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The Zombie Specialist

the world's fastest fat man

Secret Fortress | Member Since 2014

187
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 73 reviews
  • 114 ratings
  • 233 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
25

  • Torn

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Druga
    • Narrated By Andrew Wehrlen
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    Darius Cobb wasn't thinking of man's extinction. He honestly never gave it a thought. A college professor and part time country singer, Darius worried only about teaching and playing his guitar until the day he is attacked by cockroaches and is placed into a special government quarantine. There, he and the others start piecing together the inevitable. Using his knowledge, he begins predicting the events that unfold. Together he and his group plan and then implement a long term survival plan.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "End of the world with typical craziness"
    "Could of been...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Other reviewers have done an excellent job of telling us about the story itself so I won't try to reinvent the wheel. You are better served by reading a plot review here:

    http://www.audible.com/listener/Michael-G-Kurilla/A3NQEKZ2TTCTP8/ref=a_pd_Sci-Fi_c9_1_1_rwTtl?asin=B00B1X7H9M

    So I will limit my review to other aspects of the story like narration. The narration does remind me a bit of a Seinfeld episode. It is pleasant but does make it a little difficult to experience any sort of tension. The complete opposite to a narrator like Kevin T Collins (who is great at adding tension to a scene by his voice). The narration speed on this title can easily be increased to 1.25x with no problems. I listened to it at 1.5x mostly and the only draw back was that at some places the voices seemed a little too high pitched (narrators pitch was already high to start with). The increase speed does of course shorten the total listening time of the story, if you are like me and consider the length of the story in your purchasing decision; please keep the speed factor in mind. Personally, I wasn't worried it was shortened by increasing the speed, because I didn't really enjoy this one.

    This audible story had the misfortune of following my listening of “The Undead Situation” my review can be found here:

    http://www.audible.com/listener/Dean-Thomas/AO082F0ADPGB5/ref=a_listener__c1_1_1_rvwTtl?asin=B0051WANJ0

    So it had a tall order to compete. Sadly it didn’t reach such heights but it still wasn’t all bad. It started slowly and I considered returning it during the first hour. But I am glad I didn’t, it got better. It isn’t a story I would recommend to someone who might be interested in ‘end of the world’ type thing, nor is it good enough to recommend to anyone sorely on a ‘listen to this and you will want to buy more audible books’. But it did kill many an hour of a boring commute of break time.

    I did find myself wishing that there was a bit more character development between the relationship of the main characters, as a result on a couple of occasions I thought 'what just happened here?', 'how did he/she?', 'why did he/she?'. The story itself could lead to further reincarnations maybe a mini-series. I do like the ideas and the possibilities this story has. The author does have other titles which seem as interesting. I just wished this one was better executed, and I am going to give her other work a go. I really do hope her other titles do a better job at bringing life those interesting plots!

    In summary this could have been a great listen and read. But sadly it just seemed to be poorly executed. It is another 'wait for it to be on specia'l so you don’t feel ripped off type of thing!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Shrouded World - Whistlers: A Shrouded World, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo, John O'Brien
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (419)
    Story
    (419)

    Jack Walker and Michael Talbot come from two worlds; the same, yet different. They both find themselves transported into an alien one, where things aren’t as they seem. While it appears similar to the ones they come from, there are some terrifying differences. Is it a dream? Or has reality been somehow warped? Jack comes from a world filled with nocturnal creatures that were once human, but now seek to destroy the last vestiges of humanity.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "A zombie apocalypse novel, it’s different"
    "I hate you Mark Tufo and John O'Brien :-)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It seems it has happened again. I am hooked on another series, and worse another series in which I am waiting for the next book to be released. I just sit in the corner and try to be a good boy why I wait and wait! Curse you both, Mark Tufo and John O’Brien, a good book and a promise of more, with a wait in between makes this fat man a very bad man.

    The way the characters come together in this story is excellent. The new twist to the old zombie story kept me wondering the whole time.

    It seems that the zombie genre just keeps improving with new dimensions being added all the time. You can really see John O’Brien’s influence in this one and it is some thing which I like very much!

