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John

I enjoy well researched historical fiction where I feel like I've learned something as well as being entertained.

Member Since 2012

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 87 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Hissers

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ryan C. Thomas
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (309)

    It's the last weekend of summer break in the small town of Castor, and four teenage friends are about to attend the most popular end-of-summer high-school party in town… with a massive wave of mutated undead about to crash the party. It's The Breakfast Club meets Resident Evil as the teens of Castor fight to stay alive.

    Mike Naka says: "stephen king of zombies"
    "Zombie apocalypse with a teenage twist!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Hissers is a magnificent and horrifying tale that is well written (with one glaring exception that I’ll explain below) and excellently produced. Macleod Andrews does an outstanding job with the narration. It is a fresh and exciting variation on the zombie genre told from the point of view of a group of kids trying to survive an undead apocalypse. One of the wonderful and very scary elements is that the kids are all believable – the way they talk, their interests, the angst – and this adds a kind of realism to this story that it needs to survive. The reader is drawn in to the characters as well as the story.

    Frighteningly, we know from almost the beginning that none of them are safe. Nobody is safe! I found myself on several occasions saying RUN! HIDE! GO! No, not that way! Which is what I love in a great horror story.

    This is a great, scary read that I highly recommend – with the caveat below:

    For the most part the author, Ryan Thomas, is spot on and you believe the town and kids are so real it’s easy to “see” the action. However, the illusion vanishes like a falling backdrop whenever he talks about the military (which fortunately is not much). His ignorance and lack of the most basic knowledge is really inexcusable. I don’t expect many people these days to have a full grasp of military culture and hardware but if you’re going to write about it at least have a basic understanding. Most glaringly – A. Jeeps? Really? the US military hasn’t used Jeeps in over 30 years. They use Humvees and, oh yea, they are very well armored – all you have to do is watch the news to know that. B. F-14s? The last Tomcats were retired 5 years before this book was written and really had been out of the fleet for over a decade. Also, F-14s are “fighter jets” (designed for aerial combat) not bombers. In fact, most of the military hardware and ordinance used in the book is completely wrong for the situation. C. Please learn the difference between, and the roles of, Officers and Enlisted members. There is a whole chain of command between Generals and Privates. And, the only place where you will find a “squad of officers” is in Officer Candidate School or at a retirement ceremony. D. Finally, I’ll forgive that the Marines are completely the wrong service to be involved in the described situation (read the Marines mission) but will give kudos for use of Harriers as close air support (right service & right mission) although I suspect this is more accident than planning since, again it’s not the right vehicle to achieve the desired goal (hint B-52s).

    Mr. Thomas, if you read this, I loved the book but next time you write about the military please do some basic research.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Failed Coward: Adrian's Undead Diary, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Chris Philbrook
    • Narrated By James Foster
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    A sinister darkness has finally cast its long shadow across the world, and Adrian Ring now suspects he's at the center of the maelstrom. And he's not alone. Even overseas, his friend Kevin is somehow standing at his side. At Auburn Lake, Adrian and his adopted family finally understand that the dreams they have suffered since the end of the world are far more than restless imaginings. When a thousand mindless dead arrive holding books, can it be anything but a message from beyond the grave?

    The Zombie Specialist says: "The series which gets better and better!"
    "Undead Diary Bites Back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Masterful return to form in this release. I bitched about the pace of the last book and maybe Philbrook got the message. The story and characters are much better borne out here and the feeling of danger and anxiety are back as Adrian and his crew struggle to survive, make allies and stay one step ahead of the undead.

    I particularly enjoyed the continuation of the side story about Adrian's military/security friend overseas. This seems that it might tie in to Adrian's at some point but it could really stand on its own. I'm hoping to see more of these characters in the next book - or maybe even a spin off!?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fortress Britain: Arisen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Stephen Fuchs, Glynn James
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    A world fallen under a plague of seven billion walking dead. A tiny island nation the last refuge of the living. One team of the world's most elite special operators. The dead, these heroes, humanity's last hope, all have.... Arisen.

    Lamonti says: "Why Half A Book?"
    "Spec Ops VS the Dead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This entire series is excellent! I listened to all of them within a few days and found it hard to turn off. Very well written and performed. The main characters are military Spec Ops types and Fuchs' has either been there or done his research well. One of the great things about the story is that even though these guys (and girls) are tough, trained and well armed they are still almost outmatched by the undead. Nobody is safe as they struggle to stay a half step ahead of the zombie hoardes, not to mention all the other pitfalls of post apocalypse civilization (supplies running low, fuel & ammo scarce, equipment failing, buildings structurally unsound). The anxiety and intensity level is off the chart and it is a non stop fight for survival. If these Spec Ops types are getting their asses kicked like this none of us regular Joe's would have a chance!

