Jan 29, 2017

Review: The After War: The Complete Novel

The After War: The Complete Novel The After War: The Complete Novel by Brandon Zenner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The After War ~ The Complete Novel by Brandon Zenner is a post-apocalyptic story that got my attention immediately with characters/cousins Steve and Brian emerging from the safety of their bunker after a national disaster 2 years ago to begin a journey across North America to join with their uncle and Steve's sister who was suppose to be waiting for them in her own bunker. Their uncle had warned them of the disaster, helped prep the bunkers, and instructed them to wait locked in for 2 years, then to leave to travel across country to meet him, picking up Steve's sister from a different bunker along the way.

The book is broken into a second story line with a young man named Simon, whose wealthy parents sent him to a cabin in Canada to wait the 2 years out before leaving the safety of the woods. I liked Simon's oneness with nature, knowledge of survival in the wild, and his connection with his companion & childhood friend (his dog). He also had the goal of returning to his parent's home a long distance away.

The ebook that I was given free for the purpose of a review was the complete novel (parts 1 & 2) so it was pretty long (basically 2 books in 1), but I was so into the story that I was glad that I did not have to track down another book to find out what was next.

Both groups had to travel a challenging distance, and none of them were trained to deal with the violence and inhumanity they encountered along the way. Both sets of travelers had to harden and adapt, after witnessing horrid circumstances just to survive. There were many surprises, and twists along the way, as well as surprises and action packed twists for anyone who actually reached their destination.

The 2nd part of the book is more about communities or groups of survivors that had come together, and how they were being lead, organized - dystopian type of story. Struggles for leadership, and still more ruthlessness and greed, power hungry, etc. lead to more action and twists to carry the reader through to the ending.

I surprisingly did not get bored despite the length of part 1 & 2 together, nor get lost with the different points of view. It was great how the story eventually flowed together. The writing was done wonderfully. It often easy for a reader to get confused or lost when dealing with different groups and points of view, or timelines that go back for earlier necessary details .... I did not have that problem with this book. The story held my interest & I liked the characters and actually wanted to know "what next". Suspense, scared chitless, curious, surprised, shocked, sad, worried, I loved it.

The only thing that bothered me was that even though horrible things happened along the way, the distance was suppose to have been across country, but passed very quickly with not much happening considering how many miles & days it actually would have taken to go that far. Despite that one detail, I still enjoyed the book a lot, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a apocalyptic tale that doesn't involve zombies.


Two years have passed since mankind faced extinction. Brian Rhodes and his cousin, Steven, are leaving the protection of their underground bunker for the first time, after a cataclysmic war and unrelenting disease ravaged the earth.

On the other side of the North American continent, young Simon Kalispell is leaving the safety and seclusion of his cabin deep in the woods, traveling with his aging canine companion, Winston.

For individual reasons, these men are traveling east, where the fragmented lives of a small number of survivors will soon be decided by the choices of a corrupt few.

Simon Kalispell and Brian Rhodes are not yet aware, but the strength that resides inside them will soon be tested, and destiny will call for their fates to be forever intertwined. (less)

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