Member Since 2012
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.
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.
yup, i'd be messed up too if what happened to gus happened to me in this short story.
the hospital is a 60 minute story about the horrors of a hospital after a zombie apocylapse. gus stops by a hospital to scavenge for supplies when he runs into more than he expected.
if you read mountain man, then this will tell you why gus is the drunk he is. it fills in a little more of his story.
if i had listened to this before i listened to mountain man, then i may not have liked it as much.
as a short story, it's filled with violence and horror, and you don't get a sense of gus, except that he's the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.the scenes are quite graphic!
the last 45 minutes is a preview of the mountain. it turned out to be a pretty good story.
sad but hopeful
as the story opens, gus is waking up from a bender. he's been alone for 2 years since the world ended. he lives in a house, up on the mountain. gus passes his time by watching movies, drinking, and going on scavenging runs into the city below. gus has become an alcoholic b/c of the horrors he's lived through. booze is his mental armor.
gus has been fine with his loneliness, but a run in with another survivor spurs his interest in companionship. the story starts out as a study in loneliness during a zombie apocylapse then blooms into a story of companionship.
the story is kind of slow, but i enjoyed it. there are a few tense scenes interspersed throughout the story. i liked it b/c it exposed what it's like to be alone for a long time and then suddenly have company. by the end of the novel, i definitely bonded with gus.
the zombies are mostly slow shamblers with fresh ones being faster. there is some good zombie action as gus dons his leathers, neck brace, and motorcycle helmet and bashes them with his steel baseball bat.
the writing is good, and there are some really funny lines! a few times, i had to rewind b/c i thought, "did he just say what i thought he did!?" there is a lot of graphic language in the book.
overall, i liked the story b/c of its uniqueness.
NOTE: if you like this story and want to know why gus is the way he is, then pick up the free short story.
constantly being surprised at how the story unfolded
there were several moments that moved me, moments of sadness and disgust. there are a few powerful moments, but i can't go into deal b/c i don't want to spoil the listener's experience!
wow! i'm shocked at how good this second book was! the first book was just MEH. so why did i download this second book? b/c there was some potential to make the story interesting, but also b/c first book ended with an irresistibly intriguing scene.
the first book had some ups and some downs. in the first book, i didn't really like the main character, danny, and it was hard to bond with her. she has some serious anger issues and is so hard-headed that she often alienates those around her. she is an unlikable hero.
however in the second book, the author does a good job making danny seem more human. yes, she still has some serious anger problems, but the author does a better job flushing them out. in the first book, the author used danny's anger to drive the plot, some of which seemed downright dumb (threatening looters with arrest during a zombie apocylapse) and contrived (leaving the group to look for her sister). in this book, the causes and reasons for danny's anger are realistic and at times, justified, and therefore more believable. i found it refreshing to listen to a zombie story where there was a lot of anger.
in a couple of other zombie stories, where characters have had serious anger issues, those characters did really stupid things, things that really uncharacteristic of their characters and thus wouldn't happen during a zombie outbreak, like shouting and breaking things while supposedly hunkering down in a safe house. i'm thinking of my review of the first 2 the becoming novels in particular.
anyway...back to this review. yes, danny blows her top and makes mistakes. these scenes are realistic and emotional. i found myself thinking "God danny, why did you do that!?" even though danny is brash and unlikable, you start to like her and care for her. this really surprised me after the first book. i really liked how the author explored the complicated relationship b/ween danny and her sister, kelly.
what happens in this second book is also much more interesting than the first book. the first book details the initial outbreak, followed by fleeing and trying to find a safe place to hold out. the main human enemies were a rogue band of private military thugs. been there done that. the pace of the story in the first book is herky jerky. the author does a much better job of pacing the story in this second book. one layer of plot smoothly lays upon another as the mystery and tension build.
i won't spoil anything more revealing than the publisher's summary, but what danny finds in the "safe" place is as intriguing as it is creepy. a few zombie novels i have liked have tried to do something along this line, e.g. beyond the barriers, the reanimation of edward shuett, i zombie, but ben tripp creates something truly unique and horrifying. the author really could of lost control of the story in this part, but he did a good job pulling in the reins, keeping the pace of the story moving without getting lost on a tangent.
what i really liked was how unpredictable the story was. every time i thought this or that was going to happen, i was proven wrong, all the way up to the closing credits.
now, the important question. drum roll...do you need to read the first book? i would say no. this story is pretty self-contained. you can catch up with what's going on in the beginning as the author briefly recounts what happened. but like i said, parts of the first book are painfully slow, especially the beginning- 2 and 1/2 hours before anything really happens.
overall, a great story! there are a lot of twists and turns and some freaky surprises! i definitely recommend this book. the first is your call!
to those who listened to the first book and didn't like it, i definitely suggest you give this book a chance b/c it's so much better. i think a good comparison would be the roads less traveled series. while the first book in that series was kind of MEH, the second book was great. this second book is really good!
