Rebirth (Aftertime Series #2)

Rebirth (Aftertime Series #2)

by Sophie Littlefield

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

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Civilization has fallen, leaving California an unforgiving, decimated place. But Cass Dollar beat terrible odds to get her missing daughter back. Yet with the first winter, Ruthie retreats into silence. Flesh-eating Beaters still dominate the land. And Smoke, Cass's lover and strength, departs on a quest for vengeance that can end only in disaster.

Now the leader of the survivalist community where Cass has planted roots needs Cass's help. Dor wants to recover his own lost daughter, taken by the Rebuilders. Soon Cass finds herself thrust into the dark heart of an organization promising humanity's rebirth—at all costs.

Bound to two men blazing divergent paths across a savage land, Cass must overcome the darkness in her wounded heart, or lose those she loves forever.

Watch for more of the Aftertime series, coming soon!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373803538
Publisher: Luna
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Series: Aftertime Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Sophie Littlefield grew up in rural Missouri and attended college in Indiana. She worked in technology before having children, and was lucky enough to stay home with them while they were growing up. She writes novels for kids and adults, and lives in Northern California. Visit her online at

Read an Excerpt

The first snowflake Aftertime was like no snowf lake that ever fell Before. Cass nearly missed it, kneeling on the matted dead kaysev plants, their woody stalks poking into her skin through the thick leggings she wore beneath her dress. Her eyes had been closed, but Randall had gone on too long, the way people do when they are trying to say something meaningful about someone they didn't know well. After a while Cass grew restless and began to look around, and there, not two feet away, the snowflake drifted past in a lazy swoop as though it had all the time in the world.

Cass licked her cracked lips, could almost feel how the flake would melt on her tongue. Until that moment she didn't realize she had actually doubted whether snow would ever return, much as she'd doubted whether rats or sparrows or acorns or moths would return. She wished she could nudge Ruthie, or even Smoke—she knelt between the two, in the place of honor up front—but a funeral was still a funeral, and so she stayed as still as a stone.

Maybe by the time they were finished, there would be more snowflakes. A flurry, a drift: the gunmetal sky looked grudging to Cass; there would be no storm today. Besides, the temperature would rise well above freezing by noon. These early snows never lasted long.

Next to her, Ruthie sneezed. Cass wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer. Ruthie had loved the snow when she was a baby. She was still a baby—three years and two months, according to the Box's calendar. The month and date were metal numerals hung from nails on a wooden pole, the kind people once nailed to houses and mailbox posts, back when people still lived in houses. Each morning, the first shift guard changed the numbers. Today, it read 11 * 17.

Smoke held Cass's hand, his strong fingers wrapped around hers, and she felt his blood running sure and strong under his skin, circulating through his body and making him strong and back to his heart again, and she said the silent prayer that was part of her breathing itself now, part of every exhale: thank-you-thank-you-thank-you-for-making-him-mine. His touch, his closeness, that was what made her whole; he more than made up for every wrong man that had come along before. She closed her eyes and exhaled the prayer and waited for Randall to finish his rambling eulogy as the five other people in attendance fidgeted and sighed.

"And now Cass will say a few words."

So her turn had come, at last. Cass stood, nervous and hesitant. She gulped air as she took the few steps to the humble altar next to the fresh grave. Sieved earth was piled neatly. Gloria was in the ground, her body covered with six feet of rich Sierra mountain soil— Dor's grave diggers charged a premium for the full six, what with most folks settling for half that these days. Cass breathed out, then in once more, a rhythm she learned back in her early days in A.A., when she'd been torn between the paralyzing certainty that if she spoke during the meeting she would cry—and that if she didn't, she would never come back.

Back then, it had sometimes been all she could manage to say her name. Today she would have to say more. Not for those gathered here: besides Smoke and Ruthie, there was only Randall, standing at a respectful distance and twisting his handkerchief in a tight knot around his knuckles, and Paul, who never missed a funeral, and Greg, who'd spent some evenings with Gloria even after she was banned from working the comfort tents.

