The Aftermath by Jen Alexander
Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville—polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibals. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge—sometimes with devastating consequences—all just to live another day.
With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.
If they play the game right, they are each other’s best hope for survival—and a life beyond the only world Claudia’s ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath.
Claudia is in the middle of a vicious game that feels a little too real. She meets Declan when trying to escape and decides to team up. But both are keeping secrets from each other.
The Aftermath is a dystopian society steeped in violence and mystery. The story moves along quickly and wasn’t quite what I expected. But I thoroughly enjoyed this impressive debut. The characters are intriguing, and captivating. The suspense builds to an exciting and surprising ending. I’ll definitely be picking up the next in this new series.