The Remaining: Aftermath by D J Molles

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The Remaining: Aftermath by D J Molles

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Category: Dystopian Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Aftermath' opens moments after the end of D J Molles' 'The Remaining'. Captain Harden is back and this time he has to face up against crazed infected zombies, but also militant factions of humans. Will Harden be able to complete his mission? 'The Remaining: Aftermath' is an action packed Dystopian Science Fiction novel that combines actions with horror.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 416 Date: June 2014
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 9780356503479

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A week is a long time in politics, but it feels infinitely longer in a zombie apocalypse. The Remaining started a new series of books that followed trained military expert Captain Lee Harden and his mission to rebuild America should the undead hit the fan. As an introduction, The Remaining did a great job in creating the world and exploring Harden’s tenacity to stick to the mission, but it ended so abruptly. The Remaining: Aftermath picks up moments later and continues the tale, but does it still deliver a week into his mission?

If Harden is not being chased by virus infected crazies, he is being shot at by unfriendly humans. Either way, it appears he is always out of luck, until ‘Aftermath’. Harden has now found a stable community that he can build upon to realise his mission of restoring the ideas behind what makes America great. With limited resources, Harden and some of the other survivors set out to find a hidden military bunker full of supplies. All that is in the way is an army of the undead and a few military nutcases – easy.

Aftermath continues in the tone and style of The Remaining in both a positive and negative way. The pace remains high and the action even seems to hot up in book two as the mindless threat of the undead begins to evolve. This is coupled with a larger and more threatening human presence. Not only must Harden combat the violent groups outside of his own, but factions from within that plan to use old-fashioned politics to usurp power.

Where the series falls down once more is in the episodic style. To say that The Remaining owes a lot to The Walking Dead is an understatement – they are two similar worlds that are built on similar character and episodic development. Where 'Aftermath' is able to improve on 'The Walking Dead' is the fact that the undead are not actually zombies, but infected. This opens up far more potential for Molles to explore his creations as they begin to think in a pack mentality that alters the way the humans must survive.

There is a larger universe to 'The Remaining' books that is very interesting, but feels just out of reach. Molles is more interested in telling a snapshot of the story and filling it with action, a reader will have to go through the entire set to get a better understanding of how the world of 'The Remaining' came to be. Thankfully, if the action remains as entertaining as in 'Aftermath' this will not be problem as getting the overview will be a joy. Some of the sequences are electric – a struggle for petrol on a quiet road, or the hospital stand-off. I also liked the introduction of a human threat and the way that Molles concludes this book in a way you may not suspect.

All of Molles’ The Remaining books should be read in order if you can as although each is a great action science fiction horror, the main series narrative does add to the fun. At times 'Aftermath' just feels like an empty-headed action book, but knowing that it is part of a larger vision really fleshes it out.

If this book appeals you really should read the first in the series first and you might also enjoy Sand by Hugh Howey.

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