I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.After Life Lessons by L.C. Spoering, Laila Blake
Series: After Life Lessons #1
on April 8th 2014
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon
Hulking shadows emerge out of the chaotic flurries of the blizzard. Something is dying, and so they come, like vultures.
After months of struggling south to escape the zombie-infested remains of New York, a snowstorm traps 23-year old artist, Emily, and her son in an abandoned gas station. Starving and desperate, they encounter Aaron, an Army medic on a mission of his own, who offers them a ride to ease the journey.
The road is a long and dangerous place to travel, and every day brings a new threat. But fear and adrenaline also drive the two closer together; they find laughter and a budding attraction that starts to thaw at their numb and deadened feelings. And that’s when the pain really starts to hit, when places long thought lost prickle back to life. Eventually, they will have to fight not just for survival, but for a future together, or their broken world will swallow them whole.
This novel contains language some might find offensive, some gore and situations of a sexual nature. Reader's discretion is advised.
This book caught me off guard. I was expecting a zombie novel, just like every other zombie novel in the horde of zombie novels. Instead, I got a story about a journey, about letting go of the past and making new connections for the future. It’s about family, love and forgiveness. And it is about survival, not just physically but mentally as well.
There aren’t a ton of zombies, so if that’s what you’re expecting, you’ll end up being disappointed. This is primarily a romance, with a lot of emotions. I love that there is a ton of dialogue, since it allowed me to connect with the characters. The potential downfall to this dialogue is that the authors made it very realistic. That means that it’s full of ummm and uhhh and a lot of … Yes, it’s very much the way we speak, but it’s hard to read at times. There is also lots of crying, and a lot of apologies. 61 to be exact. I’m thinking of making them honorary Canadians. 😉
Even though the book is heavy on romance, it definitely isn’t insta-love! Emily and Aaron really have to work for their tenuous relationship, and I’m left wondering if they’ll ever truly make it work, or even if it’s worth it. It’s very love/hate. Emily struggles with survivor’s guilt, and she is constantly battling with how to live in this new world. She tries to protect her son, Song. I really appreciated his role in the story. He wasn’t an overwhelming presence, but he did put into question a child’s role in the apocalypse.
The writing style isn’t something I would normally touch on in a review, but in this case it’s worth mentioning. The story is told in a 3rd person omniscient POV, and it took me some time to get used to it. Usually, you would see separate chapters being told, each from a different character, and some sort of break between the voices. In this case, it flips back and forth between the characters all within the same chapter. It threw me for a bit of a loop. By the second half of the book, I had adjusted and fell into the story completely. The pace picked up, and the story left off on a high note. I’m curious to see where the series goes from here.