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The Remaining: Aftermath by D.J. Molles
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The Remaining: Aftermath (edition 2012)

by D.J. Molles

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Title:The Remaining: Aftermath
Authors:D.J. Molles
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The Remaining: Aftermath by D.J. Molles

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Lee has his mission to restore society and civilisation to the ruined US, destroyed by the RAGE plague turning people into ferocious, violent zombie-like beings. He’s made it to Camp Ryder but the survivors are wary. They’re surrounded by a rampaging gang that’s more than happy to destroy them and they don’t trust or have the supplies for outsiders

Lee has to prove his worth, prove his loyalty and show the camp he can help – but delivering the supplies that were stashed before society collapsed. At the same time, his mission continues – he’s not there for one group of survivors, but to try and re-establish civilisation itself. Unlike Camp Ryder, he can’t ignore other groups needing help.

This book is, in many ways, an action film in book form. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I have to say at times I do like to turn off some of the higher thinking and watch things go boom. It can be fun, it can be a good way to relax. It is what it is, and if you like guns and bullets and action and well written, pretty exciting fight scenes with a Big Damn Hero protagonist, then this will work for you. If not? Not.

Personally, I’m kind of caught in the middle. Because I can appreciate a good action book, but this book is pretty simple and devoid of any real nuance. The bad guys? Are bad. Very bad. I don’t just mean Milo’s band of evil killers (who are just that, evil killers, rapists, sadistic torturers, psychopaths), but even people who oppose Lee in the camp as well. There’s a man who speaks against him early on and he’s seen as conniving, weak, lazy and generally unpleasant even by most of the people who we meet in the camp (unlike his mute and nameless supporters) and he doesn’t just question Lee but by the end of the book he’s almost comically unreasonable. There’s no chance of us seeing this guy as having a point or even understanding why he would be doing or saying what he did even if we disagree with him – he’s just wrong.

There’s a guy put into a terrible position and forced to do something awful in the vain hope of saving a loved one. Ah, nuance and understanding? Aw hell no, that man is weak and pathetic and needs chewing out pronto before redempdeath.

And the main character, Lee? Well, in the first book he was a soldier and special forces so we always expected him to be competent and capable. But we’ve gone beyond that – he’s a Hero. He’s tough and his strong and he’s awesome. It doesn’t matter how hurt he is, he will keep on fighting. It doesn’t matter how hungry, he will skip the meal because he’s just that tough. He will back people down with the power of his steely gaze, he will fight on with broken bones and torn ligaments, he will make plans based on him tearing up several of the enemy, because he’s just that awesome. And he’s good and kind when called for, and ruthless and brutal when it’s necessary because he’s a badass with a heart of gold. People who criticise him are wrong and mean or, at very least, misguided. He’s a leader and he doesn’t so much work as a team as order around minions who recognise his awesomeness (and are fairly irrelevant anyway because he’s so awesome. Their main role is to die around him so he can then be noble and sad and have the Guilts because he didn’t save them).

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Jul 20, 2014 |
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“To Captain Lee Harden, Project Hometown feels like a distant dream and the completion of his mission seems unattainable.

Wounded and weaponless, he has stumbled upon a group of survivors that seems willing to help. But a tragedy in the group causes a deep rift to come to light and forces him into action. In the chaos of the world outside, Lee is pursued by a new threat: someone who will stop at nothing to get what he has.”

I almost didn’t pick this book up after reading The Remaining and seeing what seemed to me to be its rather huge logistical plot holes. The story was pretty good, despite the fact that I occasionally wanted to shake the author by the shoulders and ask what the heck he was thinking. With that in mind, I took the plunge and grabbed this one. Bear in mind that this book is only available in e-book format right now, with the print version not due until late June.

Molles has found his stride in this second book. By putting Harden into a larger and more settled group of people, the author allows him to go from running around aimlessly to actually planning and acting with forethought. It’s a different kind of adventure from the first book, where our hero was bouncing all over the place willy-nilly. This is the point where Hardin really begins to carry out his mission, which suits his character much better. He does have some natural leadership qualities, and having him roaming around the countryside by himself doesn’t work as well.

Also in this book, we get a more concrete antagonist than just the mindless shells of humanity. As with many stories, readers are shown that humans don’t need a rampaging virus to act like savages—we’re perfectly capable of doing that all on our own. While it’s certainly scary to think of zombie-ish creatures wandering around looking for something to attack, I find it creepier to realize that some people would do so carefully, with calm consideration, just because they could. And Molles does an excellent job at portraying people whom you wouldn’t want to meet in a dystopian setting of any kind.

With all of this, the novel feels much more cohesive than the first one, and it also feels more solid. Although the characters are running around the countryside just as much, there’s more of a goal this time around, and this makes the focus of the story work much better.

