I am living proof that the universe has a sense of humor.
The story concept of a virus virtually decimating the human population is of course not a new one and has made for some really exciting books in the past. Cronin's idea of infected killer bats in some deep jungle having this virus just falls short. As infectious as this virus turns out to be, it seemed to have just stayed put for centuries in the jungle with no human infection.
The spread of the virus does make for a somewhat interesting read. As the world starts to collapse, the story focuses on several characters and adds a good measure of suspense. However, this is were the story starts to fall apart. The rest of this long book deals with a small community of survivors roughly a hundred years after the end of civilization. The reader is subject to ongoing and all too frequently mind dulling lengthy descriptions of characters, their tasks and friends.
To add insult to injury, this book is only the first part of a series. This was only the second time in my life I stopped reading a book. I absolutely, positively cannot recommend this book!
I really enjoyed this book! I was hesitant because reviews were all over the place. Someone said the beginnign was a lot of back story abotu chjatracters that weren't relevant. I highly disagree. I enjoyed this journey through the decaded. It felt like Mad Max meets night of the livign dead or somthing. Great book though I wanted more in the end. It became a little unsurprising when (spolier alert) everyone you thought were dead began resurfacing.
The characters are incredibly detailed in this suspenseful novel. This is NOT some yarn in which the moves are telegraphed chapters in advance. Extremely well written and suspenseful. The breadth of human personality and motivation is amazing. This is one good book. No cliches in the story lines or characters. My only criticism has to do with the narration by Scott Brick. His default reading persona is that of a cynical slightly sarcastic story teller. It was not a good fit for this book. His tone is better in police procedurals than in this type of book.
Cronin's attempt at "epic" is missing ...no, is too detail-heavy ...no no, at times, tedious ...no, painfully tedious(that's it) ...no, insultingly tedious(aww, yes, much better). What Cronin and publisher is selling here is 36 hours of fishing with incredibly boring detail which, for some inexplicable reason, is deemed "epic" ...I suppose for it's length. "Epic" is not multitudes of descriptive narrative stacked one upon another, rather, it is story evolution. 36 hours of my time wasted by what is the most insulting, abrupt ending I've ever experienced. The sad thing is ...there is a story here. A good story, which deserves better treatment. This book is completely formulaic with only one intent ...sell the sequel. Sorry, but this writer is one fish that is swimming away.
I won't even call this a book. It was an adventure from the time I started listening until the last sentence was spoken, it was a roller coaster ride. Very well done. Great Plot. Kept my interest. More over, I hope another will be available soon. Justin Cronin surprised me utterly. I am a total Stephen King, Dean Koontz girl but there is definately a new sheriff in town.
Listening to this book is definitely an investment of time. However, unlike others, I was captivated by the story. It did end a little abruptly but I am not put off by a less than tidy ending. It ends with a new beginning implied. I hope Cronin continues in a new book with the rest of the story. I can see the next title as "The War." If you think of it in terms as a continuing story, the book ends at the only place it could.
I was totaly invested in this book. It was entertaining and scary. It took a while to get use to the narrator's voice because he sounds a little creepy but the content totally makes up for it.
This was my first audio book and while it took me a bit to get into it, I soon found that I couldn't wait to keep going. I agree that the ending could have been different even given that this is supposed to be a trilogy.