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The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z | [Manel Loureiro]

The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z

A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news - it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men. A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog and journal would ultimately record humanity’s last days. Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called Safe Havens are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.
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Publisher's Summary

The dead rise…

A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news - it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men.

Humanity falls…

A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog and journal would ultimately record humanity’s last days.

The end of the world has begun…

Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called Safe Havens are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves. Armed only with makeshift weapons and the will to live, this survivor will give mankind one last chance against…Apocalypse Z.

©2012 Manel Loureiro (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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3.9 (1191 )
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  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 11-17-13
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 11-17-13 Member Since 2012

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Wonder cat saves the day... again..."

    I enjoyed the first half of the book quite a bit: a story about how a well-prepared man faces the development/existence of a zombie horde. Sure, the main character was a bit too prepared for a guy with his background and job, but still, it was believable. And the way information on the initial sickness was shared (or not) felt very realistic. (Oh, I am pretty sure the technical aspects of, say, diving, guns, or solar panels, etc, were creatively interpreted, but I didn't mind, since I don't really care what size bullet goes into what type of gun anyway.)

    About halfway through, the story took a little turn from a survivalist story to a "spy-thriller" wannabe. Which might have been okay - if this aspect had been more than a "let's have the main character get caught up in some spy-ops in order to show him facing zombies". This entire thread is sorta wrapped up, but the reader is never given any information as to the point behind these events. Perhaps it is a thread intended to be brought up in the next book in the series, but, as it is here, it is just a huge red herring put into the story for no purpose other than to have an excuse for the main character to meet a sidekick and venture into zombieland.

    There were some other weak points that became more noticeable as the story progressed: especially in regards to the main character's cat. Even if you assume that the main character would risk his own life to save that of his cat... why would he take it out of its cage and tie it to a string with the plan that it would walk beside him during a thunderstorm/zombie attack... hey, I can suspend disbelief and accept zombies, and even that silly spy-ops thread, but a) what cat would walk beside you as if it were on a leash and b) what cat would walk beside you in a thunderstorm, leash or not c) and why would anyone think a cat would come to them when they called it (regardless that it is during a thunderstorm/abandoned building/zombie attack)?

    The ending left even more to be desired. I think it is intended to set up the next installment of the series, but the way the main character "found" other survivors was just a smidge beyond believable (another installment of wonder-cat adventures here). And I really hope that the "love interest" hinted at in the next book is not the same one hinted at in this one because I am really tired of male authors assuming that 17 year old girls would be as interested in 30 year old men as these men are in teenage girls.

    It isn't overly gory, there is no sex, and I don't recall any excessive swearing. The narration is good and I think the translation to English was accurate enough. Overall it is a reasonable/average entry in the zombie genre. I won't, however, be reading the next in the series since the best part of this book was how the virus/information spread, and how the world initially dealt with this spread.

    35 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lesley Seattle, WA, United States 05-10-14
    Lesley Seattle, WA, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2005

    From Austen to zombies!

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    "Meanwhile, in Spain..."

    Most zombie apocalypse stories I've read were set in the USA. Apocalypse Z takes place in Galicia, a rainy region in Northwestern Spain best known for the historic area of Santiago de Compostela. It's a refreshing change that makes for an exciting zombie yarn.

    A widowed lawyer and his cat, Lucullus, watch nervously as things go bad in Russia, then the EU, then everywhere. The lawyer blogs his struggles at first, and then is forced to change to paper when the Internet finally dies. He and Lucullus leave home and bravely traverse Galicia, taking out "those THINGS," as he calls them, searching desperately for any kind of safety.

    All the regular zombie tropes are present here, but the story is made exciting by the fact that our hero is just some guy--sometimes brave, other times terrified, but able to use the knowledge he has to get by and survive. If you're at all familiar with Spanish culture, another dimension is added: the lawyer is a definite Spanish "type," so the story becomes more of a question of what would this average guy, the guy you see every morning on the train going into the city, what would he do if there were an apocalypse?

    Some sections of the story didn't go fast enough for me--our hero was a little waffly at times, agonizing too much over decisions. But he is a lawyer, so maybe the overanalysis is a kind of professional hangover from normal times. Mostly, I was hooked--I had to find out what was going to happen next. And as an animal lover, not listening all the way through wasn't an option: would Lucullus make it? There was no way I could skip the answer to that question!

    I can't say enough about the narration, beautifully done by Nick Podehl who did such a fantastic job on The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Podehl makes the fear, disgust, and sadness really come through. His Spanish pronunciation is pretty good, too.

    If you're looking for a zombie story that's a little different, this one is a great choice: a little less John Wayne and a lot more guy-next-door, Apocalypse Z will keep you listening through to the end. I can't wait for the next volume in this saga!

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam 05-11-13
    Sam 05-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, but.... really bad"
    Any additional comments?

    Fun, a lot of fun, pure story! Very fast paced. It's also bad but in a not so bad way. Have you ever watched Land of the Lost? (1970's television) Chaka is just so cute, you want to pat him on the back and can imagine feeling the costume zipper as you do. Then you wonder if the slesstacks were grumpy by nature or if it was simply the combination of those rubber suits and the hot stage lights.

    The show is horrible! But we love it right? Yes sir, every bit. Technical problems and everything, we love it. (Well, at least I did.)

    This book felt the same. I think the technical problems were huge. My wife chides me and reminds me that it is TRANSLATED. Well, sorry but translation does not stop me from cringing when I hear about setting the safety on a Glock. (Maybe in Spain they have an external safety? Uh, no.)

