In a desperate bid to take back the continental United States - where hordes of undead now dominate the ravaged human population - a Navy commander leads a global mission to the heart of the pandemic. Task Force Hourglass is humanity’s final hope, and his team’s agonizing decisions could mean living one day more - or surrendering to the eternal hell that exists between life and death.
Shattered Hourglasss is the terrifying new novel in the acclaimed zombie apocalypse series.
©2012 J.L. Bourne (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Bourne is responsible for my Zombie obsession. The first and second book of the series is awesome. Shattered Glass veers off course into choas leaving me unable to focus on the situations, scenarios, and characters. Say goodbye to the journal format of the last two books and hello to multiple character situations, which tugs on my ADD. LOL! The fascination with the main character's struggle has ended with the elimination of the journal format making the listen not enjoyable, hard to follow, and weak!
The positive side is the closer to several elements of the story and characters.
The book WAS worth the credit!
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
WARNING: SOME SPOILERS
first, let me preface my review by saying dbda (day by day armageddon) and beyond exile are some of my favorite zombie books. i was extremely psyched about shattered hourglass coming out on 12/26. it was like a belated christmas gift.
with that said, i was extremely disappointed by the time i finished listening to shattered hourglass. i loved the first two books, and that's why i'm soo harsh on shattered hourglass.
many of the negative reviews of dbda cited the one-dimensional characters and the journal style story. me...neither bothered me.
so, i was kind of surprised the journal style storytelling was totally abandoned. really, it's not a bad departure. it would've been really boring to listen to kill roy record his daily thoughts while submerged in a sub sailing to china.
instead, j.l. tells almost all of the story in 3rd person. i don't mind that at all since the hotel 23 group is split up at the end of beyond exile, and it would've been impossible to capture what happened to them via kill roy's journal.
shattered hourglass tells the stories of 6 different groups of people. 3 we already know of, and 3 we're introduced to.
uss george washington: the old hotel 23 crowd
john (kill roy's neighbor), tara (kill roy's girlfriend he rescued from the car), granny deane and danny, and will, jan, and laura. while it's nice to follow their stories, what happens to them is totally predictable.
uss virginia sub: kill roy and sane
thankfully, j.l. uses time skips of a couple of days to help time move along on the sub. i was shocked that kill roy and sane didn't talk much until the very end of the story, like the last hour!
uss virginia sub: seal team
at the end of beyond exile, kill roy is coerced to join a team to venture to china to recover chang. suprisingly, only 4 seals are assembled for the mission: rico, rex, huck, and griff. throughout the 1st part of the story, they are hardly mentioned until the first part of the mission- they have to gain access to an underground military facility on the hawaiian island oahu. while the action is reminiscent of the first 2 books, i was kind of disappointed kill roy didn't join them. i can understand that since he was recruited as a consultant. instead, he plays a minor part as their eyes via a remote controlled drone.
arctic outpost 4: crusoe, mark, brett, and kung
outpost 4 is one of the many covert artic research bases that was set up to drill ice cores to investigate what happened 20,000 years ago. in my humble opinion, this could've been an interesting short story on its own. j.l. starts to build their story- their plight to survive in negative 50 degrees as the dead come back to life and their fuel supplies running low. there was a lot of potential here, but everything j.l. was building gets abandoned to the very end.
hotel 23: task force phoenix
hotel 23 gets some new inhabitants: doc, billy, hoss, and disco. tf phoenix's goal is to investigate the drops by remote 6 and find out more about them. like the arctic outpost story, this culd've been a great short story in itself. the character's flashbacks of how they survived and became part of tf phoenix were great and even deserve their own book. once again, there's so much potential that it's disappointing that their story just abruptly ends.
we finally get a glimpse behind the curtain. sadly, there is no great wizard of oz, but a megalomaniac who is known as "god." this is my biggest disappointment! there was soo much potential wasted. remote 6 were like the ultimate bad guys- they were secretive, powerful, mysterious, and feared. instead, their leader turns out to be a caricature of a bad comic book super villain.
at the end of beyond exile we learn that a crashed alien craft is the reason for the outbreak. ok i guess. it was kind of a buzz kill, but it didn't affect my decision to download shattered hourglass the moment it was available. as i watched the time left dwindle, i kept thinking, "they haven't even reached china yet! maybe we're going to get another cliffhanger!" i was thinking damn...china's gonna be difficult. a billion zombies with maybe 3/10 being those special zombies. instead, the whole story ends in the remaining 50 minutes!
overall, i enjoyed going back to the story and world i fell in love with. however by the end, i felt spurned b/c the ending of each story was rushed. so much potential was left on the table! it's frustrating!
