After the Tilian virus devastates the world, overwhelming its victims' humanity and reducing them to base predators, former high school teacher Mike Allard must lead a small group of survivors to a goal that he himself is unsure of. Narrator Scott Aiello's unpretentious, relaxed performance increases in intensity to match the excitement of the story, which switches from past to present within a span of seven years to track the ravages of the virus as it spreads across the world. Aiello begins with the bemusement that accompanies the start of the plague to growing horror and realization, expertly invoking the shifts in mood and tone.
So much sacrificed. So little gained.
Seven years have passed since the outbreak of the Tilian Virus and the effects of the disease devastated the world.
A resilient band of survivors have overcome insurmountable odds. But now, on the brink of human extinction, can hope's dim light be strengthened? Can a cure exist to purge the darkness before the infected complete their domination?
©2011 , 2013 Tom Calen (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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
the group of survivors were different than any i've yet to listen about.
i would've made it a linear story instead of constantly flashing forward and back in time.
yes, the story was short, at least to me. lol
after listening to all 3 books in this series, i can honestly say it was pretty good series. i'm a diehard junkie when it comes to zombies or the end of the world as we know it stories. so, i've listened to a bunch of these types of books. if you're like me and you've already listened to a bunch of the zombie books available on audible and you're looking for a zombie fix, then try the first book in this series, the tillian virus.
but if you're new to the zombie genre, there are some really good books i'd listen to before this. that's not to say this is a bad starting point. rather, there are essential zombie / the end of the world as you know it books i'd listen to first. please see my reviews if you're interested.
the 1st book in this series is mostly told from mike allard's perspective. he is a 22 year old history teacher at a rural high school in tennessee.
as the story opens, mike's getting ready for another monday at school. the receptionist, mrs. hooligan, informs him his parent teacher conference is cancelled b/c the girl's mother is sick. so as mike catches up on his grading, one of his favorite pupils, michele, asks if he can give her the next 2 day's assignment b/c her 2 younger brothers are sick with the flu, and she has to watch over them as her father has to work. at lunch, mike notices there are a lot of substitute teachers in, and they chat about how many kids are out sick.
later that week, the principal calls mike and asks if he's ok and if he can fill in for him b/c a lot of people are out, taking care of family. he informs mike that the superintendent has decided to keep the schools open so kids can have a place to go.
as mike is meeting w/ the other high school teachers to set up a teaching plan, they realize over a 100 kids are out sick. after getting all of the students situated, mike decides to watch the news w/ the class. a breaking news alert informs the country that president obama has come down w/ the flu and has invoked the 25th amendment, making the vice president the acting president.
later in the afternoon, mike and the other teachers see a few cop cars pulling up to the school. the sheriff informs them that the school is on lockdown b/c some of the sick are acting strangely. and that's how their struggle to survive the outbreak starts.
as other reviewers have reported, there are a lot of flash forwards. actually, the time flips with each chapter. the time jump is 7 years into the future. mike, some of his students, and some other survivors are encamped on a mountain eking out an existence. i didn't find the time jumps too bad. i didn't get confused. each chapter kind of ends with a minor cliffhanger so once i got into what was happening at both times, i wanted to keep listening to learn what happened. however, i do think i would've bonded to the character more if the story was linear.
regarding the characters, i liked the characters from both timeframes. many of the characters overlap. there isn't a lot of dialog b/c the story is told from mike's perspective, but you do get a sense of the other characters from mike's interactions with them.
i liked the story b/c it was different than many of the other zombie stories i've listened to. this is not a lone survivor story nor is it a military style survival story. mike is thrust into a leadership role that he often regrets simply b/c he is their teacher. mike has no skills and often has to rely on his students for help. he's from the northeast and knows next to nothing about guns. so at first he has to totally rely on some of his students, who have experience hunting, to learn about guns.
as far as an initial outbreak story, i liked the aspect of a teacher and a bunch of students being trapped in a school. i found that part exciting b/c it's an angle i haven't listened to yet.