throughout this series, joe ledger has fought just about every kind of worst nightmare imaginable and has managed to come out the other side. i have enjoyed this series b/c it's like a modern day, 21st century james bond, but only meaner, grittier, bloodier, and a lot more scarier.
joe ledger's enemies are over the top, and when i start a new ledger book, i always look forward to what kind of enemy jonathan maberry will throw against the dms. just when you've thought that the dms has fought the cleverest of enemies, maberry introduces a new enemy, who is perhaps the most insidious and devious the dms has ever faced.
maberry does a good job building the backstory of the enemy so that he/she/it is truly a formidable adversary. for most of the story, the dms are scratching their heads at who could be doing these things. part of the excitement of the story is watching the dms pull the layers of the onion back, trying to discover the identity of their enemy.
of course, the action scenes are full-throttle, and there are only a few others who can pen them as well as maberry. as with most of the other stories in this series, this is a fast-paced thrill ride from start to finish with a few heartfelt moments dropped in along the way.
i guess my main complaint is that with so many characters to love, only a few get to the chance "to burn to shine." but we do get to know one dms character a little better. i won't say, but i will give you a hint. which dms member do you loathe?
i love ray porter's narration. ray porter IS joe ledger. he's also incredibly good at portraying all of the other characters.
overall, code zero is one of my favorite books in this series! after an ok 4th book and a kind of out of left field 5th book, i'd say back on track. i liked those books but not as much as the others.
are you still reading this review? what are you waiting for? download this audio book and start the adventure. it's a treat for your ears!
the rising would've been really good w/o the supernatural element. yes, that's the weakest part of the story. i don't mind a touch of the supernatural in my zombie stories. in fact, one of my favorite series, zombie fallout, has a supernatural aspect. so why did i dislike it in this novel? 2 reasons.
one. the supernatural aspect was not needed! the author develops 2 sets of bad guys. the "other" set of bad guys is more insidious and just as evil and deadly to our characters. they come from within. that's all i'll say! they're more devious and scarier.
two. the supernatural aspect is cheesy! so cheesy that i almost gave up on the book in the first 30 minutes and returned it! thankfully, the opening scene only lasted like 34 minutes! so why do i say it's cheesy? b/c it's soo b-movie, and the narration of the ancient evil sounds over the top cartoony! that's not to say all the narration is bad, but how the narrator portrays the supernatural characters is worse than a roger corman b-movie villain! i love my b-movies, but this is worse than a tara reid movie. if you're going to mix supernatural with zombies, then don't make it chessier than sharknado!
i won't spoil too much, but the publisher's summary does mention a dark priest. ok...i could deal with this whole dark priest thing IF it was done right, but instead of feeling creeped out or threatened, i just couldn't get past the cheese factor. again...thankfully, his introduction is short, and he only pops up twice for a short amount of time in the rest of the story.
as for the rest of the story, i rather liked it! in fact, i liked it so much that i kept listening through those cheesy parts. basically, there are 4 separate groups of people that are trying to survive as the dead come back to life and start viciously attacking the living. i liked the different characters, they and their situations were so different that i never got confused as to who was who and what was happening to them.
as the story progresses, the different storylines begin to merge. yes, this is the first in a series, but it ends at a good point.
overall, i liked a majority of the story. IF you can put up with a little cheese and like zombie stories, then you may like this one. BUT the cheese is kind of strong and if you're the least bit lactose intolerant, then stay away. for a 7 hour book, there's about an hour of cheese. the rest is gravy. i love poutine so i'll probably get the next book in this series when it comes out. if you're on the fence, then wait until it comes out and i'll review it and let you know whether or not it's worth it.
a mix of the movie, constantine, and the living dead.
as the story opens, 3 weeks have passed since the dead have come back to life and started eating people. mitch, jed, and clinton are holed up in a house, afraid of drawing any attention to them. their food and water are almost gone, and between them, they only have one handgun. a storm is approaching. clinton hushes the guys as he thinks he hears something mechanical approaching. above the wind and pouring rain, they hear a helicopter. as the helicopter approaches their house, clinton notices the helicopter's engine is making a funny noise. clinton tells mitch and jed that he believes the helicopter is going to go down. as they peak out the window to try to find where the helicopter is, the helicopter turns on a spotlight and starts to look for a safe place to land. although they all agree that the helicopter's noise will draw zombies from all over the place, they come to the conclusion that rescuing the survivors may be the only way they can survive. with the storm raging, they head out to follow the failing helicopter.
mitch and jed are brothers, but there's a lot of bad blood between them. mitch was picking up jed the day the zombie apocylapse started. jed had just finished a 7 year stretch in prison. throughout the story, the tensions between jed and mitch build. you'd think that 2 brothers could put the past behind them, especially during a zombie apocylapse, but jed just cannot forgive his brother. the reason behind jed's hatred of his brother is kind of unrealistic, but the author does do a good job of ratcheting up the tension between them.