And then also Rae, who managed the comfort tents, and probably felt guilty about firing Gloria, since, when Gloria couldn't work, she couldn't buy anything to drink. And that was what killed her, in a way—after only a few days of forced sobriety she had drunk a bottle of Liquid-Plumr from the garbage hill slowly accumulating on the far side of the stadium's parking lot.

Cass gazed out on the others and swallowed back tears. Smoke had put on a clean shirt, not that you could see it under his heavy work coat. Ruthie wore a little red coat and matching hat that a raiding party had brought back last week. Everyone else was dressed in the usual layers of clothes splodged with stains, the heavy boots. No one looked directly at her, save Smoke. No one gathered here would care if Cass cried for Gloria, but it was important to her that she not be misunderstood, not now, not today.

She trailed her fingers along the scratched wooden top of the small table enlisted as an altar. Someone had brought it back from a night raid, a humble thing whose most appealing feature was that it was light and easy to carry. Cass thought it might—half a century ago—have been a telephone table, back when phones had to be plugged into the wall. On Sundays, Randall put a cloth on the little table, rested his Bible on top of that. He didn't lack for an audience. Cass didn't begrudge him his followers—nor did she begrudge them their hour of peace or solace or whatever it was they found in his words.

Still, today: no cloth, no Bible. It had fallen to Cass to plan the service. No one else offered, and Randall had come to stand in the door to their tent, hat in his hand, and asked Cass what would be right. Gloria had never spoken of God and Cass felt it would be presumptuous to impose Him on her now.

Cass shut her eyes for a moment and exhaled slowly. When she opened her eyes again, Ruthie was watching her expectantly, lips parted in anticipation. For a child who didn't talk, Ruthie listened to others with great care, none more than her mother.

Cass produced a tiny smile for her daughter. She reached for the string around her neck and pulled from under her blouse the pendant she had made yesterday, and Ruthie did the same. They wore clothespins, the old-fashioned wooden kind, knotted to nylon cord. Cass held the clothespin as though it were a precious thing and considered it, turning it slowly this way and that.

"Gloria and I talked about clothespins once," Cass began, her voice rusty. "She told me about hanging clothes on a line."

Greg, dry-eyed and somber, nodded as though what Cass was telling was a story he'd heard a dozen times. That couldn't have been. Gloria made little sense when she talked; she dredged memories and unfurled them carelessly, moving in and out of time and sense. You didn't have a conversation with Gloria so much as an occasional glimpse into the ill-tended recesses of her mind. There was nothing there to hold on to.

She wondered what memories Gloria had shared with Greg, if they had talked at all. The comfort tents were places of shame; men and the occasional woman slipped in and out of them like shadows, bartering whatever they had for a grope in the dark, an awkward coupling, a muffled cry. Anything to forget the gone world for a while.

Those who worked in the tents usually had no other way to earn. That was the case with Gloria, who was too far gone to raid, to cook, to harvest, to mend or make things, or even offer knowledge that helped. But she had meant more than nothing to Greg.

"She told me about hanging clothes on a line," Cass said again. She cleared her throat. "And she…had someone, once. His name was Matthew."

Gloria had long, thick silvery hair. That, and her faded blue eyes, were the only clues to her long-ago beauty. She was lean and leathery. She'd broken a tooth and on the rare occasions when she was sober she was suddenly self-conscious and tried to hide the gap, barely moving her lips to speak. Her nails were ragged and dirty. Her clothes grew filthy and torn in the days before her death. The last time they spoke, Gloria had answered all of Cass's questions with noncommittal grunts and never once met her eyes. Ruthie had been afraid of her.

"She loved him," Cass concluded. Once, Gloria had loved. That would have to be enough. Cass had said all she knew—all that was important, anyway. Gloria never told her anything but his name; if he'd been a lover, a husband, a childhood friend, it didn't matter.

