Cross Twilight with Inception and you’ll approach the intriguing feel of S. P. Cloward’s pleasingly original Afterlife. The newly, but not totally dead, otherwise known as Mortui, need training in how to survive in their extended lives. Like a cross between zombies and vampires, they feed on energy from the living and, if they’re so minded, try to give back, something Wes turns out to be surprisingly good at with minimal training. But then, Wes is a pretty good guy all around once he’s freed from the mistakes of his mortal life. He makes a great protagonist in this pleasing sci-fi thriller and I really hope Afterlife will be the first in a series because there’s so much more I’m sure he’ll achieve in his search for The Body. Trained by Emily, and fueled by genuine emotion and a generous spirit, Wes takes on the identity of a college town guy and masters the varied arts of feeding and grazing. The techniques and feelings are so naturally described they become immediately plausible. And if the dialog occasionally gushes with hyperbolic enthusiasm (“I just love teaching new members!”) it’s easily forgiven as perfectly in character. Of course, Emily’s not really a twenty-something air-head, and her mystery feeds beautifully into an enjoyably descriptive story with excitement, danger, horror and just the right amount of convincingly well-thought-out detail. If you thought zombies and vampires had both been done to death, pick up Afterlife and find there’s new life in the genre after all. Genuinely enjoyable, different, and fun.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy with a request for my honest review.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
S. P. Cloward grew up in Utah across the street from the Salt Lake City Cemetery. He currently resides in sunny Orlando, Florida, a stone’s throw from world famous theme parks. His imagination occupies a studio apartment somewhere in-between.