To be honest, I'm not really into the whole zombie genre. I saw a few Resident Evil movies, thought they were meh. The only zombie things I ever really have gotten into were World War Z, Fido, and Zombie Nazis with my cousins on COD. That being said, I didn't have the highest hopes for this book. I dislike generic post apocalyptic settings, zombies aren't an appeal, and I'd never heard of the author before BEA. The only thing that really made me want to read this was the cover and the fact that Sophie Littlefield is really nice, and I wanted to give her a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.
Aftertime is the story of Cass, a woman. in a world where bioattacks and genetic mutations have lead to an end of the world setting where zombie attacks are a common threat and civilization as a whole has crumbled. The zombies, known as beaters, were originally infected after eating a freak mutation of a genetically engineered superfood that was designed after bioattacks endangered the food sources of America, but as Cass learns, the disease that creates a beater is also passed by saliva. Cass is taken by the beaters from her safe haven, captured trying to protect her daughter, Ruthie. The next thing she knows, she's alive and sane but injured, with no idea where she is or what's happened. She only knows that she is alone, and that Ruthie is gone. The story of Aftertime covers Cass' frantic quest to find her daughter in a world where nothing is the same, and nothing is safe.
Aftertime is not a generic zombie story, which I appreciated. Although zombies are a big part of the story, the main goal of Aftertime does not consist, like most zombie stories, of a group of people trapped by zombies and trying to survive long enough to be saved/escape. Rather, there is a depth to this story of a mother doing anything it takes to be with the child she loves. There is romance and drama and ongoing subplots that I would forget about until they suddenly popped up again unexpectedly to add a new wave of interest.
I usually hate post-apocalyptic worlds, but the setting in Aftertime was actually really appealing to me. I loved the genetic engineering, the idea of bioattacks and superfoods and genetic mutations that can fuck a society up. I loved the idea of starting new, of scavenging and working and fresh civilizations. I just liked the whole world.
If you do like zombie books, chances are that you'll like Aftertime. If you like end of the world settings, all gritty and off the map, you'll probably like Aftertime. If you like both, then you have a perfect book and you should definitely pick up Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield the next time you go to your local bookstore.