The end of 2012 indeed brought the end of the world as we know it in “The Aftermath” by Sara Michelle. Few survivors are left following the terrible disaster; roads are torn up, houses decrepit, food and water are in short supply, and those left are struggling to survive.
Cecilia lost all her family and friends except her boyfriend Ryan, and it is lucky they have each other: their chances of survival alone are slim. It has now been a week since the end, and Cecilia and Ryan are looking for help as they begin to starve. They are hoping to find help at the local snow shelter – still a couple days’ walking away – but if this attempt doesn’t work out their prospects look grim. “The Aftermath” is the first book in a trilogy. It follows Cecilia and Ryan’s search for the snow shelter, and leaves us hanging at the end, ready for the next step in their journey.
I often felt that “The Aftermath” would have been benefited by more descriptions. Perhaps questions about Cecilia’s old normal (what did it look like, where does she live, what does she do for fun) or her new normal (how it came about, what caused the destruction, what happened and how it played out) would flesh out the characters and story. I can see a case, however, for this, book one, setting up questions for the next book - in which case, I am intrigued.
I read an Advanced Uncorrected Galley, and it must be mentioned that there were many grammatical and structural errors. However, these were not inductive of poor writing, so much as a lack of editing. As a bit of a grammar Nazi – one of my favorite books is “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” by Lynne Truss – these errors left me disgruntled. However, on a second read through the book, I found the story itself much more enjoyable. I am sure that these errors will be fixed by final publication, and the book itself is good in spite of any problems.
Although “The Aftermath” isn't a game changer or likely to win many prestigious literary awards, it is a solid first release for author Sara Michelle, who shows lots of potential. I would recommend this book to fans of “Twilight” and readers looking for a quick, light-hearted, action, sci-fi and romance.
The Aftermath: Book 1
Saddleback Educational Publishing (2012)
Reviewed by Madeleine Sullivan (age 18) for Reader Views (1/12)