    The reality is this book the first in the series is pretty simple. The main characters move from point A to B. However, the story starts to introduce some pretty original ideas missed in with a tad of old fables which will certainly leave you wanting to know more.

    There are two narrators in which I will purchase a book without reading anything about the book. Those two are RC Bray and Sean Runnette. These narrators really have the ability to bring a story to life. I increased the speed of this one up to 1.25x so it didn’t shorten the total length of this one too much (if you are watching your dollar per hour listening ratio)

    This one certainly has my two fat thumbs held high in the air!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mine: Northwest Passage 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John A. Heldt
    • Narrated By Aaron Landon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Curse you Mr Heldt"
    "Curse you Mr Heldt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Curse you Mr Heldt, what have you done to me? You have taken me from my usual genre of zombies and or historical wartime leaders/events/characters and sometimes with the two combined 

    You have got me interested in what is essentially a love story… a love story with a twist! This is something I was not expecting. I was expecting alternative history time travel full of action with world war 2 playing a wham bam zap and pow type affair. What I got was a great tale of love across time zones.

    I often found myself thinking about ‘what would I have done?’ Although Joel the main character has nothing in common with me, he is handsome, I’m….. well ugly. Joel’s a ladies man, I’m… well a desperate fat man! He is young, I’m old. He is rich, I am not. But I wanted it all to work out in the end for him.

    I won’t give any of the story away, because I think this is the type of book that is best to go into with no idea of what is going to happen. However, I will comment on the narration. The narration does manage to suit the characters very well. The only negative with the narration was that it was a little slow and did require a bit of a speed up. This did in turn lessen the listening hours. On the bright side you can listen to this one in a single day.

    I hope this is not an indication of my taste changing because I am quite happy with my normal listening choices. But Mr Heldt has caused me to think again!

    TWO THUMBS UP FROM THE FAST FAT MAN!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Well Fed: Mountain Man, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Keith C. Blackmore
    • Narrated By R.C. Bray
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (259)

    After nearly four years, the zombie epidemic has almost burnt itself out. Gus' new life on a communal farm is peaceful. The daily routine of policing the fields is rarely disrupted by straying undead. His drinking binges are over. Long days have thrown time over the memories of Annapolis. But this will all change.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "He's Back!"
    "He's Back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can thank Keith Blackmore’s “The Hospital” his first book in this series, for really get me hooked on the zombie genre. And hooked I have become! Dam you Mr Blackmore! But as what happens over time, your taste changes, or at the very least you sample a larger variety on offer and you discover that there is so much more on offer. This addiction has cost me hundreds of dollars. However, the first two in this series have always held a special place in my memory. I found the main character Gus to be so endearing.

    Out of the legion of other zombie stories I have listened to since those early days. I have always liked a story in which the main character reminded me of Gus. The dry sense of humour, the matter of fact way in which he deals with situations.

    I like it when the author does not try to make the zombie story as serious one. I like it when it is a bit tongue in cheek. Gus fits this role extremely well.

    I was not a big fan of the last one in the series ‘Hellifax’ probably largely because Gus was largely absent from it.

    I am so pleased to report Gus is back! But, there is something about him which is different! He and the Captian don’t talk much anymore (well to begin with). However the thing which took me most by surprise is at times Gus no longer is the drunken superman that I had pictured him to be from the earlier titles in the series. He is now a much more worn out old bloke who wet’s himself when he is scared by other alpha males. He has lost his mojo!

    There is so much to tell about this story, but I won’t because it will spoil the surprise of it all. But what I will say is that this one has really gone up a level!

    There seems to be a level of maturity about it. The way in which the characters and storyline comes together over the previous book is huge improvement. This one was so good I wished the story wouldn’t come to a close. New developments in this one took me by complete surprise. Even though Gus may have lost his mojo, he is still the same old Gus!

    The narration of Bray was once again excellent. He really is an excellent narrator for this type of story. The speed was a little slow and was best sped up a tad. So the story itself was shortened a little bit as a result. Might be important if you are watching your credit to hour value like me.

