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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Prior to last year, I had never read any books about video-gaming and now, I feel like video-gaming and virtual reality are becoming trendy and more popular. I think this new rise in popularity of video-gaming novels can be attributed to Ready Player One and The Eye Of Minds, whatever the reason I love this new crop of novels. The Aftermath is an interesting blend of science fiction and romance that immerses the reader in a dystopian video-game settings. This is a novel that fans of MMOs and RPGS will love because it raises the question: What if your video-game character had a mind of it's own?

Claudia has visions of another life, one where she is someone else and where she isn't trapped in the Aftermath. When Claudia discovers that she's trapped in a video-game called The Aftermath, she is desperate to find a way out and enlists the help of Declan, a moderator of this game. If Claudia and Declan can avoid Flesh Eaters, they can possibly find an escape route and leave the only world that Claudia's ever known.

While The Aftermath is quite entertaining, I feel like the plot in this book is pretty spare. Sure, there are a few twists and turns, but this book relies on the relationship between Claudia and Declan to advance the plot. The problem is that I never really felt a connection to this couple at all and I felt like I had no reason to root for them. Claudia is "the special one", the only who can save the world because she is so unique and incredible and yet, I really never felt strongly about her character.  I didn't like nor hate Claudia because her character was pretty basic and the only thing I really liked about her was her sense of humor. I didn't empathize with Declan either and I hated how he intentionally concealed information from the reader and Claudia; why would Claudia trust someone who she knows is hiding info? I don't care if Declan might've been Claudia's way out because she was doing well enough on her journey prior to his arrival.

I loved how much of this book centered around zombies and video-gaming, two of my favorite things. These two elements meshed really well and helped give this book an unique atmosphere that I haven't seen in too many sci-fi novels. I do think the idea of video-gaming could have been incorporated in further aspects of the book, the introduction of levels or stages could've been a nice addition to The Aftermath. I loved reading about why The Aftermath was created and the reasoning behind this video-game felt frighteningly plausible.

The Aftermath is a pretty good novel with an interesting romance, but I wish I could've connected with the main character and enjoyed the romance more.  This book did capture my attention, despite my qualms with the romance and characters and I loved the cliffhanger that this book ended on. I definitely have an interest in the sequel and I hope that the next book will allow me to empathize with Claudia more and focus on the video-gaming aspect more.

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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