Wow, I listened to this book for about the first four hours and then began to realize that this is not what I expected. This is what we waited 2 years for? I can't believe at all this is the same Author who wrote the 1st two books which are among one of my favorites in Zombie culture titles. I loved the series and told all my friends how this one series was an all night scary listen! But this book was not the same timeline format as the first two successful books.
This storyline jumps like a cat dancing on a hot plate as I was back and forth trying to figure out what and why did he bring in new characters and ignore the pre-established ones we loved and cared about. The name Kill as a character said it all as I groaned as bad as the zombie's moaning in the story. Why and how he made the main character act like a whinney B_tch is unforgivable to start and how predictable it played out was no surprise. I have to believe this was a paycheck to the writer as there was no effort put into this book.
How and why The Author changed the format was bad advice, maybe because he was on deployment most of these years, it may have distracted his focus. I would have gladly waited another year for a more suspenseful type story just like the first two books were written.
I know this is a harsh review but I really feel let down as a reader and fan of the series.
I would recomend people to just pass on this version and hope there is another creative author that could do a timeline Zombie tale.
I would check Audible every month to see when the third book came out. Finally got it. Bummer. I listened to the entire thing, but forced myself. It was not journal style and I personally thought is was so confusing. There's no refresher from where the last book left off and there are all sorts of new people and six different stories going on, it was just so hard to tell who was what and where they were doing it. And honestly, I just thought it was boring. Oh---and it seemed like it was written for military people. Just so much military jargon. Might be nice for people that know the lingo, but just annoying to me. Don't think I'll be watching out for the next one.
Hard to say...loved the first two, but definitely not going to be watching for the fourth book.
I don't know...but the narrator was lovely.
I may not after this one. The first two were excellent but this one made me think the author was only out to make a quick buck... or maybe he just wanted to try something different. If that's the case he should have started a whole new series instead of abandoning his original one the way he did. Had this been my first ever zombie read it would have been my last.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
I would definitely recommend the series. You won't 'get it' if you start with this one. In fact, though I've read the entire series so far, for me this was oddly hard to follow. It seemed a bit rushed and confusing. Still, if you are a fan of the series it does advance the plot.
The scenes aboard the sub.
I haven't given up on the author; the first two books were great. I just wont jump on buying until some reviews are posted.
I'd hoped book 3 would continue in the same style as the first 2 books. The story was choppy and rushed, with huge gaps missing in the action. The radical departure makes me wonder if it was even the same author.
Frustration and disappointment. This was a huge missed opportunity to wrap up the story.
I understand military messages begin with a long string on numbers and letters. I get it. Listening to the narrator read them aloud is VERY annoying.
If you read the first two books and loved them like I did do yourself a favor and do NOT NOT NOT read this one. You will be disappointed beyond belief. I don't know what J.L. was thinking. The journal entry to 3rd person narrative I understand, don't like, but understand. The plot is weak, feels rushed and I swear I found myself restarting chapters over and over again. It was REALLY had to follow. Dry. It almost felt like a boring documentary that you watch at 3am on a Friday night. I am VERY disappointed. I was so excited to read book 3 and wish now I didn't.
Hopefully he'll get his act together and go back to what we readers love about his work. Military culture, jargon & info weaved into a great story and not "too" over our heads. J.L. Bourne are you reading this.................dude you dropped the ball on this one. Please if there's a book 4 read all of our reviews and take notes!!!!
If there's nothing else to read get it. If you're a fan don't waste your time you'll just get frustrated!!!
I'm sure the change from the previous diary style will irritate some readers; personally I get why the author made the change. The main group of characters is necessarily split up and he would have had to jump through major hoops for a single narrator to effectively capture what was going on in all the locations. So from that perspective I think it was a bold move to make the change.
Unfortunately I'm not convinced the actual story held up to the switch in style. The writing is a little rough -- the author does struggle a little with the new voice -- but the first half or so of the book is pretty good, demonstrating several of the things that were so strong in the first two volumes. Bourne really does do zombie combat scenes extremely well and even three books in was pulling out scenarios and twists that kept it fresh.
But the latter part of the book felt really rushed to me. Almost as if he couldn't quite decide if it was going to take 4 books or if he had to wrap it in 3. Some of the plot elements introduced in book 2 are wrapped up in what I felt was very unsatisfying ways and at the end I was left thinking that Remote6 and Chang really felt like a let down. The ending could leave it open for a book 4 so we'll see if he does go that route and puts some more meat on the bones.
I'd still recommend the series and anyone who has read the first 2 volumes will want to know what happens but I do think this is the weakest of the volumes by far.
