Short Take: “After We Live Forever,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Unique
Cons: Really, really weird; oddly long
Rating: 4 out of 5

My opinion of Ike Hamill’s books varies wildly. Some of them are absolutely amazing (Like the Madelyn series) while I dislike others. Overall he’s great, though. His After We Live Forever is odd–truly strange–and I’m not entirely sure what to say about it.

A woman named Holly and her bear (husband?) seem to move back and forth between different parts of a world. Most of those places bear resemblance to one computer game or another–survivalism games, social games–she can’t seem to pick a part that works for her, and there’s a handful of people fighting a battle between the ways of living behind her back. Some of them want her help; others not so much.

It’s bizarre how long the book is. The characters delve deeper and deeper into weird strategies that they think might work against the other groups, as Holly wanders back and forth with her bear “husband” (I still don’t get that, although it seemed that in one area they were considered to be holy).

I wish I knew what more to say about it, but that’s mostly it–you’re watching each of these groups try to outwit the others, making and breaking treaties, as Holly wanders the earth. I couldn’t get myself to stop reading it, which is weird giving how long it was, but it’s oddly compelling.

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