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Aftertime (Luna Books) [Kindle Edition]

Sophie Littlefield
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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….

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Littlefield (A Bad Day for Pretty) turns what could be just another zombie apocalypse into a thoughtful and entertaining exploration of many themes, including genetic engineering, social collapse, and motherhood. Cass, a young mother and recovering alcoholic, awakens filthy and gashed in the California wilderness, with no memory of the past several weeks. She believes she's eaten a plant that turns its victims into Beaters, or zombies; her recovery is inexplicable. An enigmatic, charismatic man named Smoke agrees to escort her for the last stretch of her journey home to find her daughter, and what begins as a four-mile hike through Beater-infested terrain becomes an odyssey through fragments of civilization devastated by war, plague, and anarchy. Littlefield has a gift for pacing, her adroit and detailed world-building going down easy amid page-turning action and evocative, sensual, harrowing descriptions that bring every paragraph of this thriller to life. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.



Product Details

  • File Size: 498 KB
  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0373803362
  • Publisher: Luna; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004MPRZ2K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,384 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Description & Blurbs Were Misleading... July 2, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In Aftertime, the world has undergone tremendous biological warfare, which has severely damaged food supplies, particularly livestock. A genetically designed plant called Kaysev has been introduced as an alternative food source but a mutation known as Blueleaf causes further grief. At first, people are eating Blueleaf for a new high, but the side effects prove deadly. If someone digests the pant, they either die from fever, or become a Beater.

The Beaters -- the infected of Aftertime -- are definitely NOT zombies. They are somewhat like the infected of 28 Days Later (and even that is a stretch), and the Beater strain caused by Blueleaf can be passed on through bites. Beaters retain some minor forms of speech, memory and the capacity to think to a small degree. While most victims of Blueleaf remain in the damaged form of a Beater, continuing to attack healthy people, a few victims recover from the illness.

Cass Dollar, the character providing the POV, is one of the lucky few to survive becoming a beater, but a large chunk of her memory is missing, and she is on a mission to find her young daughter, Ruthie. The last time she saw her daughter was when she was carried off by Beaters.

This book was marketed as a horror novel...and there was barely enough action to qualify it as a thriller. The author, Sophie Littlefield, writes paragraph after paragraph of scenery descriptions; the first eleven pages were mostly landscape descriptions of what Cass was seeing, and I had to read 1/4 into the book before it was even remotely interesting. I had to read 300+ pages before the book finally resembled a horror story...
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Bit of Everything! May 22, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A little bit of everything, zombies, romance, adventure, post apocalyptic, community, relationships, nature, personal growth, and science.

Cass the central character is a young recovering alcoholic who is a store clerk. She had a tough start in life and has a daughter, Ruthie, that her inner and outer world revolves around. She classifies her life into three parts: before, during, and after. The story takes place in the after, the fall of civilization. Leaders are emerging and societies are being built, while most are still just struggling to survive. There are the loners, the groups holed up, the rebuilders, the covenant, and the rebels. I enjoyed this book on many levels. It was a great multifaceted story.

The writing is smooth, beautiful, and spine chilling at times. Its reflective and all told from Cass's point of view. There were some parts that reminded me of a Dean Koontz storytelling style. I read this book fast and it stayed with me. The details make it come alive and seem real. Here's a two examples of some memorable conversations. The first one was with a loner and what he did all day by himself and later a conversation about the prevailing feeling that something is always off and being able to articulate it when hanging clothes out on a clothesline and wishing she had her tins from her house to put the clothespins in.

I was also fascinated by the tidbits on nature. Cass has some knowledge on plants and animals and notices their recovery. It is a story of hope, this one line from the book sums it up, "Earth did what She would; She chose life. ...She seemed unstoppable in her determination to restore health to Her forests and mountains and waters, as every new day seemed to bring a sprig or seedling of some species that was thought to be lost...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All backstory, no action August 8, 2011
By Leah
AFTERTIME started out so promisingly: a post-apocalyptic zombie yarn told from the point of view of a promiscuous alcoholic and neglectful parent, a woman struggling to overcome her mistakes and take charge of her life. Yes! Finally, someone is getting back to the roots of zombie survival narratives. This is the voice of a real person, not some over-prepared jarhead whose emotions span a toggle switch between fear and rage, whose wearily stoic introspection is curtailed by guns-'n-gore porn.