    I got the feeling this guy was writing about things he really did not know about. (Guns, sail boats, scuba diving, car parts.) The biggest whammy went something like, "The SUV's battery was completely dead. Good thing I had an extra in the bottom of my backpack. We picked it up in the..." What? Was the battery lost between your chapstick and your gum? Did you know that a car batter is just a tiny bit bigger than say a flashlight battery? For those that don't know: Car batteries are large, very heavy and full of lead and acid. It would take a large backpack and a small battery just to get one inside, but don't tip it or it might spill acid all over. Carrying one of these for an average guy means grunting and groaning. Don't tell me you just happen to have an extra in the bottom of your backpack! That would be as logical as suddenly remembering that you had an extra skunk in your back pocket.

    Am I being mean? I hope not too mean because I was able to get past all this and enjoy the book despite the problems. I will read the next if comes out here on Audible and in English.

    I bought this because I had long drive I had to get up very early for. It kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat. Lots of fun. Zombyriffic!

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Arlington, TN, United States 11-14-12
    Keith Arlington, TN, United States 11-14-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just For Pleasure"

    I have to confess that I secretly love last person on Earth books. This book was no exception. It was told from the first person and that was one of the things that made it good. From beginning to end the book was just plain good.

    Nick Podehl complimented the book better than any one else I can think of. His voice brought the book alive and you felt what the main character felt. In one place the main character was talking about the loss of his family, and I swear you could hear his voice crack and see the tears rolling. Apocalypse Z was written well and the narration made it even better.

    45 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Redding Ontario 08-06-14
    David Redding Ontario 08-06-14 Member Since 2015

    David

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    "I didn't care...You might"

    I have to start by saying that I'm not a fan of the first person "Journal" type of book. I just think that it takes a special story and a special author to pull it off and this story isn't special.

    I don't want to put anything on the author because this book is a translation, it was originally written in spanish so the mistakes I spotted could be a result of the translation. In the end, it's just an average zombie book with nothing that really sets itself apart for all the rest.

    A few people have complained about Nick Podehi's narration. I can see what they may not have liked, but I kind of liked it...he tries to put life into the story. It doesn't always work and Nick does "over act" it a few times...but over all I enjoyed his performance.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rolando 03-05-13
    Rolando 03-05-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Overly dramatic"
    What would have made The Beginning of the End better?

    The narrator is reads every sentence as if it is the end of the world. Please pardon the cliche and pun. The problem is that the narrator doesn't give the listener a chance to rest. Everything is "gripping" or "shocking" or "unforgettable". I know that you can blame it on the author, however, I am reading the book along with the narration via Whispersync and reading the book is much more enjoyable and makes it easy to forgive some of the author's flaws. Halfway through the book I decided to stop listening to it and just read it. The narration made it unbearable.


    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JacobC 06-24-14
    JacobC 06-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something just didn't click"
    What did you like best about The Beginning of the End? What did you like least?

    The story was okay, a bit contrived from the start, but not bad. Every now and then, though, the author would say something that made no sense, or even contradicted something else he said. An armored car that couldn't run down zombies because the main character has "seen what bodies do to cars?" Meh.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not the rest of this series.


    Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to the narrator's other performances, but he did a fine job. A little trouble with some of the Spanish place names, but no real problem.


    Could you see The Beginning of the End being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    What was in the darn case that burned up?! He spends half the book going after this case and...nothing??

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramon A. Gil New York 01-31-14
    Ramon A. Gil New York 01-31-14 Member Since 2015

    "if you look at something too close for too long, it loses it's meaning."

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    "Great Book"
    Any additional comments?

    I've read a lot of good post apocalyptic books. Alas Babylon, World War Z, Earth Abides, Patient Zero, Day by Day Armageddon etc etc... This book was amazing. If I had to compare, it reminded me of Day by Day Armageddon but better. Once I finished it, I purchased the second book right away... they are both great.. what's amazing to me is that I was able to submerge myself in the story. .. loved it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gary Dallas, TX, United States 06-04-13
    gary Dallas, TX, United States 06-04-13 Member Since 2012

    The joy of listening to a good book is almost the best experience one can have. In my car on a long drive, sitting on the beach or in the forest, I love listening to books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Second Favorite Zombie Book Behind WWZ."
    Would you listen to The Beginning of the End again? Why?

    YES! I will listen to it again. This story captured me from the first 10 minutes. The story is one of the better of the genre. Next to WWZ it's going to be difficult to find a better zombie book and I love zombie stories.

    The performer was excellent. He has a very distinct voice that works for the listener. He captures you with his performance and makes you feel as though you are there.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Luculus the Cat! That poor little guy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I actually loved the beginning of the book when things were falling apart.


    Any additional comments?

    It's my second favorite Zombie book behind the master classic World War Z.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rex Canton, GA, United States 12-12-12
    Rex Canton, GA, United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Some real annoyances, but a decent story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A little fact checking could have gone a long way....1) SCUBA tanks are filled with compressed air, not oxygen. I thought the narrator was going to assemble a cutting torch when he was just going diving. 2) Those things on a diver's feet are not flippers. They are fins. If we are to believe the narrator was a regular diver before SHTF, this should have been corrected. and 3) The narrator familiarized himself with the basic functions of the Glock, including the trigger and the safety. -- I'm paraphrasing a bit. Glocks do not have an external safety. If the narrator had never fired a gun before, he would certainly not be familiar with the Glock's three passive safety mechanisms.

    None of them require the shooter to do anything but pull the trigger for it to go bang. But by far, the biggest annoyance is this. The author has tried to avoid the Z word at all costs. He describes the dead walking slowly around, stumbling, mumbling and pursuing the living. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, call it a duck, dadgummit! He even at one point compares the creatures to those in second rate horror films. Oh, you mean the zombies?

    I'm about half way through this book and it's driving me bananas!


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I might get there....


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I did like his interactions with the hapless neighbor.


    Was The Beginning of the End worth the listening time?

    meh


    23 of 31 people found this review helpful

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