Monday, August 25, 2014

Early Review: The Aftermath by Jen Alexander


Title: The Aftermath
Author: Jen Alexander
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Exp Pub: August 26, 2014
Source:  Publisher
Pre-order: Amazon  |  B&N

From Goodreads: 

Sometimes, I dream that I'm someone else.

A girl with dark hair who doesn't worry about hunger
or thirst or running from flesh-eaters.

In her world, those sorts of things don't exist.

Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville: polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibal Hoarders. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge sometimes with devastating consequences all just to live another day.

With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.

If they play the game right, they are each other's best hope for survival and a life beyond the only world Claudia's ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath.

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Imagine struggling day after day in a post-apocalyptic world – starving, stealing, and killing with your clan – only to one day become aware that the words coming out of your mouth are not your own. You’re not in control of your movements and haven’t been for quite some time.  The people you thought were your friends are also being manipulated by others and powerless to do anything about it.   When Claudia becomes sentient, she finds out she’s in a worse nightmare than she ever imagined.

Deception, secrets, controversy, and conflict set the stage for this book. I honestly don’t know what would be worse:  realizing you’re a character in a game being controlled by someone else or being the type of person who would “play” a human being. 

“Because The Aftermath?  It’s the worst game of them all.” 

The Aftermath was a very different read for me.  I am not a gamer.  In fact, I know nothing about games, RPG or otherwise.  I do enjoy a great dystopian and unique concept, and this book delivered that. I don’t want to give anything away, because discovering things as they unfolded was one of the best parts. 

One thing a lot of dystopians leave out is the why.  Why has the world become what it is?  What happened that the government would allow such things to take place? The author does a great job of giving the reader those answers in a fascinating way without it feeling like an information overload.  I really enjoyed that.  I was very intrigued by the idea of a treatment for those who were considered violent as well as attempts to rid the world of such a “disease.”  There were a few elements of the story that I wasn’t overly fond of, but to expound on that would be spoilery and really just comes down to personal taste. 

I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked; but given what they are going through, I suppose that’s understandable.  The book ends with a cliffhanger; and as much as I wish that weren’t the case, I know I won’t hesitate to grab the next book.  Even with the abrupt ending, this book is action-packed; and I’m anxious to find out what happens next!  Gamers and lovers of dystopia will appreciate this exciting story. 

“Sooner or later, there won’t be any humanity left to salvage.” 

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 
                                                                                       
chelesiggy

3 comments:

  1. I'm glad you ended up enjoying this one because you know I was on the fence about it... but with that cliffy ending I will deff be waiting until the next book is out. Great review my dearest Wifey! *smish*

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  2. It's hard to really get into a book when you have a difficult time connecting with the characters, but that point aside, I'm a gamer so Aftermath sounds like the perfect read for me! Wonderful review!

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  3. Though you didn't connect with the characters, I'm glad the book was still interesting and pulled you in. Pulled you in enough to continue it. It does sound like a very interesting concept!

    Lovely, lovely review!!

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