Author: Sophie Littlefield
Series: Aftertime Trilogy,
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Zombies
Source: Review copy from publisher
*Warning: This book contain spoilers from previous book of this trilogy.*
“Cass Dollar is a survivor. She's overcome the meltdown of civilization, humans turned mindless cannibals, and the many evils of man.
But from beneath the devastated California landscape emerges a tendril of hope. A mysterious traveler arrives at New Eden with knowledge of a passageway North—a final escape from the increasingly cunning Beaters. Clutching this dream, Cass and many others decamp and follow him into the unknown.Journeying down valleys and over barren hills, Cass remains torn between two men. One—her beloved Smoke—is not so innocent as he once was. The other keeps a primal hold on her that feels like Fate itself. And beneath it all, Cass must confront the worst of what's inside her—dark memories from when she was a Beater herself. But she, and all of the other survivors, will fight to the death for the promise of a new horizon….”
Horizon is the third and last book in the Aftertime Trilogy by Sophie Littlefield.
Let me tell you a story before I start with my review. When I got Horizon I didn’t know it was part of a trilogy, after realizing this I started to ask around if it was necessary to read previous books and all the answers I got were rotund yeses. Ok, after that I knew what I have to do; if I'm being honest I wasn’t too happy to add two extra books to my already insane TBR. But now, after reading them all, I’m very glad I did it, not only because all the books were great but because without previous books Horizon wouldn’t have made any sense.
Another thing I didn’t know was that this book was far from being the YA dystopian I thought it was. Yes, it’s a dystopian, but a very adult one.
Cass, Dor, Simmi, Ruthie and Smoke are living at New Eden, the refugee camp where they last arrived in Rebirth (second book).
Three months have passed, Cass has come a long way but now she’s going downhill. She is drinking again and her actions are not only affecting her but are starting to affect others. People are noticing her erratic behavior and are keeping their distance from her. Smoke has been in a coma for over three months, this is also taking a toll on Cass. Dor is in a relationship with a woman he met in New Eden named Valerie, but still he is having an secret affair with Cass. Simmi has a group of friends her age and is relatively happy. Ruthie is improving day by day, she’s talking, playing and living almost a normal life for a child her age.
Everything is going well, New Eden is located in a complex of islands surrounded by water thus inaccessible to Beaters (zombies). With Cass help they are growing plants, food in not scarce and under the circumstances life is good. Smoke wakes up from his coma, he’s still very weak but improving day by day. Cass is happy he is awake but now her feelings are in turmoil, she loves Smoke but she can’t forget he abandoned her and Ruthie to avenge his friends, he left without even say goodbye. Also she can’t negate the attraction she feels for Dor.
Beaters are becoming smarter and more organized, they are learning from the mistakes of other Beaters and soon they are learning to swim. Because of this New Eden is not the safe heaven it was and New Edenites including Cass and her gang need to abandon it and look for a safer place where they can start a new life again.
During their exodus and group of horse riders come to their aid. They come from the East with stories of a safe camp up North, were not Beaters nor blue-leafed Kaysev exists. After some general consensus they start their journey up North to this new land of hope, a journey full of dangers, with many Beaters encounters and other dangers along their way.
Horizon as previous books in this series was a heart wrenching one. Cass is a very flawed character, she is broken and trying to put her pieces together, she struggles everyday and fails as much as she succeeds. She feels so real is painful to see her suffer. Despite all her mistakes she is better and page after page she is slowly getting better, her road ahead is a hard one, she will always have to fight with herself because she’s her worst enemy. She will never be perfect, but I have hope she will be ok.
There is a love triangle between Cass, Smoke and Dor, but with everything that is happening there is not time for love. It’s more like Cass is in a standby, analyzing her life and who is really the person she wants in her life; coming to that realization even though it was hard to watch and I was rooting for Dor, I can say it felt honest and I was happy with her decision and they whys behind it.
Dor is a force to reckon, he is playing the underdog in New Eden, he doesn’t want to created problems between the groups but when there was a need for a leader who knew how to lead he was there. He gave everything and puts his life in danger to save others many times. His love and admiration for Cass is noticeable, he sees her as she really is and still loves her and wants her because he also see the good in her.
We learn more about Smoke's past and they why of his many actions, this made me understand him more and see he can’t change who he is, he does what he does because he needs it as a atonement to himself even if that means sacrificing his life for others. He also loves Cass, in his way and as much as that allows him. He knows something happened between Cass and Dor while he was away but he’s willing to forget and forgive because in a way he understands he was responsible.
Even though I wanted to slap Simmi more than once I understood her behavior, she is a teenager dealing with so many things at the same time that is easy to understand her and forgive her. I liked that she thought about her actions are realized she was doing something wrong, I also liked that she came around in time of need.
New and surprising characters are introduced, characters that will give Cass some light about her days when she was a Beater.
The end as the whole book was a heart wrenching one but in my opinion the best it could have. It wasn’t an easy and happy one but it was the right one.
Its amazing cast, a great world building, a fast pace and well structured plot made of Horizon a great read. Don’t expect fluffy love and butterflies, Horizon is dark, gritty, full of gore and drama, with lots of hard moments that will break your heart, but despite all this Horizon is a book of hope.
These books were my first by Mrs. Littlefield and I can guarantee you they won’t be my last. Horizon and Aftertime Trylogy in general will have an special place in my heart and my bookcase. If you like dystopian, apocalyptic and zombie literature these books are for you.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
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