If you like your character's personal traits and motivates presented as obviously as a fish across the face, you might like this. It is very well narrated very well (Ray Porter is one of the best) and honestly the story might end up compelling, but it is so over the top cliche and dumbed down. I hate to say that as I do not want to sound arrogant. There is nothing wrong with any book or style - it is just personal preference. I just tend to tune out things when I read/hear about cops who don't always play by the rules, by tough guy cops that rub people the wrong way but always get results, etc - more so when you are told specifically of these things instead of learning from how the character acts and interacts.
Ray is great. To me that is basically a fact. he was not the issue for me in this, though because he is so good at capturing what the author intends he really accentuates the protagonist's douche-ness and cliche driven personality.
It seems like it is not your everyday zombie fair, which is refreshing. Heck - they actually say zombie in it (in every other zombie book it is like that word never existed). It ties it in with it being terrorism driven/created - also a good twist.
System and software engineer from the UK now living and working in Silicon Valley.
The story, less the science and technical detail, is quite engaging as zombie books go. The whole science of zombies is ridiculous, but this is fiction so who cares.
The plot is reasonably complex and involved. The timing of events is reasonably well thought out, but the interactions with various military groups were rather far fetched. How much disbelief do you suspend?
Ah, the reading. As an English man I found the 'English' accents terrible. Can he only do an English that sounds like a brain damaged Cockney? This is the sort of 'English' accent that Americans use when they don't know they are being offensive. The bad accents were too much of the story to ignore. Other than that, and some weird pronunciation, Aden is Ayden not Ahden, the reading was OK. He was, at least, consistent. But really, not good.
It is a mistake to spend too much time explaining your fictional science, as an author you may be impressed with what you have learned, but it just provides more danger of revealing the holes. Prions are not indestructible, enzymes crack up proteins, even prions. They can be burned too. Reaction and action times probably come in this area too. The fastest anyone can react to a simple stimulus is around 100 milliseconds, typical is around 200. So NOBODY can react to a change and implement an alternate attack in 30ms. That's utterly ridiculous.
He really needs to find a better firearms instructor. That thing about 22s rattling around in the head and mushing the brain... did he learn that at a bar? It is rubbish. No professional chooses to take a hand gun to a battle as their primary weapon. No professional enters a combat situation without body armor. Nobody can tell the difference between a 9mm or 40S&W Glock without picking it up and reading it, they are virtually identical. A heart shot with a firearm will still take 20 seconds to incapacitate someone. The things you stick in semi automatic handguns are magazines, gang bangers use clips because they know no better. A clip is a device for holding loose rounds for loading in to a magazine.
People with a history involving the military don't go discarding advice to stay out of secure matters and go on to discuss what they have been told is secret with civilians. People who do do that sort of thing don't get hired, they get visits from
Then there's the weird love of therapists and apparent disdain for scientists. His therapist is a giant of a man who is so vastly impressive that he gets instantly hired by the secret agency and gets taken along on missions. Err. No. You see the shrink when it is all over. But our hero is so offended with the tame scientist that he wants to smash his face in for not being broken up by the reality of zombie involved slaughter. And yet he makes a big thing of not being too concerned himself later. I have worked with a lot of military types and that sort of expectation, even demand, for an emotional response is very artsy American, this modern emotional IQ notion perhaps. It is funny that on the one hand the author has to have had to talk to some fairly educated people about the science, and yet he needs to show disdain in his writing.
Over it all there was this weak minded pap about how damaged we were by 9/11 but that we didn't let the terrorists win by that and 7/7 and yet the US did let the terrorists win. The British, on the other hand, after 7/7, showed the US how it should be done. Life returned to normal the next day because you give terrorists their victory by changing how you live your life and spending trillions to attack uninvolved countries in a fit of teenage temper. That sort of attitude is not the attitude of special forces types who actually get the job done.
In the end the credibility gap in the zombie storyline if fine, because that's the fantasy of the book, but the ignorance of the people portrayed is the death of this book.
Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!
