Member Since 2012
there's a little of everything- the inception of the virus, a spy's report, family conflict, lone survival, panic, disastrous military planning, fleeing for your like, politics, and THE PLAN, which is chilling but totally believable.
the different characters and their stories weave together a highly enjoyable ride. i really liked how you see the zombie apocalypse from different perspectives from doctor to intel agent to a downed pilot to infantry to radical muslim to disgruntled celebrity bodyguard. each character's memory, story, and experience is unique.
i could definitely see governments around the world acting in the manners portrayed- survival of the species can make you do horrible, but understandable, things.
the production is amazing! the different voice actors bring a sense of realism to the story.
i thoroughly enjoyed world war z. it left me wanting more, to hear more accounts of survival. alas as soon as it began, it was over. it was a rather short audiobook. i didn't read the book, but i feel as though i must b/c as many others have said, the audio book has left out a lot.
sure if they're avid zombie fans. if you're new to the zombie genre, there are a lot of other books you should read before this.
i've been eating my way through the zombie novels on audible, and i came across this one, the becoming. i was skeptical at 1st b/c of the cover art, but i gave the sample a try. being an avid zombie fan, i decided to download the book b/c of the fast start to the story.
the story starts out with brandt running, hiding, and fighting through the streets of atllanta. apparently, he was part of a marine contingent at the cdc (center for disease control) when a virus went air born and started infecting people. he abandoned his post as soon as he realized the red line was crossed.
the story then breaks to memphis, tn. it's the morning after ethan has been promoted. he's hung over. he manages to join his wife, anna, and best friend, cabe, out back for some grilled food. when ethan asks cabe about her boyfriend, drew, she tells him that he came back from his business trip to atlanta with a cold. later in the day, they get the news that there's rioting in memphis. anna is called into the hospital to help. as night falls, all H-E-Double Hockey Sticks starts to break loose.
the 1st part of the becoming covers the initial outbreak of the michaluk virus. then there is a time skip of about 3 months. this is done pretty well.
the book is paced well. there's zombie action in the beginning, followed by some down time, and then there's more zombie action action that leads to the ending.
while i liked the story, there were parts that were unbelievable. according to my myers briggs personality type, i'm an intp (introversion, intuition, thinking, perception). whle i'm sure i'd be freaking out and half hysterical at 1st, i'd like to think i'd get my s#!t together within 72 hours. at least, that's what i think! lol anyway, i KNOW i wouldn't be screaming, throwing temper tangents, and breaking stuff. ethan and cabe are both hot heads, who at times let their emotions get the better of them. he's been a cop for 20 years, and she was an idf (israeli defense force) soldier for 7 years. so, it is kind of unbelievable when they lose control of their emotions when they're supposed to be keeping it low key, hiding in their safe house. my best friend is very loud. it's even a joke among our friends. i don't think he'd lose it like ethan and cabe do at times.
anyway, that's my major complaint.
the zombie action is pretty good. there is a nice twist on the zombies. they aren't your pure romero type slow, dumb, walkers. since this is the 1st in a series, i hope the author fleshes out why some of the infected are smarter than others. well, i may have just answered my own question. in this story, there are people who are infected but aren't yet zombies- they haven't been killed. maybe the infected but not dead are the smart ones? well, it is a twist that's kind of a mystery, and i'm a sucker for mysteries.
the narrator is ok. be ready for a bunch of southern drawl. i'm from virginia and don't think i have an accent even though my yankee friends think i do. lol i tell them if they want accent, then i can introduce them to some of my friends who're from georgia. lol
overall, it was what i wanted. a pretty good zombie story. yes, there are some problems and annoyances, but i'm not looking to solve any deep conundrums. i wanted to be entertained, and i was. the becoming isn't in my top 15, but it was entertaining enough for me to download book 2.
hyperion has 6 narrators. all of them are great! the production is top notch!
it's the 28th century. humanity fled earth b/c of an incident. one group settled among the planets whereas another group took to space. the former, the hegemony, forming a group of worlds linked by faracasters, which allow instant transmission from one place to another. the latter group, the ousters, live in space and have modified their bodies to live in space.
the hegemony is aided by the techno core, 3 factions of ais (artificial intelligences) that ceded from humanity 300 years ago. the ais help the help the hegemony run the farcasters and advise the hegemony.
