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Aftertime (An Aftertime Novel) Paperback – February 15, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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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.)
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Review

"Evocative, sensual, harrowing." -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"A fantastic new dystopian series...Littlefield's compelling writing will keep readers turning pages late into the night to find out what happens next. Outstanding!" Top Pick, 4 1/2 stars

-RT Book Reviews

"I loved this novel-it was Stephen King's The Stand in a bra and panties."

-Paul Goat Allen

"Wildly original, guaranteed to give you nightmares...examines the strength of one woman, the joy of acceptance and the power of love. A must read."

-JT Ellison, author of The Immortals

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Product Details

  • Series: An Aftertime Novel (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Luna; 1 edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373803362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373803361
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ursula K. Raphael TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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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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Format: Paperback
A woman wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world and embarks on a surprisingly boring quest to find her missing daughter. This story is less about the apocalypse/quest and more about the rebirth of an abused/self-abusing ex-alcoholic. I didn't think it was horribly written but I felt that, overall, it was disappointing (and boring) enough that I couldn't give it more than 2 stars. In any event, maybe this review will give you such low expectations that you'll end up thinking it's awesome.

As other reviewers have said, this book REALLY suffers from the lack of action. I didn't think I'd mind this so much (I consider myself open to all types of books), but after reading it I totally get it now: not only is there not a lot of action, there's not even much dialogue, and everything but the protagonist's past seems very underdeveloped (including Cass herself).

For instance, the "romance" between Cass and Smoke was obviously supposed to be an important part of her rebirth. I got the impression that Cass was supposed to be "reclaiming" herself and her own body by choosing to have sex with this man and (possibly?) sharing a meaningful relationship with him--but really, I have no idea (the sex scenes just seemed like they were supposed to be way more important than they actually were). Smoke's character was also really underdeveloped and what with all the endless introspection and flashbacks, their "relationship" basically came out of nowhere; despite those long (and seemingly important) sex scenes, they basically have a grand total of 1 conversation throughout this entire book. I didn't feel like I knew either of these people well enough to guess at what they were actually thinking.

The most disappointing part of this book for me was the world building.
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