Member Since 2012
i've read a few different zombie novels, and mad swine is somewhere close to the bottom. i think i somewhat liked it b/c it's different than the others. what i mean by different is the location. the main character lives in a suburb of chicago. can you imagine a worse place to live and try to survive in than a huge city.
the story starts as matt is at work. he's some kind of vp at a university in chicago. i was interested in how you escape and survive when you live in a suburb of one of the nation's largest cities.
everything else is typical. the infected want to eat you. matt has a military background of course. he carries a rifle in his trunk. he's a recent survivalist b/c of hurricane katrina. there are differences and infighting b/ween the different surviving groups. all standard zombie fare. ok, i can accept that.
i thought a place like chicago would be a hell zone, that the place would be infested with the infected! but he really has no problem getting where he tries to go. so, i started to lose interest when he's able to flee on a driving lawnmower. you'd think the infected would hear the noise and bum rush him. nope.
the only reason i finished listening was to see if there was anything new in learning how to survive in the suburbs of a huge city. nope. didn't learn a thing.
if you're new to zombie fare, try something else. if you need your zombie fix, then you'll get a watered down hit.
as the story opens, lance, cass, and doc brown are ashore, looking for supplies, and highford is manning their boat. lance is in target, trying on some socks while cass and doc brown are scavenging for medical supplies.
as lance leans against a dvd stand to get his balance, he unwittingly knocks it over, and the sound draws some of the day walkers. what follows is a frenetic cat and mouse chase as lance, cass, and doc brown flee the vladys to the perceived safety of their boat.
brant's writing makes me feel like i'm right there, in the middle of the action! wayne june's narration brings the action off the pages and into my room. he knows when to pick up his reading speed and when to slow down. his narration adds another level of enjoyment to the story.
although the story is told from lance's perspective, you really get to know the other characters, especially cass.
i like how nothing comes easy for these survivors, and how none are the super soldier type. it's adds a sense of realism to the story.
our survivors run into an old enemy, ralph, the leader of the minutemen, who tied up lance after lance let him and cronies into his hiding place. although ralph and his group are kind of cliche, i liked the tact the author took to resolve that part of the story.
overall, a good continuation of the story and a good listen.
the narration was great. martinez's portrayal of madd dog mccall was believable and authentic. he sounded gruff and tough as expected of an infamous wanted man. i was brought into the old west by his performance.
the old west meets zombies...i wasn't too sure about that mix of genres, but i decided to give it a shot, and i'm glad i did!
at first i was thinking...mad dog mccall, the infamous outlaw? ok. kind of cheesey and cliche. but what you end up with is a great character with a lot of depth. i was surprised by his back story. karen is also another good character, not just your typical tough woman in the old west.
as the story opens, mccall is in the town jail. karen is at the brothel, when they hear a commotion outside. as the patrons rush to see what the fuss is all about, they see 2 men attacking a woman. to their shock, the 2 men are biting her and ripping chunks of flesh from her. the patrons rush out and try to tell the men to stop. the deputy sheriff arrives. he's young and green and orders the men to stop or he'll shoot. his yelling attracts the attention of the 2 dead men. when they stand, the deputy sheriff and the patrons notice these 2 disheveled men have arrows sticking out of them, and one even has a tomahawk embedded in his chest. as they approach the deputy, he shoots them in the chest, but nothing happens. as the zombies descend upon the deputy, a few of the patrons help wrestle the zombies off of him. hearing the gunshots, the sheriff leaves the jail house to see what the heck is happening. when the sheriff arrives, the patrons are managing to hold the zombies down, but it hasn't been without consequences. a few complain to the sheriff that these weirdos bit them. the sheriff, a real stickler for the law, orders the 2 strangers to be handcuffed so they can be thrown in jail to cool off.
needless to say, those bitten begin to change and all hell breaks loose!
all 3 parts of this story are good. mccall and karen are good characters that actually have depth. there's also a good bad guy in this story, and he's not the usual type.
there's a lot of good zombie battling throughout this story. so, don't be put off by the mix of genres. it's actually well done!
as the story opens, john is in a meeting in nyc when he and everybody else get a text message that the dead have come back to life and have started eating the living. at first, everybody thinks it's a prank, but as they turn on the t.v., the news reports otherwise. john's group is trapped in an office building with only a thin pane of glass between them and the street. utterly paralyzed, they watch others in a similar situation while planning their escape.
