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Rebirth Paperback – Jul 19 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Luna; Original edition (July 19 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373803397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373803392
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,306,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 35 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not all monsters are monsters... July 18 2011
By Susan Tunis - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have always thought that the strongest writers have a deep understanding of psychology, an ability not just to get at the complex thoughts and emotions of their characters, but to articulate them as well. And to create characters who are internally consistent, believable, and who breathe life. I generally muse over such thoughts while reading some piece of delicate literary fiction. How astounding, therefore, that the complicated characters are what I find driving Sophie Littlefield's latest zombie apocalypse.

It is the "latest," in that it is book two of her Aftertime Trilogy. If you have not yet read Aftertime, please do so before embarking on Rebirth. Aftertime can stand alone; Rebirth can not. It builds on what has come before.

I'm not going to go into detail summarizing the plot here, but I will say a few things... This novel, like the previous one, is driven by a hunt for a missing child. In it, Dor, one of the secondary characters from Aftertime, comes front and center. And perhaps most daring of all for a novel in the zombie genre, the zombies are little in evidence this time around. Oh, their threat hangs over everything in this wholly changed world, but of the many monsters you'll meet on these pages, almost all are human. And they are all the scarier and more disturbing for it. The story told is compelling, fast-paced, and deeply chilling.

Second books of trilogies are notoriously tricky things. Often they are intermissions before the end game, and they can loose their narrative drive. Happily, that is not the case here. Cass Dollar, the protagonist of Aftertime, is still at the heart of this story. I, personally, don't relate to her any better than I did in the first novel. Nonetheless, I find her absolutely fascinating. She's a tough, volatile character surviving in an unbearably harsh world. Love and revenge, often at war with each other, are the emotions that drive these characters.

This is a zombie tale for fans of The Walking Dead, readers who can appreciate a truly smart, profoundly disturbing, and ultimately character-driven tale of horror--and hopefully redemption. I could have quit reading after Aftertime. That novel concluded its arc and ended at a satisfying point. Rebirth also completes a full arc of the story. However, by the time you get to the end, you will be aching to read on. Just a little more torture from Littlefield, as we collectively wait to get our hands on the final volume!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
'Rebirth' blew me AWAY! Jan. 10 2012
By Literary Meanderings - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
*Spoilers for Aftertime are present in this review*

Rebirth takes place a few months after the events of Aftertime. Cass has Ruthie back, and the two of them, plus Smoke, are now a seemingly perfect little family - but this semblance of a fairytale life (as much as one can have in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-ridden world) in the Box is about to change.

Smoke receives word that the Rebuilders, who give people two choices: JOIN or DIE, have executed a group of people in the school he used to take refuge in. Not only that, but Dor's (the man who founded and runs the Box) daughter, Sammi, was one of the few that were taken into their custody. And now? Smoke is out for vengeance. He leaves the Box without even a word to Cass - leaving her to feel abandoned, heartbroken, and positively infuriated.

Cass quickly finds out from Dor that he also plans to leave the Box the next day. With resources beginning to diminish and her lover gone, Cass decides it's time for her to move on as well. So, she convinces Dor to let her and Ruthie go with him on his mission to save Sammi from the Rebuilders.

Things only become more complicated from here. Dor and Cass develop and odd love/hate relationship. Dor is hiding something about Smoke. Ruthie, who is usually a mute child, is beginning to blurt out seemingly prophetic words in her sleep. Blue-leaf kaysev, dwindling resources, desperate/violent squatters, and Rebuilders aren't the only dangers out there; The threat of the Beaters is ever present.

- - -

Gosh, what to say about this book? It was fantastic! I don't have any complaints about it whatsoever. I knew Sophie Littlefield would not disappoint.

