For Nate Wilder, anxiety is nothing new. Regularly suffering from panic attacks triggered by news reports of world catastrophes, he can barely handle his everyday life even when, rationally, the events should not affect him. Nate becomes a prepper to help him cope with the anxiety, stocking a makeshift shelter.
So when nuclear disaster actually strikes home, Nate must employ truly heroic courage or fold to his fears. But in the aftermath of the bombs, it quickly becomes apparent that surviving the attack is just the beginning - there is far worse yet to come.
Wormwood is a taut, post-apocalyptic thriller told from the perspective of three main characters: flawed hero Nate; Jeanette, his beautifully flawed love interest; and Simon, the unstable leader of their survivor community.
©2015 Micah Ackerman (P)2015 Micah Ackerman
I didn't know what to expect when I first started listening to this but I didn't expect to enjoy it so much! It grabbed me from the start and didn't let go.
I'm not going to summarize it in case I inadvertently spoil something so I'll get right to my thoughts.
I always love reading about a flawed character, it makes it more relatable because in all honesty, nobody is perfect! Well Nate was an awesome character. He suffers from Panic attacks while reading and thinking about catastrophes in the news. He is almost paranoid in his thinking. The latest news isn't good and Nate has a feeling that things are going to be bad. He decides that he needs to get ready in case the worst does happen and becomes a prepper. Little does he know that he may just need to use his prepping skills!! As I said, I love flawed characters, and boy is he flawed. He is nervous, doesn't have any friends and is a quiet withdrawn man.
Jeanette is Nates' co-worker and secret crush. He has had a crush on her for ages but is too scared to ask her out. When the bombs drop Nate finds himself at work with Jeanette and has no choice but to take her to his bunker. I really liked her character too. She was a strong woman and a good partner for Nate.
The first half of the book deals with the fallout of the bombs and the struggles of Nate and Jeanette to survive in the bunker. I enjoyed the first half because we see both of the characters change and become stronger. Nate is no longer a shy guy but has had to become a leader of sorts. He takes control and makes sure both of them survive. I loved the character development and was rooting for Nate from the start.
Then we have the second half of the book. And boy what a second half!! Nate and Jeanette find other survivors and end up living with them. You would think this was better but with so many different types of people and an egotistical fanatic leading them, it's much worse!!
Anyway, I flew through this book and couldn't get enough. It's well written and developed. The plot was well thought out and executed. It's also plausible and quite frankly, kind of scary!! Each character is well written and the character development was phenomenal. Each character grew throughout the story, which I loved!!
In all, Wormwood was not only an action packed book, it's a story of surviving, of finding love, of being all you can be despite everything else. From it's interesting characters to it's engaging plot, this is a must read! I loved it and hope to see more from this world.
The audio of this was fantastic. Kevin Pierce brought the story to life and while listening to it, it played out like a movie in my head. He breathed life into each character and even made Simon more scary than he already was ;) Definitely a narrator to check out.
*Received in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
I have listened to many books which Kevin Pierce has narrated, and while he is limited in the amount of different voices, he makes up for this with heart, cadence, and just making anything he reads, enjoyable.
As for Micah Ackerman, he did not respect his audience enough to research much of what he wrote, so, no, I won't buy anything from him in the future.
Mr. Pierce, like always, did a good job.
Ho-hum...follow the bouncing narrative ...
Some of the most glaring fictions were related to firearms.
Take the scene where the main character is heading out of the basement for the first time. He tucks a Glock in his belt and at some point the trigger is pulled. Mr. Ackerman writes the safety was on, and stopped the gun from going off. Glocks do not have safeties of this nature. The only safety is a trigger safety which is not put "on".
Earlier the author discussed the much politicized AR-15, and often lied about firearm. He referred to the charging handle as a slide. A slide!? Really? Come one man.
On and on it went, a constant narrative which reflected ignorance and disrespect for those who would buy his book.
I know full well this is a book of fiction. Consequently I do not expect everything to meet with reality, it is fiction, after all. But the author missed too many simple things, that would not have taken more than an hour of research to learn about. This coupled with some stereo typical portrayals of "church goers", "right wingers" and firearms, caused me to not complete the book.
It felt more to me like a propaganda piece than an honest book idea. I can certainly handle, and have ready many books who's worldview, politics etc. were different than mine. But these authors at least took the time to get the details right. Mr. Ackerman may want to not depend on the Huffington Post for his knowledge in the future when writing fiction, because the book will be utterly void of fact.
