Review: Aftershock by Jill Sorenson

THERE'S A FINE LINE 

As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers-including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright...

BETWEEN PERIL AND PASSION

Handsome and take-charge Garrett aids Lauren in her rescue efforts, even as the steely look in his eyes seems to hide dark secrets. When a gang of escaped convicts goes on the attack, Garrett's bravery makes him more than a courageous bystander to Lauren. If they can save the others before time runs out, maybe, just maybe, they can explore the fire igniting between them-if the truth about who he really is doesn't pull them apart forever....
 


When an 8.5 earthquake leaves Lauren trapped in an underpass she's not sure what will happen. She meets Garrett who helps Lauren with aiding people medically and he seems to know how to handle the situation while thinking clearly. They end up being 2 of 11 people left living out of many, and two of those quickly succumb to death. With only 9 people left they gather supplies from cars and hope they'll have enough to last until they are rescued. 

Besides surviving they also have to fight for their lives when two convicts from a prison transport make it their goal to make the remaining survivors miserable. On top of that Penny's only a few days from giving birth, Sam is unconscious with a head trauma, and that doesn't include what happens when one of the convicts, Jeb, starts shooting people. 

During all of this Garret and Lauren are trying to fight their attraction to one another as well as deeper feelings that they have towards each other. Garrett says that he's not free to be with Lauren and she's finally letting herself feel after closing her emotions off for so long. It's an intense situation that brings them together in a way that would have never happened without the disaster. But what will happen when they are rescued...if they are rescued. 

This is a book that's not for the faint of heart. If you're looking for light and fluffy then look elsewhere. This is a gritty, descriptive, intense story about a natural disaster. I think the thing I liked about it so well is that Sorenson didn't try to make light of any of it. She didn't try to save anyone's sensibilities by making it seem that it wasn't that bad. It was graphic and that was perfect for the book. Having been through the Northridge earthquake in 1994 and experienced the destruction of a 6.7 magnitude I can't even imagine what an 8.5 magnitude earthquake would be like – but I thought Sorenson did a great job of bringing it to life, so to speak. 

The issues with food, water, taking care of the sick and dead, fighting off convicts who had nothing but evil and hatred on their minds were all realistic. The interpersonal relationships that we read about between the survivors were tense but showed a different side of humanity and acceptance. 

Garrett and Lauren were great characters. I had some issues with Garrett and his attitude of “I don't deserve...” (add your own word and he probably said it), but it was mostly how he didn't deserve Lauren's admiration because of his past mistakes. I could understand this to a point but he took it to the nth degree. Both he and Lauren grew in the story and that was very nice to read. 

In the end I really liked the story. The romance took a backseat to everything else but in that situation it was expected. I would have thought less of the characters had it been otherwise. Sorenson has given us a pretty true-to-life novel and I would definitely recommend it. 

Rating 4 out of 5 

Jill Sorenson

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