Review: Rebirth by Sophie Littlefield


Title: Rebirth
Series: Aftertime, #2
Genres/Themes: speculative fiction/sci-fi, dystopian, zombies, post-disaster society, love

Quick Take:
This book, every bit as amazing as its predecessor—if not more so—takes a slightly different thematic and narrative focus whilst maintaining many of the elements that made the first book such a standout. An absolutely wonderful piece of speculative fiction.

Book Description:
(Going to forgo a book description and instead just implore you to read the first book before diving into this one. Technically, this installment can be read first without causing hopeless confusion, but the reader would be missing out on a wealth of emotional import, part of what makes the book so great.)
  
Review:
Yes indeed, Ms. Littlefield does it again! In this sequel to the amazing Aftertime (read my review of Aftertime here), a fascinating premise and excellent narrative execution is built upon and expanded. This book is certainly not its predecessor, taking a different tone and focus but absolutely shining in every aspect.

This is one of those books for which you’ll not want to know many details going into the story. As such, describing the book is very difficult, since it’s so heavily centered around one major occurrence. The themes around which the plot revolves include abandonment and revenge; to know who’s experiencing or partaking in these activities might be considered a spoiler. So, I’ll stick with the general bits: we’re back to following Cass Dollar from book one, and as before, we’re treated to an in-depth look at her experiences and inner turmoil. But in addition to that, there’s much more focus on others in the cast; in fact, there are several narrative shifts between characters. This is not as much Cass’s book as it is her loved ones’…which is fine, considering it seems as though the series is shifting toward a broader, more epic scope as it goes on.

I love it when a storyteller can draw out the most intense, realistic, and honest emotion from fantastical situations or unfamiliar settings. Littlefield does just that and more. Her characters are raw. True. Loved, as evidenced by the care taken in crafting them. There is no simple “angst” but rather a complex assessment of human behaviors and emotions in the face of devastating loss and destruction, of a drastic redefinition of society itself.

Even as the dark reality of certain situations makes you want to look away, the story compels you to continue. It’s the very definition of “darkly enchanting.” Survival is never a given in this world, nor are tidy resolutions. But the thread of hope maintains, leaving the reader to really want to follow the cast through the hardest moments.

Reading this book has only further solidified by affection and excitement for this trilogy. Even if I read the third and final book (to be released early 2012) and decide I don’t like it (highly doubt I would, but for the sake of argument), I’ll always hold Rebirth and its predecessor Aftertime as some of my favorite books of all time.

Rating: 5+ of 5 stars
"I absolutely loved it!"

2 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm hearing this book is really good too. I haven't read the first one yet, but hope to get it one of these days. Thank you for the wonderful review and soooo glad you loved it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oooh, you should definitely pick up Aftertime. I'd be very interested in your thoughts on the book; it seems to be an intense ride for most folks!

    ReplyDelete

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