Surviving the attack proved to be more than they could have imagined….
Months after a super-EMP attack devastated the United States, the country is now unrecognizable. Major cities are run by gangs, survivors are dying of starvation and the government is falling victim to lawlessness. Those who were prepared for the end find that they weren't really prepared at all.
While some seek vengeance for their losses, others are determined to restore the nation. Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Barone, Connor and Pablo are all on different paths, but they are all in search of a home away from chaos. They are all in search of a sanctuary.
©2014 G. Michael Hopf (P)2014 Penguin Audio
I enjoyed this series, and eagerly sped through all the books. But this audiobook takes a great story and throws the listener a huge curve ball with a narrator change. I am not going to speak to the talents of the narrators, but rather to the HUGE MISTAKE of changing narrators mid-series. That is just plain dumb. I don't know what led to that decision, whether it was deadline, availability, or some decision-makers personal preference.But let me just say loud and clear: DON'T DO THAT TO YOUR AUDIENCE. Having the voices of the narrator change is jarring, but also the tremendously altered voices of various characters changed is completely off-putting and unacceptable.BTW I know I said I wasn't going to speak to the talents of the narrators but I have to make one exception: The voice used by Keith Szarabjka for Barone on this book is horrible. Horrible.
Now as to the story, it was actually pretty good. Memorable moments? Hmm. That's tough. It's a fairly steadily progressing story with some real bursts of action...yet as an avid listener I don't think I was ever surprised by what was happening, as by the time something happened (most..not all.. of the time), I already saw it coming. But that's okay.
Perhaps. As I said, I'm most offended by the change of narrators on the third book in a series. That's terrible. I'd probably listen to and enjoy other performances by Keith Szarabjka if the story was good.
No. But still enjoyed. Did all three books in as many weeks.
Overall I found the book great. A few scenarios in this series were over the top (Rahab storyline) but overall pretty good. I found the use of profanity slightly excessive, but appropriate in some places. I thought there were a few too many characters that became "unhinged" and this story device seemed a bit forced at times. (Lexi, Barone at the end, Brandon). Slightly 2 dimensional on those supporting characters.
No. This narrator has completely ruined the story. I was so looking forward to book 3 and was disappointed to see that Joseph Morton had been replaced by this clown. I have fast-forwarded over quite a few parts, esp. those where Pablo and his minion Pasqual, a.k.a. Speedy Gonzalez, are speaking. Szarabjka's accents are utterly ridiculous and so overly-dramatic that he lends a comical feel to the story. He does 12-year-old Brandon's voice with a ridiculous southern accent and he sounds like an adult who smokes a pack a day. Half of Connor's staff are now from Boston, apparently, and their accents are so annoying they are difficult to listen to and take seriously. Pablo's accent is so overly done it's just stupid. We get that he's from Mexico...
The narrator's horrible impressions when voicing the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Particularly horrible was Winston Churchill. I literally LOL'd. Why is that even necessary?
Someone should tell Szarabjka that people from Southern California do NOT have southern accents. Neither do native Idahoans, so unless everyone in Eagle, Idaho (Mac, Scott, Truman, his entire group, etc.) came from Texas or Alabama he's way off. He does about 1/3 of the characters with southern accents, 1/3 with Boston accents, and the other 1/3 with a regular west coast accent, sometimes with tinges of southern and Boston thrown in for good measure.
Laugh. The narrator is that bad.
I will not buy book 4 if this narrator is used. Joseph Morton should re-do this book and be hired for book 4.
I will start off by saying I am a huge fan of this series. This installation of the series delivers the same level of intensity, excitement, an intrigue as the last two. If you are looking for a survival book on “how to” skills this is not your book. The author does not teach how to live off the land while navigating the country side as other books do. Where this book not to mention the whole series really shines is the presentations of the raw ugly situations of a world in chaos. Many times while reading this series I have been forced to ask myself if I could do the hard and sometimes distasteful things that Gordon Van Zandt and the other characters in the story have had to do. This is where this series is unlike any other series I have ever read. In other apocalyptic series characters make long hard treks or fought off countless bands of robbers, zombies, or hungry mobs. But in this book and the series the characters are often put in situations where the good an honorable way of life is not always an option. These are the moments where the book is absolutely riveting an cost me more than couple hours of sleep because I could not put it down. Then again that is why coffee was invented.