    Tom Clancy could not write a better Military vs Zombie series. The only downside will be for readers with no military background. There are a lot of acronymns and references that only military types will get. But, even then, Fuchs explains what needs to be understood without boring the those of us who get it.

    Last note - if you like "The Remaining" series you will love this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Surviving When the Dead Have Risen: A Tale of the Zombie Apocalypse: The Most Uncommon Cold, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Littorno
    • Narrated By Todd Menesses
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Catch this new twist on the zombie apocalypse - Imagine a world in which nothing is as it should be. Our loved ones no longer recognize us. The basic laws of society no longer apply. And the dead do not remain still. That is the world in which reporter Kevin Turner finds himself. Now finding the facts surrounding the story do not matter as much as simply finding a way to stay alive.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "it's not your average zombie story"
    "Rambling Reporter Rumbles with the Risen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    There are some interesting new spins on the zombie genre here that I like. Mainly they can communicate with each other, think basic thoughts and use tools. I am interested in seeing where their development is going. The main character is hard to follow though. At one point he seems to be going crazy which makes sense, but then he's not, so his behavior goes back to being inconsistent and hard to believe. He forgets how long he has been doing things - a lot (sitting down, staring at walls, laying on the floor). Minutes after a major zombie encounter he stops at his favorite Chinese food restaurant. Then leaves with little to no warning to his "friend" the proprietor of what is happening. Other characters are 2D and not very well developed. This is an ok book if you have nothing better going on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Night: Dead of Night, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (185)

    Officers Fox and Hammond, along with journalist Billy Trout, are calling it the beginning of the end. This is the zombie apocalypse. An insane escaped serial killer is infecting Stebbins County with a deadly virus, and now the whole world is watching while Fox, Trout, and the remaining inhabitants of Stebbins fight for their life against - what? The undead? The President and the National Guard are ready to nuke Stebbins, PA off the map and cut their losses. But the infection is spreading and fast.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Simply Ear Candy"
    "Zombies spread exponentially"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Good continuation of this series with well done character and plot development .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (524)
    Story
    (524)

    A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he can be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang… but a bite.

    Mike Naka says: "pretty good zombie story"
    "The Dead go Airborne"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Fast paced & entertaining spin on the zombie thing. Another from the zombie plague disease angle but with some interesting new takes on what its like to be among the walking dead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight: Adrian's Undead Diary, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Chris Philbrook
    • Narrated By James Foster
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    In Midnight, the third installment in the smash hit Adrian's Undead Diary series, the threats to Adrian and his new friends are greater than ever before. Local survivors holed up in an empty factory led by the chief of police are now crossing paths with Adrian and the Williams clan. Meanwhile Sean, the bloodthirsty tyrant from Westfield, seethes for vengeance after Adrian fends off attack after attack to take ALPA and everything he's worked so hard for.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Adrian delivers again!"
    "Good series for zombie fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I've enjoyed this series overall and recommend it to my fellow zombie & horror readers. This episode however drags a bit and at points seems to become a laundry list of things the main characters are doing and collecting. Also, for most of the series the main character, Adrian, comes across as an average guy but here he starts to lean into being more of a super soldier. With his Army background we expect more from him than a real average guy but here its a little much. Still a good read and worth a listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Recollections: Adrian's Undead Diary, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Chris Philbrook
    • Narrated By James Foster
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (141)

    For the first time, the Internet phenomenon is now in print! Beheading a zombie isn't easy in a world where you're more afraid of the living than the dead. Adrian Ring's simple life is thrown into chaos when the world is ripped apart by a plague of undead and legions of desperate survivors. Retreating to Auburn Lake Preparatory Academy, Adrian attempts to rescue friends and family on the way while dancing around his impending insanity over who and what he left behind, and evading maniac survivors.

    Mike Naka says: "northern exposure meets zombieland"
    "Decent take on tne dead rising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Philbrook is a good writer and makes the story interesting. The main character is a believable everyman struggling to survive amidst a sudden zombie apocalypse. The situations & rules are familiar but well done. The narrator tells the story well but drones a bit until he gets going. This is another zombie story written in journal format and every chapter ends with the narrator reading the main character's name... "Adrian" as if its a signature at the bottom of a page. This gets annoying after a while.

