And After (Until the End of the World #2) by Sarah Lyons Fleming (2014)
NA Fiction | Sci-Fi | Zombies
“Cassie Forrest could almost believe life at Kingdom Come Farm is perfect, with Adrian and her friends at her side and spring on the way. The spring thaw also means millions of defrosting zombies, however, and if the past year has taught her anything, it’s that life in this new world is highly imperfect.
When Safe Zones throughout the country begin to disappear and the zombies at the fences grow in number, Cassie clings to the hope that if she has the people she loves most, it will be all right. But the highly imperfect world makes only one guarantee—zombies never die, never stop and are never satiated.”
pooled ink Review:
A sequel to a surprisingly cool book, And After is arguably just as captivating if not better than its predecessor. As I said in my review for Until the End of the World, I’m not actually into the whole zombie thing. And these are zombie books. And yes I surprisingly really like them. I finished the first book with a head nod thinking, “Okay, yeah, I dig it.” Now I have finished the second book in the series and I officially have to see these characters through to the end of the world…and after.
With the heart of the story revolving around a diverse group of characters thrown together and struggling for survival, attachment to these people comes rather quickly and strongly. After reading just how much they had to overcome to make it to Kingdom Come Farm I found myself heavily invested in wanting everything to work out for once. And it did…for a while.
So this won’t be a long review only because so much happens that it would be way too easy to spoil it for you. I do feel it my duty however to warn you that people die in this one. Okay, well, to be fair people died in the last book too, but in this one just when everything is so freaking happy someone dies and I am wracked with despair along with everyone else. Because it’s not just “that one dude” or “so and so’s cousin”, it’s characters you’ve journeyed with. You know their names, their backstories, their hopes, their smiles…and yeah, it’s more than just one person. Like, a ton of people die in this book and I hate it. They’re people who you will become attached to and then one by one they will be ripped away and it makes me angry. Props to the author for trying to keep things grimly realistic, but I’m still grumpy about it.
I don’t like it when good people die.
The deaths of the first book are sort of made up for by some awesome new characters introduced to us. That’s something this book does well, it shows the truth and hardships of life in a zombie apocalypse but it also shows how the world keeps on turning no matter how impossible that seems. There’s devastation, but there’s always hope waiting to greet them after they’ve mourned. New friends, new family, new love…but then they die in this book so really it’s pretty grim all around. I assume we’ll meet new friends in the third book but you can bet I won’t let myself care too deeply this time because they’ll probably just die.
Wow, this review is vague, but really I just don’t want to ruin any of the many twists and turns and axis-flipping surprises that fill this book’s pages. The pacing maintains a comfortable jog that winds lazily around corners, crashes wildly over cliffs, and hikes confidently across any and all challenges that rise before it. In the first book the group trekked their way north out of New York city to Cassie’s inherited cabin…until that home burns to ashes amidst a swarm of zombies and they run with what they can carry until they reach the gates of Kingdom Come Farm in Vermont. But this is a world now decimated by zombies, stability and safety are a thing of the past so don’t get comfortable and be ready for this series to deliver some serious shifts. They’ve traveled far but not far enough.
Yeah, this book series would make a dope TV show because it has no shortage of drama, romance, humor, grit, or adrenaline-filled action. It’s an utter battlefield of slaughter, zombies versus humans, and it’s a seriously close call on who will win because while humans have strength, intelligence, and speed on their side, the zombies have overwhelming numbers. They don’t have to be strong or clever, they just have to swarm the living and drown them in their gnashing teeth and rotting flesh. It’s awful.
If you liked the first book then you’ll enjoy this one as it raises the stakes higher than they dreaded possible. The world has ended, they’re living in the after, and the dawn of a new beginning isn’t even close to rising over the horizon. I’d call this book grim but likable.
Purchase here: And After