After a contagion engulfs humanity, zombies rise to feast on the few survivors that are left. But they are not the worst monsters to come from this plague. There is hope, though: Christian Hunt is immune. But how many lives will it take to bring his gift to what's left of mankind?
©2015 Jacob D. Demers (P)2015 Jacob D. Demers
Todd W. Brown
When I sat down and wrote my journal-based zombie book, I was just getting my feet wet. Admittedly, when I look back on it now, I can tell. There are some clumsy bits and awkward moments. I tended to introduce too many "background" characters and such.
THIS is the book that I wish I had written. It is a fun ride that has you shaking whatever version you have and hoping that more will fall out. (I used the audio book version, so that would be my phone getting throttled.)
J. D. Demars brings a lot of the standard zombie fare to the table, but then he mixes in some special ingredients and turns the zombie into his own beast. Also, he has the best utilization of a canine companion that I have read in the genre. he makes this pooch into an integral character in the story that you will have real feelings for in a short time.
Besides the zombies, there is a bit of that evil monster known as "man" that pops in and proves that the zombie might not be the most feared creature out there. Also, Demars makes you hate Fish. The person...not the food. (Although I suppose it is okay to hate both.) The Fish protagonist is an excellent foil for Christian (who I wanted to slap and demand that he kill Fish in his sleep on several occasions.)
Overall, this is a wonderful introduction to an author I look forward to reading more from. Considering this book only covers a month in the time line of what we are told is a year, I would say we have a lot to look forward to. The audio book is 4.5 stars for me. Honestly, I held back the half a star just because there were a few glitches in the production quality of the audio book. The story was a smash. Did it have a few hiccups? What story doesn't? But not enough for me not to say that I loved and enjoyed this tale.
I wish book 2 was out so I could immediately start listening to it! I loved this take on zombies. The scabs were something new. There were times when the author could have elaborated more, but didn't......like the zombies eating vegetation.
The narrator was good, but not the best. I just have to point out, and I hope he reads this, it's pronounced MAY-LAY, not mee-lee. Melee is "may-lay." Also, at one point, Cambell slipped into a Latino accent. It was just a one liner, but I caught it and thought "huh???"
And last, this book would have been close to perfect if he'd just said, "if you hurt my dog again, we're done." He didn't have to threaten to kill him. Just split up. Don't let someone throw your dog out the window of a moving vehicle and not reprimand them!
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
A great addition to the Zombie genre, “The Hunt Chronicles” takes readers through one man’s experience at the start of a zombie apocalypse. I’ve read tons of zombie books, and the really great thing about this one is these aren’t your typical zombies. I won’t ruin it for you here, but it’s got two interesting twists that I really like.
The book is well written and the author does a good job of mixing action, storytelling and setting the scene. The main character is likable and he feels very real in his approach. He’s not a hero right out of the gate which makes him feel very real. The other characters are a motley crew each which their own flaws which again makes it feel as if this could actually be happening in the present.
The only thing that I didn’t like about this book is that it doesn’t tell the whole story. It sets up the next book in the series nicely but it feels a bit incomplete because there isn’t a resolution to the characters’ situation in the end. That’s a pet peeve of mine, otherwise I would have rated it 5 stars.
I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!
Mr Story does a great job with the narration. He differentiates between the characters nicely and really brings them to life.
When this book was recommended to me I wasn't sure but I am REALLY glad I got it! I listened to it in just 2 sittings. This is not just another Zombie book, the storyline is awesome with great character development.
This is the best fiction book I've read all year, I can't wait to get the next book! awesome reader too! Get it, you won't regret it.
A good zombie tale originating from a virus gone mad! Our boy Christian Hunt is bitten early on, but finds that he is immune. This immunity is kept secret as Christian does not trust that nervous, trigger happy survivors will wait for an explanation once his bite is exposed. He’s an ex-soldier, but not too bright in the tactics department. The story has several twists that add to the interest and uniqueness of this well-trodden genre. Major differences in this author’s version of zombies; (1) “Scab” an infected human not yet dead, but having all the traits of the zombie (2) gunshots to the brain do not necessarily cause second death of the zombie; total destruction of the brain is required (3) a zombie was observed eating/stripping the leaves off a bush (vegetarian zombies?). Christian’s antagonistic buddy and traveling companion throughout the book, Fish, is a wonderful addition to the story and makes for great ying to Christian’s yang. Christian also befriended a four-legged companion named Boomer early on that also added a needed compassionate angle. All-in-all a pretty good story, one that has me looking forward to book two.
I have listened to many many zombie stories. Its a limited genre. By this I mean you have your dead people trying to eat the living, the world has broken down, and often other survivors are trying to kill you. Its the nuances within these confines that make or break the novel.
Most importantly in my opinion are character development, plot, and how the writer writes. In Awakening, Demers is most concerned with introducing a few characters. They are unique from one another. Which is good. Each one has a unique personality. Demers invests the needed time to investigate who they are instead of focusing on gun battles and non stop action.
The writing is not sophisticated. The gold standard of genre writing in my book is Micheal Connelly, the guy who wrote the Harry Bosch books. His stories stick to a single character, but weaves sophisticatedly in the styles in which the writer chooses to unfold the narrative. Demers writing style is like a steady moving locomotive. It gets the job done, moving from point A to point B but never leaves the tracks.