The book itself picks up almost directly where The Long Road left off. If you have not read The Long Road I would strongly advise not continuing on as some of the items in this review will touch on key plot line events and will disclose events that happen during the first two books, so in short SPOILER ALERT! The book starts out with Gordon hot on the trail of the cult leader Rahab the man who killed his son Hunter in one of the most gruesome manners possible. This is what we would expect any good protagonist to do. From Achillies avenging Patroclus’s death to Bob Lee Swagger avenging the death an defamation of Carl Hitchcock, Gordon Van Zandt leaves his family and friends alone in a very dangerous and unpredictable world to seek vengeance for his son’s death. This decision comes with unintended consequences. Gordan’s family and friends are taken in by a man named Eric, his wife and a small community of people living in a subdivision. In Gordon’s absence his family and friends are harassed, harmed, some even killed by a local thug named Truman and his cohorts. The book ends just after an explosive confrontation between Truman’s group and Samantha, Hailey, Nelson, and Eric and his group. I hope the author will further expound on the possible rifts between Gordon and his family and friends on what happened while he was gone. Doing the just and noble thing may seem like a good idea but we may not always get the happy ending we think we deserve. The other four plot lines continue on President Connor, General Barone, Pablo, and Sebastian. I don’t feel like they have quite the level of detail that the Gordon plot line has been given but you do not need a crystal ball to see they will all eventually be intertwined. I heard a saying one time “Experience is what we get, when we do not get what we want.” This becomes an all too common theme throughout the book. From President Conor expressing regret about his rash use of nuclear weapons to Sebastian and those around him who pay heavily for some decisions he makes and obviously Gordon leaving to avenge Hunter. Most readers can see the pieces falling into place of how this story will go. But the author has done a great job in the past of surprising the reader with a plot twist. I know more than once all I could say was “Holy CRAP, I did not see that coming.”
My one issue with this book is that it seems awfully short. I felt like just as you are getting immersed in one story line the chapter ends and you are catapulted into another story line. By the end of the book you feel like you have barely spent any time with any of the characters. It is like being the host of a large party and because you have so many guests you really cannot spend any real quality time with any one person. This left me feeling like the book was really short even though when I looked the overall book is fairly comparable in length to other books of its genre. But those books had maybe one to three story lines to follow. Hopefully future books in the series will start to combine a number of these story lines together so that the reader can be deeply immersed in each story line. That said it is still a really good book.
The new narrator threw me off. His reading works great for some characters, but after the last two books I have a hard time with the Marine officers having a less commanding voice. Still a great book.
This is a good series and I like the character development and that it is written as a retrospective. However being a Audible customer since 2002 and owning over 500 book. It baffles my mind when the narrator is changed in mid-stream! Joseph Morton is great. Why change! This same thing happen in Steven Konkoly book series after the Jakarta Pandemic. It take the cadence and the, for a lack of a better word, the feel of the story.
Really enjoy listening to these books sure am glad I was introduced to Audible. Best dollar I've ever spent.
This may be the last in the series rather hard to tell it could certainly go on, but either way it was a great ending to the first two of the series that I've read. You will not want to miss this book. The characters are as well written and the narration is as good as the others. enjoy I know you will
Keep the original narrator. Keith Szarabjka has a very bad smokers voice that is difficult to listen to. He changes very little between characters that sometimes it is difficult to know who is talking or when the character changes. If he would have been the narrator on the fist book in this series I would not have finished that book and not listened to the series. I had become so enthralled with the characters and the story that I had to continue despite this narrator.
The struggles and achievements of the characters. The series was very well written and had just enough detail that you weren't lost in the technical stuff that some authors get into. This book was a great continuation and ending point, I hope this series continues because I really want to know about the war and life in Idaho.
Keith Szarabjka has to be one of the worst narrators I have listened to. His raspy smokers voice is an assault on my ear drums. His female characters voice sound just like the male characters voice. Barone sounded like Tony Soprano. His northern accent just didn't fit in with the demographics of the characters. His stereotypical Mexican accent was horrible and was used on anyone he though might be Latin American including some of the Marines who I had grown accustom to the accents used by previous narrator Joseph Morton.
Sadness for the continued struggles. Anger for the change in narrators.
Why was the narrator changed? I hope that we can have Joseph Morton back on the next book in the series and if not please do not use Keith Szarabjka.
Do not like the narrator. All voices have his gravel voice. Story drags in areas. Hope next book is better.
Better than the monotone narrator of the previous two (who had ZERO sense of urgency in his voice when necessary/appropriate), but why on earth do all of these Marines have Jersey accents when they are supposedly ALL from the west coast (hence their support of Barone's mutiny)?? That was pretty annoying, especially since they all sounded like the same person talking. :/
couldn't put this book down. had me on the edge of my seat throughout! had just listened to it while I was driving to kill my road rage but ended up playing it every second I could get even bought a secret earpiece so I could listen to it at work!! can't wait for the next one! hat off to you Mr Hopf.
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