Unfortunately, the best part of AFTERTIME is the premise. After the startling opening, the novel quickly gets bogged down in endless backstory and flashbacks. Narrator Cass can't go five minutes without being struck by a memory of Beforetime--what survivors in this world call the pre-zombie days. Some reminiscing is necessary, but pages and pages pass with Cass walking down a street, or brushing her teeth, while absorbed in memories.

There's so much backstory that I wonder if Ms. Littlefield chose the wrong time for her story to begin. AFTERTIME may have fared better as a sequel to BEFORETIME, when Cass could experience the ordeal of losing her young daughter and struggling to reconnect with her in the midst of the unfolding zombie apocalypse. Instead, all the good stuff is in the past, and Littlefield almost seems to sense this by dwelling so much on it.

The book also has a huge problem with info dumping. Littlefield clearly put a lot of work and careful thought into her world-building, but such details should be parceled out sparingly, as relevant to the plot and as needed to heighten the verisimilitude of the fictional world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Bread read. I finished this in two days. Read work read sleep . Repeat. I love it. On to the next!
Published 14 months ago by okaytoday
5.0 out of 5 stars Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield
This book reminds me of the type of society in the Hunger Games books. I really liked this book and can't wait to read the next one! I am rooting for the main character, Cass. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jchaul
4.0 out of 5 stars The same review as Rebirth by the same author, A little gruesome but...
Leaving out the flesh eating zombies, I could possibly see how some portions of this book could happen under the given circumstances. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Wayne
4.0 out of 5 stars Zombies with a twist
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it's got zombies, it's got action, it's got a little lovin''s got the lot. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Suzanne Warner
4.0 out of 5 stars Aftertime
A different twist to the zombie type story I have read.a little too much detailed sexy stuff but ........good book
Published 22 months ago by missesjones
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed Aftertime
I was sad when this book ended, I couldn't put this book down. I loved the characters and the book had nonstop action. I definitely recommend this book.
Published 24 months ago by Sandra
4.0 out of 5 stars Smokey Smokey Bones
Cass knows pain, she's known nights of numbing pleasure after a bottle of vodka chases her inhibitions away. Read more
Published on February 9, 2013 by Tina B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Master of all trades
I was really impressed with this one. It was definitely a multi-genre book, even though its focus is on zombies and the action. Read more
Published on December 3, 2012 by Jodi
3.0 out of 5 stars More
Cass wakes up and the last thing she remembers is being dragged off by Beaters (zombies). She is pretty messed up physically and not doing much better mentally. Read more
Published on September 9, 2012 by Danielle Reads Books
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a 4.5 star review.
This is a 4.5 star review.

I was first exposed to Sophie Littlefield through Barnes & Noble reviewer Paul Goat Allen's Explorations blog, when he reviewed one of the... Read more
Published on September 5, 2012 by Jessica M
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More About the Author

Sophie's first novel, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY, has been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, Barry, and Crimespree awards, and won the Anthony Award and the RTBookReviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Mystery. Her novel AFTERTIME was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Horror award. GARDEN OF STONES was the Target Book Club selection for March, 2013.

Sophie is the author of:
A BAD DAY FOR SORRY (Minotaur, 2009)
A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY (Minotaur, 2010)
A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL (Minotaur, 2011)
A BAD DAY FOR MERCY (Minotaur, June 2012)
A BAD DAY FOR ROMANCE (Pocket, September 2013)
BANISHED (Delacorte, 2010)
UNFORSAKEN (Delacorte, 2011)
HANGING BY A THREAD (Delacorte, October, 2012)
AFTERTIME (Harlequin Luna, 2011)
REBIRTH (Harlequin Luna, 2011)
HORIZON (Harlequin Luna, 2012)
BLOOD BOND (Pocket, November 2012)
SHATTERED BOND (Pocket, November 2013)
GARDEN OF STONES (Harlequin MIRA, March 2013)
HOUSE OF GLASS (Harlequin MIRA, March 2014)
THE MISSING PLACE (Gallery, October 2014)

Upcoming titles include:
INFECTED (Delacorte, January, 2015)

Sophie grew up in Missouri, attended Indiana University, and worked in technology before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She lives in Northern California.

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