The first episode in a new novella series by acclaimed horror writers Craig DiLouie, Joe McKinney, and Stephen Knight!
In Boston, a battalion of light infantry struggles to maintain order as a new disease turns people into sadistic, laughing killers. As the numbers of infected grow, the battalion loses control, and the soldiers find themselves fighting for their lives against the very people they once swore an oath to protect.
During the ensuing collapse, the lost battalion learns the Army is still holding out in Florida, which has been cleared of the infected. Harry Lee, its commander, decides the only hope for his men is to get there. But first they must cross more than 1,000 miles of America that has been turned into a war zone, fighting a fearless, implacable, and merciless enemy.
©2013 Craig DiLouie, Stephen Knight, Joe McKinney (P)2016 Blue Heron Audio
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As soon as I heard about this audiobook, I literally stopped everything went to Audible and bought it. I have listened to stories from all three authors, Craig DiLouie, Stephen Knight and Joe McKinney, before and knew that this was going to be good. Then mix in one R. C. Bray to the mix and you would think you would have an audiobook powerhouse of a story.
A pandemic virus has spread to the United States turning people into creatures. No not zombies, but kind of the same idea. As the disease is spread by body fluids. The diseased are called Klowns because they laugh hysterically when they are inflicting pain on others or experiencing pain themselves. They are not mindless by any means and live to turn you into one of them.
Interestingly the story stars after the initial infection and society has already started to crumble. I am going to assume so that will leave plenty of material for flashbacks and characters remembering thing from the start of the outbreak.
From the beginning we are dropped into a small military unit in Boston. As they try to defend the city from the Klowns. This is where you can tell that the team of authors are experienced and really good at what they do. Because of the characters. Not cookie cutter, black and white, transparent or shallow at all. They are quite dynamic in the sense that their personality continue to change throughout the story. DiLouie, Knight and McKinney were able to pump so much emotion into each and every one of them I could smell the fear they were experiencing.
Pandemic is a military action filled nightmare. With some of the scariest infected that I have come across. I just felt that the story didn't really go anywhere other than to set the story in motion for the rest of the series. It did, however, make me interested, and kept my interest, enough to be on the look out for the next in the series.
R.C. Bray was the narrator. Really I could just stop there. Bray is a narration master. Continuing to develop his skills and adding those special touches that has made most love his style. In this performance he laughed like a mad man and sang a verse from a song. Bray delivers at a solid pace, however I did find this performance to be a bit on the slow side.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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When I'm out of options for books to listen to I will go with a RC Bray narration because he's the best, IMO. This is a poorly written story about the apocalypse involving hysterically laughing mobs that got a virus. That should have been the first clue I wouldn't like it. Buy it for a no-brainer listen by Bray but that's about it.
If you love this genre as much as I do then this book is for you. I first read the kindle version but rc bray does a great job in narrating the story. I hope the second book comes out soon!
"Gripping, gruelling and grave as clowns rule"
The voice acting is brilliant and paired with a gripping story-line. It was easy to listen to and entertaining to endure. There was a part where one of the characters succumbs to the virus and the laughter which can sometimes be ignored in narration was just brilliant.
The voice acting. Many parts were performed with a different distinguishable accent.
Wade is the leader. Second is Ramos.
The shrill laughter and the gruelling action and description made me cringe with nervousness. And it should do.
Enjoyed so much that I will get the next in the series. I hope it's done by the same author and narrator.
"Excellent introduction to the series"
As mentioned in the title, great opening book. I have read and listened to lots of post apocalyptic and zombie books and this first in the series shows very good promise. I only wish the book was longer as it is quite short.
Also why arnt the other books available yet as I know 4 of the written books are already out?
"Fear The Klowns!"
Yet more post-apocalyptic fiction, not one but three authors supported by probably the world champion narrator of the genre. The closest I can relate to this from my experience to date is the excellent Arisen series. It has a similar pace, levels of action and characters. The style is very much in keeping with it too.
Pandemic, however, differs in that those that get struck down and become “infected” don’t become the trademark mindless zombies of the genre. Instead they are imbued with a maniacal desire for cruelty and inflicting pain in increasingly bizarre ways, they “just want to play”.
This does give us a fresh angle. We still get the brave few fighting endless hordes against impossible odds with impressive hardware but these crazed hordes have significantly more about them. They retain much of their faculties meaning tactics and ganging up together are possible for them.
The narration, I’ve said enough about Master Bray on probably more than enough occasions but I don’t think anyone does this kind of military post-apocalypic tough guys against the world stuff better than him. He imbues a sense of urgency into almost every single word.
This is a novella though and not a full-length book. On a platform like Audible where many people use the credits system that does mean there might be greater value elsewhere. Much like Arisen and Mountain Man have done it would be worth the publishers considering an Omnibus style release to help this one compete when they consider the publication of the rest of the series.
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