Monday, 6 October 2014


Title: After The Silence - Volume One Bree
Series: After The Silence
Author: Jacqueline Paige
Release Date: January 2015

Overview of  Volume One Bree

One woman’s journey through the chaotic new world.

Those left standing make the paths for the future generations.

When the Mother Nature decides she’s had enough and begins to fight back, survival takes on a whole new meaning. If the earth is the enemy – there are no rules and all you can do is try to survive the odds.

Those the planet allowed to live still have to survive the trials of the virus. If you manage to come out of it alive you are left with some form of mutation that could give you an ability that could be harmless or lethal.

Bree Taylor is the last survivor of her family. With no other choice she sets off on her own to escape the clutches of the new government’s army—that does not place safety and security in their code of behavior only the highest bidder get their protection and loyalty.

Living in a world of unstable climate changes becomes a journey she won’t soon forget. She has to be prepared for anything at all times out in the new country and has to be wary of every person she meets. All while staying out of the path of the new army.

This title is also available as four novella's too.


The snapping and crunching of branches told me something was moving through the trees. Turning the flash light off, I hunched down to be as small and invisible as possible.  I listened in the darkness for anything that would let me know where the noise had come from and what had made it.  Voices were carried to me in the dark, a man and a woman.  I moved slowly back towards my things and sat with my back against the tree straining to see in the dark.    
Time stopped as I waited to see if the voices kept moving or came closer.  I wasn’t sure what I’d do if they did come closer.  I touched the handle of the knife inside my coat, hoping this wasn’t when I find out if I could use it.  Leaves rustled from behind me.  I held my breath and pushed back against the tree, waiting.  When I heard a low growl coming from around the tree I think even my heart even paused. 
I had strangers coming closer on one side of me and an animal voicing a warning behind me.  Tremor shook his head and pranced a few times and the growling got louder.  I sat there trying to gauge what was the most important and decided there was no way I was going to let something happen to my horse.  Sliding up the tree as quietly as I could, while focusing on the voices, I tried to recall every skill instilled in me, drawing more blanks than anything useful. 
Pulling the knife from the pocket, I prayed it was sharp enough to cut the rope I’d tied Tremor to.  I guessed I had about fifteen seconds to cut it and get to the horse before whatever was growling took a bite off one of my legs or other body parts.  Chewing my lip, I hoped I could still get on his back without the saddle.  The plan was to ride like hell and come back later for my stuff—if we could find it again. 



Claws dug into me as it climbed to my neck at the same moment ice cold water swallowed me.  My breath left my body so quickly it felt like my lungs were going to burst.  The intense pain from the incisions the animal was making across my chest brought me the strength to kick as hard as I could towards the surface.  I wasn’t the strongest swimmer by far, but I had more than enough will to live to try for both of us.

In the brief glimpses I managed to keep my head above the water, I didn’t spot the shore once.  We were being sucked into the middle. Through the white choppy water that blurred my vision I was only able to catch a quick look each time before we were dragged under again.  I could feel the rocks rake over my back and hoped there would be enough flesh left to survive it.

The cat was practically wrapped around my neck and holding several layers of skin and flesh captive in its young claws as we swirled around again in a deep pit of rushing water.  Each time we surfaced, I gulped as much air into my lungs as I could before water filled my mouth again.  The undercurrent calmed just long enough for me to find the direction of shore and with every ounce of strength I could find I kicked and paddled with my arms trying to shove us in that direction.  I could make out a tree that was floating near the bank just seconds before I was inhaling water again.

Hitting the bottom I shoved as hard as I could and tried to aim to the calmer water near the shore, not even knowing if I was going in the right direction until air hit my face once more.  The tree was still in sight and I somehow knew if we didn’t reach it we wouldn’t be on land after that.  Releasing my hold on the animal that was anchored to me so deeply that no way was it going to jump off and float away I swam towards the tree and prayed I’d reach the limbs lying in the water before we were dragged beyond them.