She bent to the earth, the rectangle of dirt raked carefully one way and then the other, crosshatched from the tines. She dug her fingers in and took a handful, then stood up and slowly sifted the earth back over the length of the grave.

She stood back as the others filed around the perimeter of the grave. They knelt and scooped their own handfuls of dirt, even Ruthie. The knees of her tights were smudged with dirt—another stain Cass would not be able to get out. She sighed. Each person shook their dirt back down onto the grave, and Cass wondered what words they said in their minds. Hers was goodbye— maybe everyone said goodbye.

The dirt was sprinkled and still they ringed the grave, waiting. Randall dug in his pocket. "Cass, perhaps you'd like to…"

He held out a plastic bag, gapping open; inside were dried kaysev beans, dull and brown. Cass looked at him sharply, but for once Randall stared back with a hint of challenge in his expression. Smoke squeezed her hand, shook his head. Smoke stayed far clear of Randall's Sunday-morning services. He had little to do with believers. He even did his occasional drinking at Rocket's—not German's, where believers tended to congregate.

Cass didn't want to take the beans. The funeral practice of sprinkling the grave with kaysev seed—it was based in the Bible, the passage in Matthew about the sower. It was a common practice, almost secular by now; a whole new culture of loss, its habits and practices as ingrained as if generations of ancestors had practiced them. It had only been eight months since the Air Force had rained kaysev down from the skies on their last flights, but eight months had been long enough to create new rituals. The plant was meant to feed the population; it had begun to feed their imaginations, as well.

Smoke saw everything through the filter of ideology and he was resolute, and Cass was inclined to agree with him, at least on this. Terrible memories of the Convent were too fresh, the mark its zealotry had left on Ruthie too deep.

God had not taken up residence across the street in the stadium—of that Cass was sure.

But unlike Smoke, she was not ready to declare Him absent. Still, He was an elusive, crafty cipher to Cass, and for now she meant to keep Him distant.

When Cass did not take the plastic bag from Randall's outstretched hand, the frowning man narrowed his eyes and upended it himself, the beans falling to the earth and rolling into the crevices and fissures in the earth. "He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word," he intoned, his gaze never leaving Cass's face.

Then he stepped back from the grave, jamming the empty bag back into his pocket and brushing his hands together fastidiously. Everyone else followed him, retreating to the cleared area where the service had begun, shuffling slowly.

"And now we conclude our service for Gloria," Randall murmured, the wind snatching at his words and carrying them away, so that everyone leaned in closer to hear. Everyone, that was, but Cass, who picked up Ruthie and edged to the back of the small gathering while Randall raised his hands for a final benediction.

"Man, you are dust," he said, closing his eyes. "And to dust you shall return."

Not for the first time Cass considered that Randall was a fraud, cobbling together bits and pieces of faiths to suit himself.

What did it matter, though? Dead was still dead, and the rest of them were still here.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Evocative, sensual, harrowing." -Publishers Weekly on Aftertime, Starred Review

"A fantastic new dystopian series...Littlefield's compelling writing will keep readers turning pages late into the night to find out what happens next. Outstanding!" Top Pick, 4 1/2 stars

-RT Book Reviews

"I loved this novel-it was Stephen King's The Stand in a bra and panties."

-Paul Goat Allen, Barnes and Noble Book Club

"Wildly original, guaranteed to give you nightmares...examines the strength of one woman, the joy of acceptance and the power of love. A must read."

