Today’s team review is from Judith W, she blogs here https://readandreview2016.wordpress.com/
Judith has been reading The Afters by Christopher O’Connell
It’s the end of the world.
The Afters is about Charles Gilbert Billingsworth the VIII (Charlie). He is surviving – and enjoying – the zombie apocalypse, until he finds two lost children and – one of whom is hiding a powerful secret.
I liked it.
The Afters was easy to read, easy to follow, and the tone was witty and conversational – albeit a bit too conversational in places.
There were a few typing issues, such as the unintended fluctuation between past and present tense and some words at the start of chapters lacked spaces, but I’m sure those are things a quick edit can resolve.
When it comes to zombie apocalypse fiction, The Afters covers a lot of common ground – America is struck by a virus that has destroyed the population, quarantines are set up, camps are set up by groups both good and bad, some people are fortunately immune, and there are plenty of zombie attacks and scavenger hunts. However, O’Connell writes about all of these things well, so if you really enjoy apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, this would be a great book for you.
However, in an age where everyone seems to be writing apocalyptic fiction, and zombie TV shows and video games like The Walking Dead have massive success, I wanted to see something new too.
Around halfway through The Afters, O’Connell delivers this. Firstly, in Charlie’s discovery that one of the children in his care has a remarkable supernatural ability and secondly, that the zombies may not be dead, but mutating.
It was interesting to read The Afters alongside Cell by Stephen King. Cell is another book set in a zombie apocalypse, where a blast from mobile telephones renders all uses dead, zombified, or something in between. However, some of these zombies gradually become smarter – learning, developing, rebooting themselves, with sinister intentions. With that in mind, it’s nice to see authors take on a popular or, dare I say it, overdone idea and add new things to the genre I haven’t come across before, and this is what O’Connell does.
I was also impressed with how many genuinely tense and scary scenes there were, that place the reader in the centre of zombie attacks and violence. Very entertaining.
However, Charlie’s first-person narration began to irk me once he met Kalila; he describes her in a provocative way and stares at her bosom a great deal. As a female reader, it was uncomfortable to read through his, quite frankly, sleazy thoughts and comments about a woman and it was an aspect of Charlie’s character I did not enjoy.
All in all, The Afters is a well-written piece of zombie apocalypse fiction that does everything you’d expect it and then a little bit more.
Star Rating: 4/5 Stars
It’s the end of the world as we know it and Charles Gilbert Billingsworth the VIII feels just fine. Not only is he surviving the zombie apocalypse, he’s enjoying it too. But Charlie’s idyllic life as a daydreaming zombie killer takes a turn when he finds two kids lost in the woods. One of whom is hiding an amazing, powerful secret.
Meanwhile, Kalila Trout is on a quest for revenge. The only survivor of an attack by the warlord known as King George, Kalila’s vengeance is only stopped by his distinct advantage in numbers. When King George kidnaps one of Charlie’s children, Kalila finds an unlikely ally to help her get the closure she needs. But even if Kalila and Charlie manage to make it out alive, a new race of zombie might ruin everything they are fighting for.