The story doesn't try to hard. It's not larger than life. If feels like it could legitimately take place over the next 5 to 10 years. Everything about the characters and the situations they found themselves in felt completely natural.
The calm/controlled/rational tone of Yen's voice was perfectly matched to the protagonist. And it provided a perfect counterpoint to the turmoil of the plot (the end of society as we know it!). That made it all the more unsettling and eerie. Really nice!
Two of the first three reviewers mentioned the fact that the protagonist is left unnamed. I admit that I found that a bit unusual at first, and wasn't even sure what to make of it. But I personally didn't think any more of it after the first chapter or two. The very first reviewer suggested that a name is critical in making a connection with the protagonist. I don't agree at all. I can (surprisingly often) finish watching a movie, and not be able to tell you the primary character's names, but I most certainly can tell you all about them and their experiences. While that's very uncommon when reading a book, it was the case with this audiobook. And when you think of it, an audiobook is pretty much halfway between a book and a movie.
R.C. Bray is worth the price of admission alone. He's now an Audie-nominated narrator (check out The Martian to find out why), and it really shows here. I simply couldn't imagine a better fit for this material. Just brilliant.
For this genre, this one does take a while to set up the story before getting to the action. But honestly, you won't regret sticking with it! The long lead in only serves to make it so much more engaging once it takes off.
There is a strong military component, with lots of detail regarding military tactics, lingo and weaponry. The group the story follows is comprised of CIA and Navy Seals. And their struggle for survival as the s**t hits the fan feels very realistic.
There is also a nice philosophical element about humanity's tendency to destroy itself. And a great explanation on the origin of the virus.
I didn't realize at first that this is part of a much larger series. But it stands on its own 100%. Beautifully done by the author! It's completely fulfilling, but leaves you excited for more at the same time. Very nice.
I was really surprised to see a previous review that seemed to suggest the narrator didn't portray the comedy very well. I couldn't disagree more! The narration was full of 'life' and 'character' - especially on all the sarcastic humor. It was just bang on by my estimate.If you've already read the Kindle edition, then you obviously know all the jokes that are coming. But this is not a 'dry' read by any stretch of the imagination.
I gave the story aspect just 4 stars because it did drag slightly in the middle, and the ending was somewhat abrupt.
But the drag through the middle past pretty quickly. And really, neither of these issues detracted from the experience for me.
This is a really cool story! Sort of a blend of the movies Cast Away and Apollo 13 (Tom Hanks would make a great Watney!). But for reviews on the story you'd be best to check out Amazon - there are a lot!
Three words? C'mon!
Hugh Howey's rave review of this FanFic story was really what made me take a serious look at it.
It was actually so well written that after I completed it and then read Howey's latest addition to the original series, I half expected references to The Runner to show up!! It really is that good.
Chris Patton's read was exceptional! He is clearly a true actor, not just someone reading the story out loud. His portrayal of the characters really brought them to life, and I really appreciated his pacing (there's nothing worse than a read that's so slow it causes the story to drag!)
Highly recommended for any fan of WOOL!! And at such a low price, it's a no-brainer! You won't regret it.
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