This is the second book in the Aftertime series, though I didn’t realize that before I started reading it.
Published by: Luna Books
Release Date: 19th July, 2011
Civilization has fallen, leaving California an unforgiving, decimated place. But Cass Dollar beat terrible odds to get her missing daughter back—she and Ruthie will be happy.
Yet with the first winter, Cass is reminded that happiness is fleeting in Aftertime. Ruthie retreats into silence.
Flesh-eating Beaters still dominate the landscape. And Smoke, Cass’s lover and strength, departs on a quest for vengeance, one that may end him even if he returns.
The survivalist community Cass has planted roots in is breaking apart, too. Its leader, Dor, implores Cass to help him recover his own lost daughter, taken by the totalitarian Rebuilders. And soon Cass finds herself thrust into the dark heart of an organization promising humanity’s rebirth—at all costs.
Bound to two men blazing divergent paths across a savage land, Cass must overcome the darkness in her wounded heart, or lose those she loves forever.
Despite the fact that I hadn’t read the first novel in this series, it was really easy to get into the world. While past events were mentioned, I felt like there was enough information to go on, to understand everything that happened within this particular novel.
I really liked the setup. There are a fair few series around that are post zombie apocalypse, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that rather than this particular book being about the ‘Beaters’, it was about the people.
Cass Dollar is a hard woman. She’s probably not the girl you’d want to bring home to your mother, but she fights for what’s hers and is trying hard to make up for her past mistakes, most of which surround her little girl, Ruthie. I loved how flawed she was, and how her past habits played out in this novel. She uses everything she has to get what she wants, and while sometimes that makes for hard reading, it was true to the character.
There are really three main players in this book. Cass, Ruthie, and Dor. Everyone else is on the sidelines. Ruthie is a very silent character to begin with, but as the novel progresses she comes out of her shell a little and we can see that she’s not an ordinary girl anymore. Dor is enigmatic – every time I thought I had him pegged, he would show another side of himself.
I think I got halfway through before I realized that while the book is well written, not a whole lot had actually happened yet. The really gritty stuff only begins to happen once Dor and Cass reach the Rebuilder’s camp, and then the pace picks up as Dor and Cass attempt to save the ones they love, and escape.
So with that in mind, I would rate the second half of the book a 4, and the first, a 2. I’ve evened this out and given the whole book a score of 3. I think it’s well worth working your way through to the second half. The ending definitely made me want to pick up the third book to see what happens next, it was a real cliffhanger ending! I’m also interested to go back and read the first book. I have heard that the beaters are more of a real and present danger in Aftertime. While they are present in Rebirth, they seem like a very small threat.