Sunday, 25 May 2014

SERIES PROMOTION & REVIEWS - AFTERTIME BY SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

Title: Aftertime
Series: Aftertime Bk#1
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Release Date: 22nd February 2011

BLURB from Goodreads
Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many weeks have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.
And with her, nearly all of civilization.
Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters -- people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong.
In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety.
For the Beaters are out there.
And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world….


Title: Survivors
Series: Aftertime BK#1.5
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Release Date: 5th July 2011

BLURB from Goodreads
DOING RIGHT ISN'T EASY IN A WORLD GONE SO WRONG

Cass Dollar outlasted the fall of civilization. But surviving Aftertime requires the kind of toughness that can conquer the violent landscape of California and still retain its humanity.

When a young boy and his dying grandmother are brought to the Box, the survivalist community where Cass takes shelter, she realizes that without her help he won't be long for this unforgiving new world. But while the Box is a haven from the roaming marauders—and the flesh-hungry Beaters—it forbids children within its confines. The boy will be turned out to fend for himself. All that stands between him and the brutal wilderness is Cass's protective instincts, and the stubborn resolve that's gotten her this far Aftertime.

Title: Rebirth
Series: Aftertime BK#2
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Release Date: 19th July 2011

BLURB from Goodreads
The end of the world was just the beginning

Civilization has fallen, leaving California an unforgiving, decimated place. But Cass Dollar beat terrible odds to get her missing daughter back—she and Ruthie will be happy.

Yet with the first winter, Cass is reminded that happiness is fleeting in Aftertime. Ruthie retreats into silence.

Flesh eating Beaters still dominate the landscape. And Smoke, Cass’s lover and strength, departs on a quest for vengeance, one that may end him even if he returns.

The survivalist community Cass has planted roots in is breaking apart, too. Its leader, Dor, implores Cass to help him recover his own lost daughter, taken by the totalitarian Rebuilders. And soon Cass finds herself thrust into the dark heart of an organization promising humanity& rebirth at all costs.

Bound to two men blazing divergent paths across a savage land, Cass must overcome the darkness in her wounded heart, or lose those she loves forever.

Title: Horizon
Series: Aftertime BK#3
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Release Date: 24th January 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Cass Dollar is a survivor. She overcome the meltdown of civilization, humans turned mindless cannibals, and the many evils of man.

But from beneath the devastated California landscape emerges a tendril of hope. A mysterious traveler arrives at New Eden with knowledge of a passageway North a final escape from the increasingly cunning Beaters. Clutching this dream, Cass and many others decamp and follow him into the unknown.

Journeying down valleys and over barren hills, Cass remains torn between two men. One her beloved Smoke is not so innocent as he once was. The other keeps a primal hold on her that feels like Fate itself. And beneath it all, Cass must confront the worst of what's inside her dark memories from when she was a Beater herself. But she, and all of the other survivors, will fight to the death for the promise of a new horizon.


MY REVIEW'S

Title: Aftertime
Series: Aftertime Bk#1
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Release Date: 22nd February 2011

BLURB from Goodreads
Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many weeks have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.
And with her, nearly all of civilization.
Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters -- people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong.
In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety.
For the Beaters are out there.
And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world….

MY REVIEW
This is one book that I read and afterward had to admit it wasn't quite what I had expected. I initially thought this book was a YA aimed, but after reading it a while I realised it is a more adult aimed dystopian story. *WARNING* There are a few passages that have sexual terms and descriptions in them, though they are not excessive*
This is book one in a dystopian series. I sort of read this book on and off because I had quite a few timed reviews to do. Normally I would find it hard to then slip back into but with this book I slipped straight back into the action and story straight away. The desolate surrounding and the state of the beaters body and skin are also well described. This novel has sadness, bravery, deception, despair, devastation as well as moments of joy, warmth, friendship and love. Cass is a tough woman she has had to be. Her mother's new partner has been over friendly towards Cass yet denies it and her mother sides with her partner over her own daughter. this sets Cass onto a route to self destruction. she becomes a wild child and grows into a woman who sleeps around and who is also addicted to drink. Her beautiful child is taken away from her, the Cass realises she has to make changes if she want Ruthie her baby back. Then just as Cass gets Ruthie back the great change happens and people have to fight for survival and whole up and hide  in community buildings such as schools, health centres, and libraries. Unfortunately fate has it that Cass is once again separated from Ruthie.......but Cass has the incentive to get well and fight back to get to her daughter. this book is really her story.
I enjoyed the story and following the mostly hazardous journey Cass has to make to try to get back to her daughter  Ruthie. Cass meets many people along the way and gets help from some unexpected sources.Though she also has to interact with some people with beliefs very extreme compared to her own.  I liked the character of Cass, she's brave and willing to risk everything for her daughter as mothers would. One of the other characters in this book is Smoke. You kind of think you know him, then certain things keep happening and other characters talk about him, which makes you think twice about your opinion of him. Cass has no other  option but to put her trust in Smoke as to venture on the journey she has to make alone would be considered suicide with all the beaters around. I think we may learn more of Smoke's past in bk2 and bk3.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes Would I read more by Sophie Littlefield? Yes I already have bk2 Rebirth. And finally would I recommend this book? To lovers of dystopian with  zombies thrown into the mix.



