Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz (Spoiler Review)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 338

Series: Reaper, Book 2

Genres: Sci-Fi Horror, Apocalypse

Publication date: February 5, 2021

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Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival.

But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.

Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?

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For the past five years, I let myself be defined by other peoples’ opinions. They told me I was nothing, so I believed it. They treated me like crap, and I allowed them to. But lately something had sparked in me.

Chapter Nineteen

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I really like the way that Pongratz has created his post-apocalyptical world. The issues that arise from the very beginning – such as the rarity of food even five years after the catastrophic events that started it all – are all dealt with in a real way. Even just looking at the start of the global pandemic we’re currently going through shows that any disruption to the global food market greatly impacts the accessibility of food. As humans we no longer rely on nearby food supplies, so any event as catastrophic as the Reapers coming to Earth is going to make it hard to survive. I applaud Pongratz for these subtle, but powerful, additions to the world that he’s created.

That being said, the plot itself is what truly captures a reader’s attention. The twists and turns in this story managed to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The action in this novel was thrilling and as eye catching as any action movie. Heck, even the way the characters act – both to each other but also Greg’s internal monologue – help make the situation feel real. Wouldn’t you be a pessimist if you were the cause of the end of the world?

If you’re looking for a fantastic thriller read, I’d highly recommend checking this story out. The Novella that started it all is a great stepping stone to this story. Reaper: Aftermath does a fantastic job at creating an apocalyptic world that I’d be terrified to live in but greatly enjoyed reading about.

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*Spoilers ahead*

Right away I have to say that Trent and Gregory are really cute. Before they got together they were both scared about ruining their friendship with their feelings in case they weren’t reciprocated. (I’m a sucker for this in media.) Then, once they finally admit their feelings to each other, things go to shit and Gregory ends up being forced through a Reaper door. Luckily Gregory ends up making it back safe and sound and they’re able to start officially dating. They seem really happy together, despite the shitty world around them. It’s always great to see hope in a post-apocalyptic world, and it’s even greater when it’s a cute romance.

While I’m thrilled that Gregory is a smart main character and is able to catch things about the world around him, I find it hard to believe that the Veloxans didn’t notice at least some of the things that he did about the Reapers/Dak’kar. I doubt that the hooded Reapers have never worked together before on Velerius (though it is possible the Veloxans didn’t survive the attacks… this argument can be countered, for sure).

That being said, Gregory really is a clever main character. He’s able to assess a situation and try to come up with a solution in record breaking time. Imogen froze in the face of the tarcils even after having been on Velerius for five years, but Gregory was quickly able to snap out of his horror and make the best out of a shitty situation. Though he certainly does pay for it a lot. That broken leg could not have felt nice.

I also really liked the fact that Imogen is still alive. She managed to survive for five years in an alien world! Now that is a story in this world that I would love to read! I’m fascinated to learn how the now twelve year old was able to become a commander on an alien planet – and such a badass fighter on top of that!

I truly hope that she’s able to find a purpose for herself now that she’s back on Earth. Personally, I’d like to see her be put in charge of the expanding search parties. Her fighting skills would be fantastic if she was sent back into the “wild”. I’m sure her squadron would be more than willing to go out and join her on these missions – and it would make it safe (well, safer) for the expeditions to go further and take longer than before. That squadron of Veloxans (and Imogen) are fantastic at fending off the Reapers/Dak’kar and surviving.

I can’t wait to see where this story goes next. The Veloxans are now on Earth and intermingling with the humans in Gregory’s group. I’m sure that Sam’s disappearance will come back to bite them in the ass….

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Other reviews in this series:

  1. Reaper (Book 1)
  2. Reaper: Aftermath (Book 2) *Spoiler free*

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