All of the characters are exactly the same as they were from book 1. Not 1 iota of growth from any of them. Mike started out as a fun, interesting character, but quickly morphed into very one dimensionial and annoying. What made it worse is as the books went on, he seemed to become more shallow then from book 1 or 2.
No. It just makes me think twice before I get another book from Mark Tufo.
Narrator was decent
I would cut the Author out.
I enjoyed the first couple of books, but they were maginal to begin with. I enjoyed more the novelty of the main characters as they were fun and original in the zombie genre. I was able to overlook some really poor story development and literary gambits. This book though was almost too much to bear.
First off let me start with all of the ridiculous flashbacks that he uses in every book, but it was really bad in this book alone. Using flashbacks can be a powerful and useful tool in story development, but in this book there must have been four horrendously long and useless flashbacks alone. This has something he has done in every book, but at this point it really detracts from an already lackluster story.
The second item I already discussed, but bears repeating. The lack of character development really hurt this story as time went on. By this book, all Mike every says or does is something sarcastic. So much so, that it has become very annoying. To make it worse, is the other characters who were pretty shallow to begin with are starting to begin mirror images to Mike. Everyone has become a comedian in this book, and too many comedians in one story is just not funny after a while.
My other gripe is the ending of this story. You could tell that Mark Tufo had phoned this in. After everything you have gone through with his family and friends, it was very anticlimatic and borederline stupid. I don't want to put any spoilers out there, but as it was unfolding you will know exactly where it's headed and it's just the typical lazy author out.
I could go on and on, but needless to say I am very disappointed where this story has ended up at this point. If this trend continues I could see this story heading in the direction of Laurell K. Hamilton's s Anita Blake series. Where the author will spit out book after book of the same canned stuff, just to get paid. I'm still hoping against hope that this story can be turned around, but I'm not holding my breath.
In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have written such a good and original book. There are thousands of reviews already, so I won't elaborate too much why this book is so awesome. Needless to say, Ernest Cline could easily have been one of my friends going up, playing D&D, rocking some serious Atari 2600, all the while listening to some Rush.
This book is so good, I have placed it on my pedestal's as one of the greats, next to LOTR, early and late Robert Jordan, etc, etc. Every single scenario, every single character, and every single story thread I thoroughly enjoyed to the utmost. I loved this book so much, that I had to force myself to not listen to it too fast, so I could enjoy it like a fine wine.
If you haven't listened to this book yet, I envy you as you are in for such a treat.
If you are looking for a decent zombie book, then yes. If not, than don't waste your time.
Better, believable characters. More coherent story line.
I really didn't like his performance. There was not a huge distinction between each character.
Again, if you are looking for a zombie book, than I would say yes. It was still an enjoyable book, and it had plenty of action.
Let's face it. We run woefully low on any type of decent zombie book. I find myself slumming from book to book hoping to find a zombie story that isn't terrible. Until the day arrives where we have a plethora of great stories on a consistent basis, we have to scrap by on what we can find.
With that in mind, this story is not great, but at least enjoyable. It had plenty of action, and I didn't find myself being too annoyed with either terrible characters or ridiculous plot developments. Not to say that this book is devoid of those things, because it's not, but it's at least tolerable.
I liked following around with the military in this story, as it's not done as nearly as much as the survivor perspective. I'm an Army veteran, so it was fun to follow these guys around from skirmish to skirmish. I tried to be not too critical of the military tactics or the "cordite" issue, as I want to enjoy the book and not get hung up on crap like that, although the constant cordite reference did start to bother me.
All in all, if you are looking for a decent zombie book, where you get to ride along with an Army unit to battle the zombie hoards than you will enjoy this book. Be prepared though, as it's not a great book, but definitely serviceable.
Great book for it's genre
The New American Horror Story Called Scientology
After hearing about Scientology for SOOO long, I always wondered what was really true about this religion. After reading the reviews and discovering this Author's street cred, I figured this would be a great book to learn more about Scientology. Man alive, I'm very happy I did.
The author starts at the very beginning of L Ron Hubbards life, which was very insightful. Getting all of that backstory really helped segue nicely into the birth of Scientology, as it made a lot more sense as to why LRH, I'm an old pro at that Acronym now, created Scientology.
The bottom line is if you ever wondered what Scientology is all about, or if you are thinking about joining, this should be a must listen to. The author gives you all the information that he could find, and could be verified by any researcher, without making it droll or adding too much of his own commentary to flavor the story line. This books can have a tendency to become tedious after a while, but I never felt distracted or bored throughout the entire book. The author did a good job in how he presented the information and how he constructed the timeline.