    Overall well written and carried out. If you are looking for an entertaining zombie story (series) for a long trip or quiet weekend this would be a good choice.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Roads Less Traveled: Murphy's Law

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By C. Dulaney
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (121)

    Kasey and the gang were held together by a set of rules, their Zombie Plan. It kept them alive through the beginning of the End. But when the chaos faded, they became careless, and Murphy’s Law decided to pay a long-overdue visit.

    Mike Naka says: "excellent 2nd book! surpassed my expectations!"
    "Weak follow up to Promising Start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    UGH! After a great start in the first novel Dulaney falls dead in this follow up. High points are the narration by E Rodgers and the fact that Dulaney is actually a very good writer. Her writing quality provides cover for the fact that this seems like a jumble of scenes tossed together for no particular reason. There doesnt seem to be any effort to be creative as everything is old and predictable. Much of the story takes place in a prison (very similar to the WD series) but she makes no effort to make the stay there very interesting or different from the series. Except that there seem to be endless supplies that no one is making any effort to ration. Also, the bad guys are bad for no reason other than thats how they are written. I found myself many times saying "what? - no way." There are huge gaps in the logic of why the characters go from one place to the next. Also, even though they know that noise attracts the zombies they fire off rounds like they live in an ammo factory. The answer always seems to be to waste ammo and make noise when simpler tactics would be much more practical - like how about we create a distraction so the zombie hoard turns before they get to the hide out? And how the heck (spoiler) despite the fact that everyone is on high alert, does the main bad guy steal a horse, cut through two fences and escape right into the zombie hoard without anyone noticing?! There are a few good scenes but overall I found myself drifting and wondering how much longer it was going to go on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roads Less Traveled: The Plan

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By C. Dulaney
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (180)

    Ask yourself this: If the dead rise tomorrow, are you ready? Do you have a plan? The dead rose, and the living quickly realized that Hollywood-style tactics were the quickest way to find yourself one of the walking dead. Kasey, a strong-willed loner from West Virginia, and Ben, a college student from Pennsylvania, have shared an unlikely friendship over the years. And their bond is stretched to its limits when society collapses under a tide of zombies. But Kasey has something she likes to call The Zombie Plan.

    Tilo says: "Perfect! Highly Recommended!"
    "One Woman's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This year I have been on a zombie fiction binge and have read just about everything out there in the genre. The good, the bad and the put it back in the grave smelly. Most of it is written from a male perspective with women playing a secondary or pseudo supporting role. By pseudo I mean that women's characters are not very realistic and either just written the same as men, as sexy screaming victims or over the top super-hero like in their abilities.

    It has begun to annoy me that there is an absence of realistic women characters & writers in genre. I had recently even polled a group of my lady friends as to what they would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse. "The girl with all the gifts" goes a long way with depicting realistic women but in the end... written by a guy.

    Enter C Dulaney. Finally, a lady takes a swinging axe at the walking dead! And slams it squarely in the brain. Dulaney does a great job with the characters - both men & women and backs them up with a great story.

    The set up is your typical zombie beginnings and survival layout but well written enough and with solid enough characters to keep you fully engaged. There is enough mayhem and gore for the most ardent fan, but with a feminine spin (not softer just feminin-er). You'll find no glittering love bird zombies here.

    My only plot complaint is that this particular group of survivors has a ready made zombie apocalypse plan that they put into action as soon as the brains hit the fan. May have been more believable if it had been a disaster survival plan that they quickly adopted. But, its part of the very beginning of the story so its easy to just suspend disbelief on that along with the whole zombie uprising thing in general.

    This first edition is action packed, fun, engaging and scary. Well done C Dulaney! Readers - read this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1102)
    Performance
    (1013)
    Story
    (1016)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Megan says: "Worth it, 10x over!"
    "An instant and terrifying classic! Read it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Girl with All the Gifts in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent Zombie Thriller!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't know but this would be an excellent book to adapt as a screenplay. I hope Mr. Carey is pursuing that. I'd love to see this as a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    If you only read one horror book this year this should be it! Carey has written a tightly wound classic of the genre and it is scary! Unlike many such thrillers that never explain the science of how the zombie apocalypse occured (or need to) Carey makes it critical to the story and weaves it in as well as Michael Chrichton would have. The science is frightening because it's so real! Finty Williams is wonderful as the narrator and really brings the characters and situations to life... and undeath. My only complaint is that it ended too soon but the conclusion is brilliant and chillingly believable. This and DJ Molles series (The Remaining) are my top picks of all time for this genre. *one last note for us military sticklers and fortunately a very tiny, and in this case easy to forgive, detail. Enlisted military don't salute or come to attention for each other except in formations. Sergeant's are senior to Privates and Corporals but are still classified as enlisted. So, leave that out of the film version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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