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Katie and Jenni settle into the compound in this book and the story revolves around it, how they retake the hotel and expand the "fort". Because they don't move around life is kind of comfortable. Unlike other books where survivalist compounds are often just a passing chapter, this book centers around it. The book is about how they rebuild, fight off bandits and the social and political life of the fort.
They don't have any problems with electricity, water, food or flushing toilets. I think the people on board the Carnival cruise ship Triumph had it tougher, apart from people dying, in rather stupid ways I think in this book. Everybody split up and do search and destroy missions in the hotel, which leads to needless deaths. Otherwise the action is pretty good, that Israeli Nerit is great. But then it dips into lovey dovey stuff.
The story spends seemingly even more time on girlie stuff than in the first book. Romance and ball room dancing and dresses. Its not easy to listen to these parts as they drag on. Shane comes along and ruins the partying though and now the author shows that she just doesn't understand male culture. If the author understood this she would know that Shane would not be allowed to talk the way he does and create all the problems that he does. Like the hierarchy in a pack of dogs, things would have already been settled in the first book. But the supporting male character, Travis, has no gonads and so it drags on the way it does. The author just doesn't know what to do with male characters aside from being pretty bimbos on the arms of the leading women.
This book is actually a pretty good 9 hr long zombie book, but then these annoying parts were tacked on and it became 12 hrs long. So at least I got my credits worth of zombie telling and forgot about those parts as soon as I got through them. I went on ahead and bought the third book in the series; Siege.
I'm starting to like the narrator more and more though, I think shes great.
Lee has to prove himself to the survivors and goes to try to recover supplies from his bunker which results in many, many twists, turns and surprises, which never seem to end. There is a tremendous amount of action but not the senseless kind. The author brings us into Lee Hardens head and shows the inner workings of how this professional soldier becomes a beast of a war machine. Because the inner personality of Lee is described you can identify strongly with the character and it doesn't become a superficial action story. You cheer when he becomes angry, thoughtful when he ponders, its almost as if you feel the pain when he gets hurt. Again, he is not perfect and suffers the consequences, reminded me of John McClane in Die Hard, all beaten and busted up.
The author and narration are just really good, everything works. This is not your trashy zombie tale, but quality work.
I really had my doubts about this series and only the excellent reviews led me to listen to the first book.
The premise is that the government has this secret end of the world military group which individually bunkers down for a month and come out to rebuild society. They've never had to try to fulfill their mission, until now. I could almost buy that, but they only have one man for each state? And who bunkers down for a month with a dog? It just didn't seem plausible.
Right off the bat I pegged this was a macho military special forces bang bang splatter book with nothing else to offer, the worst kind of zombie story. And I think the protagonist thought it would be like that too. Well, things didn't turn out that way. Our hero isn't perfect and makes an almost fatal mistake right away. Nothing is easy. The story and the difficulties that he and his group had to over come is gripping and compelling. They are constantly on the run, hunted with no supplies and barely making it the few hours. The only easy day was yesterday.
And my pet peeve are stupid kids messing everything up, but the author read my mind in this case with Sam! Lee is just as angry at the kid as me, almost word for word, lol.
The narrator also changed. I thought it would be like listening to the voice of those movie trailers for 8 hrs through the book, every word and sentence had to be so darn dramatic and interesting when there was nothing going on. But he dropped the over acting later. Hes very good.
In some ways this story reminds me of Day by Day. I think this is a must read if you like zombie books. Get "The Remaining" now!
Hemp is captured by a crazy millionaire and has to perform research to cure the zombie condition. I find it interesting how the author creates is own pseudo science to explain zombiesm and this book, through the eyes of scientist Hemp Chatsworth (and his wife Charlie), spends a good part of the time doing this. Similar in style to the other books, there aren't many shocks or gut wrenching or emotionally draining events, but neither are there many frustratingly stupid moments. A rather pleasant, relaxing read for the most part, with a splatter of gore here and there. The series is a solid read for the zombie enthusiast.
