You get the gist of this story within the first hour, and then get beaten over the head with it over and over and over for the remainder.
Corporate entities have co-opted government, armies have been privatized, and the soldier on the ground is endangered more by bureaucracy than by the enemy. It's a good premise, and not horribly executed, but...it lacks subtlety. It's pretty preachy at times.
The sci-fi stuff -- the military parts -- are good, though not up to the standards of Campbell's Lost Fleet books, and they play out like interludes between the preaching about how the officers don't know anything and the non-coms should be able to run the army without oversight.
This book has a lot in common with Stephen King's "The Stand," as an apocalyptic event leaves a 1980's-era America in shambles, and a few survivors are left to square off in a good-vs-evil battle.
A few of the plot twists are predictable. As is common in long books, this one has a few slow sections. But overall, the pacing was good. It's a well-told story, with compelling characters, and excellent narration.
This isn't the best-written book, but at the same time, it's serviceable. File it under throw-away listens: agreeable, light zombie fare, but not a whole lot of substance. If this is what you're looking for, you won't be disappointed. It's a zombie shoot-em-up, after all.
The reader is a little stiff, but not unlistenable, and he matches the writing style, which is sort of Tom Clancy-Lite: a bit wooden, a bit heavy on the details. This is the sort of writing that never mentions a gun without telling you what model it is and how many bullets it holds in its magazine, while the characters strive to become even two-dimensional.
If this book had only ended after the first part, it would have been an instant favorite of mine in this genre. After a great beginning, the second half of the story turned into a total grind. I was happy to reach its end. Narration and production were both great.
Listening to this book is like being trapped at a dinner party with a guy who thinks he's a lot wittier than he really is.
I agree with the other reader reviews that label this audiobook as tedious, self-indulgent, and most of all, unfunny.
For what it's worth, I'm someone who would generally fall right into Hodgman's demographic. I like non-sequitur, deadpan, sarcastic humor -- and I don't think I even chuckled during the 5+ hours of this that I forced myself through.
Wow. This was a great listen. Excellent narration, excellent writing. Here's hoping that audible puts together another volume of stories set in this very believable and superbly-wrought world.
I might pick it up and try to finish it again later, but the writing is pretty poor overall.
I think it was the line "You couldn't really tell how tall he was until he stood up from behind his desk..." that killed it for me.
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