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Aftermath Paperback – April 29, 2016
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There is Ian, who started off the novel with him pondering on his current situation, being a survivor of the catastrophe that left the United States of America in ruins, where the survivors have to fight and work hard in order to live. Where the good-natured are prey and the criminals are the leaders. He had just gotten himself a pet dog to accompany him on his adventures.
There is Ron, who is a gun-wielding, bulletproof, vigilant young man fighting random gunmen to survive in his own way. He sometimes thinks about the day when he saw his parents’ murder and how he became a one-man-fighting regime.
There is Sara, a slave of the Savages, who is a sexual plaything for them. She does not follow the usual behavior of this group, she would rather starve than come to consume another human being. She is friends with Penny, another slave who is one of the Savages’ meal-preparers. I had to read her story with the composure of a stoic because this is where the timid reader would have to either stop reading or let go of his or her conscious in order to get through it.
There is Eric, one of the soldiers of the Savages, who is a kind-hearted individual who frowns upon most of the Savages and their horrifying way of life. He is also annoyed with Jamie, a female soldier of his kind who is rash and definitely a bad name to women person in the run to claim Eric for herself.
There is Justin and his girlfriend Amy and they are by themselves in their quest to find a safe place from all the chaos around them. They rely on a little amount of food to get by while having to fend themselves from ruthless characters that may kill them for food and such.
There is Carmen who pretty much has the same story as Ian who is supposedly Ian’s object of affection. She is a teacher for kids in her and Ian’s community. She is also one of the meal-preparers of that group who gets kidnapped on the day when Ian is hunting with some of his fellowmen for supplies such as food, etc.
And finally there’s Alice, the oldest of these characters who is out to avenge her husband’s death. She is a vigilante and definitely not a proper-mannered lady who is skilled at handling weapons and bad people all the same.
I found this book, minus the Savages and their culture, to be quite the page-turner. It reminded me of the Cormac McCarthy novel, The Road (2007) and various Marvel Superheroes and Villains out there. I recommend it to those readers who are looking for some shock and extreme reads with kickass and badass characters to enjoy and admire. And I will repeat what I said at the beginning of this review, it is definitely not for the queasy and timid for it will gross them out completely. Anyway, I’m going to enjoy some ice cream, cake, and cookies to soak away the images of blood and gore this novel has planted in my geeky mind! Ha!
Bombs have completely decimated America and its people. Some (after going hungry for too long) have developed a completely blasé attitude towards cannibalism. Surviving the end would be hard enough, but being forced to work for a cannibal clan, makes it even worse. That was the predicament my favourite character, Sara, found herself in. Forced into a nightmarish life as a slave for the 'Savages', she somehow finds the strength to go on.
There are 6 POVs in 'Aftermath', each following a different strategy for surviving, after the mysterious bomb attack that was utterly devastating. Their stories are similar in their paths, but also so different in morality; they really do cover both the good and bad sides to human nature. It was fast-paced, with a plot that took sudden turns that kept me guessing, and a cliffhanger ending that makes me desperate for the next instalment. Please, Joe Reyes, tell me it is coming soon!
'Aftermath' tell the story of a fragile and volatile America, following a falling of bombs that takes them back to the Dark Ages. It is told from the point of view of Ian, Ron , Eric, Sara, Justin and Carmen, all of which are surviving in their own way. Their stories intertwine and mirror each other in a fascinating and convincing way throughout. Joe Reyes really captures how people can adapt to the worst situations. Sometimes it brings out the best in people, and sometimes it unleashes evil within.
There is plenty of evil in this new world. When the ultimate fight is for survival, those with questionable morals will sink to unthinkable depths. What remains of the Government is fighting back, but they have a mountain to climb, to gain any control back. And there is more trouble approaching....fast.
Be prepared for graphic gore, shameless acts, moving relationships and stunning plot twists. Not a novel for the faint-hearted, but so worth reading.
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