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A Reader of Fictions: The Way Things Are - Fiona Apple

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Way Things Are - Fiona Apple

Aftertime, Book 1

Author: Sophie Littlefield
Pages: 375
ARC Acquired From: Luna via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Science brings about yet another dystopia. A new plant, blueleaf, at first causes ecstatic highs and then causes you to turn into a zombie, known in this world as a Beater. Cass, a recovering alcoholic, woke up with telltale signs of zombiefication, only she could think. And she was healing. Now she has to find her daughter yet again (Ruthie was taken away from her by Cass' mother because Cass was not trustworthy), hoping that Ruthie's still alive. Her hard, Beater-filled road will also include a traveling companion: a sexy man called Smoke. If you've got to travel through zombie-infested parts, that's the way to do it.

Sometimes I kind of think I should have made my blog dystopia-themed, since so much of what I read these days falls into that category. This one is a pretty interesting world, although vaguely reminiscent of some others I have encountered. The story was relatively slow moving at several points, despite the thrilling content. It wasn't a bad read, but did not leave me wanting more.

The biggest problem I had with this book was Cass. I just could not relate to her. She is a recovering alcoholic, a bit of a nymphomaniac and a mother. The way she thinks often makes me want to knock some sense into her. She is incredibly mistrusting, and yet entirely willing to take advantage of those who are helping her. Her actions in the last chapter struck me as inconsistent; she suddenly stops worrying about all of that and embraces a new path. Too sudden!

On the other (well-gnawed) hand, the zombies in Aftertime are definitely amongst the scariest I have read about. For one thing, they are super extra creepy. They do the usual zombie things, like continuing to follow a food source, even when they have missing limbs. What really freaked me out though was the progression of the disease that made humans into Beaters. First the Beaters eat whatever of their own flesh they can reach (their arms) and then they discover fresh human flesh. When they catch a person, they like to eat the flesh off of their backs while they are still alive. Yikes! Plus, these zombies are learning how to strategize. Now, that's just not fair.

Aftertime is sort of like a combination of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower. If you liked the aforementioned books or some terrifying zombie action, this book's for you!

"I wouldn't know what to do with another chance
If you gave it to me
I couldn't take the embrace of a real romance
It'd race right through me

I'm much better off the way things are
Much much better off, better by far, by far

I wouldn't know what to say to a gentle voice
It'd roll right past me"

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