in the lobby, john meets kyle. he's the security guard. kyle is an iraqi war vet who flew choppers. as they all search for weapons, the only things they come across is a broom stick and a potted plant. their only saving grace is that they haven't been noticed yet, but that quickly changes as their boss, now a zombie, heads back to where they are. he attracts the attention of the other zombies, and together, their pressure eventually causes the plane of glass to shatter. as the glass tinkles to the ground, all hell breaks lose, and it's every man for himself!
the beginning of the story really caught me. the narrator's voice and the dialogue immediately engrossed me. the narrator's voice perfectly matches john's character. the writing was funny yet action packed. after the first 15 minutes, i was totally engrossed.
one guy emerged from the crowd with a slightly raised voice. he was bald with a cul-de-sac cut. the kind where he kept the hair on the side of his head instead of shaving the whole thing, creating a perfect half circle of baldness on top. i'd seen him around the building. he's either a ceo or acting branch manager. he was in charge of his own little world before this. real alpha male type, and he was sure he had all the right answers. mr. cul-de-sac kept rattling on about how the waterfront was only 4 blocks away and that we could get a boat and get past the crowds in the city no problem.
humor, zombies, and gore...yeah, i was into this story! i also liked the aspect that john and kyle had to do a lot of hand to hand fighting with the zombies. that fighting was pretty realistic b/c neither was particularly adept at it. they had to learn quick. i also enjoyed the story b/c neither was a survivalist with a bunker full of food and guns. i've listened to quite a few of those stories so i found this one refreshing.
john's goal is to get back to his pregnant wife 900 miles away. kyle decides to join him on his journey b/c they're headed the same way. kyle has a few friends at a base in augusta, ga so they band together to try to escape nyc.
along the way, they rescue michael from a helicopter crash. michael tells them he's heading for a place called avalon in the blue ridge mountains.
i really enjoyed listening to this zombie novel. it was full of humor yet still maintained tension throughout. the narration is excellent. it makes the story. the is a WTF cliffhanger ending, and i had to see if there is a second book coming out. the ending reminded me of the ending of the movie, inception, where you can interpret what happens next.
overall, a fun zombie book i recommend!
as the story opens, dustin is getting ready for his 5 am shift. however, he realizes that he has worked at his new job long enough to take his first sick day so he calls his manager and heads to his old work place- a record store slowly going out of business. after he parks in the underground parking lot, he uses his old codes to break into the store and steal music. after rifling through what's left of the store's inventory, dustin decides to take a nap. when he wakes up, he notices brandon, his old boss, hasn't shown up to open the store. he turns on the t.v. and learns that the dead are attacking the living.
elsewhere, kelly wakes up to a noise in her house. while investigating the source of the noise, she discovers it's her ex-husband, randy, rifling through her office. when kelly confronts randy about breaking into her house, randy said that he was looking for his joke book. kelly is a pop singer, and it seems as if the author based kelly and randy on katy perry and russell brand, right down to randy's whiny british accent.
like the previous story, this one bounces back and forth between dustin's story and kelly's and randy's. there are a few short vignettes that detail the scope of the zombie apocylapse.
while i liked dustin's story better than kelly's, i came to utterly disdain dustin. if you've seen the movie, saving private ryan, there is one scene where i felt like jumping off my couch and strangling corporal upham. he is the translator that is too scared to help his friends as the nazis kill them. he just sits on the staircase and then even lets the nazi killer walk right by him without doing anything. the way i felt about corporal upham is the same way i felt about dustin, but dustin is magnitudes worse. so yeah, i got pretty wound up listening to his story.
dustin's story dominates the book. after a while, you don't hear much about kelly. it's not until the last fourth of the book that we learn about the characters from the first book, which is kind of disappointing. dustin is murphy's law, and he eventually brings his calamities to the safe community dan has built around his uncle's ranch.
overall, i was kind of disappointed with the story b/c i had hoped to hear more about dan and his community. i didn't really like the characters of kelly and randy, and maybe the author didn't either b/c he abandons them halfway through the book. regarding dustin, he's the type of character you love to hate. at first, you feel sorry for him, but as time passes, and you learn what he does, you quickly begin to loathe him. by the end of the story, you actually wish he gets what's coming to him!