The characters are as multi-dimensional and intense as ever. Cass is passionate and damaged, but puts the people she cares about front and center. She sacrifices again, and again, and again. Smoke is becoming quite the enigma. What the heck is going on with him? I have no idea. It wasn't revealed to us in Rebirth, but the prospect of this secret's big reveal is almost too much for me to handle. And DOR, oh... Dor. He is my new favorite character. I love his broody outer-shell, and his big heart. Talk about paradox! One minute he's talking about how selfish he is, how much he could never care for anyone but himself - but the next he's throwing himself in the line of fire to protect people he doesn't even know, carrying precious Ruthie on his shoulders, and treating Cass with tender care. While I am on that subject: I love Cass and Dor together. Their relationship has this amazing passion that teeters on the tightrope of love and hate. You can just TELL something amazing is there. I hope with all my might that they are going explore this further in Horizon. The intimate scenes between these two were downright steamy. I needed to fan myself afterward. Phew!

The pace of the book was pure perfection. The continuation of the story was as epically amazing as the beginning. I could not get enough! I read it in about 6 hours. Every single paragraph left me in need of more more more! The author threw in all sorts of bombshells, too. The Rebuilders are up to some hardcore, terrible things. Smoke and Dor are both riddled with secrets. We learn more about Cass' past and the hardships she had to endure. Something completely strange is going on with Ruthie. The Beaters are getting desperate and smarter. The story also comes complete with a total cliffhanger of an ending.

Final words:

Rebirth is the best sophomore novel I had the pleasure of reading in all of 2011 (It's December 3rd, but I am completely confident I can say this and not have to take it back later). It's raw. It's brutally honest. It's mesmerizing. It's intense. It's emotional. It's chilling, haunting. It's a roller-coaster of genius. In a world replete with dangers, in a setting as bleak as they come - Sophie Littlefield has created a passionate web of human emotion that you really just can't, no... shouldn't miss.

If you want a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested, powerful, and moving novel - this book is for you. :)

*Contains adult content - definitely not suitable for minors*
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Book Two of the Aftertime Series Oct. 7 2011
By J. Kaye Oldner - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Rebirth" is book two of the Aftertime series. Aftertime is what the survivors of California call this era, where the government's experiment turned the entire state into hunting grounds for zombies called Beaters.

Cassandra Dollar and her daughter have found solitude with Smoke in a survivalist community run by Dor, a strong character that's a bit of a mystery in book one. Things are changing though. Supplies are running low and the raiding parties are coming back with less each time they go out. There is another threat besides Beaters--the Rebuilders, a dangerous militant group. When Smoke gets word these Rebuilders have killed refugees in the place where he once lived, he sets out on a mission of vengeance, leaving Cass behind.

A few days later, Dor sets off to find his daughter who was taken by the Rebuilders. This time, Cass refuses to be left behind. She and her daughter travel with Dor. Their mission is to find Dor's daughter. Down deep, Cass is hoping to also find Smoke.

Compared to book one, "Rebirth" is a bit milder with the zombie action, at least the beginning and middle. This second installment didn't take my breath away, not like with book one. The best part, at least in my opinion was the last quarter of the book. That's when I stayed glued to the pages. Warning to readers though. The ending has a major cliffhanger--a good one.

I'm not a huge zombie fan. Keep that in mind when I say this is probably one of the best zombie series I've read. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, the audio version, being the best. Also, Luna is a division of Harlequin, but this isn't a romance book--not even a little bit. It's a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel through and through. Readers should begin with book one. Here's a list of the books in this series so far:

Aftertime - Book 1
Survivors - Book 1.5
Rebirth - Book 2
Horizon - Book 3
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
lots of narrative, where's the beef Oct. 2 2011
By Jeffrey M. Jilg - Published on
This book could have been so much better. The first action doesn't appear until 15% point. The intro is more deep narrative/teenage angst that seeped into the previous novel. Not very interesting.

After the first action I was hoping for more. But no, long narratives and deep introspections were typical of the whole book. That is boring to me. Heck if I want long narratives, I'll watch a talkshow with a bunch of people sitting around just pondering the world. That's what this book felt like.