    I don’t think anyone would purchase this title in the series without listening to the earlier books. So there is not much point in me saying ‘buy this one’. But if you are reading this review and you think you would like to give this series a go. My advice would be grab the free short story ‘The Hospital’ to test the waters. If like me you didn’t like the previous one in the series and you were a little wary about purchasing this one. Well don’t stress, this one is good, very good.

    TWO THUMBS UP FROM THE FAST FAT MAN!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wrath: Adrian's Undead Diary, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Chris Philbrook
    • Narrated By James Foster
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (217)

    Good and evil play their game to determine whether humanity gets a second chance, and their pawns are the living and the dead. ALPA and Westfield have formed a strong alliance that keeps both settlements safe and growing. Adrian has even found time to discover a new love with Mallory. All is well. But when evil plays the game, it plays for keeps.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Continuation of a great series"
    "Taken to another level!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series, each one continues to improve. 'Wrath' in my view is the stand out in the series, it moves a lot faster, and it ties a lot of the story line together. The use of ‘one liners’ which relate to earlier story lines just brings back the story fresh to mind. For example, ‘hurting my big toe’ is meant to help you recall the great pushing poo down the drain story!

    Other characters play a far more important role than they did in the earlier books. The way some of the detail with the back story comes together is brilliant. We really are heading for a great climax in the series.

    The narration is good, I only sped this one up a tad to 1.25x Which means you could, if you tried fit this one into one day of listening pleasure.

    After the last in the series I was scared the supernatural good/evil God/Satan thing was going to ruin this series. But no it certainly did not. I just loved the interaction between the characters and the spiritual/supernatural (whatever you want to call it).

    I do find it strange writing a review for a 5th in a series, because if you have made it through all 4 than you know how good the series is, you don’t need a review. If you haven’t listened to the earlier one’s you normally wouldn’t just read the review of the 5th book. But if by some chance you haven’t listened to the series you could just purchase this one (it is that good). But you would be missing out on so much, do yourself a favour purchase them all and set yourself a week to do nothing but listen to this series and then do what I will have to do rock back and forth in the corner and wait for the next!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Ship: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By William Brinkley
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (71)

    The unimaginable has happened: the world has been plunged into all-out nuclear war. Sailing near the Arctic Circle, the USS Nathan James is relatively unscathed, but the future is grim and Captain Thomas is facing mutiny from the tattered remnants of his crew. With civilization in ruins, he urges those that remain - 152 men and 26 women - to pull together in search of land. Once they reach safety, however, the men and women on board realize that they are the earth's last remaining survivors.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Sailor Beware"
    "Sailor Beware"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the books in which I both loved and hated. The loved the premise of the book. However, at times the style of writing drove me to the point of going postal! Strangely, at other times I found it like a drug which left me wanting more. At times it felt like the author was using words for the sake of using words! At other times the descriptive nature of the language was like sweet music to my ears.

    I couldn't help but think about the author. What sort of person was/is he? Did he really speak and think like this in real life? I bet he would be the life of a party. I imagine he could insult me in 15 different languages.

    I would like you to imagine me saying this in the voice of Forrest Gump; “I’m not a smart man, but I know what…” it takes to finish this book. It takes commitment. It takes a certain type of mood. Perhaps a certain type of insanity because unless you like to examine every last thing in detail. If you are the type of person who goes out into the rain to try and count the rain drops then you will love this one!

    My advice is simple, listen to the sample not once, not twice, but over and over again for at least an hour. If you can still stomach the style of writing then go for it! You will have what it takes! This is the title for you. It will certainly give you a good credit per hour ratio, which is very important if you have to watch your cash flow like me (cheap skate actually for me).

    If you have any doubts about the style, then do yourself a favour and let this one pass. You will go mad in an attempt to make it to the end. Because, frankly the story is good enough for you to attempt it. If you buy it and don't make it through to the end you will hate yourself. If you do make it through to the end you will still probably ending up hating yourself. It will only be worse for you if you work in a industry in which you have to deal with people. I know my tolerance dropped sharply while listening to this one... If I have to tell one more person "have you tried turning it off and on again' I will hit them over the head with my keyboard while asking myself the question why did I spend 29 hours of my jam packed week listening to "The Last Ship"?

