a field, shes confused and lost, not knowing why half the flesh on her back is gone or how she could have survived the zombie attack. While details are fuzzy, her only true anchor is her missing toddler Ruthie and the desperate frenzy she feels to find her. Soon she hooks up with a small group and meets up with Smoke, a man that will help her into Hell and back and change her life forever as they rescue Ruthie from an ultra-religious women's group.
You know that fun thing that happens when you find an author that just clicks with you? That's how I feel about Sophie Littlefield, her writing, her style, her prose- it just fits me as a reader. I was intrigued by Cass's character and probably because instead of girl turns Buffy, it was more, girl with a really hard life, finally grows up and fights for something beyond herself. During the search for Ruthie, Cass flashes back on her past and fills the reader in on her messed-up life and the decisions shes made to ignore the crap she went through. That's what made her so interesting in her development, she was just a regular anti-hero woman who winds up being the hero. While we just reach the tip of the iceberg by the end, Im looking forward to getting Cass figured out in the remaining of the series.
Aftertime isn't just about zombies and death, its also a story about love and sacrifice. The romance bordered on instant but worked for the desperate place all these characters were at emotionally. Smoke (Cass's love interest) shows up rather early and adds that needed sexy man with a natural ability to lead, strongest character out of the book vibe and made the romance that hot and spicy we look for in the end of world- I- need- you- romance. Aftertime twists everything for Dystopia perfectly- from the infected beaters, to the barren wasteland, to the rebels trying to take over the country- everything just fit perfect for this story, making it a truly notable read.
Recommended to adult readers and contains: Advisory content- Graphic violence, death, zombie gore, language and graphic sexuality. Positives content: Surviving, friendship, loyalty, love and kicking zombies butts!!