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AFTERLIFE

Darkest Serial I’ve Ever Read

By MaddiroseX, author of Twisted Cogs

Jan 8, 2014: This was a very difficult review to write.

The world of Afterlife itself is incredibly well set up, and as a huge scifi fan/writer I have to give the author credit for creating an awesome setting that merges dystopian, futuristic, and cowboy-western themes quite well. The characters are believable and intriguing, and I enjoy how his protagonists are flawed and human. Hell, there’s even a pretty illustration at the beginning of each chapter, that does even more to bring the great setting to life. With every criteria I normally use to judge whether I like a web serial or not, I would give Afterlife 4-5 stars.

BUT

I can normally stomach violent serials, or gory serials, or serials with very dark and adult themes. Afterlife is the first web serial I’ve encountered where I literally had to take a break and do something else before I could continue reading it. I finished the first chapter feeling honestly relieved that the establishing violence was over, only to find more waiting in every chapter. It’s not just that Afterlife is violent, it’s violent in incredibly dark ways. Multiple innocents, civilians, and children are brutally killed in inventive ways over the course of the first few chapters alone, and the reader is not spared the details. While there are later chapters in which the targets of the violence are more "typical" (read: faceless mooks) there are no chapters so far that don’t contain graphic violence.

I realize this is probably unhelpful in a review, but I suppose in the end I’m really just torn about Afterlife. Great character interaction, great setting, and acceptable writing skill on the one hand, but on the other . . . it can be so dark (especially at the beginning) as to taint the rest of the serial. I’ve read all of the currently available chapters (1-6), and although it’s very engaging, I just don’t think I can keep on reading.

If you don’t enjoy violence or darkness in your serials, avoid this one with prejudice. If you do enjoy violence and darkness in your serials, still proceed with caution.

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