    So you have been warned sailor!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Weapons of Choice: Axis of Time, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Birmingham
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (288)

    History is rewritten in an instant as the future smashes into the past, and high-tech hardware goes head to head with World War Two technology. In the chaos that ensues, thousands are killed, but the maelstrom has only just begun. The veterans of Pearl Harbor have never seen a helicopter, or a cruise missile - let alone nanotechnology, ceramic bullets, and F22 Raptor stealth jetfighters. Allied and Axis forces are then caught in a desperate struggle to gain the upper hand.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Great... addicted to another loooooong series!"
    "Great... addicted to another loooooong series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh no I am once again addicted to a long series about military time travel/alternative universe! I am as hooked on this one as I was at first with ‘Destroyermen’ by Taylor Anderson. This is something I am not happy with because the ‘Destroyermen’ series is not yet complete or available yet! I swear if this series leaves me hanging as well I will go crazy!

    I loved this first book. It was well written, had plenty of characters, created just enough tension, and involved enough history and modern day problems to help you feel the drama of the story.

    This book screams for a multiple narrators to help with the different characters. But none the less I didn’t mind the narration. The speed was easily increased which decreased the length of listening time. However, even if you watch your listening credit per hour ratio (like I do as I am a cheap skate) this title still gives you a lot of listening time. The problem is you won’t be able to put it down and it will be over before you know it!

    I brought this one without checking the reviews or even reading the blurb about. I didn’t even know it was a series, and to be honest as I was listening to it and getting closer to the end I was wondering how is this going to finish? The closer I got to the end the more I became certain it was going to be a series. The more I became certain of this the more I became worried that it will just continue on and on like ‘Destroyermen’. However, if the rest in the series are as good as this one I won’t complain!

    I don’t think this book is meant to be a thought provoking blow your mind type deal. It is simply great value for money to entertain. I will certainly be buying the next in the series.

    Two thumbs up from me!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • ARV-3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Cameo Renae
    • Narrated By Erin Moon
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    The beginning of the end. The Apocalypse. A nuclear fallout wiped out every living thing on the planet, except for a few thousand of us who took shelter in underground bunkers across the globe. Now, after 13 long years, we were finally able to return to the topside to begin to rebuild. We thought we were alone. We were never more wrong. Before the fallout, scientists had worked on creating an anti-radiation vaccine (ARV).

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Very good, just not my cup of tea"
    "Very good, just not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listen to a lot of zombie stories; recently there have been a some excellent titles. This one is just as good as any of those. But it just wasn't my cup of tea. This one has a lot more of “boyfriend/girlfriend” issues. To be honest I really dislike listening to this sort of stuff, I really dislike listening to sex scenes particularly when riding on public transport!

    Whenever the story line moved away from the teen love relationships it had me gripped, the story quickly sped up and the tension was perfect! In fact the last 2 and half hours of this story was brilliant!

    The man character in this one is the female version of the main character Zach from 'Z-14'.
    The female narrator did a great job with the main character. But the male voices seemed forced. Not enough to make it painful. If I was thinking about purchasing another book narrated by Erin Moon I would definitely listen to the sample first. I suspect her voice would not be suitable for a story told mainly through a male character.

    The speed of the narration was not an issue and I only had to increase the speed to 1.25x This gives you a good 8 hours. Might be important if you watch your credit/per hour ratio.

    My buying advice if you like your end of the world zombie style genre told through the eyes of a warrior teenage princess. Then this is a winner. Even if you don't but like it told from this type of perspective, it is still pretty good… it just wasn’t my cup of tea!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Surviving in the Time of Zombies: The Most Uncommon Cold, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Littorno
    • Narrated By Todd Menesses
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    The zombie apocalypse continues. Don't miss the second entry in this intriguing zombie apocalypse series.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Drowning in a sea of competition"
    "Drowning in a sea of competition"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased the first one in this series without any reviews and it seems I did it again with this second in the series. It has also been a long time between titles so I wondered how I would go particularly because I have listened to a lot of zombie titles in the meantime.

    I need not have worried because this one started off with a lot of the detail from the first. So I was quickly able to recall the story. It went into so much back story that I wondered if I had purchased the same book with just a name change.

