Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Afterlife by S.P. Cloward

Title: Afterlife
Author: S.P. Cloward
Published: September 2012
Genre: Sci-fi, thriller
Reviewer: Hannah

Synopsis:

At the time of his premature death, Wesley Lohmann learns about a unique race of humans; not only that, but due to a small genetic marker in his DNA, discovers he is one of them.

He is now a Mortui, and must leave behind everyone he knows and loves. Through death, Wes learns to live, learns the meaning of love, and learns to put others before himself. Ultimately, dying was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Review:

I'd like to thank Deborah Cloward for providing me with a copy of Afterlife to read and review.

I admit, I'm weird about books--I only read the description/synopsis/etc after I've read the book. I like to go into reading it without any expectations or any idea about what the story's about. So I didn't know anything about Afterlife when I dove into reading it. So I most definitely didn't expect it's very unique take on the zombie genre.

In fact, Afterlife is somewhat of a mash-up of several different ideas. Zombies. Vampires. Parasites. Psychological manipulation. Lucid dreaming. Philosophy of the existence of the soul. It's chock full of all these different ideas and concepts, that, honestly, didn't mesh. Afterlife was rather indecisive about what it wanted to be. Because of that, it's all over the place.

To include all of these different ideas, Afterlife sort of rushed into things. The characters were never developed as people, nor were their relationships with each other. At the end of the book, our protagonist Wes has supposedly learned the true meaning of life and love. Yet this is never expounded upon at any time in the book. This impersonal nature in the writing gives the book a disjointed feel to it, which is both advantageous and disadvantageous for the story. On the one hand, being disjointed gives a very surreal, atmospheric feel, which I enjoyed. On the other hand, it blocks me from connecting with the characters, which, in the end, is definitely more important for the reader.

The story's core was something new that I hadn't read before, and I can appreciate that certain originality. However, I just don't feel that it's potential was ever brought out.

-Hannah

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