I really enjoyed the epic nature of this, from how the virus started to, hundreds of years later, coping with the same problem, and what hath wrought the earth. Very, very entertaining. Very well read. Loved every minute of it.
This audiobook consisted of 5 parts and was almost 37 hours long. The first few hours told some pretty compelling stories about several interesting characters. Then jump ahead to the future. The next 30 or so hours could probably have been told in 10. Hardly anything happens to the nondescript stereotypes that populate the bleak landscape. I had a hard time picturing most of the characters, even after spending so many hours with them, although I think the female characters were drawn with a little more definition than the males. And there were all sorts of little niggling details that did not make sense ... like... how come the only books left were old classics... there seemed to be nothing from the late 20th or 21st centuries, although apparently there were a number of artifacts from that time period, such as computers and humvees.
With some books, I am so engrossed that I don't want them to end. That wasn't the case with this one. I couldn't wait for it to end but stuck it out to find out what happens. It wasn't worth it! The ending was horribly abrupt.
Scott Brick, the narrator, does a good job giving distinct voices to the various characters, but he tends to have a slghtly plaintiff tone and plodding pace. It's already so ponderous, bleak, and totally devoid of any humor -- it doesn't need to be slowed down any more with the reading.
Writer, Reader, Former Bookseller (RIP Borders)
Think Lord of the Rings good. The execution of this epic is flawless. Nearly 900 pages in print, and over a day on audio-- yet it never wanders off coarse, self-indulges, or over-explains. Reminiscent of The Stand, only not boring. Like The Road, but with a plot and occasionally something good happens. Similar in ways to Atlas Shrugged, without the 40 page rant. Comparative to Jurassic Park, if you cried when the dinosaurs died. It is a true masterpiece of a novel with poetic descriptions of people, places, emotions, and events that are so accurately worded they evoke the actual texture, sounds, feelings, and smells. Suspension of disbelief is not necessary-- Cronin takes you there. The characters (all of them) are dimensional, conflicted, contradictory, emotional, and soulful... real. The narrative is eloquent and at times jaw-droppingingly beautiful, but like good poetry, it's beauty is in its concise accuracy. This novel is based in a mostly invented reality, but yet, Cronin never feels obligated to explain anything outright in narrative or through cheap device. And it works, I never feel left in the dark. He never stoops to hackneyed metaphors or, worse, to inventive comparisons that are awkward and contrived. Cronin has mastered the art of popular fiction.
I want to mail a copy of this book to every living author with a note that reads "THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE!"
As per story line, Cronin, again, amazes. He has, what is on its surface, the most overdone plot in the genre; Military experiment goes bad and causes apocalyptic nightmare (yawn)- oh yeah, and there's zombie vampires (heard it). BUT, then he somehow turns it all on its side by taking it in such a fresh new direction with amazing story telling and fantastic characters while still honoring the original folklore and remaining unpredictable to the bloody end! WHAT!? Yup. Amazing.
Scott Brick's voice does the tone justice, and his style is perfect for the narrative.
Yes. Buy this book.
I love long books, but this one dragged out too long. There were brief periods of very edge of the seat narrative, but overall I think this one just missed the mark. I don't know if I think it has "sequel" written all over it like a lot of reviewers here commented on...but I do agree that it ended up with a wimper and not a bang. I'm on the fence as to whether I will read any sequels if or when they appear. Mr. Cronin will have to tighten up his writing style a bit in my opinion.
This book i could not finish.I can't remember ever not finishing a book.It went on and on and went off on tangents that had nothing to do with the story.This is one that would be better as a movie.
Way too long. Too many flashbacks, flashforwards, new characters, unanswered questions. Slow pace. By the time I got to some action, I was so impatient for it that it was always dissapointing. I was sick of the narrators reading, he seemed to be whining the whole time. It wasnt over soon enough.
I started off not loving this book, then got really hooked - to the point of volunteering for errands so I could listen some more. I thought it was an interesting study on what would happen in this situation. I loved Auntie's diary entries. I have to say the ending disappointed me. I'm not sure how it could have been done better, but it left me wishing it had gone differently. All in all, it was very good mind candy.
While the concept and the plot are inventive and interesting, this book was WAY longer than it needed to be. Character development in a book is good, but this went way too far. Had this been a normal-length book my review would be very different. Why it was so drawn out, I have no idea. By half-way through I was finishing it out of principle and by the end I wished I hadn't bothered.
I am not done listening to this book yet but so far I love it. I even want to buy the book to reference back to anything I may have missed. I listen to this book in my car on my GPS. I'm glad I didn't read some of these negative reviews. I would have missed a great story. I even told my friends about this great book. I had no idea when I first started this book it was a 'vampire' story. I got it because is was on special for 1 credit. I didn't start it right away. When I started listening I liked the narrator's voice and kept listening. When I realized it was about vampires, I was pleasantly surprised. I like it so far and am going to keep listening. I guess I might not be happy with the ending but no story ends the way we want it to end. I judge a book by if it is entertaining and makes me think. This book is entertaining me. I would have ordered it for 2 credits.
This was a hodge podge of so much mishmash that I could not finish it. The same things kept happening over and over and now I've started doing it.
5 volumns of this Mr. Cronin. You could have told a good one in two.