Book Review: Aftermath by Tom Lewis

After the Fall #1
Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis, March 2015

From the author—

Between the time the warning had sounded on the TV, till when 16-year-old Paige O’Connor awakened sometime later, civilization had been crushed.

The attacks had come by “them” – those things in the ships in the sky that had appeared suddenly, and without warning.

And as Paige would soon discover, the attacks had only been the beginning.

Aftermath is the first book in the new After the Fall dystopian action series, which follows a young girl’s struggle for survival in the post-apocalyptic wake of an alien invasion.

Sometimes a book resonates with you for reasons that shouldn’t quite work, you know? In this case, I was particularly pulled in by two things, action that rarely slows down enough to take a breath and Paige herself, along with a little girl named Trish.

Mr. Lewis has crammed about three books’ worth of story into this novella so the pacing necessarily is rapidfire. That’s detrimental in some ways—we hardly have time to think about what just happened because the next scene is upon us and character development is a bit hampered—but it’s also what kept me flying through as fast as I could swipe the screen and I really liked that. There’s no bogging down in a sea of details but I still saw what Paige and the others saw and heard those ominous sounds.

As for Paige, this is an interesting girl. By turns rebellious and caring, she’s got just the personality needed to defy the aliens and try to survive if not get the better of them. Paige is roiling with fear and heartbreak and determination but perhaps the most intriguing thing about her is her willingness (at times) to let others into her heart. She’s exactly the kind of human being who has the best chance to find a way out of terrible adversity. And Trish, ahh, Trish—now here’s a girl, really a child, who has answers way beyond her age and I truly adored her.

All in all, Mr. Lewis has crafted a tale well worth reading, especially if you want something quick and exciting mixed with a good deal of pathos. He doesn’t leave Aftermath with a true cliffhanger but there’s definitely more to come and I’m ready for it PDQ 😉

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2015.