By Joe Reyes
Genre: Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Wasteland Press
Date of Publication: April 29, 2016
The series features a brutal setting, where seven characters in different parts of the United States must adapt to this new environment. The "fight or flight" mentality plays into the story, as the nation is divided into factions fighting for control of the country. The government is outnumbered, outgunned, and forced into hiding as well to recoup their forces. The novel follows a fast paced momentum from the first page to the last word. The plot pits these characters against the elements and each other, with plot-lines intertwining on opposite sides of the war effort. And one character's quest for revenge can jeopardize not only the war outcome, but the reshaping of the entire nation.
With an ever-changing storyline and evolving characters, the Aftermath series gets more intense with every chapter. But what these characters don't realize, the terrifying evil is making its way across the ocean.
“Steady, dude,” Brendon says while kneeling behind Ian. “I got it,” Ian says, steadying his rifle. A deer is picking at a low branch about fifty yards away. Ian lines the deer up in the crosshairs.
“I bet you a bag of chips he misses,” Adam says to Mike. Mike nods as he leans on a tree, holding Fang’s chain.
Fang sits quietly and still.
Ian exhales deeply and then pulls the trigger. The deer looks over at the sound but doesn’t get out of the way in time. The bullet hits the deer in the neck, grounding it.
Ian looks surprised and stands up. He looks back to the guys and points. “You see that?” he says, laughing. Adam looks at Mike, who just shrugs back at him.
Brendon pats him on the shoulder. “Nice shot. Now the gross part.”
“Well, let’s get to it, then,” Ian says while putting his rifle strap around his arm.
They start walking to the deer. “You got him?” Ian asks Mike, who still has a good grip on the dog chain.
“Yeah, he likes me. I don’t know why you have a hard time with him,” Mike says, petting the dog on the head. Ian watches and shakes his head.
“So did you ask her out yet?” Adam asks Ian. “Gonna do it when I get back,” Ian says.
“He’s nervous,” Brendon says quietly to Adam.
“I heard that,” Ian says.
“I know,” Brendon says.
The deer has bled out by the time they walk over there. Its tongue is hanging out. The dog starts to smell the carcass. Mike gives the chain a tug, stopping him.
“Well, I’ll start then,” Brendon says, pulling out a knife.
“Good idea,” Ian says, trying to look away.
“No, pay attention. You’re doing the next one,” Brendon says, pointing the knife at Ian.
Brendon stabs into the deer’s chest and starts cutting down to the stomach.
This is why you do it, Ian thinks, looking on, disgusted.
“Now, the key is to get all the guts out,” Brendon says as he pulls out some entrails. The men cover their noses. The stench of blood and flesh fills the air. The cold air makes the heat from the inside of the deer visible.
His writing style is fast paced. When he wrote his novel Aftermath, he wanted it to feel like a television show. Joe doesn’t like boring descriptions. He finds filler scenes to be a book killer and makes sure that every chapter has an immediate purpose or a purpose later on.