The Aftertime Trilogy by Sophie Littlefield
Genre: Post Apocalyptic, Horror, Paranormal (Zombies)
This is a provocative series featuring Cass Dollar, a young woman who is carrying around a lot of emotional baggage and struggling to rebuild her life which had fallen into shambles even before the zombie apocalypse consumed the world. For Cass the only good thing to come out of this mass horror is that she’s finally able to regain custody of her young daughter, Ruthie, until horrifying events separate them again. Later Cass finds herself hundreds of miles away from her daughter, awakening bewildered, physically scarred, and with no idea how she got there. That’s how the first book opens, and it grabbed my attention right from the start and, figuratively speaking, I was glued to the pages until the end.
Aftertime (Aftertime # 1)
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
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….
Aftertime is my favorite book in the trilogy because it focuses on Cass’s journey to find Ruthie and to be different from the kind of woman she once was not too long ago. She’s such a complex, complicated, and flawed character. Littlefield has done an amazing job in creating a three-dimensional characters, like Cass, that you might meet in real life. Cassie’s not a black and white, good or bad character. In fact, none of the main characters you meet and follow in the series are. Survival becomes the number one motive that drives them. In this first book, though, survival without Ruthie is meaningless to Cassie. She may have failed her daughter in the pre-zombie world, but she’s determined to be a better mother to her daughter, and she must go to great lengths to try to get her daughter out of the clutches of a female religious cult whose beliefs and lifestyle made gave me chill bumps as I read about their influence on the women who are just seeking safety and shelter from the hordes of “Beaters,” infected humans who’ve become cannibalistic creatures who feast upon the flesh and blood of survivors.