Title: After Life
Author: Jaron Lee Knuth
Publisher: Smashwords, Inc.
Publication Date: September 2009
Rating: 4 stars
One of my biggest fears is zombies. Go ahead and laugh, it’s okay, I forgive you. Is it irrational? Perhaps. Silly? Kind of. But I can’t help what I fear. Even though I’m terrified of the thought of zombies and a zombie apocalypse, the idea thrills me just as much. I love anything that has to do with zombies – I’ve seen dozens of zombie flicks and read many zombie books. It’s true that I fear them, but somehow they appeal to me just as much. Even the crappy films and books about zombies are fun for me; I’m not sure why. I’m weird, I know. But I will literally read anything about the living dead, which is why After Life seemed like the perfect novel to pick up and read.
After Life is about Alex and his best friend Morgan, who take shelter in Alex’s apartment after “things go down,” which is code-word for “the end of the world,” “the zombie apocalypse,” etc. etc. Although Morgan is engaged to her fiance Christopher, Alex can’t help but have feelings for her. Holed up in the apartment for days on end, the two have plenty of time to think and reflect on their life in the “old world.” They begin to realize the trivialities of things like movies, toys, gossip, and relationships, and begin to discover what kind of things they will do to stay alive.
As far as zombie books go, this one wasn’t as action-packed as you might hope for. I, on the other hand, found it refreshing to not have zombie action every other page. I enjoyed seeing the humans struggle with their new reality and their emotions. I liked that the book was told in third-person omniscient – I don’t read many books like that. I found myself jealous of the way Alex thought of and felt about Morgan…I hope one day someone feels that strongly about me.
Ending a book is a difficult enough task, but I feel like ending an apocalypse book is even harder. I love seeing how different authors conclude their zombie books, and this one had a unique ending. Sometimes I enjoy the darker novels with everybody dying at the end, and sometimes I enjoy a happy ending with a group of survivors. Please read this excellent novel and find out what kind of ending it had.