I liked this book much more than the original novel, and I’ll be picking up the next ones in the near future. Aftermath has plenty of action and all-too-plausible bad guys to make this a book that’s hard to put down once you get started.

This review originally appeared on Owlcat Mountain on April 30, 2014.
  owlcat_mountain | May 30, 2014 |
This book, like the one previous is a quick moving action packed and thrilling ride. The characters feel fairly realistic in terms of their motivations and behaviors and in that sense they are dynamic and diverse. With that said, this is pretty much where the diversity ends.
The women are all pretty much the same. They're the typical nurturing, strong via attitude, people whose roles are to comfort, cook, and nurse. This is getting old as far as I'm concerned. Angry and with attitude does not equate strength in a woman any more than nursing wounds and cooking food and giving sweet doe eyes. Good lord I want to vomit.
We've met a little Arab boy and there was a black guy we saw in passing. Molles has introduced the readers to dozens of survivors from different camps and walks of life and yet no one of consequence is Asian, or black, or Hispanic, or from any of the countless other racial and cultural designations. No one has been identified as gay, or handicap. This has been a very homogeneous story thus far and that too has gotten old.
A little more than half way through this story I was about to put it down and stop listening. I was getting bored. Fortunately we got to meet a nasty little nemesis who stirred things up. He is now dead and no doubt, if Molles wants to keep the readers engaged, he'll introduce another in the next book. There was also a nice little surprise twist that helped renew my interest. Nevertheless, I'm not certain that I'm willing to stick through this series for the long haul.
There are tons of deeply detailed descriptions of guns and extensively described shoot outs that make this a pretty heavy testosterone trip. The main character Lee, is likable enough but he isn't exactly memorable. Lee has righteous anger and a need to save the people that seems so odd to me. I know that this is what he is trained to do, but he never has a moral slip. There's never a time wen he gets tired and thinks, "maybe I should just take care of me and let these doubting annoying whining useless jackasses take care of themselves." Hell, I know that would be wrong, but it would at least be realistic. Instead, its almost as if Lee has been programmed. He's just too "good", which equals not quite human, which equals not relatable.
Molles has written a fairly engaging tale. No one is perfect, so I'm not expecting that. I've read and listened to a load of zombie books and stories and with the flood of them on the market these days few are unique. Molles has done a good job within the niche, but he hasn't really produced a story that would stay with me, as a non-former military, white male in his 20-30s.
Unique would be able bodied women, a world with more diverse characters from diverse backgrounds, people with more and interesting skill sets, a protagonist not plucked from every run of the mill video game.
It's been fun but you can only ride the roller coaster so long before you're ready to try a different ride.
We will see. ( )
  khaalidah | Mar 14, 2014 |
I liked this book equally as well as the first in the series. Since I have the same feelings about this book as the other, I'm using my review of The Remaining here. Good take on the zombie apocalypse. The Remaining series follows a soldier tasked with rebuilding civilization after a catastrophic event. I was a little worried before starting that it was going to be a military action book more than a survivors tale of the zombie apocalypse, but I was pleasantly surprised. When I read ZA books, I'm not interested in blood and gore or really gross zombie encounters and I'm not interested in hearing about main characters that are bad ass and overnight learn how to kill anything that gets in their way while leading hundreds of people to safety single handedly. I prefer realistic tales (as realistic as ZA novels can be) with groups of people who are trying to survivor after a world altering event when they have no idea how to get by in the new world and must learn day by day. This series is right up my alley.

It has plenty of characters that are easy to become invested in and it has aggravating situations that crop up that are intense while not being outrageous. The focus of the story isn't blood and gore or military style action, but the survivors and their daily struggles to make it through to the next sunrise. If ZA is your thing because of the tales of survivors, this is a good series to sink your teeth into. ( )
  AMidnightSoul | Nov 1, 2013 |
Eh. Good, but not great. Certainly not as good as the original "The Remaining". It seemed the story developed rather quickly the first half of the book and was quite engaging. Then, it suddenly halted and hung on one scene for nearly 100 pages at the hospital. I was really ready for the story to progress. There also seemed to be less of the infected this time and more dealings with uncivilized survivors. Basically, a post-apocalyptical, good guys vs. bad guys story, with a few zombies thrown in for extra thrill. With a lot of cussing and slow-paced development, I don't recommend this sequel to what was an excellent start to this trilogy. ( )
  gdill | May 16, 2013 |
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To Captain Lee Harden, Project Hometown feels like a distant dream and the completion of his mission seems unattainable. Wounded and weaponless, he has stumbled upon a group of survivors that seems willing to help. But a tragedy in the group causes a deep rift to come to light and forces him into action. In the chaos of the world outside, Lee is pursued by a new threat: someone who will stop at nothing to get what he has.… (more)

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