This book was far-flung, wild, and irrational--and it was absolutely marvelous. While most books of this genre (dystopian fiction), can sometimes start a little slowly, Alexander jumped right into the plot with abandon. She had you on the edge of your seat from the get-go. Though I was a little (okay, a lot) confused at first, with the whole dual-personality thing with Claudia/her gamer, little by little, I began to piece together the intricate puzzle known as The Aftermath—and that, in itself, was part of the fun. With the intrigue, action, (and yes, a little bit of romance) The Aftermath turned into a perfectly addicting read that I couldn’t put down. Claudia, though sometimes prone to angst, proved to be a strong main character supported by an equally sturdy minor character assemblage. Though action packed and fast-paced, this book also had a deeper connotation than your average dystopia. I felt Alexander did a wonderful job presenting the moral theme of violence. Do you treat violence with violence, or treat violence with kindness and peace? The Aftermath explores both themes, with the interactions between both players and gamers. In the end, a great read for anyone interested in a good book to start your school year.
“Shoulders slumped in defeat; I walk to the door and grab the knob. A sharp jolt of electricity streaks up my arm and through the rest of my body. I fall to my knees, screaming.”
I would recommend this book for ages eleven and up, due mostly to the themes of violence and its effects (blood, wounds, etc.) that are mentioned quite frequently.
Will the help of the enigmatic Declan, will Claudia be able to find her way out of the game and start anew, with no more blood on her hands? Or will she soon succumb to her relentless gamer, becoming nothing more than a niggling voice inside her head? Read The Aftermath by Jen Alexander to find out!