After Life Lessons

Laila Blake,
L.C. Spoering

SCI-FI:  A year and a half after the first zombie started munching on people, Emily and her son, Song, are nearly dead. Its wintertime in Ohio and they are on foot. While fleeing a storm they hide in an abandoned gas station, where a man named Aaron and his van become their salvation. A former Army medic, Aaron makes no plans for his future other than to be helpful to people and not stay in one place for long.


This zombie tale is realistically based, in that its limited the whys and hows, only telling what a normal person would know, which isnt much. The main characters meet when one is already at the end of her rope mentally and emotionally, and neither of them know anything beyond their own experiences. Its a fascinating set-up, not trying to explain anything, just showing the struggle to survive. Within that struggle, however, the character development is in bursts and not smooth. In trying to portray angst and hopelessness, the authors took it too far, making the conversations, and sometimes erratic behavior of the two adults, painful to read and almost impossible to follow. There are many moments where the importance of whats not being said is more significant than whats being said, but the reader gets stuck trying to figure out where the words are coming from in the first place, and reconciling them to the seemingly against-character actions that accompanies them. Once they reach a haven, things are much smoother, the actions reconcile with the thoughts and words, and the writing it settled enough that the promise of the story continuing becomes intriguing.


Julie York