So many speculative fiction books and movies that explore the idea of an apocalypse focus on the events closely surrounding the apocalyptic event itself. Hell Follows After is unusual in that it explores the idea of rebuilding civilization long after the apocalypse.
©2016 Kari Carlisle
C. Henry Martens’ Hell Follows After, the title an allusion to the four horsemen of the apocalypse, begins with an intriguing juxtaposition of the old west and remnants of modern technology. Though it is the third book in the Monster of the Apocalypse Saga, each of the three is written so that the reader can enjoy one or read all in any order. And it’s secretly my favorite. Shhh, don’t tell C. Henry…
The plot of Hell Follows After takes place centuries after humanity is decimated by plagues. Martens subtly explores the potential future of politics, religion, legal systems, and cultural evolution beneath an epic story and rich characters that he’s not afraid to kill. Hey, if you can handle Game of Thrones….
Hell Follows Afterwill interest the most intellectual readers. For example, one could easily write a college essay on gender equality in Hell Follows After from a number of angles. In fact, if you’re in college and you decide to do this, send me your draft, and I’ll give you pointers. Martens writes with depth, but at the same time, even the more casual reader can sink into the drama and action without concerning him/herself with thematic complexity. And of course the pulp sci-fi lover can navigate the romance and tragedy that is peppered with lingering technologies, revived robotics, and the hope and trepidation that comes with artificial intelligence.
Is Hell Follows After a likely outcome for civilization long after the apocalypse? It is not the most cynical prediction I have read. In fact Hell Follows After may be one of the most optimistic portrayals of post-apocalypse with its hopes and dreams reflective of the old pioneers of the American west.
All three books in the Monster of the Apocalypse Saga are available in eBook and print through Amazon, and each can be read for free through Kindle Unlimited. Which one is your favorite?