The sound of wings flapping had my undivided attention; I stopped and held my breath trying to locate the direction it was coming from. The moment I honed in on the area the bird had been I wished I hadn’t. Here I was half way to the middle of the clearing in snow up past my knees and coming out of the trees roughly thirty feet from me were two very rough, huge men. I had twenty seconds grace before they spotted me, just enough time to turn in the snow and take the first step in what would likely end up being the most difficult run of my life.
Running in snow this deep was like running through water. If your feet didn’t clear it you got nowhere. I hadn’t stopped long enough to measure the height of the men quickly gaining on me, but I was fairly certain their long legs would move through this snow faster than my own.
As I hit the tree line again, I hesitated long enough to pick a direction. Kismet and I had been through this area enough times I knew most of it without thinking now. Slipping in the snow I changed directions and headed towards the hill that led to the river bed. If I could out-maneuver them in the densest part of the trees I might just be able to put a big enough gap between us that they’d give up.
Chancing a glance over my shoulder I noted one thing. They were large enough it would take four of me to make this anywhere near equal. My heart was thrumming, pumping blood through my veins in a chaotic beat. A part of me knew I couldn’t outrun them, but I had to try. Turning, I bolted back towards a tight grouping of trees. I could hear the pounding of their feet hitting the ground behind me and had one second to regret the one time I didn’t let Kismet come with me. He would have evened the odds.
One of them was close enough I could hear his heavy breathing over my own as I dodged between two trees I knew he wouldn’t be able to go through. My coat was actually slowing me down, but it held the knife and gun and there was no way I was dropping either of those right now. I heard him curse behind me and knew I only had seconds before he would have me. Ducking left, I stopped and spun around at the same time. My knife was now in my hand held down against my side as I gasped to settle my breathing. He stood a foot away from me and looked really pissed with the fact that I had made him run after me.
I wanted to look around for the other one, but didn’t dare take my eyes off of him. A familiar flick sound brought my attention to his hand to see a blade slide smoothly from the handle it had been folded into. There was nothing I could say that was going to change this man’s plans. His eyes were wide and bored into mine with a look of craziness. A branch snapping behind me was the only warning I got before a big arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me back into a hard chest.
They spoke to each other and it wasn’t in any language I understood, then again I only knew English. The tone the man in front of me used and the sudden smirk on his face told me I was in deep shit. There was no way, no how this was happening to me. I refused to be a victim. The one behind me tightened his hold, making breathing hard. He rubbed his face against my neck making my skin crawl. The other one waved the knife in front of me a few times and then used it to push open my coat. He grinned and said something to the one that was breathing on my neck.
The adrenaline was pumping so fast through my body I didn’t know how I was able to not vibrate. Now or never! Lowering my head, I relaxed my body as much as I could. Taking a deep breath, I threw my head back and brought my hand with the knife up at the same time, aiming for the arm around me. The loud crack and sudden pain in my head told me I’d connected hard with the face behind me. He cursed and let me go just as the other one lunged towards me. I felt the sting across my cheek as I brought the knife down and across his chest.



It felt like months, the hours dragged on.  I’d listen carefully to the voices to try to figure out when the guards changed, but without ever seeing daylight or night I couldn’t be sure if it was three times a day or only twice.  My hands no longer throbbed; in fact I couldn’t feel them at all.

I tried not to think about the woman I’d known only for that one day, I tried not to think about Kismet and Tremor and what was happening to them without me to keep them safe.  I drifted in and out of sleep, or maybe I was just numb, not feeling or sleeping at all.

When I stopped feeling thirsty, I knew I’d reached some sort of bridge.  A person should always feel thirst to some degree I imagined.  My stomach, was insistently reminding me that I hadn’t had more than a few sips in the time I’d been here—I still didn’t try to identify what the taste had been.  With each second I lay there in the dark, I felt myself starting to accept not getting out of here.

My teeth hurt from trying to chew the cord around my wrists to free my hands.  Why they only tied my hands I didn’t know, was I a threat to the two men that were always outside the door? In my weakened state probably not much of one, unless they were afraid I’d flick dirt off the floor at them when they came in.


I decided to review the above novella's as a whole below.


I discovered the first novella in this series via Roxanne Rhoades at Bewitching Blog Tours, I had signed up for the Blog Tour, but with my health issues lately daren't commit to read and reviewing by that date. As regular visitors to my blog will know I love a good dystopian/post apocalyptic book, so I was looking forward to reading this one. When I finished the first novella, the author kindly sent me an arc of the second novella which I read immediately. Then as soon as they were available Jacqueline Paige sent me novella four and five.

