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.
This was my first "zombie" read. I was hooked from the first few pages. I really liked the main character. He was relatable.
When he was trying to save Judy
No first time.
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.
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!
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
The story starts with a beaten down Christian Hunt starting to write down his apocalypse adventures up to this point. Right now he fears the worst, very little food and ammo, surrounded by zombies, it is not looking good. Hunt is a military veteran of Iraq suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) who wound up having a roommate that was a novice prepper / survivalist.
The zombie virus spread through the population as a severe flu. I find in very amusing that Hunt was able to steer clear of the initial outbreak because he was home sick for days. Eventually meeting up with several survivors, all colorful characters, especially Fish.
My favorite part of this story is the unique take on the zombies. A mere bullet to the head might not kill the undead, we find out that you have to completely destroy the brain for them to be down for the count. Along with that they are not your typical completely stupid variety of zombies. Given enough time they will be able to climb stairs and ladders and even turn door knobs. If that wasn’t enough there is a second type of ghoul. The are referred to as Scabs, and are very fast and smart. They are able to stalk humans for days, waiting for the perfect opportunity to take them down. Then they like to get up close and personal for the kill, with their own home made melee weapons. Did I mention these scabs are even harder to kill.
Second favorite part was Boomer, the German Shepherd, I love when animals take a role in survival situations. They can add so much humanity to a story with so little effort.
I will admit it took me several hours to get into the story. Mostly because of the authors somewhat repetitive writing style. Lots of statements followed by “but” and then something obvious. That being said I am into it now and I will be looking forward to the next installment of this series and other work by J.D. Demers.
There were several spots where there was an obvious recording session change, going from the “normal” sound to a horribly tinny along with an increase or decrease in the volume. That being said Joshua Story did a pretty good job with the characterizations and he keeps a steady pace no matter what is happening. Some would find that not changing pace for action versus drama would hinder a story, usually I feel that way, because Story’s delivery was so constant it did not bother me at all.
Looking for something in the zombie genre with a unique twist? Take a chance on this one. If you can get past the minor issues that I found and stick with it. You will be able to enjoy a story you may have overlooked.
Audiobook provided for for review by the author.
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