Chronicles of After and Before

Sequel to The Ozimord Project

Fiction - Science Fiction
396 Pages
Reviewed on 08/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Chronicles of After and Before: Sequel to The Ozimord Project by Vera Mont continues the tale of the Ozimord Project but from the view of three new characters who documented every life-altering event they went through. Dr. Gref Abur, Oola, and SO Hamad share their findings with readers through journal entries, letters, and logs. Colonization greatly impacted the new planets as they were bombarded with an influx of changes. As Oola, Gref, and SO Hamad take readers on their journey of self-reflection, understanding, and adaptation, they are left to realize what going to Earth means for these planets.

Vera Mont ensures her readers got their money’s worth with Chronicles of After and Before. The Ozimord Project was released in 2019, and I never expected there to be a sequel. I was pleasantly surprised to find it and was even more excited when I read the blurb. The jump in the POVs made the plot exciting. The fragmented narrative allowed me to form a connection with the three protagonists at different points in their journeys. The descriptions revealed so much of what was happening without being too long or tedious. The socio-political and environmental impact of the “invasions” was perfectly detailed. I loved the log entries of SO Hamad from Ozimord because I was looking forward to seeing what happened there, although Oola already had my heart from the beginning. Dr. Abur was perhaps the most coherent and left much information for future generations. This novel was exactly what I wanted from Vera Mont. She executed everything perfectly. From world-building to character development, she gave me a complete entertainment package I enjoyed until the end.

Jamie Michele

Chronicles of After and Before: Sequel to The Ozimord Project by Vera Mont is a speculative fiction novel set after centuries of warfare, when Earth's three most powerful nations finally unite, forming a federation with an interstellar reach a millennium into the future. Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative, survivors from a collapsing Earth civilization build a three-planet empire, trading with alien races. Both timelines face issues of political strife, popular unrest, energy shortages, and economic troubles. They independently discover a resource-rich habitable planet called Ozimord. In the former, an exploration team goes missing on Ozimord, which is under the Federation Spaceship Vanguard's surveillance. In the latter, Ozimord is identified as a potential solution to their crises, but a disastrous expedition results in mutiny and loss. Unbeknownst to the new settlers, Ozimord is their ancestral Earth. Both timelines are chronicled by survivors experiencing pivotal, life-changing events.

Chronicles of After and Before is one of those science fiction novels that are introspective enough to be considered literary fiction, as author Vera Mont writes a deeply thought-provoking and complex storyline that goes above and beyond the standard genre fare. I loved the way Mont introduces the continuity of species while still harnessing a revised order through the introduction of genetically modified animals, the preservation of DNA and knowledge for a post-apocalyptic future, and the exploration of a society without a traditional economy or monetary system. For me as a dedicated environmentalist, the standout is when it becomes clear that no matter where in the universe we go, we have a habit of destroying its ecosystem. Even with a second chance, Mont portrays depleted soil and stressed plant life, leading to a failing skree harvest and worsening crop conditions. The ecological consequences of human colonization and the impact of environmental degradation make it feel really, really authentic. Overall, Mont gives us a novel that reads like a classic and is an exceptional work. I look forward to more. Very highly recommended.

Liz Konkel

Chronicles of After and Before by Vera Mont is the sequel to the Ozimord Project. The first book introduced the civilizations that were settled on three planets following the destruction of Earth. They even established a trading relationship with an alien species. Yet that civilization was doomed to repeat history as the new world was on the verge of collapse due to factors such as energy shortages, overpopulation, and economic struggles. In search of another world to call home, New Earth sent a mission to investigate Ozimord, a habitable planet, completely unaware that they had once called this planet home. That was when everything went wrong with the mission.

