Horizon (Aftertime, #3)

Horizon  - Sophie Littlefield Cass Dollar hoarded hope with characteristic parsimony when she was awake, but since coming to New Eden her dreams were audacious, greedy, lusting for color and scent and life. Now that I sit here, having completed this story and the ultimate journey that Cassandra Dollar survived. I can truly understand the enormity of the Aftertime Trilogy. This series moved me, it horrified me and then it reminded me of those little things in life that really matter. In Horizon, the final book in the Aftertime Trilogy we catch up with Cass, Ruthie, Dor, Smoke and the gang in New Eden and Island in the central California Delta (Where I live :). Cass has fallen into her old habits and she working the gardens but she's lost. Lost because he choices of the past keep haunting her thoughts. She's broken and saddened because she cannot remember her time as beater and her fear is overwhelming her. But Eden is not that, this Island cannot hold the beaters back, they seem to be learning for their mistakes and this ultimately will take this rag-tag group on one last adventure up North.In my past reviews of this series I have focused on Cass and though I feel she's an amazing character, written with such care and depth I feel that in Horizon we see others in a new light and in a way this shapes how Cass finds herself or more importantly finally comes to peace with her past and forgives herself for the road she traveled. There we're several universal themes throughout this novel:How far will you go to survive? It seems throughout this whole Trilogy each character has had to make a choice as to how far they would let this new world take them. What to hold on to the past world? How to move forward in the future. I felt that in Horizon we get more a sense of community toward the end of this book. People banding together to help a child, women nursing others babies to survive and men standing up and fighting for what they believe. These themes are prevalent and seemed to be a forefront of this final chapter. There was non-stop action from the moment they had to leave New Eden, the path to the new settlement was not easy and many were lost along the way is some horrifying moments. In those moments after the Beaters were all gone and they had to take stock and see who was bitten and lost, those were the moments I came to loath. I had an ache in the pit of my stomach wondering which poor soul would have to be left behind or put down and who would have to do it. Take stock in the little things. Each day the group would take a look around them and wonder how the survived the day before. Yet they got up again tomorrow and the next day, making sure to take those moments for the "little things in life." Cass has her dreams of a garden that will feed her people and nourish her soul. For others its finding a long lost daughter and making amends and for many it's just the promise of a new day. What moves me reading this final books was how Sofia Littlefield wrapped these small blissful moments in the harsh reality of the Aftertime world. This balance leant the story such real feeling, like you could almost see yourself cherishing a warm fire after a long days journey, hope in your heart, muscles tired and world and bone deep ache like nothing you have ever experienced. In closing I leave you with my favorite moment of the book, to me this is where Cass comes to terms with her choices and past and leaves them to rest. She finally understands the fever and passion between her and Dor is not something addictive but a gift.“Cass.” His voice was low and rough and he made her name sound like a threat. “You’re…” He shook his head, and Cass understood that words eluded him, because her own thoughts were in disarray. Declarations of love were not for them. Gentle endearments would never pass between them. There would be no private names, no anniversaries. He would not sing her love songs or write her letters, and she would not be his helpmate, she would never wear his ring. But they would continue to find each other as long as the fire burned within them, and Cass knew the fire was at the very heart of her, that it would not dim until her life was at its end. “You’re mine,” he said, and then he kissed her, hard. His hands slid down to pull her against him and she felt her body respond, the heat inside her unfurling as she returned his kiss. It was over in seconds. It was not the time—and yet it was always the time, and as they headed up the trail, late afternoon sun filtering through the trees to dapple everything with enchantment, Cass wondered how she could have ever not known.