I started reading another book after this, and the sound quality difference is noticeable. Quality of the recordings of this series still needs to be raised.
The story continues and this time is told from Gems perspective. I like how this book explains the pseudo science behind zombieism as Shelman creates his own flavour of zombie. Its well thought out and suspends disbelief.
Nothing especially emotionally compelling or extreme action and horror but I just enjoy reading what they're doing, how their characters are and their interactions. Sometimes books can try to take drastic turns for cheap thrills, which you really don't like. This story is pretty safe.
The group picks up the people at the CDC, hold up somewhere while Hemp researches about zombies and takes off again with a goal in mind once they a new way to fight the zombies.
The sound quality continues to be sub par. I've never been particularly sensitive to sound but I think its easy to hear the difference between the sample in this recording and samples from other books. Like some evil aura, there is a hollowness and raspiness around the narrators words when he speaks.
The narrator is otherwise rather good I think. At first you think he can't even read because its so halting like he cant read ahead. But I think thats how Gem is supposed to be because when he says lines for other characters its no problem at all. Neither does he try to take on a female voice like many others who end up sounding like transvestites. Not an over actor, inflection is good and voice comfortable to listen to.
I'll continue investing in the series.
There are a some things which didn't make sense and forced me deduct a star for book two of this series. For example, the protagonist has this thing for seeds because he is such a long term thinker. I agree with the other group who thought this was a bit nutty. Way too early to risk life and limb for seeds. I also didn't find it realistic that people would risk their lives in armed confrontation with each other, even if they are thugs. Thugs pick on the helpless. Not those that can shoot back. Another thing was why he didn't go to the helpful group directly after he got out of the nasty "trap". He just does a few things which, I think at least, don't make much sense.
On the other hand many other things he does are great, like satisfyingly punching that you'll-know-who in the face. On the whole, its positive that some things he manages to pull off, but others just don't go as planned.
There is a lot more human conflict and an interesting grey zone of ethics. Remember him bursting through the compound in the first book? Its like the game Fallout, some things will give you bad karma and reputation.
The book has a great climax; but unsatisfying resolution. Shane Gregory better hurry up with the next book because I just gotta know what happens!
This book started hovering around the 3 stars mark for a while, but shifted to 4 stars as the both the story and protagonist developed and then at the end it went suddenly BING! and hit the 5 stars bell. The narrator must be the best male narrator I've listened to.
If you are like me and demand that authors take the zombie apocalypse seriously and try to make such a tale as realistic as possible, waste no time and spend your credit here. There is no over the top nonsense here.
The author makes the tale believable by coming up with creative solutions to some of the discrepancies in a zombie apocalypse. With so much splatter in other books, why don't the characters get infected? Often they happen to be immune, but at least here they use handkerchiefs to cover their faces. They have a fix for fighting off the infection if things get bad. The zombies aren't mindless but are like animals. They form packs, therefore some areas are very empty allowing them to get supplies. Head shots don't always work. They do get back up, but not right away. Most things have explanations for but some questions tantalizingly remain to be discovered. The word zombie doesn't even come up until the end, they are just called people. Yeah, pretty slow on the uptake but it all makes sense.
The protagonist is so unassuming he doesn't even have a name. I didn't even realize this and had to Google the answer to write this review because I thought I had just missed it. A museum director of a sleepy town, he is such a wuss and would be zombie brunch if it weren't for Jen who is such an awesome character. All characters have depth and feel real and the protagonist goes through a transformation as the story develops. Something suddenly at the end had me screaming in my head and made it hit the 5 star bell but I'm not going to give it away.
Hurry up and download this story. And the next.
Quality of the recording is sub par, its not clear like its done with a lousy microphone or maybe in the bathroom. I wanted to return the credit right away because it felt like it was shoddy merchandise (it is!). But I read some of the reviews and persevered because the story seemed good. I got used to it after a while and despite the lousy recording the narrator was pretty good.
The story isn't bad and the twist on the zombies is rather interesting. They are shambling brain eaters, but they have some animal kind of intelligence and have a special coma inducing power.
