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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  70 reviews
They say the war's over when the surrender is signed. It's a lie.

America's bloody Second Civil War lasted for years. When the surrender is signed, it's supposed to be over; refugees flood the highways, trying to get back home. For Swann's Riders-especially their newest addition Lara Nelson, snatched from certain death in the Firster kamp system-there's no such thing as a h
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Orbit
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fuck. Fuck. Look, I don't often like to compare books but any reference to Handmaid's Tale is legit. This is Handmaid's Tale times a thousand million plus steroids and adrenaline and a fuckton of stupid shitty recent politics. Like, so much so that I almost put it down in the first twenty or so because it was making me nauseous. This book totally needs to come with an actual trigger warning. If you are upset and pissed off about what's going on right now, this book will make you feel really terr ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a weird book and I can't quite decide how I feel about it. Second Civil War? Intriguing (and a concept I've played with in my own writing for quite some time). But it was surprisingly hard to read, and not just because of the brutal content. And yes, it's a brutal that takes some odd turns.

The story starts in '98, which I assume is 2098, but it's glaringly obvious, like "clobber you in the head from the first chapter" obvious, that the fictional President McCoombs and the Fi
This is the first time I have ever given a Lilith Saintcrow novel less than four stars but it is just not up to her usual standard. It is clear that Saintcrow wanted to write about how much she hated Trump and then created a World War II style story to fit around those feelings of anger and fear. The result is a convoluted, hard to read and/or understand novel that replaces the word 'jew' with 'immies' (as in immigrants) and 'nazi' with 'firsters' (as in 'America first'). The characters are one ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was so lost as I started this one. I feel like there should have been a summary at the start, to explain what was going on in the world, how the civil war started and the different factions. Without that explanation I felt like as a reader I was left floundering trying to catch up. After 75 pages I realized that I wasn't going to figure things out and not sure that I cared at this point. This one just wasn't for me. ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was really looking forward to this book. Many good reviews. But after (50) or so pages, I had to call it quits. In my opinion, it was nothing more than a bashing of our current President. "Amerika First" and Nazi symbolism. The story just did not flow very well. No background, just jumping from spot to spot. But I just did not enjoy the continuous in your face political bashing of what I was hoping was going to be a enjoyable adventurous read. If I want nasty politics, I will just watch the ne ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
I would have enjoyed it much more without the blatant comparison to trump.... pretty ridiculous, the author has his “army” boiling people in concentration camps. Lol. When the federal bomb dc for first time some one says” we’ll stop at dc and forget the south we’ll build that wall they wanted, lol pretty cheesy
Rich Willson
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreakingly good..
Feb 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
band of brothers with a tiny sci-fi edge, for a modern age? meh.

and, i'm not a trumper, but the barely-veiled trump bashing became tiresome.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are too happy
Shelves: sf, fiction
A grimmer than hell story about the successful civil war waged against a Trump-clone president(only the name was changed) and his Amerika Firster followers. It includes Koncentration Kamps(K's kome from the KKK), hideous medical experiments, rape, evil Soviets and guerrilla warfare. It's a scary book since a takeover by the religious right and white supremacists is one of the more probable ways that US democracy can fail. One of the main protagonists, Spooky, is a camp and medical experiment sur ...more
Paul Daniel Ash
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
well-crafted war story/quest set in a near future post dystopia

I would tagline it as something like Saving Private Ryan meets Handmaid’s Tale but it’s so much more. the characters are all engaging, all revolving around the protagonist, a traumatized woman (CONTENT WARNING: sexual assault) who, interestingly, is really seldom treated as just a “victim.”

the storyline is energetic, with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting without overly complicating the plot. worldbuilding is smart and
Pamela Jones
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not MY Country

It's the nightmare that you wake up from in a cold sweat and think to yourself " That could never really happen... right?" Awesome read. Lilith Saintcrow takes her readers on a painful journey across an American landscape inhabited by false equivalency monsters and the destruction wrought by man's cruelty to man.
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A cautionary tale - somehow I can see this happening down the road...
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There was a book I read not too long ago based on the same topic (American War) and I figured I would like this one, but somehow I could not get into the characters.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The plot is that America had a second civil war. The book takes place right after the war ends and they have to find war criminals who basically had concentration camps where they killed people and experimented on them.

The book is pretty dark with lots of character deaths. It was well written and each character had their own voice.

K.A. Wiggins
An upsetting exploration of a near-future second American Civil War that is all too plausible, and also full of strength, heart, and humanity.
Joseph Trella
Mar 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
When I read the back cover, I thought this could be a really interesting book. I was wrong. This book is a boring mess. None of the characters are developed enough to actually care about their fates. Spooky's character is wasted and not needed in the context of the story. The whole genetic mutant story line is forced and perfunctory at best. The ham fisted propaganda is lazy. It really would have been helpful to have more of a backstory on the why and who of the civil war. Takes too long to unta ...more
Dave Johnson
Feb 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn’t bring myself to finish this. It’s a poorly written wandering story.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is an exceedingly biased political take comparing any supporters of any conservative viewpoint as literal nazis. I’ve never taken a book back before, but this will be my first.

