This is the third book in Sophie Littlefield's Dystopian series, you will need (you SHOULD read) the first two books in the series, Aftertime and Rebirth, before picking up this book.
Cassandra Dollar is a survivor and according to her this may be her one redeeming aspect. She has survived what few have, an attack by a beater and the many evils of mankind. With her daughter Ruthie now safe and beginning to thrive in the settlement they have found, Cass find herself falling into a familiar pattern of destruction. She is unable to out run the past and present as much as she tries. The world is still falling apart, with the ever evolving Beaters and the lack of safety from her fellow man, a stranger arrives with Hope. Hope of a new life north, but it will require a long hard journey, where there is no guarantee of safety or that everyone will make it there alive.
I cannot say enough how much I enjoy this series, I think that all the books have been great reads and each one did not disappoint. Each time I get a novel in this series, I am unable to put it down. Littlefield has a great ability for creating interesting stories, memorable characters and amazing world building. This book definitely has more Beater action than the second book, so if you were missing the Beaters from Rebirth, don't worry, there is a lot more in this novel.
I like that Littlefield gives the Beaters the ability of to learn. They are not smart, very far from it but they have what I think of as a Neanderthal smart. The Beaters learn by trying something, or watching another Beater trying something to learn from that Beater's mistakes. I also like that Littlfield gives Beaters who have been recently turned and those who have been turned for a long time different strengths and weaknesses, this makes them more unpredictable.
I know that there are people who read this series who do not like Cass, I personally like her. I like her flaws, her grit, her will to survive. I appreciate that Littlefield does not let Cass forget about her addiction to alcohol. I think that she is one of the most real characters that I have ever read in a paranomal series. I think the issues that she struggles with can be related to by many people, whether it is all or one of them. In this book you get to learn a little bit more about Cass's past as well as her time while she was a Beater. The one aspect in this book about Cass's character that I did not enjoy was that Cass's has begun to feel sorry for herself and this begins to over shadow other aspects of Cass's character that I like as well as some aspects of the story.
In this novel you also get to know more about Dor and Smoke, which is great, as you get to learn more and more about the men in Cass's life I think the reader begins to have their own opinion of who they think Cass should be with. There is the triangle dynamic within this book which I am sure will have you cheering for your favorite man (mine personally is Dor). Although there may be a triangle there is very little romance in this book. There are also some chapters and paragraphs from Sammi's point of view. I could see Littlefield doing a series (maybe a YA series) based around Sammi as she grows up in Aftertime. I personally found Sammi's point of views a little hard to relate to and her anger toward Cass was confusing and I do not feel like it was fully explained as to way she was so mad at Cass. This is why I think that a book from Sammi's point of view would have been better suited for a YA book youth are more likely to understand Sammi.
If you are reading zombie novels or want to read zombie novels, I suggest that you start here, you will not be disappointed. Littlefield has the ability to make you experience every emotion while you read and have you hanging on every word in this dystopian world. I am looking forward to reading more and more by Littlefield.