Member Since 2011
This was a *really* good book and with a listening time of 16hrs, it is well worth your credit. The story was epic with a great narrator telling a tale of zombies right from the start, even before the infection and Tripp has his own take on how the zombie infection starts and spreads.
The narration is very good and easily fell into the background so I could focus on the tale she was telling. Different voices, male, female, all handled excellently. Interesting coincidence that there is a town in the book of the same name as the narrator.
As other reviewers have noted the big weakness in this story is that the main character isn't especially likeable. You end up taking the sides of the people arguing with her. Danni is slow to catch on that she is dealing with zombies and yeah, the whole "No looting" bit. Leaves me wondering what she has been eating all this time?
She also abandons her charges and goes off on a wild goose chase for her sister which is really stupid without specific information. Her sister could be in the abandoned building next to her, how would she know?
She is also sexless. The book has a lesbian and gay in it, but although there was a line or two in there that made clear Danni is hetero, she otherwise has no romantic interests and thinks like a dude with no testosterone. Its like the author doesn't know how to portray girls.
She does redeem herself in the end but as flawed heroes go, I couldn't find much to like about her, therefore the 4 stars for story.
The end was creepy and even though I don't like that mutation direction for zombies, I'd want to buy the next book that is due summer 2013; Rise Again: Below Zero.
A lot of time of this short book is spent in the pre apocalypse stage of the story where we get to know Emma and the fuzzy happy life she is about to lose. Before she knows it, zombies are breaking into her house and she has to flee, again and again. Whats left of the military is a force for good and a good amount of time is spent on a boat. I think a boat would be my plan when the apocalypse arrives.
The big "twist" in this story compared to other zombie stories is that it is told from a girls perspective. I think our heroine portrays how a, pretty authentic, regular girl would behave during a zombie apocalypse. She isn't hard, tough, or has a ton of "issues" or even particularly heroine like, she does a little of everything. She learns to bash and shoot zombies and I found out what its like to be a powerless girl all tied up and having to get rescued. It was interesting to see a females perspective when her husband mans up and gets all decisive and how uncomfortable and frustrating that felt for a girl. Its like any other (good) zombie book, but now I know whats it like to be the supporting girl and not the leading man.
There was a degree of embellishment for decidedly girly elements in the story which was weird for me to read but I let it pass. It was worth it to find out what girls think is interesting to read about. At first I wanted to give this story 3 stars, but once I got past my initial male resistance, this was a really good story. The worse part is that it was too short, really wanted more.
Narration was top notch, really liked Sarah's story telling.
Over all the story is pretty good, but you have to get over this silly idea that you can find a zombie among the millions out there so their bereaved kin can get closure. There is an explanation for that, but I still find it difficult to get past. You see, these zombies aren't entirely dumb, just a tiny vestige of their past life-force is left, especially in the beginning they always got a "surprised" look during the action sequences.
The first (few) chapters were the most difficult to get past. I mean Henry Marko is supposed to have been doing this for years, but it doesn't look it. I'll reveal just a tiny bit of it in the next paragraph:
So he finds his lonesome target, and instead of just walking up to it, popping it in the head, he snipes at it, timing it so poorly it falls into a river and floats away. The strange bungling that happens afterwards just had be frowning and rolling my eyes. A few chapters down, I had to reading about how this character, seemingly out of the game "assassins creed", cartwheels and kicks a "bleached blonde" marine in the head. Right there I wanted to return the book. Not only that there is a marine who bleaches his hair during a zombipocalyse, but he died by human cartwheel.
But ok, I managed to get through that to read a very good action road trip type of story. There was depth to the story, but I still found it a bit too shallow, perhaps because the lack of characters (basically two). Marko's character has actually a very powerful back story behind it, about his wife and family and I really enjoyed reading about it, but these parts were very few.
Some reviewers have complained about references to the republican party, and the author probably should have just made up a new name, I found these references to be very fleeting and only at the start.
