Sunday, June 5, 2011

Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield

Cassandra 'Cass' Dollar lost her daughter Ruthie because she couldn't care for her properly. She was an alcoholic who sank into depression, bringing strange men home. Losing Ruthie seemed to wake Cass up and she joined AA as well as got a job at a local gas station. She was determined to get her daughter back.

When a government experiment goes wrong, the world changes. A blue leafed plant, when ingested, caused many people to acquire a fever and then turn into a Beater- a flesh-eater. Cass waits until the Beaters are out of control and she knows she will be able to get Ruthie back without a quarrel. She does and takes her to a safe shelter. But one day later, the Beaters attack, and Cass is taken by the Beaters, even though Ruthie is saved.

Cass wakes up and doesn't realize where she is or what happened. Her body is filthy and her skin is missing in patches. She, who had been a Beater, has returned. She has another chance. But coming back from the disease is unheard of. Cass finds help with an outlaw called Smoke. He says he believes her, that she is not a zombie now and that she is not infected. He will go with her to find and retrieve Ruthie.

Their journey takes them to the Rebuilders, those that use heavy artillery to see civilization restored to their liking. It takes them to the Convent, a place that only females are allowed. It takes them to face death and back again. It this desolate world Sophie Littlefield has built, there is death, life, love, compassion and abuse. Well written and thought-provoking, this is a zombie dystopian novel like no other.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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