I received this book via YA Book Central. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.After by S.K. Gregory
Series: After Zombies #1
Published by Self Publish on 2016-06-11
Length: 165 pages
Reviewing eARC from YA Book Central
Reading Challenges: Beat the Backlist 2019
A world once overrun by zombies...
Jenna grew up in the aftermath, in a broken world where people lived in fear. Now a corporation runs the country, using the Alliance soldiers to do their dirty work, under the guise of keeping the peace.
Alone in the world...
When her father commits suicide, Jenna is left to look after her mother. She feels completely alone in the world. Until the corporation comes knocking, convinced that her father, a lead scientist for them, has faked his death.
No way out...
Kidnapped and imprisoned, Jenna learns a horrifying truth. Along with her father's old lab tech, Wesley, she must escape and find someone who can help them expose the truth.
With Alliance soldiers hot on her trail, Jenna is on a race against time to figure out how she fits into all of her father's lies. Who can she trust? And are the zombies really gone?
This review first appeared on YA Book Central.
I love zombies. I never thought I’d say that. I’m not a horror reader, and in my opinion, zombies fall into that genre. But they also fall into the scifi genre which I happen to love. After by S.K. Gregory falls into the zombie category where it isn’t quite horror but more sci-fi dystopian. I love this story! I devoured it in one sitting. What is the world like after the horrors it faces when the dead come back to life and the living become their prey? After answers this question and more.
Jenna Deluise is living life one day at a time. Her father died (apparent suicide) a few months prior. Her mother has become no more than a shell of her former self. Jenna has to rely on what her parents taught her. She sticks to the shadows and doesn’t draw attention. She is simply surviving. I like this about her. It reminds me a little of Katniss from The Hunger Games. At least her opening scenes do.
Then Jenna is kidnapped by her father’s former boss who believes her father faked his death. They need him to work on an antidote/cure/serum and believe that in taking Jenna they will lure her father out of hiding. Jenna thinks they are crazy, especially when she sees Wesley, her father’s former assistant. They’ve taken him too. Now the two of them have to find a way out and survive together.
There is no love lost between Wesley and Jenna. The two despise each other. Or at least Jenna despises him. Wesley sees her as a spoiled child, but quickly realizes the girl he remembers has grown up. I like Wesley. I was hesitant at first. He is using drugs when he is first introduced. In fact, it is his addiction that the company exploits to get him to work on Jenna’s father’s research. Wesley is smart, too smart for his own good. And this is how he becomes a favorite of mine.
The author immerses the reader in Jenna’s world. I became engrossed with the history surrounding the zombie outbreak and how it was eradicated. The aftereffects however are still present in Jenna’s society. The Alliance rules with an iron fist, and what was once a democracy is now a dictatorship. The mystery surrounding the illness that caused the outbreak and the company’s need to find Jenna’s father drive the plot in this fast-paced dystopian.
Overall I really enjoyed After. I like Jenna and Wesley, but it’s the world-building and plot that I love. I couldn’t read it fast enough. The suspense of being kidnapped, the discovery of the secret Jenna’s father is hiding, and the tension that builds between the two make for a quick read. And the ending….I need more ASAP. I need answers and lots of them. I highly recommend After for fans of YA dystopias.