I went into this thinking it was just another zombie apocolypse novel – which seems to be the “in” thing to read nowadays. But I was VERY pleasantly surprised with Aftertime.
It’s not so much a tale of fighting zombies as a heart-breaking tale of Cass’s search for her baby daughter, Ruthie. Cass awakens in the middle of nowhere, beaten, sore, badly injured. Her memories of what happened to her are vague, but she is aware that for a time, she was a zombie. And now she’s not. She has no idea why, but for the moment, she has bigger thoughts occupying her – she needs to find her baby daughter. She can remember the last few moments before the attack, before the “Beaters” attacked her, when she managed to hand her daughter over to people to save her.
While the book is a tale of Cass and Smoke’s journey to where they may be able to find Cass’s daugher, it’s also the tale of Cass’s journey of herself. During the Beforetime – before the world went to hell – she was an alcoholic, sleeping with numerous nameless men, whose baby girl was taken from her by her parents. She manages to get Ruthie back after her parents are struck by the zombie infection currently sweeping the world, only to lose her again when in a moment of thoughtlessness, Cass is attacked and taken by the Beaters (zombies).
Cass is a broken woman with many issues. And it’s her journey to find her daughter again that is the real story.
While Sophie Littlefield has written a zombie apocolypse novel, she has also written a heart-breaking gut-wrenching tale of a young woman’s journey to hell and back, a quest to discover herself and yes, to redeem herself. Nothing matters but Ruthie – not Cass’s debilatating injuries, the flesh stripped from her back, how she came back from being zombiefied…nothing but finding her little girl.
Aftertime is paced well – and in the last few pages I was quite literally flipping the pages as fast as I could read, my heart in my mouth. I wasn’t aware it was the start of a series till I got to the end, and I’m definitely wanting to come back for more of Cass and Ruthie’s tale.
Excellent book – highly recommended!