I’m working out a schedule for the blog and Wednesdays are going to be devoted to book reviews – Review Wednesdays. Since martial arts are such a big part of my life, I’m going to adapt black belt for the rating – 5 black belts being the highest rating, 1 being the lowest. I was considering doing color belts, but that can quickly get confusing, especially for people not well acquainted with the belt system in martial arts.
And so, without further adieu, here’s my first review, since I just finished reading the book this morning.
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Genre: Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic fiction (with strong elements of romance and horror)
Since I got interested in reading dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction recently, Aftertime seemed like a definite book to put on the list. I wasn’t disappointed.
Aftertime tells a story of Cass, a troubled young woman and a recovering alcoholic, searching for her little daughter in the world where there’s no more government, where much of the cattle and poultry has been poisoned by bio-terrorists, and where Beaters – skin eating zombies – roam the streets and roads.
However, the novel is much more than just another zombie apocalypse story. Some of the issues that Cass deals are issues that exist in our world today. The exploration of losing oneself in alcohol and sex to run away from emotional pain is just one example.
The descriptions are raw and beautiful, and quiet realistic. The action is fast-paced and moves the development of the story along nicely. Aftertime explores the topics of human spirit, survival, compassion, civilization, nature and, of course, hope and renewal.
I’m looking forward to picking up the next book in the series, Rebirth.
It’s Sunday night and hurricane Irene has passed our area as a tropical storm, weaker than expected but strong enough to cause some damage and a lot of worry. It’s been a strange week – from the rarity of feeling the tremors of an earthquake in NYC to this hurricane taking a rare north-east course. Gratefully, everyone I know is safe and sound and we are praying for all those who have been affected by hurricane Irene in more serious ways.
The preparation and waiting for the storm to hit made me think of other things though. Things that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Things that have to do with survival. Our times are so uncertain and so full of crazy events that you can’t help but think of that. It is not surprising that the post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction has been steadily becoming very popular and mainstream.
As it happened, as we were waiting for Irene, I have been in the middle of reading Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield, an enjoyable post-apocalyptic novel. Her description of the post-apocalyptic world is raw and beautifully realistic. This is the third post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel I have read in the last year. The first one was the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, a bestseller that is now being made into a movie.
The apocalyptic events can take many various forms, from the social disintegration stemming from the fall of economic system, to natural disasters of major proportions, to a yet unknown disease that spreads like wildfire with no cure in sight, to a nuclear catostrophe. Some fiction integrates all of the above.
So why are we so fascinated by this type of fiction nowadays? It explores the topics of human spirit, survival, resistance, compassion, civilization, nature and, of course, hope and renewal. Topics which are near and dear to most of us today because you can’t avoid them with all the events going on in the world. I believe we will see this genre become even bigger and more wide-spread in the next year. There so much material for writers in this genre still. And much interest from readers because, no matter how fantastic, it often is realistic enough to imagine and relate to, even just as an exploration of a human psyche in situations of major stress and survival.
I would also love to know which post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels you enjoyed reading or look forward to reading soon. And what is your vision of a possible post-apocalyptic world?