The narrator did a good job, but I found Wu's and Osbournes nasal voices to be very similar.
Over all, still a very good book.
This book is similar to the last as in that it is a series of meeting one group of peoples after the next, in keeping with zombie story telling tradition. Well written story, unpredictable, a deeper story line, questions remaining as to whats going on. Looking forward to book 3.
Tristan is even better this time around but Morgan isn't around to balance him, so they pick up a nun along the way. Tristan is a great character to like because of his humor and heroism. Edward is sick with an infection (maybe zombiesm, maybe not, I won't tell) all the time but inexplicably manages to have full strength to push forward and kill everything with barely a rest. I can't spell the nuns name, but its definitely a good thing that there was a strong female role in that was lacking in the previous book.
The end, unfortunately, I found frustratingly disappointing and I don't feel the story line built up in a way that could believably explain this result; after all that they were put through...
There are also these terribly annoying historical notes, which in the last book was left to the end so the you can choose to just stop listening, although you thought you had more story left, but didn't. Now they are sprinkled between chapters and they are almost as annoying as TV advertisements, except he didn't raise the volume, phew! I'm left fumbling in the night to skip these chapters. I'm totally disinterested in the research for this story. I mean every author needs to research about their story, but it doesn't mean the reader wants to listen to a documentary.
The narration was impeccable.
The main storyline is alot more dynamic now with new characters and new groups and as usual Philbrook is careful not to over do with too much of a good thing, keeping the short stories short, but powerful.
As before, one of the stories introduces a big new twist to the underlying zombie apocalypse plot line but we're kept in suspense as the book returns back to Adrian Ring's more conventional storyline. The twist was a shocker and I'm not sure if I am too keen on this part of the stories development but so far Philbrook has been an expert in crafting a believable story. The dreams, the zombies behaving a little weird, where will this lead?
The definitive aspects of book 3 are the interactions, negotiations and violence between the survivor groups and we get some resolution for what happened at the end of book two, concluding nicely.
The only part I didn't like was the classic "stupid kid who messes everything up" part, rather than using a more complicated method to bring a bit of sudden and unexpected development in the story. I found the story unpredictable as it was already.
I think that there are 8 books in this series, and I'm not even half way through yet, great! How are they going to get out of what happened at the end of this book? Can't wait!
Mr. Journal is cool n all, but the short stories add spice because they are written in 'real time' and not being explained after the fact like the journal entries. Well, not just that, I would actually say the short stories are more powerful than Adrian's all alone story. The old short stories just ended, but now things are falling into place as they fit into the main story line.
By the way, the journal entries themselves aren't really 100% entries, but like if you can imagine a TV show where someone starts writing but then fades out and the show starts. Zombies are the still the dumb shuffling kind, not really dangerous for Adrian. Of all things, his animal lover side takes a hit. I'm an animal lover too, but bought this part of the story.
The series is actually pretty slow to reveal its story, we are only starting to get to know Adrian. He starts getting comfortable writing and reveals more of himself as we revisit stuff in the past that he didn't want to get into back then. This explains why I thought the first book was a bit emotionally dry. Cassie is a recurring theme, I wonder how this angle will play out.
Solid characters are starting to take their place and things start rocking at the end but....Ahhhh! I don't mind the slow pace at all and barely mind being left dying for book 3!
I'm trying to recall if Jame's girl voice was any good, but I didn't even react to it while listening so I think it must be excellent. Keep up the good work Chris and James!
This guy, Adrian, holes up in a school and waits out the apocalypse and doesn't really care about anyone else, passing time with writing in his journal, whom he talks to as Mr. Journal.
The writing is excellent and the narration is too, the only thing lacking is perhaps emotional attachment. I mean he writes his girl friend off as dead without even trying to find her, but I think that is more about trying to be "different" from the other zombie books.
Having said that, I can totally identify with Adrian, he is like how I imagine I would be in an apocalypse, except Adrian is big and strong and ex military. But his toughness isn't over played, mostly he is just calm, collected and thoughtful. And he loves animals. I think a lot of people can identify with this 'realistically' written character.