the author also does a pretty good job building mystery about the helicopter's survivors. you know there's something off about them, but you don't know exactly what it is until it's finally revealed. i've listened to a bunch of zombie novels, but i've never listened to one where the characters were so terrified of zombies. well, maybe if i only had 1 handgun and a crowbar, i'd be just as terrified. but the terror of what they went through causes them to even fear the appearance of a single zombie, and 2 of them are really burly men!
as for the zombies, they're the slow, shambling type. throughout most of the story, the characters try to avoid them as much as possible. most of the interaction happen at the bookends- the beginning and the ending.
after the big reveal, the plot becomes kind of predictable. the whole story takes place over a couple of days. the pacing of the story is kind of slow as the first 2 hours revolve around rescuing the people in the helicopter. this is more of a run and hide zombie story than a zombie battle story.
there's not a lot of character development, but the author is able to develop a palpable atmosphere of tension between the characters.
i think what i liked most about the story was the writing. it's one of the more descriptive zombie stories i've listened to. but that might be too much for some listeners. as a wannabe writer, i valued how the author described actions, situations, and characters.
as a zombie story, it's just ok. there are more entertaining and faster-paced stories out there. but if you're a fan of well-written sentences, scenes, and dialog, then definitely give it a listen. it has given me ideas of what to do and what not to do.
there's definitely an opportunity for the story to continue. i think that if a second book is written, then it would be more interesting b/c of the reveal. i like the author's writing style, and my biggest disappointment is that i think the author left a lot on the table.
overall, nothing in the story really stood out to me, but i did like the writing. the narration is pretty good. rc bray does a good job portraying the male characters. i found him easy to listen to.
bronson pinchot is one of the best narrators, hands down! his inflection and reading pace bring the pages to life. he can portray the gruff commander, the southern redneck, the quiet asian lady, the psychotic killer...he can also do any accent- russian, arabic, british, etc... he is an amazing narrator! a joy and a pleasure to listen to!
dead six is told from the perspective of the 2 main characters. michael valentine or "val" is a mercenary. he has worked for different private armies throughout the world. having had a troubled youth, lorenzo took to the dark side. being good at being bad, lorenzo has built a reputation as a master thief. he steals from the bad people b/c they can't go to the police.
as the story opens, both val and lorenzo are coming off jobs. val's last job was fubar, and he's working in las vegas as a security job. after a tough night of eating $h!t from the higher-ups, val heads back to his apartment to crash. he gets an unexpected call from his old team leader, taylor, who tells him of a job. tired of his boring and monotonous job, val signs up to join dead six.
coming off a highly successful score, lorenzo and his crew, tank, carl, and reaper are celebrating at a restaurant when they're interrupted by a huge fat guy dressed in white. the fat guy says he works for big eddie and has a job for lorenzo. in a scene straight out of the usual suspects, lorenzo accepts big eddie's job.
after accepting their jobs, both val and lorenzo learn that their jobs will take them to zubara, a fictional country in the middle east, bordering saudi arabia and yemen.
as the story progresses, val's and lorenzo's storylines cross and then merge. i liked how the story was told from 2 perspectives. a few times, we get to see how things unfold from different sides. there's a lot of action, and as their missions line up, the tension builds as val and lorenzo eventually come face to face. while the first 60 percent of the story kept my interest, i was totally engrossed and locked in after val and lorenzo came face to face.
i like stories with mysterious and powerful bad guys, and this story has a couple. val and lorenzo have to deal with their own dark masters. as more and more is revealed, each learns that the conspiracies and their enemies are deeper and more entrenched than previously thought.
there are a lot of twists and turns in the story. quite a few times, i tried to predict what was going to happen, but i was happily wrong. a few times, i was kind of shocked at how wrong i was.
i liked how the story ended. there was a satisfying conclusion to some of the plot lines while there was an intriguing set up for the next book.
if you're into the whole zombie genre and are looking for something different, then definitely give i, zombie a listen. the book is broken into 6 parts. the first 5 parts tell the story of people who have become zombies. each part follows 2 or 3 main characters. as they shamble around, looking for fresh meat, they recount parts of their lives. as a zombie, they are fully aware of what they're doing, but they can't stop their bodies. they have no control over their need to feed.
there is a wide assortment of characters with diverse backgrounds. believe it or not, there's a lot of character development in each part. each character is different and has their own unique story to tell. actually, there's a lot of emotion in this zombie book. what do i mean? i felt different emotions from the different stories. to name a few, i felt sadness, disgust, contempt, and believe it or not triumphant.
the narration is excellent. each character has his/her own narrator, who brings the character to life even though they're dead. LOL
the writing is tight. there's nothing i would add nor remove from the story. there is a lot of gore, and the scenes of the zombies feeding are probably the most descriptive, disgusting, an horrifying i've ever read or listened to.
overall, a great and unique addition to my zombie library. so if you're looking for something different, then look no further. this is a great book from the zombie perspective. this is why you don't want to become a zombie!
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