Title: Rebirth
Series: Aftertime BK#2
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Release Date: 19th July 2011

BLURB from Goodreads
The end of the world was just the beginning

Civilization has fallen, leaving California an unforgiving, decimated place. But Cass Dollar beat terrible odds to get her missing daughter back, she and Ruthie will be happy.
Yet with the first winter, Cass is reminded that happiness is fleeting in Aftertime. Ruthie retreats into silence.

Flesh eating Beaters still dominate the landscape. And Smoke, Cass’s lover and strength, departs on a quest for vengeance, one that may end him even if he returns.

The survivalist community Cass has planted roots in is breaking apart, too. Its leader, Dor, implores Cass to help him recover his own lost daughter, taken by the totalitarian Rebuilders. And soon Cass finds herself thrust into the dark heart of an organization promising humanity& rebirth at all costs.

Bound to two men blazing divergent paths across a savage land, Cass must overcome the darkness in her wounded heart, or lose those she loves forever.

INITIAL THOUGHTS
So approaching this one, I had been wanting the time to read it for a while but due to review book commitments didn't have time. I finally got a tiny break in my schedule and my kindle broke so I had the old faithful paperback to choose and was craving some dystopian/post-apocalyptic so this was the book I grabbed from the bookshelf. My slight worry is will Book Two make sense to me as it feels like ages ago since I read Book One.

MY REVIEW
I had purchased this one quite some time ago and it had been sitting on the shelf just waiting to be picked up. The cover image fits well with Book One, with the change in colour being from Orange to green and the title being Rebirth makes me think/hope that life may be improving for Cass.
So my one worry was the plot continuation and if I would remember the relevant characters and plot lines, well I felt like I slipped right back into the action, drama, and trauma easily.
So in this book there is more than one "enemy" to be on the watch for. There's not only the beaters and the prospect of being caught by them and eventually turning into one of them but there is also the Rebuilders, who don't get volunteers to be new members they take over small groups of survivors by force and inflict the "Rebuilder Way" onto them. 
So we knew from the last book that Cass had rescued her daughter Ruthie with the help from Smoke, and they had taken up residence in "The Box". The man who runs "The Box" is called Dor and he gets on well with smoke, in fact he has Smoke take an important job as security manager. All seems to be "ticking along" though Ruthie still refrains froms speaking to anyone at all, even her own mother. Then news filters in about the old school & library being taken by the ReBuilders. The Rebuilders have taken over in their usual violent style and Smoke who still feels a strong kinship to those survivors sets off wanting vengeance on the Rebuilders responsible. It's also at that time that Dor discovers his daughter Sammie has also been captured by the Rebuilders. After insistence and demands from Cass, Dor agrees with her plan to approach the Rebuilders Settlement, gain access by Cass asking for Evangeline the rebuilder who was so interested in Cass being an outlier (survivor of the beaters), it could work especially if Evangeline has mentioned Cass to the woman in charge called Mary.
When Dor, Cass & Ruthie take on the journey to the Rebuilder settlement they face all the usual dangers from the beaters and other survivors too. When they reach the settlement they learn of Mary's plan for re-population. she has quite literally created a new class system with those being immune nearer to the top of it and young girls being impregnated with outlier genetics in the hope of repopulating the world. Cass & Dor's plan rests on spinning a believable tale to Evangeline and Mary, which sounds simple until Cass is separated from Dor and shown a beaten, injured possibly dying Smoke. Can Cass hide her true feelings for him? In fact what are Cass's true feelings for Dor? There seems to be a kind of love triangle going on there, with both men wanting to care for Cass and Ruthie. Personally I think either of the two men who are main character would make excellent fathers to Ruthie, they are both softer and caring around the young child. But never mind Cass maybe having to choose between men they all need to escape alive from the Rebuilders . . .and where can they go? With Rebuilders maybe looking for them can they risk heading back to "The Box"? does the group even want to go back there? You get to a point in the book where you think the group are somewhat safe and then the action and drama are immediately amped up again when they become surrounded by beaters . . .will they survive? It's certainly a great cliff hanger!
So did I enjoy the book? Yes, it was a real nail biter in places! Would I recommend the book?  Yes, it is one of the rare adult dystopian/post apocalyptic books I've read and really enjoyed. Would I want to read another book in this series?  Oh Yes for sure, If I had had the next book in the series in my possession I would have wanted to read it straight away. Which was kind of infuriating as I was given an ecopy to review, but because of kindle problems/replacements I can no longer open the ecopy on my kindle that I have now! So Horizon is firmly on my wishlist! Would I read other books by this author? Yes, I have already read and enjoyed other titles by this author.    

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