    In this title the same things can be said about the first in regards to narration. At normal speed it is just way to slow. Speed it up to 1.25x or even 1.5x speed and all is well. However, at 1.5x speed you are shortening the listening time to an already rather short story!

    One thing which did strike me as odd was that at no time in the entire story is the word ‘zombie’ mentioned! In my mind that is just weird! Another thing is odd, is occasionally the main character will go off into day dreams. I afraid for me it just didn’t work. It just felt ‘odd’.

    I stated in my review of the first in the series that I was looking forward to the next one. This time round I am not so sure. There still is a glimmer of hope for me to try the next in the series, but I will definitely want a longer story for it to be worth it with such a slow narrator.

    I hate leaving a review like this, because I know some author has spent countless hours working. But then I know that there are people like me who don't have a lot of cash and spending money on a audio book is something which means a lot. Therefore I feel compelled to say with so many other great zombie titles around at the moment, this one just doesn't rise to the top. My buying advice on this one is ‘wait until it is on the special price table’… sorry

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Z14: Zombie Rules, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Achord
    • Narrated By Graham Halstead
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (239)

    Zach Gunderson and his friends have carved out a life for themselves in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by zombies. But survival is a daily struggle. In addition to frequent encounters with hostile humans, Zach has discovered something very sinister about the zombies.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Is Zach the Messiah or just a very naughty boy?"
    "Is Zach the Messiah or just a very naughty boy?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Normally when I finish listening to a title I write the review straight away. But this time I thought I would take a couple of days and think a bit more carefully about this one. I am glad I did as I was able to actually discover the reason why I had liked it so much.

    That reason is simple, it makes feel young. There is no doubt the age of the main character and his ‘girlfriends’ help this, some of the story line regarding the relationships around Zach makes it feel like every teenage boys dream.

    Once again a lot of detail is left out of some of the more graphic story line... another indicator of the target market.

    Ok with all of that said and with me being middle aged bloke who does read/listen a lot and not just in the zombie genre. I also have two teenage children, which enables me to really understand why some species eat their own young. I like to think I am a bit more mature than the average teenager. Despite all of this I still enjoyed this series! I don’t think I could listen to a lot of this type one after another but it is good to bring out that young teenage person hidden within.

    I notice some have commented about the narrator’s lack of emotion. But I did not find it a problem; in fact it just reinforced the type of characters within the story. Once again the speed of the narration was best increased to 1.25x again this only shortened the total listening time a little. This might be important if you are like me; in that you like your credit dollars to give you a reasonable length in enjoyment factor.

    I did enjoy the ending in this one and will be looking for the third in the series. However, I suspect the third will be the last time I listen to the series… unless the author does something different. But for me this one deserves two thumbs up!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Rules: Zombie Rules, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David Achord
    • Narrated By Graham Halstead
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (274)

    Rick, an aging Vietnam veteran, alcoholic, and prepper, convinces Zach Gunderson that the apocalypse is on the horizon. The two of them take refuge at a remote farm. As the zombie plague rages, they face a terrifying fight for survival. They soon learn, however, that the walking dead are not the only monsters.

    Rob says: "Teenage zombie paradise"
    "Good Solid Zombie Title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No Nazi’s… No clowns… No God v Satan… Just a good solid traditional end of the world zombie story which is bound to keep you wanting more!

    I had not heard of the author or the narrator before, but I will be sure to look for them in the future. The narration matched the characters perfectly. The speed of the narration was best played at 1.25x which in turned only shorted the total listening time a little.

    I couldn’t but help think of another of my favourite zombie series ‘The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z’ when listening to this one. I just hope the second in the series doesn’t go down the same path of Apocalypse Z did. Not that it would be too bad if it did, but it is refreshing not read of some new even more crazy thing than the zombies.

    What I did find interesting was unlike many in this genre, the author seems to be very restrained in describing disturbing details… forced sex scenes for example don’t have too many details.

    This one really gets two thumbs up from me. It will provide hours of listening pleasure on a long travel to work. In fact I liked it so much I purchased the second in the series before I even finished the first!

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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