The only critique is that things seem a bit too easy and there is little strife and problems. They just wander about, casually split up, do some "shopping" and zombies appear only when its appropriate. I don't know why he just wanted to go home and why they told the survivors they rescued to fend for themselves, because they only just cleared out a fully functioning and well supplied CDC facility.
I will probably invest in the sequel.
Or flash-forward rather. The story starts out with Mike the teacher and him leading his students through outbreak. Then, for no discernible rhyme or reason, it jumps years into the future with them now being a well organized survivalist group. Every chapter rotates back and forth through the first and second half of the story like the author parted his book in half and shuffled the pages together again.Just when the action peaks and you want to know more...back to the future! Then past! Then future! Sometimes I forgot which part I was in. Short flashbacks are supposed to reveal something relevant to the main time line. This doesn't do that and is just annoying.
The story was, or could have been pretty interesting, but it didn't stir too many emotions in me. The writing is very descriptive and good quality, but could go on about furniture and other details I could care less about. The descriptive style left little room for dialogue and there wasn't much interpersonal interactions so the characters were rather flat and the only ones that are memorable besides Mike and his dog Gazelle was Derek and his girlfriend, whats her name...(I know what you're worrying about dog lovers, but just chill).
Mikes leadership job was too easy, he was the teacher of a bunch of teenagers so default leader. He always knew what to do and just barked orders and they were carried out. Picked up a gun for the first time and zombies started dropping left and right.
Its still "ok" though, the action, the creepy "tills" with their side cocked heads were creepy and kinda scary.
Narrator did an excellent job trying to bring the story to life and made the book as interesting as it could be. He did soften some of the male teenager voices so much that they sounded like girls, but it was minor issue.
At the end you get to listen to the start of book two. But it was about government conspiracy, rather cliche.
I'll have to read up on the reviews for book two to see if the flashback style writing continues.
This "last" book in the series is much "bigger" than the other books, more people, more complex, more twists, more ammo and more everything but I think some things were lost. Things just happen to push the plot, especially at the end, problems are solved suddenly. Emotionally I have less attachment with Kasey.
From the start shes kinda stoney and shes tormented by things from previous books but there are no flashbacks so I barely remember what happened.
This story addresses one of Dulaneys criticism in that she doesn't introduce anything new into the genre. Well, she does here and its a ways better "twist" for a new zombie than any other book I've read or listened to.
A very good listen and conclusion to the series.
Seems the story is written for men who are into the whole survivalist or "prepper" culture. Its pretty long winded about equipment, guns and shelters. The story is maybe a little too perfect since the hero knows everything, makes no mistakes and has no faults.
Eric is a financial analyst and meets up with Gabriel who teachers him all about covert operations with zombies and government testing. He even gets handed a complete zombie fighting handbook. "Gabe" convinces Eric to build a shelter. Of course Eric has conveniently inherited a ton of money so Eric builds two! Which was rather pointless because his sophisticated and expensive shelter is left useless when he runs out of food. I'm sure his second shelter comes in handy in book two. So he gets up and leaves looking for his best bud Gabe but runs across a compound with survivors who otherwise live pretty comfortably. With his zombie knowledge he is like a prophet and he helps them deal with both zombies and raiders.
The story is interesting, its just told in a rather boring way. Everything is planned and laid out with few surprises. You meet his girlfriend for perhaps two minutes whereby she promptly ditches him, and as the author writes "...and it was the last he would see of her alive.". Gee, thanks for absolutely eliminating any suspense in this book whatsoever. At the end Eric says he has gone numb because of the apocalypse, but really, he was numb before too.
The book just lacks depth. Character depth, plot depth, relationships, all that fun stuff that makes books exciting to read. If you don't care about all that wishy washy phooey and want to know how an expert zombie survivalist would tackle the apocalypse perfectly with a solid dose of male bonding, this book is for you.
For me, I'll read the reviews on the second book to see if its worth downloading. Oh who am I kidding, I am so hard up for zombie books I'll download it as soon as my credits come in.
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