-JT Ellison, author of The Immortals

Customer Reviews

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Rebirth 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
California is an apocalyptic catastrophe with the cannibalistic fresh flesh eating Beaters everywhere, but Cass Dollar feels good as she has rescued her daughter Ruthie though the child has become mute from the horrors she lived through and witnessed (see Aftertime). While Ruth struggles with her psychosomatic trauma, The Dollar females reside at the Box camp with the mom's lover Smoke. However though Cassie begs him not to, Smoke leaves on a vendetta. Just after he leaves, the encampment's leader Dor pleads with Cass to help him rescue his daughter; held prisoner by the ruthless Rebuilders. She wants to refuse as Ruth comes first and she fears the Box haven is falling apart, but Cassie also understands how Dor feels having gone on her impossible quest to save her daughter. The second Aftertime post apocalyptic thriller is an exciting tale that places a human cost on the pandemic catastrophe. Readers will feel for Ruthie who is a superb traumatized child and understand the dilemmas facing her mother including her caring for the two strong men in her life. Character driven yet packed with action, Rebirth is a vivid dark future fantasy. Harriet Klausner
AlishaNeedsToRead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this sequel to the amazing Aftertime, a fascinating premise and excellent narrative execution is built upon and expanded. This book is certainly not its predecessor, taking a different tone and focus but absolutely shining in every aspect. This is one of those books for which you'll not want to know many details going into the story. As such, describing the book very difficult, since it's so heavily centered around one major occurrence. The themes around which the plot revolves include abandonment and revenge; to know who's experiencing or partaking in these activities might be considered a spoiler. So, I'll stick with the general bits: we're back to following Cass Dollar from book one, and as before, we're treated to an in-depth look at her experiences and inner turmoil. But in addition to that, there's much more focus on others in the cast; in fact, there are several narrative shifts between characters. This is not as much Cass's book as it is her loved ones'...which is fine, considering it seems as though the series is shifting toward a broader, more epic scope as it goes on. I love it when a storyteller can draw out the most intense, realistic, and honest emotion from fantastical situations or unfamiliar settings. Littlefield does just that and more. Her characters are raw. True. Loved, as evidenced by the care taken in crafting them. There is no simple "angst" but rather a complex assessment of human behaviors and emotions in the face of devastating loss and destruction, of a drastic redefinition of society itself. Even as the dark reality of certain situations makes you want to look away, the story absolutely *compels* you to continue. It's the very definition of "darkly enchanting." Survival is never a given in this world, nor are tidy resolutions. But the thread of hope maintains, leaving the reader to really want to follow the cast through the hardest moments. Reading this book has only further solidified by affection and excitement for this trilogy. Even if I read the third and final book (to be released early 2012) and decide I don't like it (highly doubt I would, but for the sake of argument), I'll always hold Rebirth and its predecessor Aftertime as some of my favorite books of all time.
ReginaR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars. I love this series, I love it. I plan on re-reading it soon and am jonesing for the release of #3 in 2012. This book made me cry, made me laugh -- and made me stay up late reading. I felt Cassie's pain and her anger. Sophie Littlefield is an amazing author who tells an amazing tale.The setting for this story is in post-apocalyptic California, post the bio destruction of the land during wars, post the collapse of the government, and post the rise of a zombie type creature that was created by bio-engineering to plants ¿ it is After and everything that came prior to these events was Before. In Aftertime, there is no government, no infrastructure and everyday is a fight for survival. So that is the backdrop for the story ¿ running from zombie like creatures, trying to find food, groups vying for power, true evilness coming out in humans that are no longer held back by societal rules, and attempts at creating a new civilization. All the good and fun parts of post-apocalyptic stories. But for me, the true story is one of self discovery and growth. The main character is Cassie. We learn in Aftertime (book #1 in this series), that Cassie is a recovering alcoholic, she is a woman who learned to survive and use her body early on in her life and thus thinks that much of her power lies in her sexuality, and she is a mother of