I went in knowing virtually nothing about Scientology, and now I've come out feeling much more informed and I'll tell you , Scientology terrifies me. Scientology itself seems ludicrous, but if it helps people and doesn't hurt anyone in the process I'm all for it. If you look at other religions around the world, they all have their bizaare dogma, and Scientology is not any different.
The most frightening aspect of Scientology is not the religion itself but two other items. The first is how crazy L Ron Hubbard actually was, and how the current leadership is completely insane. This book really illustrates how LRH was such a prophetic liar, but because he was so charismatic, he was able to snow people throughout his entire life.
The second bit of craziness is how the current leader of the church, David Miscavige, is a psychotic masochist. He has essentially hijacked Scientology and uses it as his personal playground to assuage his masochistic tendencies. I can't tell you how many times I daydreamed about meeting this guy in the streets and beating him to a pulp. Imagine Napoleon mixed with Hitler, and it gives you a sense of what he's all about. I actually feel sorry for any Scienotlogist, because regardless of what you think about their religion, they don't deserve to have someone like this use their beliefs as a weapon against them to get away with whatever he wants to do.
I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning anything abotu Scientology, as it was a great listen and highly informational.
Everyone who's made it this far will say, "Of course!"
Right in the middle
In the midst of typing up my original review for this book, something dawned on me. I would almost call this book Reacher Light. It didn't have the normal doses of the things would come to expect and love from a Reacher novel. Not a lot of action, very light on the ass-kickery, very little gun scenes, and no romance to speak of. While the book itself is still a worthwhile listen, it dawned on me why this book is so watered down.I'm calling this the Tom Cruise effect.
Since Lee has endorsed TC for the upcoming Reacher movie, he has unconciously tainted how he writes Reacher. Before endorsing TC, Lee still could creatively generate Reacher how he is meant to be, a big imposing figure that uses his size and strength to the utmost of his ability. Lee knew that Reacher's size and stature are just as critical to the story as the words Reacher speaks.After endorsing TC, in the back of Lee's mind he can no longer see Reacher as clearly as he used to.
In scenes where Reacher wouldn't hesitate to smash someones face in, or break a knee, Lee's vision gets a little cloudy and he finds himself second guessing now what Reacher would do. His clouded "Jack Cruise" abomination isn't up to the same level of Reacher we are used to seeing. Hence, we have are left with a book like this. Not terrible, but not the normal Reacher we are used to seeing.
For anyone who has followed the Reacher series, this book will feel not up to snuff and mite bit disappointing. Hopefully after Lee has paid his karmic debt, we will see his writing back up to snuff.
After waiting so many years for this book to come out, it's sad to see the Martin has become infected with Jordanitis during it's creation. The symptoms are clear...
Write a huge book that barely moves the plot along. Check.
Spend counltess pages in describing characters thoughts and/or emotions that bring absolute no value to the story. Check.
Introduce countless new characters to an already crowded cast of players. Check.
Write chapter after chapter following side characters around only to realize the tedious journey of their storyline brings almost no impact to the overall plot.
It becomes very obvious why it's taken Martin so long to publish this book. He had been struggling with where to go with the storyline and what to do with all of the characters, and this book is the proof of that. At no point during my listening did I ever get excited or yearn as to what was going to happen next. It was like taking a river boat ride down a lazy river. Going from chapter to chapter felt like I was reading instructions on how to build a model airplane. Even Tyrion's storyline couldn't lift me from the depths of boredom, although he was by far the best part of the overall story as usual.
The production was just as terrible as everyone is saying as well. Roy cannot do female characters anymore. It's impossible to tell who's female and male in this book, and makes it terribly difficult to follow. If they added a second female narrator to this book, it would make it SOOOO much better. Instead, with the way Roy reads it, every character in my head is some flavor of an english/irish guy, who's either a lecherous drunk, a lord, or a Knight. Never does a female character materialize in my head during his narration, which makes for a very odd story progression.
If you've followed this series from the beginning, then you are going to listen to this no matter what. Just be prepared for the pain!
(minor spoilers ahead)
Wow, this book failed on every level. I'm not a zombie purists, or for that matter, a litererary zealot. If the writing is good and the narrator decent, I'm pretty happy. I just want to be entertained during my 2-3 hour drive in lovely LA traffic. I've been jonesing for a good zombie book as I've listened to most of the top authors already. After many hours of researching, I took a gamble on Brian Keene. It was a gamle I lost.