as a zombie apocylapse story, it's ok, average, but as a character story, it's pretty good. why do i say that? b/c dustin really got under my skin and truly irritated me in a way i rarely am. so, i have to give the author props for that.
call me crazy, but i'd compare the beauty of the story to hemingway's the sun also rises.
the narration is spectacular! the narrator has a warm voice and is easy to listen to. his voice and reading add a haunting beauty to the story. his voices for higg and bangley are unique and match each character's disposition.
don't let the weird name of the book throw you off! the dog's stars is a beautifully written and narrated story! if you're a fan of dystopian stories, then this is a must listen!
the story is told in the first person by higg. he lives at an old country airport a few miles from the mountains. his only neighbor is bangley, a gruff survivalist. they are like an old married couple. there are very tense moments and some very funny moments. they are constantly sparring. higg is a free spirit while bangley is a stickler about following rules and protocols. together, they monitor the 8 square miles surrounding the airport.
higg flies his cessna around the property, looking for threats as bangley monitors the grounds from his sniper position. higg is the eyes, and bangley is the muscle.
i love dogs, and i love a good story about a dog. higg has a dog named jasper, who is a character in his own right. the author did an excellent job weaving the companionship and loyalty a dog can provide and display into this story.
i give this audio book my highest recommendation! there is only one caveat to this story- how and when you listen to it. you will probably want to listen to this when you have the time to devote your full attention to it. trust me, it is well worth it!
as the story opens, our unnamed protagonist is sitting across the table from su young, who is eating a girl. she is tankbread- a human grown in a tank as food for zombies. su young is an "evol," a thinking zombie. while not as smart or quick-thinking as a normal human, evols rule. there is a peace treaty between evols and humans b/c of the tankbread. tankbread gives the evols a little civility and intelligence so normal humans can live side by side with evols.
su young hires our unamed protagonist to journey to the sydney opera house, where the geeks create the tankbread, to bring back his latest shipment of tankbread. it's a dangerous journey b/c of all the feral dead, the dead outside the cities that don't eat tankbread.
while at the sydney opera house, a huge hoard of zombies attack. while fleeing our unnamed protagonist runs into a young tankbread girl, who is more than she seems, and he has been lead to believe. what ensues is their journey to discover what she truly is.
this story has a few twists. it is mostly action as they travel across parts of australia, trying to unravel the mystery of this girl. the story is kind of predictable as it is a mash-up of different stories you've heard before: an outlaw who slowly realizes he's in love with a mysterious beautiful girl with unlimited potential, set in a world where mad max meets zombies meets soylent green.
what stands out most is the narration. it is really good. rupert degas reads with a believable aussie accent. his voice is easy to listen to.
i have listened to r.c. bray a few times now, and he is becoming one of my favorite narrators. he gives each character their own unique voice. he is easy to listen to, and his narration draws you into the story.
robots and zombies!?! WTF...i thought! it's not normally a combination i'd consider even though i like them individually. BUT before you make a funny face and utter a derogatory remark, let me stop you there. this is a good zombie story, AND it is a great robot story.
great blend of characters. i found all of the characters interesting, unique, well drawn out, and needed. each character is an important building block of the world the author creates.
xom-b has all of the hallmarks of a good story, but i can't say too much b/c i don't want too spoil your listening experience.
i can usually predict how a story will unfold so i get excited when i'm surprised by a really good twist. there are breadcrumbs interspersed throughout the story, and what they finally lead to, i can honestly say i didn't see it coming.
overall, a good addition to your zombie library. if you're a fan of the zombie genre, this is a no-brainer- get it! but if you're not really into zombies, but you are into sci-fi, definitely give it a try b/c it's a good sci-fi book with a unique twist, and that twist be zombies! it's more AND better than you think!
NOTE: the story is a little slow in the beginning, but please give it a chance. it is well worth it!