a very young child. Cassie is desperately trying to create a life where her daughter, Ruthie, can survive and she is in love with a man, Smoke, that she hooked up with in Aftertime. But Smoke leaves on an expedition, which means there is no guarantee that Cassie will ever see him again. Dror, a man who is a leader in the community Cassie is surviving in, must head out on his own expedition and Cassie decides her and her daughter need to go with him if they are ever going to survive and find a safe place to live --- and Cassie hopes to find Smoke again. This story is a quest, Cassie, Dror and Ruthie traveling the now dangerous highways of California, trying to find refuge in abandoned homes, and fighting other survivalists along the way. The entire time Cassie is protecting her daughter Ruthie, mourning the absence of Smoke, and attempting to hope that Dror feels committed to her and Ruthie enough that he will continue to protect them. Cassie¿s past is not pretty and she often remembers what she was like when she was an alcoholic, when she would go home with man after man in her alcoholic stupor, or the abuse she sustained as a child from her mom and step-dad, but despite the unattractiveness of her past Cassie is determined to make a change in her future. She is very concerned about those around her and she is leader. Sophie Littlefield is a very brave author, she allows her story to go places many authors are afraid to go. I was really impressed with the scenes between Cassie and Dror. First off, the scenes were incredibly hot. Maybe the hottest I have read in any book. Second, Cassie was in pain and reverting back to how she quieted her emotions and those around her when she was an alcoholic ¿ Ms. Littlefield didn¿t take the easy way out, she brought Cassie¿s past to the forefront. Cassie believes all of her power lies in her body and sexuality and she believes she was manipulating Dror. What she doesn¿t know is that Dror cares deeply for her. This is not an easy topic to address, Cassie is in a relationship with a man she loves and a man to whom Dror is friends with ¿ but who left her to go on an expedition. Cassie is a mom of a young child, yet she goes out in to dangerous territory seeking safety instead of waiting for death to come to her. I have read some reviews criticizing the ¿infidelity¿ or the fact that Cassie doesn¿t follow sexual rules of conduct. I have also read reviews criticizing the fact that Cassie brings her daughter on this dangerous quest. Well, this setting of this book is not present day California where Cassie could just hide out wit
suetu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not all monsters are monsters¿I have always thought that the strongest writers have a deep understanding of psychology, an ability not just to get at the complex thoughts and emotions of their characters, but to articulate them as well. And to create characters who are internally consistent, believable, and who breathe life. I generally muse over such thoughts while reading some piece of delicate literary fiction. How astounding, therefore, that the complicated characters are what I find driving Sophie Littlefield¿s latest zombie apocalypse.It is the ¿latest,¿ in that it is book two of her Aftertime Trilogy. If you have not yet read Aftertime, please do so before embarking on Rebirth. Aftertime can stand alone; Rebirth can not. It builds on what has come before. I¿m not going to go into detail summarizing the plot here, but I will say a few things¿ This novel, like the previous one, is driven by a hunt for a missing child. In it, Dor, one of the secondary characters from Aftertime, comes front and center. And perhaps most daring of all for a novel in the zombie genre, the zombies are little in evidence this time around. Oh, their threat hangs over everything in this wholly changed world, but of the many monsters you¿ll meet on these pages, almost all are human. And they are all the scarier and more disturbing for it. The story told is compelling, fast-paced, and deeply chilling.Second books of trilogies are notoriously tricky things. Often they are intermissions before the end game, and they can loose their narrative drive. Happily, that is not the case here. Cass Dollar, the protagonist of Aftertime, is still at the heart of this story. I, personally, don¿t relate to her any better than I did in the first novel. Nonetheless, I find her absolutely fascinating. She¿s a tough, volatile character surviving in an unbearably harsh world. Love and revenge, often at war with each other, are the emotions that drive these characters.This is a zombie tale for fans of The Walking Dead, readers who can appreciate a truly smart, profoundly disturbing, and ultimately character-driven tale of horror¿and hopefully redemption. I could have quit reading after Aftertime. That novel concluded its arc and ended at a satisfying point. Rebirth also completes a full arc of the story. However, by the time you get to the end, you will be aching to read on. Just a little more torture from Littlefield, as we collectively wait to get our hands on the final volume!
