After Life Lessons: Book Twoby Laila Blake
Years after the end of the world, the scattered survivors have begun to reconcile with their fate and are starting to build communities from the rubble. Life has been kind to Aaron and Emily, and maybe it is that infusion of hope that leads them on a winter trip to search for Aaron’s family. But the world outside their little haven has grown harsher, the
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Years after the end of the world, the scattered survivors have begun to reconcile with their fate and are starting to build communities from the rubble. Life has been kind to Aaron and Emily, and maybe it is that infusion of hope that leads them on a winter trip to search for Aaron’s family. But the world outside their little haven has grown harsher, the conditions rough and dangerous.
Not everybody they meet on their journey allowed the grim realities to harden their hearts, however. Malachi and Kenzie - an easy-going drifter with a bum leg and amnesia, and a teenage girl who has lost everyone and everything - are on an ill-conceived mission to Mexico, while Iago and his band of nomads work to forge trading connections between the small settlements of the south. All of them will discover new nightmares on the road, far surpassing the threat of the last rotting zombies still roaming the countryside. And now they must come together to fight for peace and justice in the world they trying to rebuild.
This novel contains language some might find offensive, some gore and situations of a sexual nature. Reader's discretion is advised.
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Book Two in the After Life Lessons series continues the story of Emily, Aaron, and their family, as well as introducing three new groups of survivors. The chapters alternate between the different groups to give an interesting perspective on their separate journeys, while driving them all towards each other. At this time in the world, zombies are less of a threat than other men, and the action storyline focuses on an unknown group of raiders working their way from town to town, leaving a trail of bodies behind them. At great risk to themselves, the survivors chose to search for the raiders/murderers, rather than returning to the safety of Annika’s farm. While the confrontation scenes perhaps go a little too smoothly, the ending is satisfying as both a closure to the series (if it is the final book), or ready for a reset in Book Three. The best element to this entire series is how real the story feels. The characters’ emotions are always honest and believable whatever they face, and the growth of the main characters as time passes is also strong. In Book Two, Emily is a new mother and struggles with her need to protect her children while still doing her part on the road. We also see a different side to Aaron, who’s primary focus is to find his own family, headstrong in the belief that they may still be alive somewhere. (No spoilers if he’s right or not, sorry!). Looking at the new characters, Kenzie really stood out for me. A teenager will always grow quickly in an apocalyptic world, and she definitely has the strength to survive on her own as well as to care for others. I also liked Iago, who although was injured throughout the story, clearly has a lot to offer in the survivors group. Overall, I enjoyed the storyline in this book, and the addition of the new characters opens up further possibilities with the series. I don’t know how many books the authors are intending to write, but I will happily read them all.