NOTE 2: please nobody give away the twist of the story. you'll definitely earn my ire! thanks in advance!
wow! people either loved this book or hated it. i think that's what attracted me to it. i wanted to see what all the fuss was about! after listening to it, i can definitely see why some people didn't like it.
so let's start there...
i guess the biggest complaint is the violence against women. yup, i agree. it's brutal and sadistic. it's the most graphic and extreme i've ever listened to. but it provokes your emotions. i think that is the author's point. it brings home the meaning of an apocylapse, and the end of all civility. i liken it to a terrible accident. some slow down to look while others are too horrified. i can see how this "torture porn" can definitely put some people off. me? i was shocked by the sheer brutality of the character, garrett, but he is only in the vignettes.
this leads me to the structure of the book. throughout the story, there are 2 main story lines. one follows steve, who is a regular guy that gets caught up in a zombie apocylapse. he has no skills and no weapons. all he starts out with is a repair truck he stole. the other group is a young group of nerdy guys, who are online chatting as the zombie apocylapse begins. they decide to stock up what they have in their cars and meet in order to get out of the city.
interspersed between these 2 story lines are vignettes. within these, there are a couple of mini stories and one shot stories. there are like 8 vignettes throughout the story. the 2 mini stories follow juan, a homeless guy and former convict, and garrett, a psychopathic rapist. both mini stories are filled with extreme human on human violence. each vignette has 3 or 4 stories in it and lasts about 15 minutes.
with all of these story lines, it's hard to bond with the main characters. you don't really get a feel for them until 3/4 of the way through the book. plus, there's no notification that the story has changed story lines. it's kind of confusing. a few times when i wasn't listening closely, i was like, "what? what's going on here?" i had to rewind to find the switch.
this is a very graphic story. i must say the author does a great job describing and differentiating what the zombies look like and how they attack and feed. very gory stuff! but the zombies don't hold a candle to what man does to other men and women.
by the end of the story, i was engrossed enough to download the second book. hey! i'm a sucker for zombie series. i will say i liked book 2 better than book 1 b/c you actually get to know the characters better.
download at your own risk!
yes, but i couldn't. hey! i have a day job! LOL it took 2 days. after writing a bunch of SQL and LINQ code for 6 hours straight ON A SATURDAY, this story was a welcome reward. even though i had to be up on sunday at 7 a.m., i kept listening until i was finished at a little after 3 a.m. yup, i was totally engrossed!
i'm attracted to stories where a person or group of people are up against a seemingly impossible situation, and what's more impossible than trying to kill the most powerful super villain, especially when you have no superpowers yourself?
this is the situation our protagonist, david, finds himself in. david is at the bank with his father the day steelheart decides to take over Chicago. during a melee with another "epic," super-powered human, david's father manages to injure steelheart by accident. as any paranoid super villain would, steelheart decides to utterly destroy the bank and everyone in it to hide the fact that someone as seemingly impervious to any type of attack as he's supposed to be was some how injured. david barely manages to escape, and he knows that steelheart will go to any lengths to protect his secret.
there are layers of conflict in this story. the outer layers are obvious- the conflicts between battling epics for the domination and subjugation of normal humans. the middle layers- the conflicts between characters. the inner layers- the conflicts raging within each character. i can't say much more w/o spoiling some of the story. sanderson seamlessly weaves these layers together, creating a rich depthness of character, and you can't help but wonder what you'd really do. the characters connect with you, and each character's viewpoint is distinct enough that different listeners would undoubtedly decide which character's viewpoint matches their own. i actually found myself wavering between 2 drastically differing viewpoints- prof's and megan's. both are cogent arguments.
the pacing of this story is perfect. the action sequences are exciting, and the dialogue is spot on. it is meaningful and believable. there are a few nice twists and turns in the story.
the narration is great. i have been a fan of macleod andrews since i heard him narrate the sandman slim series. his gritty voice matches our young protagonist, david's. he also does a great job voicing the other characters.
i really liked this book! it is fast-paced and action-packed with the right amount of character development. there are 4 story lines, and each one is quite good. it is not hard to follow b/c the switch from one story line to another is prefaced by the character's name and location.
you definitely won't get bored with this book. if anything, there were times when i wished the author slowed down and expounded more, e.g. when some of the story lines start to merge. parts of it seemed a little rushed, but i still felt the rush of excitement as they met.
after 15 minutes, i was totally engrossed in the story and didn't want to stop listening. this is a good book for zombie newbies and old hats like me.
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