I'm already on the second book and its getting more interesting, hopefully more characters will make the story become more alive and Adrian can start writing about who is, we hardly know anything about him.
Story is decent but I cant say anything really drew me in. Just went along kinda hum dee dum dum. So the story starts off at the junk yard again and, sure enough, they gotta split. I don't know why the "agents" are still around with their leader dead. Their entire existence seems so pointless. So Dan and Quinn figure a good destination would be his wife's sister, Meredith, at some isolated farm somewhere.
The book tells two stories, about Dan and his daughter Quinn and Meredith. Meredith plays the "this can't be happening" type of role and drives around like Mr. Magoo with zombies everywhere and I can't fathom how zombies can kill anyone at all if they can't kill her.
There are a few holes here and there, like the science of the zombies. How a bite doesn't seem to infect, their behavior seems sometimes smart in the old books, but otherwise dumb. How can their be survivors if the food is infected; what have they been eating?
Now there is one "bad guy" who steals their car but this part feels disappointingly unresolved. Reason to buy the next book in the series it seems, this story is unfinished! I want to meet up with those characters again.
So Sir Edward and his two pals, Morgan and Tristan ride to the north in search of...you guessed it, Edwards wife! So the typical zombie story and elements are intact; we follow them as they encounter one weird and crazy group after the other until they get to his wife.
The difference is the setting, its medieval England which is done really quite well. The zombiesm in this story is kinda ill defined, being treated more like what they know of from before, the plague. They don't seem to make huge hordes and chase humanity around forever, they can in fact get distracted and lose interest if you keep galloping away from them.
But they're still zombies, need to chop at the head and all that. An advantage these knights have compared to modern stories is that they do in fact have amour! They eventually lose their chain mail, war horses and swords, but still...
Religion is always part of a good zombie story, but here its even bigger since its the middle ages. Morgan I think was a monk and is deeply religious while Tristan seems atheist and plays the comedic side kick.
Lack of any major female character kept the story on track, if you find lovey dovey stuff distracting. I don't and would have preferred some deeper relational aspects in the story. Other than that, its a good read, and look! There is a book 2! Think I'll pick that up, although I think the story could have just ended the way it was. We know there is no cure...don't we?
So now we figure whats up with that kid from the last book; similar to Regan, Ben has a mission to fulfill where he tracks down the initiators of the apocalypse and terminates them. Don't worry though, the old gang aren't too far off.
Now this book starts its own storyline and introduces new elements and plots, just as mysterious as in the old books. I'm on book 6 and I still don't know whats going on :). The new plot line has to do with a lot of beautiful women seemingly bred or, I'm guessing now, even cloned from the past playboy models, and raised for some secret purpose.
Now I don't like over the top, far fetched plots and these series of books are kinda that, but the author is an expert in weaving these intricate plots while still keeping the plausibility of it all. If it wasn't realistic, I'd have dumped this series a long time, but the story set up is pretty good, the best I've read in a zombie book actually.
Best character: Harrison! Grumpy potty mouthed old man with humor befitting a freaking zombie apocalypse! Great narration work on him and all the other characters.
This book has 3 narrators! Wow! They're not all talking at the same time, rather one narrator controls certain characters and their scenes always seem to comprise of just those characters and the same narrator. I think. I'm not sure, but it works it great.
As the blurb points out, we will finally figure out whats going on and why everyone call themselves the "good guys". Great finish to this story line, as the next book takes off decades later which this book will set up, with the introduction of a new mysterious character.
The narrator, on the other hand, was lousy. He didn't even try to do different voices. He would be very monotone except he has an annoying habit where at the end of each sentence the first part of the last word goes up a notch and trails out. You can hear it in the blurb, like "eagle" in "desert eagle". I'd give him one star but I have in fact heard worse, like the narration he has done in other books which out of curiosity I had to try the samples of. The story is still listenable though.
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