Horizon (Aftertime Series #3)

Horizon - Sophie Littlefield Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! Sophie Littlefield concludes her Aftertime trilogy in the same way she delivered parts 1 and 2 – realistically and not shying away from writing about pain and loss. This is a series that will break your heart and at the same time you will remain a fan. Horizon begins months after Rebirth ended, there is a slight time lapse and the characters’ positions and relationships have changed. Ms. Littlefield drops the reader in to the book and there is a bit of catching up to figure out what is going on - -not a lot but some. Cass is still damaged, still struggling and still making mistakes. What Sophie Littlefield does so well in this trilogy is write characters who are in pain, who are damaged and who make decisions and act as damaged characters would. But she also writes characters who have tremendous potential – so in a nutshell that is Smoke, Dor, Sammi, Ruthie and Cass. They are all individuals who are hurting, who are damaged but who have amazing potential to overcome their past and do great things. Once it gets going, Horizon is filled with action, drama (in the good way) and revelation after revelation. It was a treat to read. I recommend this series, especially for people who are okay with their characters starting off troubled and much less than perfect but who progress and change over the series. Cass (the main character) will make decisions and choices that feel like a betrayal, but they are real, they are raw and that is what made this series so great.I really like the direction that Horizon went; I can see that it may upset many readers and fans of this series. But I loved it. I am warning you, that if you read ahead there will be spoilers.Smoke was wonderful for Ruthie and Cass during the brief time they had together, but Cass never truly had him. Cass was never Smoke’s priority, he needed to save the world and atone for his past and Cass just didn’t fit into that. Dor I liked from the beginning, I liked him in Rebirth and the resolution of the story was very satisfactory, well at least in part. I understand this is a Harlequin book, but true love in how we experience it in our world now doesn’t seem to be able to fit in to Afertime. But what Dor and Cass have, makes sense. It works for them in Aftertime.I did have some problems with this book, maybe I missed them and am open to hearing about that; but these missing elements bothered me. The storyline about Ruthie being “special” that was introduced in Rebirth was just completely dropped and not revisited. The first 30% of this book was very choppy and at times hard to follow due to the switches in points of view – new points of view that did not exist in the first two books. There were some holes in the storyline, for example how did the traveling party manage to fill all of their vehicles with gasoline? How did the walkers keep with up with the driving vehicles? For much of the end of the book, during the travel part – Ruthie was not included and then would suddenly be included; it just seemed odd, obviously Cass was caring for her during the trip and the care of a 3 year old on a foot travel into the mountains is not easy. Her absence seemed to be an oversight and well, just not complete. Why were the beaters adapting? Why wouldn’t the dangerous plant grow in the new location – if it had been spreading east that seems to imply it could survive colder climates.