After: The Shock - Scott Nicholson

After: The Shock

By Scott Nicholson

  • Release Date: 2013-10-26
  • Genre: Science Fiction
Score: 4
From 309 Ratings

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"Nobody thrills like Nicholson does. Nobody." - J.A. Konrath, Origin

The first book in the After post-apocalyptic thriller series from an international bestselling author. Look for the other books, the free prequel After: First Light, After: The Echo, After: Milepost 291, After: Whiteout, and After: Red Scare.


A massive solar storm erases the world's technological infrastructure and kills billions. While the remaining humans are struggling to adapt and survive, they notice that some among them have...changed.

Rachel Wheeler finds herself alone in the city, where violent survivors known as "Zapheads" roam the streets, killing and destroying. Her only hope is to reach the mountains, where her grandfather, a legendary survivalist, established a compound in preparation for Doomsday.

Other survivors are fleeing the city, but Zapheads aren't the only danger. Rogue bands of military soldiers want to impose their own order in the crumbling ruins of civilization. When Rachel discovers a 10-year-old boy, she vows to care for him even if it means her own chances of escaping are lower.

And the Zapheads that were once simple to evade are evolving, developing communal skills even as they lay waste to the society they will eventually replace.


Scott Nicholson is author of more than 30 books, including The Red Church, The Harvest, Creative Spirit, and The Skull Ring. His website is


  • Uhhh it’s ok

    By Mithrandir1986
    Repetitive word usage. Little to no understanding of the mechanics of guns or the meaning of the word semiautomatic.
  • Not A Fan… ’Til Now

    By b#
    I’m not a fan of post-apocalyptic Zombie stories—movies or books. I’ve seen a few of the former (loved Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) and read virtually none of the latter. Until now. Sorta. AFTER: THE SHOCK is a semi-zombie novel, with a premise that seems much more likely to occur. In Nicholson’s apocalyptic tale, the evil creatures are called, “Zapheads”—Zombie-like people who attack and kill non-Zapheads whenever they can. Bands of survivors, young and old, striving to stay alive, appear to be converging to a central location off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. They’re searching for a safe place—a sanctuary—where they can be protected from the Zapheads. Along the way the survivors blend together and fight against each other, much as I’d expect people to do when faced with such a chaotic and devastating world. The locale is part of the appeal for me: I live in NC and love the mountains. The other appeal is the potential for realism: Zapheads, created by recent solar flares, bringing them to attack helpless survivors. And they aren’t static. They seem to be changing. Evolving. Scott Nicholson drives the tension and fires up the thrills, making, After: The Shock, an entertaining and entrancing read.
  • Tired of series!

    By Ssbianchi
    We need some kind of warning when a book is going to and literally in the middle of the story, and require you to purchase the next book in order to find out what happened. So frustrated! And it is totally wrong!… It's like the Fifty Shades ending from the movie.
  • Zombies with a brain

    By Miriwina
    I didn't intend to read another zombie story. I was looking for a novella to read in between other books and touched the cover by accident. It opened, I read a few pages, and I thought, that will do. I don't need to finish it anyway. Well I did. Like most zombie stories, the book has no ending and promises to have a sequel (or two). None of the plot lines were actually finished or at least not in a way that would leave you satisfied. It’s well written though and even if the genre isn't new, the author found a way to make it original. The zombies (called zapheads because it happened after solar flares) are different from other zombies you see in most books. They act differently. They are not crazed killers. Actually, they seem to be able to think and coordinate attacks and might even have feelings. If you're not tired of the genre, you should give it a try, but know there are many more books in the series.
  • Tedious, repetitive, dull.

    By Snap Alongs
    The action is repetitive and dull. Most of the character's find them selves in situations they created by their own stupidity- oh hey I'm surrounded by "zap heads" (zombiesque critters) and for now they're ignoring me, so why don't I LOUDLY shout out to my friend I see down the road!? It's not like I'm up a church steeple with no way out! oh wait I am!!! That seems to be a major plot device with this one. Eye rollingly awful plot turns created solely to create some drama or suspense. Very heavy handed and tedious after the fourth or fifth time. Not one character I could care about. Each one doing nothing except making stupid decisions or doing something so mind numbingly dumb it's laughable. Oh and all the action appears to take place in a few blocks of a neighborhood. Glad this was a freebie.
  • Awesome

    By Sr3917
    Loved it
  • Lexile Range?

    By skuls killer 101
    Where is the Lexile range on this!
  • Addictive!

    By CrysCharming
    Non stop. Can't stop reading when you start. Great characters and story.. Love love love!!
  • It's a different take on the apocalypse.

    By Mech360
    Eh. It's refreshing that it's not a thermonuclear or zombie (being done to death right now) apocalypse. I just couldn't get behind the mechanism of this apoc. frying people's brains. Toss in a couple plot holes, a small lack of research, and characters acting out of their norm. I can't stay with this series. Maybe these are intentional, and'll play in later...