the future part of the story is your typical fare- a group trying to survive a zombie apocylapse. well not really zombies but "tills." in this story, the infected are "tills." tills are not living dead. they are living people who got infected by the tillian virus, a virus that affects the reptilian portion of the brain. as such, they are ravenous flesh eating machines who aggressively and mercilessly attack and eat anyone who is uninfected.
the story goes by pretty quickly. there are parts where i wished the author slowed down and provided more details.
the narration is pretty good. it is easy to listen to the narrator and get into the story. i kept thinking his voice sounded familiar, like someone i've heard before. this "familiar" feeling helped me to further get engrossed into the story. i lke how he portrayed the lead character, mike. i found it easy to follow the other male characters the narrator portrayed through the different cadences he voiced.
overall, a pretty good series. i liked the characters, and i found the story entertaining.
I love apocalyptic novels, both zombie and non-zombie. Unfortunately, I've run into many of this type that are sub-par and hardly listenable. This, however, is a book with a good story line, and is nicely written. I also applaud the author for creating a good zombie series without the use of coarse language throughout. That is quite refreshing.
All good so far. However...
The narrator, though talented, has an annoying [breath] style of inserting breaths at odd times. This is [breath] very distracting. I was so annoyed [breath] by this idiosyncrasy, that I often lost track of what was happening in the novel, and I had to [breath] keep rewinding and re-listening to parts of the book. The good news, though, is that I have listened to the second book of this series and found that, although it has the same narrator, the speaker does not employ the same quirk while narrating that book. To me, the second book is a much better listen.
My suggestion: Read the first book the old-fashioned way, then listen to the rest of the series.
I bought the 2nd book in the series, hope it's better
The premise of the story is fine but it did not transfer or translate well to an audiobook. There is too much switching back and forth between 6 years ago and current day without the narrator letting the listener know that it's flashback time.
probably, I am a zombie junkie
The story itself is solid, characters are good. But bouncing between current and past story is extremely frustrating, and prevents the reader from getting attached to the protagonists. That and clunky, passive, writing. A good editor could have helped this book a lot. Or maybe it was a bad editor that suggested the structure. Or maybe my new iPhone OS update shuffled the chapters...
Zombies Books in order: 1. We're Alive 2. Day By Day Armageddon 3. Roads Less Traveled Series 4. Alaskan Undead Apocalypse 5. World War Z 6. The Walking Dead 7. Rise Again 8. As the World Dies 9. Zombie Fallout
Or flash-forward rather. The story starts out with Mike the teacher and him leading his students through outbreak. Then, for no discernible rhyme or reason, it jumps years into the future with them now being a well organized survivalist group. Every chapter rotates back and forth through the first and second half of the story like the author parted his book in half and shuffled the pages together again.Just when the action peaks and you want to know more...back to the future! Then past! Then future! Sometimes I forgot which part I was in. Short flashbacks are supposed to reveal something relevant to the main time line. This doesn't do that and is just annoying.
The story was, or could have been pretty interesting, but it didn't stir too many emotions in me. The writing is very descriptive and good quality, but could go on about furniture and other details I could care less about. The descriptive style left little room for dialogue and there wasn't much interpersonal interactions so the characters were rather flat and the only ones that are memorable besides Mike and his dog Gazelle was Derek and his girlfriend, whats her name...(I know what you're worrying about dog lovers, but just chill).
Mikes leadership job was too easy, he was the teacher of a bunch of teenagers so default leader. He always knew what to do and just barked orders and they were carried out. Picked up a gun for the first time and zombies started dropping left and right.
Its still "ok" though, the action, the creepy "tills" with their side cocked heads were creepy and kinda scary.
Narrator did an excellent job trying to bring the story to life and made the book as interesting as it could be. He did soften some of the male teenager voices so much that they sounded like girls, but it was minor issue.
At the end you get to listen to the start of book two. But it was about government conspiracy, rather cliche.
I'll have to read up on the reviews for book two to see if the flashback style writing continues.
When your waiting for the next Mark Tufo and the like to come out. I was plesantly surprised, not as gory or militarized as some books, but still worth your time, I'm getting the next one. A very solid 3stars but definitely not 4.
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