So... this is not a runaway action novel. It invests time in exploring characters. & Demers is a good enough writer to pull off a satisfying apocalypse story that will salve any zombie hankering you might be encountering. Its worth reading/listening to.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
A DUCK IS A DUCK
I got this because it was on sale and I was told it was different. Demers, changes some of the minor rules involving Zombies, but they are so minor as to not warrant mentioning. The main character is kind of a loser who is set straight by the prepper he meets. He is not a super military expert and he does not travel across the state as in most of these stories, but nothing really happens, it is all the same. If you have read one Zombie book, you have read this one. You want different, get Cattle. It is not a bad book, it just is not unique.
Things have certainly changed in the world of zombie fiction in the last ten years.In the old days, you would be hard pressed to find any. One of my favorite paperbacks was a collection of short zombie stories by various authors, set in a Romero zombie-verse. Then there was an online site that had zombie fan fiction that I found, and that gave some good short stories by aspiring fan-writers. Nowadays however, with the world of self publishing, and a modern resurgence of the genre, great zombie novels and series are plentiful. There are just too many to be able to read them all. Even if you are like me, and now only listens to audiobooks, there are still too many to be able to listen to them all. It makes it hard picking a series or standalone book to start a difficult choice sometimes. My wishlist if full of such books, and I hope to eventually get them all, but possibly not. Awakening was actually one of these books in my wishlist, and when I had the opportunity to get a review copy of it, I leapt at the chance.
Firstly, I'll just say what I like or don't like to get in post apocalyptic tale. I get very frustrated with books where it seems the majority of the conflict or plot in the story comes from just plain bad people. It might be realistic, but it gets me down. Sure, you are bound to encounter people like this, but I'd prefer if it wasn't the main focus of the stories, or if it is something that isn't resolved. I also like it when the author comes up with some new ideas or slants on the genre. I like it when a book is contained - sure it can be part of a series, but deliberately ending on a cliffhanger is just poor form. You may never get the chance to read the next one, and the author may not even get a chance to write it. So don't do it... I like it when the main characters are good people. I also like it when there is some form of hope to the tale. And as an audiobook listener, I definitely prefer it when the book is no continually jumping around randomly among a huge cast of lead characters. It really can be hard to track in audio format. If you do, make sure the breaks are clearly marked, and the narrator puts in a decent pause. And on top of that, do not write a book in first person from more than one characters perspective - it is just impossible to track. There are several well known authors who have done this, and in audio, it really can make it impossible to follow, especially when the characters are so alike (eg I have some from well respected authors where it is is tough guy 1 and tough guy 2, both first person). And finally, I'd like to say I really prefer it when the series covers the actual collapse, and it doesn't start some unspecified time after the event. I like reading about the whole transition from when things were all fine to when they weren't, and how the characters react to this. I kind of feel cheated when that happens.
Awakening met all of these preferences of mine and more. Without giving too much away, there are two categories of "zombies" in the book, and neither of them are your standard run of the mill traditional zombie variants, fast or slow. This was also introduced very well in the story. Awakening is a story in first person, from the perspective of Christian, an ex soldier. And no, before you ask, he isn't some ex special forces, combat veteran, prepper, gun collector, survivalist, like so many post apocalyptic lead characters. He did a tour in Afghanistan, but in supply, with no combat experience. The novel is bookended by a journal entry at some unspecified point in the future, where he is trapped and in a dire situation, and it gives you some knowledge of what is to come, and the hope there is. He then proceeds to recount his entire tale, as the journal drops back to where it all began. The book proceeds at a leisurely pace through his story, and the people he meets, and their journey and decisions. I didn't find it overly gratuitous in violence and gore, but it may just be I'm so desensitized after so many zombie novels and movies. Their encounters with both zombies and humans, and their handling of losses were well written, and I felt humanizing. When Christian tries unsuccessfully to save someone, and realizes he is alone in a gift he has, it is moving. When it ended, I really wanted more, but I did feel like it ended at an appropriate point. I just hope the author does get to finish this story.
The narration by Joshua Story was excellent, although I found some pronunciations a bit odd (such as how he said "melee" and "peripheral"). His character voices were excellent though, and pace and clarity were great though, so I'd not deduct any points for that.
In all, highly recommended. I do hope J. D. Demers does actually get to finish this tale, and they all get audio releases!
Zombies Books in order: 1. We're Alive 2. Day By Day Armageddon 3. Roads Less Traveled Series 4. Alaskan Undead Apocalypse 5. World War Z 6. The Walking Dead 7. Rise Again 8. As the World Dies 9. Zombie Fallout
So Christian gets bit and thinks he is going to die. But doesn't. He can't tell anyone he got bit of they'll shoot him. He finds himself all alone initially, but then hook up with a grizzled super soldier. And a dog of course.
All pretty standard fair, except for the scabs. The book has a good mystery going on about them for a while, so I'll let listeners discover it for themselves. Nothing really emotionally compelling in the story. Except the turning of one particular character made me feel sad. I don't know what the deal was about the voice of his father in his head all the time, acting as a moral compass. I found it plain lame and glad he dropped it towards the end. I hope it doesnt make a reappearance in the next book.
Instead, I how the author goes throgh Christians thoughts in intense moments, about what he does, should have done instead and how he learns. As others have said, not a great book, but a good one.
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