The format is intriguing as it explores the story through journals and letters which are from the perspectives of three characters. The story alternates between SO Hamad’s log, Dr. Gref Abur’s journals, and Oola’s letters, giving insight into the setting, culture, dynamics, and structure of the civilization. Dr. Gref Abur’s journals depict his earlier life as he learns and grows as he becomes a doctor which creates a coming-of-age journey. These excerpts begin with Dr. Abur as a child in a poignant moment crossing a border with him hidden inside of a trunk, holding his breath and trying to hear what his parents were saying. Oola’s letters are primarily addressed to ‘my dearest Soline,’ which creates an atmosphere of longing and reflection as Oola is looking back and shares experiences. The letters explore this world further through Oola who addresses the political situation, status, and military with references to indoor aristocracy embracing local traditions and the regime.

Vera Mont pulls you into this world by allowing you to reflect alongside Oola and see more of the different dynamics within the Federation. The logbooks explore the expedition by letting you see the dangers, goals, and discoveries being made while featuring insight into the culture with references and phrases. It’s interesting to see the dynamics between the crew who are described as young, boisterous, and uninhibited with the captain often referred to as maternal. Chronicles of After and Before captures the culture, politics, civilization, expedition, and character dynamics of an epic journey told through a unique format and endearing characters.

Stephanie Chapman

Vera Mont’s Chronicles of After and Before: Sequel to The Ozimord Project is a dystopian story featuring the accounts of Dr. Abur, Oola, and Hamad. One thousand years after colonizing New Earth, humanity deteriorates and looks to Ozimord for resources. Dr. Abur’s journals start from his childhood when his family fled the tyranny of the STC Federation. He is in school to become a doctor and provides his view of the freedom that his family enjoys. An admiral who has risen to become the Governor of the STC has purchased Oola, a prostitute. She writes letters to Soline, a woman enslaved by her prior master, about the Governor’s pursuits. Hamad landed on Ozimord to find the missing emissaries and the three men that were supposed to prepare the natives for the future. Stranded, Hamad finds the natives are more sophisticated than he had imagined.

Vera Mont gave three differing views of humanity. The transitions between each perception were clear, and the timeline was easy to follow. The Governor facilitated Oola’s freedom. She admired his attempts to reform the STC. Taib’s stories to Oola provided vivid details of the living conditions of the citizens. Dr. Abur’s idolization of President Maada and his father were inspiring motivators for him. His college experiences were realistic and relatable to being a dedicated student. I liked Hamad’s story the most. The advanced technology and conservation on Ozimord boggled his mind. His adventures and experiences present a view of a large, cohesive family unit. They interweave an overall theme of communities working together and enriching lives. The Chronicles of After and Before is a good choice for dystopian fans who are interested in reforming humanity’s destruction of the planet.

K.C. Finn

Chronicles of After and Before is a work of fiction in the science fiction, post-apocalyptic and intrigue subgenres, and it forms the follow-up novel to The Ozimord Project. Penned by author Vera Mont for the general adult audience, this thought-provoking science fiction novel delves into the consequences of human actions across time and space. The story takes place in a distant future where the descendants of three spaceships that fled Earth are now facing the repercussions of their past mistakes. Overpopulation, economic struggles, and political strife plague their galactic empire. In parallel, Earth has survived its own devastation and is slowly rebuilding a sustainable society. When New Earth discovers the habitable planet Ozimord, they are unaware that it is their old home, Earth. The mission to survey and potentially colonize the planet quickly spirals into chaos, leading to mutiny and the loss of the spaceship.

Author Vera Mont weaves a complex narrative through the perspectives of three chroniclers, each experiencing life-altering events. The characters grapple with their roles in shaping their respective worlds, and the novel raises profound questions about the cyclical nature of humanity's mistakes and the potential for learning from history. With a blend of science fiction, social commentary, and intriguing characters, I was most impressed by how well the dialogue was utilized to convey complex themes without the need for too much extensive prose exposition. Mont's rich world-building and intricate storytelling make this a compelling addition to any science fiction enthusiast's bookshelf, and overall, Chronicles of After and Before offers a unique and engaging reading experience that I’d highly recommend.