I loved this book! The Joe Ledger character is one that I am looking forward to hearing more from! Excellent story, and the narration was top notch. Well done!
Addicted to Audible since 2009
I'm not too into zombie stories but this one had an interesting twist in the reasons why. I won't be continuing on with this series but I will listen to a few of the Walking Dead audio books to see how they compare. Also, the narrator for this book is excellent, one of the best I've ever listened to at Audible and I will certainly look into other books he did.
At one point i was yelling at the book "JUST PUSH THE BUTTON!!!!" The ending is a HUGE disappointment. Very Days of our lives feel to giving waay too much attention to character development and not enough story line. Why do all Mad scientists make the dumbest mistakes? So Bad....getting refund on this one.
His performance was fine for the character. Unfortunately, I didn't care for Joe Ledger.
I was decidedly dissappointed by this book. Even though detective/police/government conspiracy type books have never been my thing, I decided to give it a try because I'm a fan of anything having to do with zombies and it had such good reviews from others. Unfortunately, this missed the mark for me. Ledger's sarcastic, cynical and "witty" style of speaking had me rolling my eyes on a fairly regular basis. It was just too much and seemed so forced to me. Not only that, it was exactly what I would have expected. There weren't any clever twists, cliffhangers or a surprise ending. I found the plot line trite and predictable - aside from the zombies.
If this is the genre of book you are normally drawn to, you will probably enjoy it. The character development wasn't bad and there are plenty of action-packed scenes. However, if you're going after this book only because of the zombie thing, there's a good chance you won't be happy with it.
Seriously, I must have considered purchasing this book over ten times but looked at its' cover and did not even go on to the reviews. Thankfully I finally read some reviews and bought it. Surpassed even my most hopeful expectations! Super fun, LOL funny at times, superbly written, even super plausible-ish. Just read a little...then swoosh ~ you'll quickly be drawn in for a wild ride. Enjoy it in a place where you won't be judged if you stand around quietly, concentrating intensely only to break out in loud laughter now and then.
My disappointment came from the story's characters. The protaganist Joe Ledger comes off like a high school brat with a smart mouth. Maberry fails when he tries to make this guy humorus. Joe Ledger's backstory is somewhat compelling but thats about it. Efrain Goodweather in Del Toro's The Strain series made for a much better and compelling character because it didn't seem as though Del Toro was trying too hard to make this guy a hero. Maberry just takes the easy way out and oversells this Ledger as a prototypical rebel hero.
The plot was good. But I was not on the edge of my seat with it. Again the characters just didn't move the plot along well.
Ray Porter seems to have a great range of ability. However Maberry did not give him very much to work with as far as characters. Porter's performance was great but I didn't like any other characters
It's a cool take on the zombie genre. I like what the story attempted to do.
I wish I hadn't paid for this audiobook. The Strain is superior in everyway to Patient Zero. Don't waste your time with this audiobook.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It has a similar tone to the early Joe Pitt books by Charlie Huston (the later ones in that series became preachy, but the early ones were hard-azz and justice-giving).
I really like Joe Ledger. He knows how to "teach 'em a lesson" and that's really the only reason why I read books like this - not for "world-building" or "political commentary"... just to see someone kicking azz. And he does it all for the right reasons too. Imagine Jack Reacher (author: Lee Child) in a black ops organization.
And there is a lot of that butt-kicking going on here - terrorist plot within terrorist plot and violence and guns and guts and zombies trying to get their teeth into some fresh victims. It is set in the "real world" and the science behind it all doesn't go as far into the improbable as I wish it did. It's violent and gory and there was some foul language but it wasn't overwhelming or out-of-place.
I'm starting the next in the series now. (Though it's worth noting that this story is completely resolved within this book and there are no loose ends dangling around.)
The narration is very good.
The dialogue couldn't possibly be more clich??, and the main character is (not to put to fine a point on it) a huge dick. Completely unlikeable. The narration is good, which is what kept me listening. I may go on to the 2nd book, but I don't think I can really recommend the book.