hyperion is a backwater world. it doesn't have a farcaster so people have to travel there in ftl (faster than light) spaceships and travel in fugues- where they sleep the time away. ftl ships are fast, but space travel sill can take months and years b/ween the planets.
on hyperion, there are the time tombs. pilgrims travel there hoping to have a request granted by the shrike. the shrike is a 3 meter tall "thing" covered in spikes. it has 4 arms and 2 legs covered with scalpel-like spikes. it has menacing red eyes and rows of pointy metal teeth. the shrike has a tree of spikes where the shrikes victims are impaled alive, suffer, and cannot die.
there's tension b/ween the hegemony, the ousters, and the techno core. a group of 7 people are on what is possibly the last pilgrimage of the shrike church, whose followers believe the shrike will impale all humanity on his tree of spikes.
the story is comprised of each group member's story of why and how they're on this pilgrimage. each story reveals more about why they're on the brink of war and about the varying sides (the hegemony, the ousters, the techno core, and the shrike).
each story is unique and interesting, but i found the 1st one, the priest's tale a little too long. however, what is revealed has implications later in the series. this story is long! it's 4 hours, but the ending is freaky, creepy, scary, and well worth it!
the 2nd story, the soldier's tale, was my favorite. it tells colonel kassad's story of a mysterious girl he initially meets as a cadet while in the force academy's training simulation. kassad's story starts at the academy and takes his listeners through the time when he is named the "butcher of bressia."
the 3rd story, the hyperion cantos, is told by the poet, martin silenius, starts on earth. yes, he's old, but time passes for him b/c in his early years he sleeps the years away travelling b/ween the stars. martin's story is one of boom, bust, boom, bust. he's born rich, loses it all, works as a farmer, writes about his time on old earth, becomes rich, loses his money, writes a trashy series, loses his muse, moves to hyperion, finds his muse again but...oh what a muse he finds!
the 4th story is the scholars tale. it's ok. we learn why sol is traveling with a baby.
the 5th story is the detective's story. this was my 2nd favorite story. brawne lamia is a private detective who hired by a cybrid named john keats to discover who killed him. keats is an experiment of the techno core. his brain mostly resides in cyberspace and his body is mostly human with some enhancements. in this story, we get a peek into the techno core, the different factions, and their motivations.
the 6th story is the consul's story. his story is the story of his grandparents- how they met, fell in love, and died. the consul's story relates that even though technology is beneficial, there are a lot of downsides and things that get lost.
whew! i wrote more than i planned! so if you're still reading this, then know that this is a pretty good scifi book. i have read all 4. the 2nd book, the fall of hyperion, is awesome! it propelled me into book 3 and 4.
the technology is still cool and not at all outdated. the shrike imho is one of my favorite and most memorable scifi characters. you'll measure all other baddies against him, it, whatever. lol philosophically, you'll wonder how the human race should evolve, and you'll wonder how far we should develop ai.
p.s. after reading/listening about the shrike, you'll think the terminator's a wimp!!!
i really dig zombie books b/c of their post-apocalyptic nature- seeing how people survive against all odds. so, i decided to try one second after. wow! what a truly horrifying situation. i'm glad i'm a pseudo-prepper! LOL after listening too this, i'm going to up my supplies!
ah..i digress. anyhoooo...one second after takes place in a rural town outside of asheville, north carolina. i've been there. it reminds me of a couple of other smaller cities i've been to- burlington, vt and denver, co. yes, denver's much bigger, but all these places have a college town feel.
oopppsss...i did it again. LOL john is a 48 year old retired cornel who moved back to north carolina with his wife and 2 daughters b/c that's where his wife grew up, and she wanted to go home while she battles breast cancer. john, now the only parent, is doing his best to hold on to his 2 girls as they grow up. elizabeth is 16 and jennifer is 12. like i said, he's trying to hold on to them as his little girls, but they're growing up, and he's trying to deal with elizabeth's interest in boys. as a side note, with boys you only have to worry about 1 prick, with girls, you have to worry about a 1,000. LOL ok. 1,000 might be high. how about 100. come on...any father's out there agree with me? tell your wife i'm not be sexist. LOL we're realists.
ok...on with my review. so he's john struggling raising his daughters in a small town and BOOM! well not really boom, but one sunny afternoon, the power goes out. the cell phones and land lines don't work. the cars stop. not even the radios work. at first, john and everybody just thinks the power's out. however as they start to piece things together, john realizes there must have been at least 1 nuclear bomb has gone off and caused an emp that fried all electrical circuits. as more people come to realize that HELP IS NOT COMING, panic starts to ensue.
