I stumbled onto Sophia’s Aftertime novel back when I was going through a severe overdose of the endless parade of sameness in the New Release aisles. Fiction is prone to trends. That is why there were so many knock-offs after Twilight hit the bestseller list years ago. The Romance Genre is particularly vulnerable. Being a reader who prefers a buffet, I get sick of it very quickly. Anyway, I’d remember LUNA, a Harlequin imprint which rose out of success of Twilight, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. I remembered really enjoying the variety and it turned out that Harlequin still sells those books on their site, even though they closed the imprint a few years ago. Links to LUNA and my review of Aftertime are at the bottom of the post. So, I ordered Rebirth, the sequel, and bought Survivors, a novella in the same fictional universe, as it’s only available as an eBook now. That leaves Horizon as the only book left in this series that I need.
These are zombie novels, more or less, a post-apocalyptic series. It starts with the end of the world as we know it and follows Cass in First Person as she searches for her daughter, rescues her, and rebuilds with her mate, Smoke.
Survivors opens with Cass and her little girl, Ruthie, and Smoke living at the Box, a survivors’ community which houses some really tough people and their hangers-on, and the kind that come riding in on white horses to rescue you and make everything pretty again. Ruthie is the only child, until an old woman and a young boy show up, practically dead.
Feo is about nine and he’d survived, holed up in an old house with his grandma. Then, she had a stroke and they ran out of food and water. Cass and Smoke take in the little boy while the few medical people try to help ‘Nana.’ It’s like an echo of the world Before, Mom, Dad, son, and daughter. The little boy starts to hope, it seems. During the process of feeding the child, he disappears.
Cass tracks Feo down to Sam’s shack. Apparently, the little boy went looking for a big brother or uncle and found him among the ruffians. Sam and Feo bond, but Cass knows the boy’s days at the Box are numbered. The glorious leader doesn’t want children around. Ruthie will have to go when she’s older too. Too much nasty stuff. They find kids, they send them to a community that accepts them. Families are splintered, shattered, and orphans are a nuisance. Plus, little kids can’t defend themselves or find their own food, unless they manage to go feral. At this point, I’m thinking Cass knows a new family forming when she sees one.
Then, the Beaters attack.
Beaters are zombies, for all intents and purposes, but I happen to think they’re more believable than the ones in The Walking Dead, for example. They’re infected, animalistic, they can still think and learn how to avoid, et cetera.
The Beaters take down a new arrival, a young man which sends Feo screaming, ‘Tio!” The young man was his real uncle.
By the time the story ended, I wanted it to go on and on.
Sophia has an awesome way of bringing humanity and maternal feeling to such a grim landscape. You’ll have a hard time finding a more haunting, suck-you-in-believable storyteller in this subgenre.
I’m still waiting for my copy of Rebirth to get here and I’ll let you know about that one when it gets here. Meanwhile, pop over to Sophia’s website and learn all about her fabulous stories. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s the link to my review of Aftertime– https://kimberliauthor.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/aftertime-by-sophie-littlefield/
Sophia’s website- http://www.sophielittlefield.com/