I received free e-copies of these books from the Author in exchange for my honest review.. The cover's are okay, they depict a female character from the book called Bree. Personally I visualize Bree as looking younger than the female on the cover, but I guess different readers will visualize characters differently. The back grounds of the covers fit well with the descriptions within the book of a stark looking landscape.
The series of novella's are set after a virus and climate change has ravaged the earth and its inhabitants. The main character is a young female called Bree, she has just lost the last person of her family her brother Shawn. He has died of an injury that prior to the virus and climate change would have been easily sorted out with some fairly basic antibiotics. As I said Shawn has died but Bree is not really all alone as her brother had banded together with some of his friends. These young men have kind of all adopted Bree as their younger sister, rallying round her to protect her and keep her safe.
All the novella's are told from Bree's point of view. I enjoyed reading from Bree's point of view and her interactions she has with other characters. Bree begins her journey thinking she is ready 
Those individuals that have suffered through the virus and survived it, like Bree have somehow mutated and have been "gifted" with "talents" such as being stronger, being a healer, being a night walker only etc. You learn much more about these "talents" as the plot continues and Bree travels. Bree decides to leave the city in novella one, to try and go some place more rural that she can start over, and create her own safe plave. She want to grow her own food and live off the land if thats even possible anymore. In the City most shop have been looted and gangs rule, so it is a dangerous place to be. 
One of Bree's "adopted" brother's Darren, gives her his prized possession his horse Tremor, which is a real big deal and Bree does appreciate it even more as her travelling progresses. She manages to cover much more ground having the horse. Though the horse is more than a form of transport, he is also a companion to Bree throughout the whole series of novella's. Two of her brothers see her off on her way, the one who gave her Tremor, and one who gives her his long duster style leather coat to keep her warm and some throwing knives and larger knives for weapons hunting and defense too.
Bree sets off and soon joined by another animal companion, a "scraggy dog" is how she describes it but later in the book another character describes the "dog" as a"wolf". Bree is rightly so, timid and careful around the strange dog for a while, but she soon gives the dog a name and accepts him as a travelling cohort on her journey. Bree actually names the dog "Kismet" as fate brought them together, she does occasionally shorten the name to Kizzy too. I really liked the origin of the name and the idea fate brought them together. Kismet certainly earns his keep on many occasions through the novella's/ Bree regularly judges the people she meets by how her animal friends react to them. 
Bree stumbles across a male whilst travelling, who she eventually ends up trusting as Kismet and Tremor immediately seem to accept him. The male is the main male character who is in all the novella's and is called Jake. Jake does rescue Bree quite a few times throughout the novella's. In fact it is how they both meet. Bree is hiding from some rowdy, rough looking travellers and Jake helps her hide. Having said Jake rescues Jake, Bree actually helps Jake out during the books too.
Bree learns what her mutation/talent is ..... a very special one that really comes in handy on more than one occasion. Unfortunately it is a "talent" which makes her a commodity in this new world. There are many people and gangs that woujld take her and keep her prisoner for the use of her special gift.
The novella's are also about the other survivors that Bree meets along the way. Along her travels she meets both the good and the bad. As time moves on she discover the odd settlement here or there, but never seems to want to stay and be part of them. As the novella's go on Bree becomes closer and more trusting of Jake even though he will not stay with her permanently. Jake has a "Talent" too but it is not one he wishes to use around Bree. He fears that he could harm her in some way, which is the reason he gives to her when she asks him to stay on numerous occasions. Their relationship builds momentum slowly at first, but does become deeper than just friendship.
I really enjoyed these novella's and felt like they really set the scene for more to come in the following novella's etc. With the final novella leaving you wanting even more.
The book has dangers from the surroundings, dangers from other virus survivors as well as the climate change, and of course dangers from other groups and gangs.
I'm really looking forward to the next installment, which is going to be told from Jake's point of view and his back story. These novella's do raise many questions you want answering about Jake ans where he came from and what his life was like before the virus came.
I found the book very well written, and fast paced. I seemed as if I flew through the novella's. I thought they were very gripping and was especially reluctant to put them down until I had finished them. The descriptions in all the novella's is detailed and really does help you visualise the people and places Bree is seeing. When Bree meets a new person whilst travelling you are truly sat on the edge of your seat tense until the new person reveal's whether they are friend or foe. I also enjoy the way Bree speaks to Tremor and Kismet. The animals really do have their own temperament, and add to the atmosphere of the book vividly. I feel I want to thank Roxanne Rhoads for introducing me to the first of the novella's in this fantastic series. Of course I also want to thank Jacqueline for creating such a brilliant series that hooked me at Part 1 and at Part 4 had me screaming for even more.
So did I enjoy the novella's? Yes I did, I became quite addicted to them! I was wanting even more as each of them ended and I have to say I'm really looking forward to Jake's story in the next installment of After The Silence.
Would I recommend the novella's? Yes, I highly recommend these novellas's, but be prepared you are not going to want to put these novella's down. Or of course you could wait until January to read the novella's as a whole book. 
Would I read more books in this series? Definitely please as soon as available please! Would I read other titles by this author? I think I'll certainly be taking a look at Jacqueline's other titles.
Would I read other books by Jacqueline Paige? Yes, I will be taking a closer look at her other titles, as well as future titles within the After The Silence Series too.


  1. Thanks so much for having ATS here today!
    I'm thrilled you enjoyed them and will write faster for you :)

  2. I'm wondering if you can access Smashwords in the UK?
    I have a treat for your followers to get part 1 free if you can. It's only good for this week I believe. Code:SX69F