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.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
Any author who writes about zombies or vampires or any other done-to-death monster had better bring a really creative twist to the table to make a story worth their reader's time. Unfortunately that didn't happen here.
There is absolutely nothing new or interesting in this exploration of the extremely stale zombie theme.
There are plenty of other things not to like here: flat characters, crude stereotypes, inconsistent "science", etc.
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.
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.
As I listened to the book it made me wonder if I would have preferred reading it instead. I'm not sure if it was the narrator who made Ledger sound like a sarcastic 16 year old smart aleck or did the writer actually intend for his main character to be this way. Honestly, I enjoyed how the narrator portrayed most of the other characters - especially Church but I couldn't stand Ledger. Seemed a little too far fetched that someone like that would be taken seriously within the government underground.
Porter did a great job differentiating the different voices.
I'm on the fence about this. Prior to reading the book I had already bought the next two in the series... so I will now reluctantly continue. Had I not already bought them I likely would not have carried on.
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.