The narration was wonderful, pacing, accent, voicing all great. The writting was descriptive and usually drew me in to the world described.
After the fourth or fifth roll in the sheets the very romance-novel-esque sex scenes got pretty tiresome. The writer (not the main character but her creator), whom I had started out viewing in my mind's eye as a sort of khaki wearing adventurer, started degenerating into some sort of home-bound recluse in bull-rim glasses inventing wild sexual fantasies to be consumed with Bon-Bon's on lonely Friday nights...OK, maybe this is a purely male perspective since I notice lots of great reviews from female readers here. And to give the author the benefit of the doubt and because it was on sale, I tried listening to the second book...I got about 4 hours in and had to stop. It was the same book! Historical backdrop as justification for rampant sex. Not that I have anything against rampant sex per se...but the boy toy flavor of the depictions eventually becomes quite sickening and warps the otherwise realistic historical narrative into a trite farce.
Cut the steamy passages by 75%
The ones who were not having sex
It has one, but it is the same book n France
I love well written, well thought out, post apocalyptic fiction that has no agenda. This was none of those things. Newt actually states in the introduction that this was written specifically to "inform" people of the dangers of EMP, one of the recent political tools. I won't get into the reasons why EMP is a fairly unlikely scenario, I can accept zombies so I could accept EMP as a catalyst, but what unfolds after the "event" is just goofy and comes right out of the paranoid dreams of some urban basement arm chair survivalist. EMP destroys nothing but delicate electronics, if that, and yet suddenly everyone is helpless...even in small towns in rural NC? Nobody seems to have a garden, an ATV (generally very basic electronics on these), a ham radio (many ham sets are tough old tube sets not likely to be affected by EMP), a old farm tractor or any of the many other modern technologies not viulnerable to EMP. 3 cars in a NC college town ... the kind of town that has classic car rallies a couple times a year...and that's it? And no farms? In rural NC? And there are hardly any bikes or horses...seriously?
I also find that one key characteristic of Americans, self centered, marshmallow soft dopes that we can be, is mostly ignored in this biased account: we do pull together in a crisis, we do help each other even when otherwise we might not give each other the time of day. Sure, that might eventually degrade if things got really bad, but it never even blooms here. Not only is that a cynical perspective but a poor plot plan since it is the conversion under adverse conditions of the characters that usually makes such fiction believable. This is not believable.
Anyway, with all this, the two dimensional, non-sympathetic characters, and obvious political agenda make this a sadly disappointing entry in the post apocalyptic genre. If you want a really good, haunting tale in this genre try "Earth Abides"
It could have been better spent. The book occasionally felt on the edge of being engaging only to fall victim to predictable plot contrivances and Steampunk cliches.
Occasional successful invocation of a Victorian mood was most interesting -- inability to make the Steampunk affectations seem natural, constant Deus Ex Machina devices introducing both implements of salvation and destruction were among the least interesting things.
It already is, it is called "Sanctuary"
The narration was fairly pleasant but australian accents were rather odd...or perhaps it was the dialog that made them seem so stilted.Dreadfully obvious setup of a sequel that almost seemed tacked on. Side plot with Australian "mole" character, or secret chamber never developed very well or, at least, never well enough to invoke interest.
Yes, there is all that looking and reading business with the print version. With the audio version I find it much easier to navigate in traffic without losing my place.
"The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul" by Douglas Adams...The humors the supernatural deity serving pratts, the little triangular cucumber sandwiches I was eating while listening to the book...
The luxury of closing my eyes, looking at insects scurrying across the path, and a number of regional dialects which, in my head, sound rather more like John Cleese and Eric Idle, or Terry Gilliam trying to sound Brittish.
Armageddon was Never this Much Fun!
It needed better writing, character developments that shows internal depth, less cliche"victims" on both sides. A bit better research...wolves in the appalachians? Coyotes maybe. It read like a pretty amateur first effort. Many elements were "borrowed" from the Stand, which would be fine if done well as an homage, but the book just never felt better than a cheap pulp.
Also another narrator who didn't read all female characters with strange whiny voices.
Good, Bad, ugly
Well, Swan putting on the "crown" and getting coated in a gold shield...it was never used again. It was like a deus ex machina without a cause. The entire cabin full of wolf gut eaters chapters...I mean, why were they eating the guts not the meat? The radiation would be very concentrated in internal organs so no better than the meat...oh, and every head coming out of Job's mask scene
People say if you like the Stand you will like this...I like the stand because of the quality of most of the writing in the Stand as well as subject matter. I did not like this because of the quality of the writing and the way the post-apocolyptic subject matter was handled. It was easier for me to believe Randall Flag than to believe so many people could live through the extremely high levels of radiation the book described
I saw this book in the bookstore and I really did want to like it. There were points where I almost got there but I just couldn't form any sort of empathy with the story or the characters. I know the intent was to comment on human nature as being ultimately clanish and self serving while at the same time ironically compasionate at times for inexplicable reasons but the shear vulgarity of all the humans protrayed left no room for hope or redemption.
Even Emiko, the new breed that will no doubt be the Eve of the inheritors of the planet, carries no hope for improvement to anything except immunity and physical prowess.
All that being said the writting was good and the characters were mostly well formed and the world was painted in detail.
Suspension of disbelief is required in buckets though since solar energy, bio fuels, geo thermal, wave current generation, wind power and any number of other technologies seem totally forgotten although methane convertors are mention as being fed by executed humans (I imagine in energy terms this is going Soylent "Green" eh?) while gargage fills alleys (Making Methane from protein would be much harder than from vegetation found in garbage).
The narration was dry and sedate and probably contributed to the overl depressing feeling of the book. I managed to make it through the whole thing and that is the only reason it has three stars instead of two. Probably more of a 2.5
This novel never really got off the ground for me. It tried to be a spy story and a Zombie story and only got half way there on both counts. This is what used to be found in a dime store pulp novel
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