Nearly two decades after her bestselling The Coldest Winter Ever, Souljah returns to continue the tale of Brooklyn drug-world royalty Winter Santiaga. With her 15-year jail sentence coming to a close, Winter is ready to reclaim her throne when a friend shoots her and sends her on a torturous journey through Hell.
Now, 22 years later, a new sequel finds Winter ready to reclaim the life that should have been hers all along—but not without facing unexpected hurdles. In Life After Death, published last week, Sister Souljah continues to explore the vices that ensnare Winter and materialistic young people like her. The second novel follows Winter to a temptation-packed purgatory where she must surrender the avarice, lust, and ego that have defined her existence. Though Life After Death doesn’t take place on the literal streets of Brooklyn, the sequel joins its predecessor—and the rest of Sister Souljah’s work—in illuminating both the glamour and the danger of urban life ... Life After Death presents an opportunity to more thoroughly consider literature of its kind—for those of us who first became acquainted with Winter as teens, and for a publishing industry that still doesn’t quite understand characters like her ... Even in her condemnation of Winter’s actions, Sister Souljah—both the actual author and the character in the book—addresses the larger injustices affecting people who live in similar environments. The novelist’s critiques are interpersonal as well as societal.
... an inventive sequel ... Souljah’s fans will recognize familiar themes from her earlier realistic coming-of-age novel, while this raw and otherworldly tale conveys the terrible consequences of Winter’s poor choices, which will haunt her until she begs for redemption.
Souljah takes a bold but ultimately disappointing step with this next installment in Winter’s story, which is definitely not what readers may expect. Some may say it goes too far in places, such as descriptions of bestiality, while Winter is in purgatory. Only purchase where avid fans await this sequel.