We've been inundated with zombie stories over the past few years, and I've read a lot of derivative, not especially interesting stuff. So I give Alden Bell credit for putting together a well-written story with a couple of fantastic characters. This book sucked me right in, and I enjoyed the heck out of it.
I understand the complaint that the world of this book is not entirely sketched out. Clearly the author didn't set out to write that particular story, though I wish he would have. The story is instead focused on a young girl who has grown up in this zombie infested world and kind of accepts it as her reality. If you want some long, epic book about the end of the world, you can always check out Stephen King's THE STAND or Cronin's THE PASSAGE.
If you've read THE HUNGER GAMES or any of that trilogy and enjoyed it, I would recommend this book to you. The main character reminds me some of that book's heroine. Although fair warning, this is not a YA title and has some graphic, gruesome stuff in it.
This is probably really a four star book in my opinion. But I thought the only other review on here was so wildly off base, I wanted to give it the full five stars and encourage people to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised how good this was and really wished it would have gone on longer.
Only made it through half of this audiobook before I gave up. Just too slow for my tastes. I give Wilson credit for fleshing out his characters into real people with real problems, but I mostly just found them real dull. Its a strange problem, because the book opens up with a stirring gun battle that raises all sorts of questions about what lies ahead. Unfortunately, few of those questions are answered anytime soon, as the main character mopes about his divorce or contemplates the arrangement of his sock drawer.
The slowness issue is exacerbated by the narrator. I listen to a ton of audiobook and my least favorite performance is the slow, quiet, overly earnest, NPR style delivery. Its a narration style seemingly designed to soothe the reader to sleep. Honestly, I am not sure if the book is as slow and dull as I think it is or if the narrator just read it that way.
There are some things to like about Helgason's novel. As common a character as "the hitman on the run" is in books, this hitman at least has a fairly interesting and novel background. The setting in Iceland is also something the reader might not have come across before now. There are funny moments in the book, a few almost laugh out loud. And lastly, the narrator is fantastic. I am guessing that he is affecting the accent he uses for the hitman, but I personally thought he did a great job with the reading.
My main problem with the book was the story. After a decent setup, it alternates between not very interesting to just flat out dull. At times the situations feel like something you might find in a sitcom. Three's Company or something like that. A lot of things happen which are just hard to understand. Why did a character act this way? Why is this happening at all? The finale is completely unsurprising. This book ends pretty much EXACTLY the way you think it will.
I was mostly glad it was a fairly short novel. I managed to finish it, so it wasn't a complete waste of a credit or anything. I think I have better books in my library to enjoy though.
I preferred Winds of War to this sequel, but it was still a great read/listen. You get a dose of WWII history mixed with an epic family story and romance. The narrator is fantastic across the board. Really worth one's time to listen to this story - and what a great deal to get a novel of this length for a single credit. Great job audible!
If you've seen this book in the bookstore you probably noted how huge it was. The audio is broken into three 7 hour chunks. I'll just point out that after finishing part I, you will still not know what the plot of the book is exactly.
Like I many other people, I've been a big Clancy fan up until now. So I found this book not just disappointing but a little sad. It seems to me that Clancy has forgotten what made his books so entertaining and fun to begin with - intricate plots, intrigue, realism, etc; and replaced that with shoot 'em up action and far fetched stories that read like a bored grandpa's fantasy fulfillment. Its just lame.
A lot of this book is also a thinly veiled, extremely lame attack on the Obama administration. (Seriously, you're going to make some kind of point about health care reform in this book book?? Yawn.) The weak kneed liberals start trying special ops soldiers for murder when they were just trying to kill some terrorists in a cave! Its just freaking ludicrous. I'm sure the Fox News crowd will love it, but consider this my last Clancy read.
I was feeling inspired to read the Talisman again after just finishing the excellent UNDER THE DOME. All I can say is, wow, Stephen King has really gotten better over the years. This book is just terrible. Let me tell you how bad this book is, I listened to 25 hours of it or whatever and just couldn't finish the last hour. Couldn't take it anymore.
I read this book when it first came out, and even then as a teen I was underwhelmed by it. There are just a ton of problems with the book. Its a mediocre and awkward story. The magic negro stuff is embarrassing. Much of the dialogue is also embarrassing and painful. The sci-fi-ish flipping through dimensions stuff is just boring and I completely zoned out listening to it.
Lastly, I'm sure I'm not alone in commenting on Frank Muller's terrible narration. He literally ends every sentence in this hushed whisper like he is out of breath. I think it is supposed to be dramatic. However, if you end EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE that way it is not dramatic, just TERRIBLY IRRITATING. I don't know how I ever got past the first hour because the effect was like nails on a chalkboard. Man, I couldn't wait to move on to something else.
First I'll say this was an excellent download and a great listen. I found myself constantly looking for excuses to put on the ipod and continue the book. It even inspired me to go on several loooong runs!
I loved the sprawling epic. Classic Stephen King a la the Stand. Good and huge cast of characters. Very enjoyable.
The narrator does a really good job for the most part. His Big Jim voice in particular was AWESOME. However, his voice for little kids makes them all sound kind of retarded which is annoying.
So why isn't this a great book? Well there has to be a reason for the dome, and the reason/payoff for it is less than satisfying in my opinion. King tries to come up with this really clever, ironic twist for why the dome exists, and its just a little too goofy in my opinion. I think a simple government experiment gone awry would have been preferrable.
Either way, I highly recommend this audiobook. It will keep you entertained for a good many hours and is still well worth your time. Now how about getting THE STAND in audio format??? I have it on cassette and know it exists!!!
Not the sort of book I would normally pick up, but I fully enjoyed this story. Very engaging and detailed. Worth a credit and your listening time. This would make a good movie!
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