this is the story of one small rural town of less than 10,000 and how they survive after being thrust into the dark ages. one reviewer called this a "research paper," and it kinda is. but that's the scary part! the book's timeline kinda follows what would happen. for example in the 1st few days there'd be confusion, panic, and looting. 30 days later the 1st tide of a massive die off will begin as prescription medicine runs out and can't be filled. so yes, it is a story wrapped around a research paper.
as the town manages or barely manages to survive, they must also deal with the thousands of people fleeing the cities and heading to the farmland, looking for food.
yes, this book is scary as H-E-Double Hockey Sticks! Why? b/c it could truly happen. well, it's more likely than a zombie apocalypse. LOL this book explains what would happen during different timeframes once the power goes out.
the story is ok, but i enjoyed it mostly for the what could happen and how people would react scenarios.
so if you're in to post-apocalyptic or dystopian stories, check this one out. i found it worth the credit, especially b/c it motivated me to up my prepping. LOL no, i'm not an obsessive prepper, but i am a little weird! LOL at least i can admit it!
yes, it's a good, short, fun, informative book. i enjoyed it!
yes. the story is short, but full of hold onto your seat action. i couldn't stop listening. i wanted to see how the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks they got outta there!
book 3 picks up where book 2 ended- with the group of survivors fleeing the hoard of zombies in an rv. if you listened to book 2 and are hesitant to download book 3, DON'T BE!
book 3 is non-stop action from beginning to end. i won't give away what happens, but there was a satisfying ending for all of the characters, especially george.
so if you made it through book 2, book 3 is worth its price. it's full of fleeing, fighting, chilling scenes of characters dying, settling old scores, and re-uniting with loved ones. oh yeah! and lots of zombies. no character is safe! i like authors who have the gravitas to off a character.
my main caveat is i really wish the author had combined all 3 books into one 1 book, but that's my 2 cents. overall, it was a fun series to listen to.
book 2 picks up where book 1 ended- jeff, megan, george, and jason are held at gun point by another group of survivors. just as they think they're surrounded b rednecks, a calm, cool, and collected voice calls them off, and michael appears. he's the leader of another group of survivors. michael takes their guns, supplies, and munivan in one swoop and forces/invites them to join his group of survivors.
michael's compound is an interesting setup. i won't give it away, but i haven't seen that done before in any of the other zombie books. actually, it's a pretty good concept AND IF there's ever a real zombie outbreak, i'd consider employing that tactic. LOL
this book is mostly about group dynamics and interpersonal conflict. as such, it is well done!
michael's group is pretty small. he's got 2 redneck henchman, a psychopathic girlfriend, 2 teen boys who haven't seen any real action, lydia, an older yet wise woman, who looks after the 2 kids, and ben. ben is an interesting character. he doesn't speak much, but when he does, even michael listens. ben is michael's finder- the only one who lave the compound to find things.
the author does a good job building tension b/ween the 2 groups and then stretching it until it breaks. although there's not as much zombie action as in the 1st book, there's still a lot of passive aggression b/ween the characters to keep you listening.
actually, this is one of the better zombie books i've listened to when it comes to group dynamics and personal scheming. the conflicts are believable. they don't seemed to be forced for conflict sake.
the zombie action picks back up about 1/2 through the book when a group of mixed survivors heads into town on a supply hunt.
one thing i forgot to mention in my 1st review is that there "seems" to be something else going on. in the 1st book and in this book, some of the survivors seem to see a shadow running around. they write it off as a trick of the eye. somehow, the zombies always seem to find where the survivors are. there are a couple of hints at what the shadow might be in this book, but we still don't know. i hope it is flushed out in the 3rd book. yes, i plan on downloading it when it comes out on 4/30/13.
overall, a good 2nd book. i enjoyed it. however, i wish all 3 books were combined into one full story. if you're interested in why i say that, please head over to my review of the 1st book.
as jeff makes it back home from a night time trip scouting for food, he notices his door is unlocked. when he opens it, he discovers his worst nightmare- his neighbor eating his wife, but that's not his worst discovery.
the author does a good job portraying jeff's reaction and subsequent range of emotions. he also does a good job with the dialogue b/ween the characters- nothing is forced and it's believable.
