First off, I feel I need to mention the narrator- Luke Daniels- is one of the best readers that I have heard on an audiobook. His range is great, and he really brings the characters to life(I would heartily recommend the Foreworld series that he has also narrated). Don't go into this series expecting serious fantasy that will become a new religion for you, this is more of a comedy type fantasy. Well written with loads of nerdy cult references as well as a lot of interesting plot lines. I highly recommend for your entertainment.
If you have ever spent any time around tweekers, then you will get a chuckle out of this book. Its a pretty accurate portrayal of meth addicts and their particular brand of hell. The guy doing the reading nails the subtle "accents" of the drug addict, and sounds a bit like Mitch Hedburg (but faster). Don't approach this as a serious story, although it does cover some serious facets of drug abuse fairly well, for the most part it is humor. Think of it as "Spun" with zombies.
This is a classic pulp style adventure into the jungles. Great characters, lots of adventure, very entertaining. When I finished this one, I couldn't wait to listen to the next one. One word of caution: the 3rd installment stinks, but the good news is that its not entirely needed for the story. Just listen to the first two, and then make up your own ending for the third one, because anything you come up with will be better than the crap ending they drop on us.
After listening to the first two episodes, which take place in the Amazon jungle, the last installation of "The First Bird" was disappointing. The actions of the female characters seem designed to frustrate. You can expect a certain amount of that in any action fiction, but these characters go from surviving a jungle hellbent on eating them to a modern urban outbreak situation in which a ranking CDC doctor can't seem to get past the idea that invisible things can kill you-REALLY?!?! Come on. If you didn't feel up to writing that third installment, maybe you should have gotten someone else, don't torpedo the whole thing. I was ready to check out this author's other works until this third episode, its really that bad. My advice would be to read the first two, and then just pretend they all lived happily ever after. The closure you are looking for won't be found here.
This was one of those audiobooks that I almost gave up on in the first couple of minutes due to the idiosyncratic reading style of the narrator, but I'm glad I didn't. There is a wealth of information being presented here, and the author has obviously done extensive research on the topic of survival after a solar flare. This is one book I might have to pick up in hard copy (you know, because if a solar flare does hit, I doubt anyone will be listening to audiobooks). The author covered a wide range of topics, and discussed at length agriculture considerations that I had not even thought of before. Even if you aren't a "prepper", there is a great deal of food for thought contained in this book. If you can power through the first couple of minutes of the narrator's deadpan reading style, you will enjoy this book.
After watching the Showtime series, I wanted a little real history on the Borgia family and this did provide it. In fact, I was surprised at the liberties taken by the TV series after listening to this historical account. I am glad I took the time to research their recorded history a little.
The actual substance is a little dry, which is amazing considering the subject matter. This is a traditional "this happened and then this happened and then this" type of narrative, amounting to a compilation of information from various sources without any gloss. I guess that is a good counterpoint to the TV series, which went too far in the other direction and changed a lot of the history behind this colorful family. I don't know that I would change that about this book, its just different from other representations I have encountered.
I would say that this audiobook is worth the listening time.
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