cmwilson101 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Several elements of the Aftertime series by Sophie Littlefield elevate the books far above standard dystopian/post-apocalyptic literature:1. Beautiful, gorgeous, lyrical prose2. Interesting, complex, complicated three dimensional characters3. Plausible, unique setting -- bio terrorism has ended the world as we know it and created "Beaters" (mindless zombie-like creatures)4. Interesting plot.In Rebirth, the second full-length story in the series, recovering alcoholic Cass leaves the Box. Cass is definitely a flawed heroine, her own worst enemy, and I found myself frustrated with her. Accordingly, for me, the story was much less satisfying than previous stories in the series. Despite this, it is still an interesting, beautifully written story. The world is gorgeously described, the plot is interesting and believable, and the characters are full of depth. I am already looking forward to the final story in the series!
pollywannabook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyREBIRTH is part The Walking Dead, part The Road, and part something totally new and engrossing. AFTERTIME threw us into a chaotic post apocalyptic world along with Cass and let us experience the first horrors that eventually destroyed life as we know it. As the title suggests, REBIRTH is a new beginning both for Cass and those who survived the zombie apocalypse, a beautiful and baleful story of horror and hope.Like every good dystopian book, there is plenty in REBIRTH that will incite. We met the Rebuilders briefly in AFTERTIME, but in REBIRTH, we are fully immersed into the totalitarian regime that is forcibly seizing control of the new world. The evils unearthed within their command center are sobering and shocking. Littlefield writes so expressively, so vividly, that she wrings every drop of rage possible out of her readers. And just when you think the situation can¿t get any worse, that the depths of human depravity have been well and truly plumbed, there is something far worse to come.Despite those heavy scenes, which are prevalent, it¿s the characters that make them bearable. More than bearable. The Aftertime world is meant to be terrible, but the characters, the relationships, they are what make it worth fighting for. They make every small victory into a triumph that fuels all our hope. It¿s an amazingly well balanced thing and one that Littlefield excels at. Equally well written are the characters. Cass is a woman driven by compulsions. Before, it was her addictions. Aftertime, it was reclaiming her daughter. In REBIRTH, she is once again seeking to rescue someone she loves and carve out whatever possible future this world can offer. 90% of REBIRTH is told from Cass¿s POV, but there are a few chapters each given to Dor and his daughter Sammy, both of which added a new level of perception to Aftertime that Cass alone couldn¿t. Given the way REBIRTH ends, I wouldn¿t be surprised if additional POVs make it into the next book. You need to read this book. You will be disturbed, you will be compelled, and you will not be the same. I died a tiny bit when I read the last page and found out that the next book in the Aftertime series, called HORIZON, won¿t be published until February 2012. That¿s a long time to wait for something so good. Check out the book trailer for a peek at the cover.Sexual Content:A couple sex scenes. Attempted rape. References to gang rape and torture.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With even bothering to take a breath, Luna Books is releasing Rebirth within months of its predecessor, Aftertime. Rebirth continues the post-apocalyptic tale of Cass, who has managed to survive the end of the world, but now find herself fighting to survive in a barren California. After having rescued her daughter and achieving some form of redemption at the end of Aftertime, Cass is still faced with the challenge of putting together a new life in a new world.In the middle of it all, Cass fell in love with Smoke, even though he leaves her for a quest of revenge, just as a brutal winter starts to set in. Cass becomes pulled into the issues of some her fellow survivors as they struggle against an organization known as the Rebuilders -and her love for Smoke.Basically, if you've read Aftertime, you pretty much know how Rebirth will go. The two novels have the same basic feel, tone and overall sense, not to mention a similar plot. Littlefield's writing doesn't quite feel as strong here to me, and I just found it a little more difficult to really get invested in Cass' life and struggles. However, Rebirth is still a decent read -I mean, it kept me interested up until the end, and I didn't have a problem with getting through it (as some sequels have a real problem with this). If you enjoyed Aftertime, you'll like Rebirth (though it's not quite as strong).
dgoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My review for Aftertime, the first in what looks to be at least a trilogy, applies here as well. Rebirth, the sequel to Aftertime, follows Cass Dollar in her psychological, emotional and physical (via enhanced immunity, healing and regrowth after being savaged by the Beaters, zombie-like creatures, and surviving without contracting the Beater affliction) renewal in Aftertime. The plot centers around Cass's journey from a relatively safe and Beater free compound of drug addicts and alcoholics run by Dor to the militaristic Rebuilders fortress run by what turns out to be a megalomaniacal, delusional individual obsessed with breeding a race of "outliers"--those immune to the Beater disease. She is propelled on this journey by the leaving of her lover, Smoke, to avenge the murders of people he once lived with in a different compound in a library. She is hurt and angered by his choice or revenge over their lives together with her 3 year old Ruthie, and follows Dor on his quest to save his own daughter from the Rebuilders, as she feels there is nothing left for her in the compound Dor has set up. Again, we have beautiful prose, well developed characters, breath catching in your throat action, suspense, and in my opinion a plausibly realistic rendering of the extremes, both good, desperate, ruthless, depraved, greedy and callous, people can be pushed to under duress and chaos. I eagerly await the sequel.
tlm0000 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is book two in the series, following Aftertime. I did not like Aftertime, the pace was excruciatingly slow so I did not hold out much hope for Rebirth. I did like it marginally more. I have determined that it's really all about the authors style of wriring and it may just be something I personaly don't like. The characters move the story along by introspection instead of interaction.
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DRCSB More than 1 year ago
Even better than Aftertime.
Paperback_Princess More than 1 year ago
this book was great and I really enjoyed it. I did feel that when Smoke, Cass's current lover (because she never calls them boyfriends just lovers) ran off to avenge the death of his old girlfriend, Cass got sucked in with Dor, a whole new guy. Thats when I started to feel like I was watching a movie sequel where they couldn't get the hunk from the first movie to come back for the second so they threw in a new guy (ie Miss Congeniality 2 where Benjamin Bratt chose not to make an appearance). Anyway, Smoke missing was noted although sex was not missing from this book. Let me put this out there, I'm not super big on soft porn books. The romance section doesn't really have a pull for me, not that books I read are missing sex, but usually its not detailed, "gets the juices flowing" sex. This book has hot tamale sex and its not just once. I'll admit, it was a little weird to read about in the first book, but I was expecting it this time. There were times when I questioned Cass's love for Ruthie, there were moments where she twisted what she wanted to make it seem like it was for her daughter. When Cass made the decision to leave the Box, she made it sound like there was going to be nothing left for her and Ruthie, but until that happened her daughter was still recovering from an unknown terror and she had the guarantee that she would be provided for. In a world where Beaters were around every corner, why not take something that was for sure and trade it for a world of chance? Granted, if she hadn't traded for the world of chance, this book wouldn't have happened, but still. Not to mention the Rebuilders were a real class act. Just knowing how they operated from the last book was enough to make me think that going to them was just a bad idea. Another sick idea that I thought was fascinating was the harvesting outlier babies. I mean really, taking 14 year olds and forcing them to be pregnant. Even forcing the men to have vasectomy's was a little outrageous, somewhat understandable, but outrageous. And if you ask me, the Rebuilders should have been using all their fire power to kill the Beaters, not kill the people or attack people's settlements like the Library or the School. If you also read the short story, Survivors, that was supposed to be between Aftertime and Rebirth then, you should remember Feo, the little boy that came in with his grandmother. You should be pleased to know that he does make an appearance in this book, so he wasn't forgotten. I can't wait to read the third and I believe final installment in this series, Horizon. That came out last month, but it will probably take me a few years to get to it.
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Great depiction of a post apocalypse kind of california, complete with zombies and a strong female lead character who has control issues and an amazing will to survive. Cass Dollar is becoming one of my favorite female leads of all time. She's just messed up enough to feel real.
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