This has to be one of the worst narrations I've ever listened to. I always felt like he was rushing through the book without ever taking the time to capture the essence of any of the characters or the book in general. It was like a kid who was forced to read a book in the front of the class who was more interested in getting the book done as fast as possible as opposed to really enjoying the book itself.
Brian Keene must have gone shopping at Wal Mart for his characters and got them on special. They were the most one dimensional cliche characters that could have possibly been written. Tough street-wise character, check. One flawed protagonist, check. Deaf special needs heart wrenching character, check (gee, I wonder what's going to happen to him?). The list goes on and on and they don't get any deeper then that.
I've seen porno movies with more intriguing and original plot. Firstly, the book starts so abruptly in what seems like the middle of the book I actually thought I had started Part 2 by accident. When I checked, I had indeed started at the beginning. Keene then rushed headlong into doing his cursory couple of paragraphs to talk about our protagonist, which you could care less about at this point. Then he tosses in the most irritating part of the entire book, the central reason our character must voyage out onto his journey. Based on what I've written so far you can guess on what it will be. What's the most used reason in any story. That's right, his child with his ex wife.
With any series starter, most of the book needs to be spent with developing the characters and building the world. Hand in hand with this, there are times when it can become tedious to trudge through some of it, but it Brandon wrote it just about as perfect as you could. My one and only major complaint was the over use of flashbacks for the character Kaladin. There comes a point where using flashbacks to build a characters history becomes tedious.
The rest of the book is phenomonal. It's like I'm starting the Wheel of Time series again. The momentum has just begun and I can't wait. Brandon is really becoming the modern fantasy master. This world he creates is so unique, and has so much depth that it really feel like it exists. The wide array of personalities in the characters makes it interesting when he switches from each character. I find myself drawn in, and not dreading when any character's section is coming up.
If you're a Robert Jordan fan, or if you wished you had gotten into The Wheel of Time series at it's beginning, this is your chance. Really a great book, and can't wait for the next.
All the reviews have been pretty right on about the two major points,no plot and all sex.
I remember a time when the Anita Blake books had an actual plot, and the sex scenes were there to enhance the story. In the last couple of books, the plot is pretty much gone and in it's place is chapter after chapter of sex scenes. I remember the golden years of Hamilton developing an interesting paranormal plot, complete with diverse characters, and interesting subplots. Apparently those days are over. In it's place are essentially Letters to Playgirl.
Any time Anita has a problem, the solution every time now is sex. Problem with bad vampires, fix it with sex. Can't figure out what clothes to wear, just add a little sex and the answer will come. It's become a little comical. Add to this that Anita has essentially grown very little as a character emotionally, but is the return of Jesus as far as her Paranormal powers are concerned.
Alas, my biggest gripe comes from all of the male characters in the story. I can no longer differentiate between any of the men in her life. They are all written the same, which really sucks. They've all become neutered man slaves that bow to Anita's every whim. Their every thought is how they can please Anita. Even poor Richard has jumped on the bandwagon, which is kind of bitter sweet. He always bugged me the most out of all the characters, but now he's part of the Anita Chain Gang. Now I kind of wish his stubborn dumb self was back.
This book has a lot more MM sex then ever before. It's kind of ironic that Anita doesn't like FF sex but is totally ok to have major MM orgies. I've always enjoyed Laurell books, but this was pretty graphic even by her standards. While listening to this while driving, I was always afraid that someone would hear it and wonder if I was listening to some gay porn, LOL.
All in all, this book has almost no plot.It's essentially entirely sex, with weak efforts to throw in a story every now and then.
I enjoyed this book immensely, as it was almost perfect. I love when a story is taking place in the middle of winter, where the weather itself becomes an integral character. There was the standard assortment of small town characters, and then some really great new characters which I enjoyed considerably.
The story was interesting, although I was able to figure out who the bad guy was very early on, which I hate. Even loaded with that knowledge I really liked Reacher in this story and the book has a whole was much better then his last outing.
The only really bad thing I can say is I HATE cliffhangers. I don't know if the editors got together last year and decided that this would be the year of the cliffhanger, but this is the second book in a row where it has ended with a cliffhanger. This ain't 1950's television where we need a cliffhanger to come back to watch next week.
All in all, a great Ritcher book, some great characters, decent plot, and a crapola cliffhanger. Any Reacher fan needs to read this, just be prepared to tune in next week kids!
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