3 stars for excellent editing, and a few new ideas. I'm not interested in the next book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Cass Dollar is my new Kara Thrace March 14 2012
By Anissa Annalise - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't really know what to say after having read this second installment in Sophie Littlefield's Aftertime series. I was shocked, appalled, annoyed, bored & completely riveted in awe. There's a lot going on here & it's not for the faint of heart. Still, the Beaters are not the worst or most dangerous thing going on. I very much love that.

I must admit that my annoyance was mostly surrounding Cass & her reasoning to leave the Box... **SPOILER ALERT** WITH her child! I'm not a mother, but this seemed like a patently bad idea. Especially since the point is made that Cass only decided the place was no longer worthwhile after Smoke departed. Really, Cass? Ruthie didn't need to grow up around other children & have better until your man hit the road on a quest for revenge? It was all good until he left & then it was untenable? Whatevs. Now, as a character action, I was annoyed but from a storytelling POV, I took this as the way to get her out of the Box & on to Rebuilder world in Colima with Dor. I can live with it. I found her repeated use of Ruthie as her touchstone when presented with moments of peril & general crazy felt less solid than her plight in book 1. Afterall, for all Cass's "woe is me" Ruthie was brought into the present crisis directly by Cass's actions & decisions.

And then there's Dor. Honestly, I was not invested in Dor (this is where I confess boredom) & could never deeply connect with his character because I was still invested in Smoke's story (yes, I had suspected what his secret was tied to in Aftertime Book 1), so I wanted to get on to that. Also, I felt allegiance to Smoke & his plight & didn't much care for Cass seeking to hookup with Dor, not 48 hours after Smoke left the Box. Especially since for Cass she was bent on self-loathing, anger & usury. Her being angry over Nora (Smoke's long cast aside now dead ex) was made even more hollow for me after that. She yammered on & on about being betrayed but she displayed little to no loyalty & allegiance to anyone but herself, so it came off as narcissism & got very old, very quickly. Cass wallowed good & deep in her self-pity & bitterness & while I was interested in where this was all going, I found that often, I was losing patience with her being so all over the place. As a character she made me straddle the fine line between "I'm repulsed but I still care about you" & "I don't even care what your problems & issues or how damaged you are! Get yourself sorted!" I've walked this road with Kara Thrace of BSG & she was one of my favorite characters of all time, so I hung in with Cass. I believe in complex redemption. I won't know until the end of book 3 if Cass delivers, but I'm going to see it through.

I also have to admit that I wasn't very fond of the use of Ruthie as mute-but-prescient & able to dispense premonitions in toddler vernacular when sleep dazed. I thought having her mute was useful because being on the road with a toddler while trying to hide from Beaters & human threats is a lot more risky with a toddler you can't guarantee to be quiet. I was willing to let that bit go as a reader. But also a mono-syllabic clairvoyant? I'm sorry, I call shenanigans.

I want to say that I had enough energy & interest in Sammi & her plight but Cass took up just about all my energy, so I can't. It was interesting but I can't say I would have missed Sammi specifically if she weren't here. That part of the story could just as easily have been told through some other random girl & kinda was as it was picked up in a new character to take us into book 3.

I'm no fan of "love" triangles (I tend to believe that true love is not fickle, so easily waning & certainly not a group sport), so I won't pass judgment on the one offered here (I can't even recognize one of the angles here as anything resembling love). I tend to feel they're trite in general & never compliment the players/characters but only serve as a device that's often not expertly executed & make everyone involved a little less interesting & little more unlikable. The one here may be well executed if that's your thing but I am one to resist them on site, so I reserve objective opinion.

Honestly, & this isn't a slam to the story told in this book, I think I could have skipped this one & gone straight to the last & been perfectly happy. I won't reveal the exciting bits in the last half of the story but I will say it does not disappoint & made a great case for this installment & reading the final installment.