Most zombie books are variations on a theme. Return Man has many of the next generation elements - the compassionate zombie hunter (a la The Last Mail Man), living in the Dead Zone, is sent on a mission to the origin of the apocalypse to find a key scientist. The story has flaws, but it is well written and the main protagonist, Henry Marco, is complex and compelling. While I wasn't immediately drawn to the narrator, he grew on me. I painted my entire bedroom to justify a continuous listen to the end.
Sure, it's a roller coaster. Vaguely experienced running, jumping, various acrobatics forced by zombies. But completely lacks a story.
Hmm. This is a tough one. The disaster scenario is interesting, the characters are pretty good. And the narrator does an excellent job. I was enjoying this book until the author's political vendetta against 'the Carters' got too extreme to swallow. And ultimately distracted me from an interesting 'what if'.
I lived inside this story for days, relishing every word, character and image. It was a shock when the voice went silent. And for once, I felt like saying: Yes, thank you, Audible - I did enjoy this program.
First, well written. That's getting to be important in the Zombie genre. The narration is a bit dead-pan, but I liked it. Characters develop nicely and the final resolution of one main story line is understated and moving. I understand why some reviewers didn't like the main character, but I thought she was interesting, conflicted and ultimately satisfying. The San Fran element is familiar plot, but I enjoyed the characterization of the 'top-cat' politician.
Enjoyed the first book - Rise Again. Well written, and the end encounter was beautifully conceived. The second is pretty far-fetched, but again well written, well thought out and has plenty of great characters - sometimes too many to stay close to. And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for our protagonists, BELOW ZERO delivers one of the best 'death-by-zombie' scenes I've heard. Would be willing to follow whoever survives on for a third. But for once, the author has brought this story to an end.
Funny book this. As mentioned by other reviewers, there's enough 'gear glee' to make you think the author works for the marketing department of some survivalist supplier. But more than that, just as the story starts to get going we pause to wash the dishes, pack the backpack, make dinner, wash dirty clothes, make hot chocolate, wash the dishes again, put on socks, tie our shoes, make the bed…seriously, most of us know how to do these things.
Really bad writing, so I think the narrator was actually doing the best with what he had, and the politics will be off-putting to some. I hung in till the end though, so author must be doing something right. I'd be interested to see if book two has the same attention to minutia. Oh, no wait: That would mean I have to buy it.
Great narration leads us through a well conceived, well paced story. Okay, so main protagonist isn't the smartest man in the bunker (even though he is), and the bad guys are too simple (come on, a character like Gerry need a bit more nuance), but I enjoyed the series...up until #4 (hours of internal monologue: I get it, Lee's hurt and Angela's not going to take it any more).
I'll get number 5, though.
Really enjoyed the writing, full of clever, well conceived detail. Big story is far-fetched and allegorical, but hey, that's what the zombie genre is all about: An external, 'impersonal' threat that reveals the good and bad in our society. At first I was put off by the narrator, but quickly got used to his read. Loved the pastor, enjoyed the punk, and the nerd was solid, if overshadowed. Author did a good job writing in different voices...and that gets an 'AMEN'.
The story itself is solid, characters are good. But bouncing between current and past story is extremely frustrating, and prevents the reader from getting attached to the protagonists. That and clunky, passive, writing. A good editor could have helped this book a lot. Or maybe it was a bad editor that suggested the structure. Or maybe my new iPhone OS update shuffled the chapters...
What I love about the author is that he spends little or no time on exposition. Bacigalupi doesn't spoon feed the reader. Drowned Cities may be a cautionary tale about a future world, where our failure to recognize climate change has led to a drowned and broken America. But that's for the reader to work out. Rather it's a horrifying story about a young girl surviving in a bleak and violent state of anarchy. With Ship Breaker, Bacigalupi took me deep into his nightmare world. And I for one will follow the author where ever he takes me.
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