Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Aftermath by Tom Lewis

"The end of the world came fast. Between the time the warning had sounded on the TV, till when 16-year-old Paige O’Connor awakened sometime later, civilization had been crushed."-Goodread synopsis

Aftermath is a story that surrounds a high school student named Paige after an alien invasion occurs in her town. After the attack Paige and her friend decide to head to her hosue since they aren't really sure what's going down. Shortly after arriving home, and talking to her brother and friends, they find out via news report that there are attacks happening all over the world... At first when hearing this I thought "Hellz Yeah! I love me a good alien invasion".... But actually this ended up being kind of a problem for me a littler later on. Further into this book we find out that they are actually stuck inside a dome like state. So this kind of had me a little confused. These attacks are suppose to be happening everywhere yet there are people and military outside of the dome where I guess the aliens aren't. This might sound a little confusing as I'm explaining it, but that's all I can really give you because it's never fully explained to us. I'm assuming it's more of a contained situation but I don't know. This leads me into my next point, I didn't feel I got enough information. When it came to the aliens and their invasion I have so many unanswered questions. We are given a blush at the reason to why they have come and what they have in mind. We're told that they have come because they have been watching us and see that we are abusing out earth and they want to right the wrong... From what I have gathered from several alien reads this is pretty normal, so again this had me back to being excited. BUT then that's all were really told about them. We only get a very quick description of what they look like, what they arrive in, and really nothing further. This leaving me with even more questions.The thing I did love about these attacks was how they were played out. I really enjoyed The Crazies-I am Legend- meets The Host feel we got for it. I liked that the invaders put a chip in everyone and that when that switch was flipped, everyone went insane.

This gave this book a lot of edge and was a huge highlight. The only part that had me baffled with the implant of chips was that they also received one in their hand that would track where they are, who they talk to, etc. etc. Yet our leading lass Paige is able to sneak around everywhere. Don't you think these wise aliens would have just pulled up her log and tracker where she was and then catch her?!

I thought as far as the world building went that it was definitely stronger towards the middle-end than it was at the start. After the first wave of events we really got to see more of how/what the world was becoming and where things might be headed. I wanted to wait to go over the main character Paige until I started talking about the plot and the pace of this book because I think they go hand-in-hand for me. The pace of Aftermath is full steam ahead the whole time. I liked the action scenes and how well written they are, but the amount of action that happened at times overwhelmed me and I think it did the same for the characters. We get non-stop action from the first few pages until the very end. Sometimes I just wanted them to stop, regroup, actually make a solid plan then act. What I got was Paige constantly throwing them into things without thinking thing through. It was so slammed with action that I didn't get the amount of dialogue I wanted or the connections I needed to love Paige. This stopped me from not just connecting with Paige but with the sub-characters too (I'll get to them in a minute). I had such a hard time relating to her... One minute she would start acting like a normal teenage girl and just when I thought I was starting to get a grasp on her she would do something so out there that she would slip through my fingers. She has this strong survival instinct rooted into her from an yearly age, but yet I didn't find it believable. Like when we found out she knew how to use a bow and arrow, I could get behind that, but then she would be like Macgyvering weapons out of like nothing and it would have me rolling my eyes. Plus she was always saying "I have an idea" when they got into a pickle and then would come up with some off the wall plan. All that being said I absolutely love action packed books, and this one is definitely full of it, and the scenes are amazingly written, but it got too the point where I asked myself "is this too much action? Is there this much action happening to cover up the lack of dialogue?"... So I guess I just wanted a little more character development and back-story and a little less running around.

As far as sub characters went we have Trish, Drew, and Chad as our main ones. Trish is Paige's new friends and again someone I struggled to connect with. Drew and Chad were both characters I enjoyed, but again wanted more out of. I liked that Drew brought some comic relief to the story. I was secretly hoping for some kind of love triangle with these two and Paige, but sadly this didn't happen. When it came to the "romance" aspect between Drew and Paige I just didn't get it. The few moments we have with them are sweet, but still lacking something. I just didn't fall in love with their love.

Aftermath was a book with nonstop action and an amazing concept. It was a quick read, one I was able to knock out in an afternoon. Lewis writing is both strong and fun. I feel like this book could have been longer, and that the amount of action, if spread out, wouldn't have felt so overpowering. I think if this book was anywhere from 50-100 pages more we could have gotten so much more out of it and it's characters. I believe this is the first book in a series and I'm very interested to see where it heads and hopefully get some answers too all my questions.

6.5/10 Stars