this is an action packed zombie story. the action starts the 1st minute of the story. jeff is an everyday man. he's not a survivalist with a bunker full of guns so he has to use his brain to outwit the zombies. jeff does have a gun, but you get the feeling it'll only be used in a special occasion.
as jeff tries to escape his neighborhood, he comes across another survivor, megan. she wants to get as far away as possible. in their search for a safe area to spend the night, they come across george and jeff, who have an interesting related backstory.
the author does a good job describing the power and fear of a hoard of zombies.
the narration is pretty good. the narrator does a good job narrating the different characters and voicing their emotions.
overall, an enjoyable listen, and a good addition to any zombie fan's bookshelf.
the story is short enough and exciting enough to listen to in one sitting. of course as a trilogy, the story ends in a cliffhanger. i've listened to the 2nd book, and my biggest complaint is that it's going to cost me 3 credits for a story that should probably be one book. i can understand that the author is a 1st time author and may want to make as much $ as possible to keep writing, but i think he may turn some readers and/or listeners off by splitting the story into 3 books. some people hate cliffhangers so they won't pick up book 2. book 2 also has a cliffhanger and is mostly about group dynamics, which is another reason why some readers may give up on the story there. if the author combined all 3 short books into one longer book, he'd probably have more people reading his entire story instead of losing some along the way.
just my 2 cents. LOL
i was excited to pick up this 2nd installment after enjoying the first book. strong start. well the 1st 20 minutes or so. it tells the story of what happened to part of the military. but by the time i finished, yes i finished, i was disappointed.
where's the editor? did a zombie eat his or her brain. it was like...hmmnn...i think i'll try adding this character for a little while. no, i don't like her. so, i'll make her disappear. hmmnn...let's try adding this plot device. no. i'll end it with a shot.
this story was all over the place! 1st, there's this wacko christian lady who's overly judgmental. yes, her character was annoying. she and the cop, ivanof, bond over a warped fundamentalist worldview. you get the feeling she's going to do something really bad, but she doesn't. well...not really. then, she's gone for the rest of the book. it was like a hour filler. whew! i though. maybe i can listen w/o cringing so much.
then, there's this kind of love triangle that forms b/ween neil, megan, and this other guy. ok, kinda interesting. he gets shot by officer ivanof, who's slowly been going insane. boom! that filler ends. neil and megan act pissy toward each other for the rest of the story.
btw, ivanof's slide into madness isn't dramatic or interesting. he sits alone, imagining his daddy.
the rest of the story follows the group running through the city being chased by zombies. the 2 kids, danny and jules, are hardly mentioned. they're quietly playing, sleeping in the other room, or keeping up with the adults as they run through the city. it would've been nice to get some commentary from them, but they're mostly an afterthought.
however, there ws one unique aspect that i haven't come across in any other zombie novels. the group runs across another group of survivors who have been hiding in a bus since the beginning. their story was harrowing! that could be made into an interesting zombie novel by itself. ahhh...i digress. anyway, they are decrepid, stinky, and weak from lack of food, water, and movement. but they can run! sorry, i'm being facetious.
gore: very little compared to the last story.
action: light. lots of running and lots of talking.
sense of dread: non-existent. sooo unlike the 1st book.
zombies: not that threatening.
overall...hard to make it through the book. i had high expectations for the 2nd book, but it fell flat.
wow. michael's review hit it out of the park! i downloaded it based on his enthusiastic comments.
good introductory book. the god, vulcan, recruits some local humans to help him forge 12 magical swords. each sword has a different magical ability. only george, a local blacksmith, survives, and vulcan gives him the sword, townsaver, for his loss of an arm. george's 2nd son, mark, is born under mysterious circumstances. a tragedy lands townsaver in mark's hands, and he must flee those who desire it.
the first book introduces us to 4 of the swords and some of the people who crave them. the swords are fickle and seem loyal to no one. for instance, townsaver will take control of the bearer and cause him to fight w/o stopping until the threat is no more w/o regard to the bearer's condition. after fighting, some bearers collapse from exhaustion or die from the wounds they received while in beserker mode- all offense.
i liked the unpredictability of the swords learning when they'd work and when they wouldn't. i didn't expect swords switching hands so quickly and easily. it actually adds to the drama. just when you want one person to have a certain sword, the author throws a curveball and may take away a sword or replace it with a different sword.