I’ve read every other book by this author, and have loved them all.... I will never read another book written by her again.

Very, very disappointed.
Adva Barkai
Probably one of the best books I have read in a long time. Likely the best book of 2019. I was hooked from the very first page on the language, the writing, the pacing and, most of all, the story. Mesmerizing, haunting and terrifying. The past and a possible future overlaid on one another. As a granddaughter of holocaust survivors this book resonated so strongly for me. Lest we forget.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, dystopian
Afterwar by Lilith Saintcrow is a powerful dystopian novel about the United States seventy years in the future. The nation has been torn apart by civil war. Ruling from Washington D.C, President McCoombs and the America First party rule with an iron fist. Immigrants are criminals and must be forcibly sterilized. Free speech is repressed. Patriotic displays are mandatory. Failure to show sufficient patriotism will result in punishment. For the worst elements of society, there are the Reklamation ...more
Rudi Dewilde
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Afterwar is one of these dystopian thrillers that keep pouring out of the US, after the election of Trump made clear how easy the world can get fu*ked. And it's the best I've read so far. It gives a gruesome realistic portrait of America, divided by a second civil war. The story hurts from beginning till the end. Mainly because it is all so very plausible and the stories are served bloody raw. Probably the best of 2018 already... ...more
Kendall Grey
I enjoyed this book much more than the other one I read by this author. Great descriptions, though they may be too much for readers who don’t care for extensive detail or figurative language. I also felt as if this story could happen (may already be happening right now?) in reality. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This book's premise sounded awesome, but it was an underwhelming read for me. The"tough badass" writing style seemed forced, the constant overuse of adjectives was cringe-worthy, and the future war jargon was hard to follow. The story itself had some interesting points but I wouldn't recommend it. ...more
Kayla Livingston
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Excited for the concept, interested for the first handful of chapters. Then all the characters started blending together and I reached the point of "dear god just let it end." ...more
Bonnie McDaniel
This book was hard to read, and I can only imagine how tough it was to write. It's basically the American politics of today set 80 years in the future, with the widening divide and heightened polarization that has exploded into an all-out Second Civil War. There is eugenics and "Firsters," "kamps" (with all the attendant, Nazi-era horrors) holding "immies" and "partisans," and the last dying gasp of a white-supremacist culture that has been beaten back yet again, as this country seems destined t ...more
Carlos Manuel Perez
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ok, the bad first: at times even a liberal like me found the antiTrumpism in the book to be too blatant, too heavy-handed. Then I thought this aren't times for subtleties, so in your face, Trumpers. If the shoe fits and all that. Second complaint: while the background story and the hints the author drops about how things came to be, the time of the war proper and the atrocities the losing side committed are intriguing and horrifying; and the characters are alive and interesting in a lot of diver ...more
Ken Richards
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lillith Saintcrow takes the gritty realism of her more well known Urban Fantasies to that new popular trope - the next American Civil War. And uses it to excellent effect.

A broadly sketched backdrop of the causes of conflict is extrapolated from the wildest wet-dreams of the more deplorable America Firsters following the ignorant blowhard currently masquerading as POTUS. The postualted McCoombs regime is every bit as detestable as it needs to be, with its extermination kamps, religious repressio
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
3.0 out of 5 stars

Afterwar is an uncompromising story about a motley crew of raiders who hunt down war criminals after the Second Civil War. The title is a misnomer -- nothing comes after war because war never truly ends. Lilith Saintcrow’s novel explores the scars of war that live on long after a ceasefire has taken place.

There are purposeful parallels to present-day America scattered all throughout this book. Supporters of the ruling political party are dubbed “Firsters” who put “America First
Andy Polizzi
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A book for our times although it takes place 80 years from now.

For some reason the book reminded me of WWII island-hopping movies like Sands of Iwo Jima. There is the requisite tough, gruff but fair leader Swann (John Wayne), the drunken psycho killer raider, the "kid" raider, the darkly mysterious raider, the medic, the officious "regular army" officer who joins the hunt late and everybody hates initially but then come around to respect, the Greek immigrant raider who doubles as the unit's barb
Well, it was OK. I loved the concept of an America at the tail end of its second civil war, fought between "Amerika First"ers and old guard federalists, but the execution was where this one lost me.

The plot wasn't bad and was very engaging at parts, but the plot is mostly a group of guerilla fighters taking down military targets from the Amerika First regime. This read much more like a war novel with dystopia elements than vice versa, which just isn't my jam. The writing wasn't bad, per se, it
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Lilith Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as a child, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. She and her library co-habitate in Vancouver, Washington.

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