- File Size: 794 KB
- Print Length: 301 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 28, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00P02FBPM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,043 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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After the Winter (The Silent Earth, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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To be blunt, this genre has been flooded with some pretty awful stories in the past few years: Stories that lack any real imagination. Basically, they boil down to a simple formula - something bad happened, the world ground to a halt, the humans must now fight to survive, blah, blah, blah.
"After the Winter" isn't like that.
Not at all.
To begin with, there aren't any humans left in Mark R. Healy's end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it novel.
They all died leaving behind a world populated solely by androids.
And not all of them are good.
We meet the main character, Brant, as he (it?) is fleeing across a wasteland trying to escape from a band of Marauders - think of them as a sort of really nasty post-apocalyptic android bikers - who want to harvest his parts to prolong their own lives. We gradually learn that he is in this predicament because he has been trying to lead the Marauders away from a secret laboratory wherein he and another android have been keeping watch over human embryos and seeds that can be - at some point in the future - used to repopulate and replant the ruined Earth. He has been running from them for a year and it hasn't been easy... in fact, he's suffered some damage and might not be up to the task of, eventually, making his way back home.
What set "After the Winter" apart from a lot of pretty weak efforts in this genre is the fact that the androids have been imprinted with a full range of human emotions. Many of them were made to be soldiers, some to fulfill other duties (construction workers and the like) and they can easily pass for humans in many situations. This allows Healy to inject some very poignant scenes into his book, including one in which Brant discovers a couple of "wards," androids that were made to resemble children for couples that were childless.
What also set this novel apart for me is the fact that Brant is not a typical, selfless hero. He has some serious issues; he worries a lot, he gets frustrated easily, and he gets reckless at times - a trait that almost gets him disassembled more than once. He has, at some point, lost touch with the reality of life on the planet and although he is coping, he doesn't always cope well.
"After the Winter" is crammed with adventure, as it should be in a world that is pretty harsh by any standard of measure. It also, however, explores some very interesting issues: The value of loyalty; the bonds of friendship and to what lengths they can be stretched before they snap; the primal urge to survive even the most cruel situations; the need for "society" and cooperative behavior if it is to have any chance to function. These issues are explored through a variety of situations that Brant finds himself in and Healy does a very nice job of doing so.
The characters he creates are also memorable. Max, a ruined soldier android; the "wards" Mish and Ellinan and others were finely drawn. I didn't always like Brant - he seemed a little whiny to me at times - but that helped to add to the narrative. I always, however, liked Arsha - the other android charged with preserving the embryos and seeds. Left alone as Brant charges about the wasteland, she is faithful to her duties although she had been left not just alone but lonely. She, to me, is a true heroine.
This is an excellent start to a series and a book that I very much enjoyed. It is well plotted, well written and gives the reader not just a good adventure but also some things to think about.
The MC is a synthetic human (android body with a human's memories added) named Brant.
Brant wonders the desert looking for survivors while trying to avoid a band of Marauders, who are capturing still functioning synesthetic to salvage for parts.
The bulk of this story is spent exploring the concept of What it means to be human?, When does a being pass the state of 'general awareness' and achieve the status of 'sentient being'?
I enjoyed this book so much that I purchased it's sequel before completing the reading of it.
I highly recommend this book to serious Science Fiction readers. There is no 'teen drama/teen romance'. This is classic science fiction, just the way I like it. :-)
Like a lot of people, I find dystopian stories fascinating. After the Winter is one of the best in the genre, although the world-building, whilst fantastic, did slow the pacing at times. The protagonist, Brant, is a brilliant character. He's flawed thanks to his human memories and feelings, and he makes judgments that aren't always right. But he's also strong and a survivor. Arsha isn't what I expected, and I didn't warm to her right away. By the end I had, especially when she puts herself in danger for what she believes is right. I expected some sort of twist at the end and I wasn't disappointed. It also wasn't what I expected it to be.
An enjoyable read for anyone who likes dystopian or sci-fi novels.
Very intelligently written and original, while remaining a very readable adventure. Highly recommended dystopian scifi. You can't go wrong with this trilogy.
Note: Use of the F-word and crude/vulgar language and situations… Overall that rudeness feels scattered and realistic in its portrayal of a world lost without morals and characters struggling to find their center/compass.
After the Winter (The Silent Earth, Book 1)
The Seeds of New Earth (The Silent Earth, Book 2)
The Fires of Yesterday (The Silent Earth, Book 3)
Top international reviews
If you want to read something original with a deeper subtext then you won't go far wrong here. I've just finished the second book in the series which I can recommend even more strongly.
A page turner and one to recommend from this first time author. Look out for the sequel too
Thank you for sharing your imagination