Like other reviews of this book that I just finished reading,I didn't mind the style chsnge of the book. It is no longer a diary account type story. I'm totaly fine with that,not a deal breaker for me. I loved the first two books in this series,I had even been getting friends to read them and listen to them.
Having said that,and praising the first two books,I must say that Shattered Hourglass disappointed me. The story is decent,but I really feel that the story was rushed. Rushed through key plots (namely the mysterious government help that was given to our hero in the second book), and more importantly the finish. The book was decent all the way to the end,then at the end I felt like someone must have held a gun to the head of J.L. and told him to finish up as fast as possible. I'm not the only person I know who feels this way,several friends listened to this story while I was and we all said the same thing,rushed ending!!! The first two books are the best,this last book is so so at best. But I would say still give it a listen,but don't expect much.
I'm sorry Mr. Bourne,I love your books,but this one let me down a bit.
Some people think the book was left open ended as if there will be another one. Perhaps,but I can't see how the main character could make a return. But knowing how this books ending was so rushed,and some good plots (the arctic station) were minimalized and not really expanded upon,I don't really think that the author has any idea for another bookmark in the series and that he added "quantum" as some sort of after thought to keep the reader guessing.
The narrator did a good job.
"Shattered Hourglass: Day by Day Armageddon, Book 3"
Very disappointing book. He moved away from the diary format of the first two installments and the story suffered as a consequence. The diary format was new - at least to me - and it worked so well because it allowed you to live in that world in a way I hadn't considered before. This book attempts to increase the scale and move the genre forward, but the pace was awkward and stuttering, the characters two-dimensional and the events predictable. This is just another zombie novel. Read only if you need zombies. If you want something different - read the first two and stop.
"Format change, clumsy politics"
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and would recommend them to people. Saying that, I can't recommend this one. The previous two used a diary format which built tension and helped the sense of one man moving through a terrifying situation. In Shattered Hourglass unfortunately, Bourne has moved to a standard writing style. This disrupts the style from the previous two. The second problem is that Bourne has developed a habit of suddenly diverging into clumsy political rants (for example, characters out of nowhere going into a diatribe about gun control in the past or similar). Snyder's performance is still good, but he can only work with what he's given.
All in all, I'd second what another reviewer said - listen to the first two, and stop there.
"NICE BIT OF FAST PACED, ZOMBIE SPLATTER TRASH!"
After the first listen to the final part of the trilogy I was disappointed. The change in format took a bit of adjustment and It distracted me away from the story. I just listened to all the others again so I thought I would give part three another go and I enjoyed Shattered Hourglass a hell of a lot more second time around. Don't get me wrong, Shakespeare this aint but it is an extremely enjoyable slice of fast paced, Zombie splatter trash and our world would be worse off without it. A fitting end to an enjoyable trilogy.
"Stopped the series too soon."
This story ROCKS! but it just got finished before it began.
I really like the characters the best and felt shocked when they meet their demise..
King of the spoken word. without a bout. His voice resonates deep in the primal core that makes you listen more intently.
No, it just exuded excellence from beginning to end.
If you like this try EX-heroes or any of the other novels, like Hyperion that Jay lends his voice to. Talking movies dude for-Real..
I was a little apprehensive when I heard they had changed the format of how the book is told, but I needn't have worried as it was a joy to read. It lead to a lot of new characters that I became attached to so I was more vested in the world rather than just a small group.
The narration was excellent and I found it difficult to stop listening each time my commute ended.
All in all a great book well read and I'd recommend it highly.
This book is simply great. Well read by Jay Snyder. The mix of horror and military action works really well, this is what I imagine the Alpha team part of Max Brooks world war Z should be like.
"At last it is here..."
This third instalment (and I suspect not the last - no spoilers) was better written than the first two. The continuing story was well developed and I would say somewhat more tense at points than the other two. Again Jay Snyder's narration fit the bill and was excellent. Well worth the listen and I hope there will be more.
"Great stuff but a change of format"
I am a huge fan of the first two books in this series so I have been eagerly waiting for this new book to come out. There are more characters and several story lines at play here so the author has, rather bravely, departed from the diary format of the first two books. I initially found this a bit jarring and it took a little time to get into the story. Once I got used to it though it was as great as the others and with more going on there is more excitement and tension. I really, really wish this book was longer, I hope he has another one in the pipeline. I appreciate that he is rather busier than most writers so I won't hold it against him. I feel it might be helpful to point out that I don't usually bother with zombie fiction, I liked the Max Brooks novels but I tried some others and found them a bit lacking. I reckon Mr Bourne and Mr Brooks have produced the best of the genre that could be enjoyed by the general reader and those who enjoy modern military fiction or military science fiction.
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