there's a believable amount of cruelty in the story- what people would do for swords, how far they'd go to attain a sword. there's cruelty on the gods' part for creating a game where people and kingdoms clash for possession and cruelty among people who will go to any length and sink to any level to possess a sword.
the story is fast-paced, and a good opening shot as the first kingdoms go to war over the possession of a sword. the different battle scenes are well-paced and fun to listen to. there's no fluff to lengthen the story, and it will keep your attention. i'd say the length is perfect for what is told.
the characters grow on you, and you find yourself rooting for some and wishing bad things on others.
my only disappointment is that this is the only book in the series available on audile. i'll definitely pick up the others as they become available.
bill was lured to a party by a hot chick only to be fed upon. when he wakes up as a vampire, he learns that he and the other geek vampires are going to be killed as a joke. somehow, bill is able to resist night razor's, the coven leader, compulsion and embarrasses him in front of everyone. before he can kill bill, the regional coven leader, ozymandias, overrules night razor and puts bill under a temporary protection order.
sally, the girl that lured bill to the party, is ordered to show bill the ropes and teach him the coven's ways. night razor and the rest of the coven try to find loophole's in the temporary protective order and try to kill bill.
under ozymandias' and sally's tutelage, they convince bill that he needs to live up to the bad a$$ reputation he created when he stood up to night razor on the night of his birth. so starts bill's like as a vampire. things get a little more complicated when ozymandias is sent away on a mission and bill realizes sally is more of a "frenemy" than he suspected.
there are a lot of funny scenes: bill's 1st feeding, bill trying to convince one of his friends he's really a vampire, the way sally treats bill when they're away from other vampires, optimus prime as a weapon...
narration is great. the narrator is the perfect fit for bill and sally.
overall, a very fun ride. it's short and sweet.
wow. the guy is good. he can do believable italian, american, australian, andd middle eastern accents. the narration is why my overall score is 3 stars.
in a way. i listened to it while commuting. it's not a story where you have to rewind if you miss a detail. i like that when commuting. actually found myself driving a little more aggressive than usual. lol short & a good way to pass the time.
if you're in the mood to just turn your brain off and listen to an action packed story, then brainrush may be your fix.
yes, this is formula driven: over the top bad guy with SPECTRE like world domination plans, all of the main character's friends have unique and useful skills, sweeping plot movements from california to venice to monte carlo to afghanistan.
yes, it all does seem to convenient, but i wasn't in the mood for depth just action. yes, it's kind of cheesy, but i was raised on the cheesy action films of the 1980's -> arnold schwarzenegger ruled the 80's action movie cheese. but i digress.
quick summary: dying guy gets powers from freak accident, decides to showoff his new powers, local tv crew records some of his feats, the video goes viral, bad guy wants to examine jake to incorporate how his brain manages these feats so he can improve his implants to carry out a jihad against america. any more, and i'd give it all away.
agree w/ jeremiah's 1st 2 points:
1. the premise (mri accident gives the hero mental powers)
2. great 1st scene where hero starts to discover his mental abilities
3. hero's powers are limited. adds to the believability. for instance, telekinesis is taxing mentally and physically and isn't over the top, e.g. moving small objects and not cars. this isn't the x-men! lol
4. camaraderie of the hero's friends.
5. the kid characters, sarafina and ahmed, are done pretty well and aren't forgotten as the story continues.
6. alien inclusion: ok kind of interesting, but you can tell it'll be used in future books.
not so good:
1. while i hate islamic fundamentalism, i grow tired of it being used as plot device, and the main driver behind the bad guy's motivation. imho, it was only done well in patient zero.
2. the fact that terrorists are more technologically advanced than the us gov't. where are all of those trillions of dollars going. uungghhh...i digress again! lol
3. the lack of gov't agency involvement. hey...the cia, nsa, or other secret gov't agency is usually involved in some way (good or bad), and i felt that missed in this story.
4. story written for guys. the women in the story are just sexpots. yes, there's one chick that kicks a$$, butt she's always underestimated b/c of her looks AND she seems to grow more abilities than the hero w/o any super powers.
overall, if you're looking for an action-packed and fast-paced story AND THAT'S ALL, then this will give you your fix.
it's not much of a thriller at all, more like the recent james bond films- just meh! light beach reading.
It’s a coin flip if you’ll like it. Me, it’s head’s up.
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