I had seen the Lost Fleet series popping up as suggestions, and in various sales, for quite a while. I thought, from the beginning, that the series would interest me as a sci-fi fan. Finally I'd gone through all the series I was reading when I was seeing this one pop up and decided, "What the heck, no better time than the present" and gave it a shot. The only regret I have is not starting this series sooner. I've truly enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, it has some repetition in it, but I've noticed that many great series also have some repetition. I'm sure the author doesn't always know, or assume, the reader will remember everything so it's good to have those little reminders in there, and personally they don't bother me at all. I like that the author doesn't make aspects of space flight and space battle so specific with detail that it's boring, but instead provides just enough detail about what's going on (distances, speeds, etc) to make a good mental image and keeps going with the story. I've read stories on both extremes, with too much and others with not enough, detail and it becomes either distracting or disengaging. This series hits the mark pretty close to perfect in my opinion and once I started the series, I couldn't stop until I finished them all. If you're a sci-fi fan, I really don't think you can go wrong listening to the Lost Fleet series.
Absolutely, without hesitation. Even if the person had no history with the Mike Talbot universe, this book gives you all you need to fall in the love with the character. Mark Tufo's books are wonderful because he is one of the few writers who can make me laugh, cry, think, and completely lose myself in the story; often times all at once. I suppose that's the point and any of Mark Tufo's books are great for just closing your eyes and immersing yourself into.
It was great to see and hear Mike back in his element. By that, I mean inadvertently getting himself into trouble, then finding a way out with sometimes insurmountable odds against him. I know it's the point, and perhaps a bit cliché, but Mike Talbot is the best part of any of the stories in his myriad universes.
I think if I were walking down the street and heard Sean Runnette's voice, I'd probably say, "Talbot?" aloud while looking for him. Since I listen to these stories, the narration is critical for my enjoyment and with all of the books I've listened to, Sean Runnette is in a very small group, for me, who could make reading the phone book interesting. He brings every character to life in a way that's almost like standing there with them.
I don't want to mention spoilers, but I'll say the ending. It was shocking, I didn't see it coming, and I've thought about it quite a bit since hearing it. I have faith, however, in Mark Tufo that it will have a very good reason behind it at the end.
If you've enjoyed anything by Mark Tufo, or the Mike Talbot universe, in the past I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I'd recommend it just as strongly for anyone looking for a place to start with some of Mark's works, but it'll be a lot more enjoyable, I believe, if you have some background on the character. There are some things you'll pick up on, and understand more fully, with some background but it's not absolutely necessary.
Oh, and if you remember the "pickle incident" from early in the Zombie Fallout series, do yourself a favor and check out this book.
My favorite thing about this series is the unique take on the zombies themselves. At the beginning of the book I was assuming (always dangerous) that it would be the same type of zombies I've seen in countless movies, TV shows, and books. I really enjoy the twist that Mark Tufo has put on them and that one thing has hooked me enough that I'm going to finish the series.
I also love the bits of humor Mark Tufo puts into various scenes. Some of it is a bit expected but others (i.e. the McDonald's flashback scene in book two) were absolutely hilarious. I'm not expecting a comedy in a series like this, but I do think moments of levity are important to offset the moments of seriousness in the rest of the book.
I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series and I would definitely recommend this series to any zombie genre fan.
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