I love me some audiobooks
I thought I was in for a real treat with all of the positive reviews this book received. It's rare to find an apocalyptic novel dealing with the harsh realities of a nuclear holocaust. I must admit that I'm writing this review while only 3/4 of the way through, however, I don't really want to finish it. There are just too many mistakes with this story to make it believable and worthy as a "how to survive" novel. It's apparent the author never handled a glock pistol, understands food storage, or understands construction. I know I may be nitpicking, but these things, along with others, eat away at the credibility of the author and this story.
Alas, Babylon was written over 50 years ago and it was far more realistic. Wormwood is a simple story about an average guy who's too uptight and pensive to speak to girls and instead lusts after his co-worker in a weird sort of way. Of course it takes a nuclear war for he and she to fall madly in love and get it on in the basement of where they worked. They survive the blast and eventually crawl out to observe the world around them. As if this fantasy isn't enough for the author, he introduces a character named Simon who's the obligatory fanatic fundamentalist christian that crawls out from his homemade bunker to impose his beliefs to this new world. Yeah, right. I guess this is an attempt to make this novel stand apart from the Christian perspective of other authors in this genre.
I could go on but I won't. There are better audiobooks out there if you like this genre.
Nate seemed like he would be an interesting character, in spite of the fact that you don't have to have a panic/anxiety disorder to become a prepper. For the most part, I liked him. But I never bought his "panic attacks". Knowing what panic attacks feel like, it was obvious the author had never experienced a full-blown panic attack. Jeanette has a deformity, but it was hardly even mentioned after the first time. It should have hindered her in the new situations she was thrown into, but without a mention, I kept thinking she had fully functioning arms and hands.
I found myself critiquing all the characters' actions and motivations. Sometimes I couldn't figure out if the characters were really as stupid as they seemed. For instance, if you top a hill and see a huge pile of dead bodies at the bottom...what would YOU do? Naturally, you should get scared, be quiet, run away, perhaps duck down or find a hidden vantage point. You should NOT argue in loud voices, trot down to the pile of bodies in full view of anyone who might be watching, and never have the least fleeting fearful thought --> That's how you get yourself killed. That is not survival. But someone these characters managed to overcome their stupidity to survive anyway.
In spite of it all, I did find the characters mostly interesting. They each had unique traits and personalities, and none were flat stereotypes. The narrator did a good job, but ultimately couldn't save this book.
The book ended on a cliffhanger, but still fell a little flat. I probably won't read the rest of the series.
I love apocalyptic novels of all kinds - zombie, biological, nuclear, and natural disaster. That said, I think the order I listed the sub genres more or less mirror the availability of novels in that genre. Zombie apocalypse novels went (as a long time reader in the genre) from maybe a couple a year to a couple a week. Nuclear apocalypse novels are still harder to come by, and are always a welcome find.
Onto the story itself, I found the premise for the apocalypse well thought out, and very very relevant and plausible. Sobering. The book covered the background and worldwide coverage of the apocalypse, but it didn't dwell on it. It was more focused on a main character, Nate, a troubled single man who comes out of his shell to become a great well rounded person, Jeanette, the flawed beauty Nate is infatuated with, and Simon, who frankly is an absolute nut. The parts of the story dealing with Nate and Jeanette are the best.
My only "complaint" is the last sentence. :) I think it might indicate a sequel may be in the works. If there isn't no matter, this book, excluding the last sentence, forms a standalone complete story, with a satisfactory conclusion.
On the narration, Kevin Pierce did a fantastic job and was easy to listen to, and I found the characters all felt distinct and identifiable. I do have other books in my library narrated by him (oddly one of those is one of those rare-ish nuclear apocalypse novels, Through Many Fires), and doing a quick look at audible, he has an impressive collection of titles to his name. You can't go wrong with him.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
Nate Wilder lives in eternal fear of environmental disasters, anxiety gets the best of him, and he lives obsessed by the daily news. After hearing about a new international threat he decides to get prepared and starts gathering supplies for the imminent apocalypse. He finds a suitable basement at the blood test facility where he works and starts to stash things away in the most secretive way, because he can’t face to be unprepared, but he can’t either face the fact that he might be overreacting.
Jeanette works with Nate at the blood test center, and she is lucky enough to be with Nate when the disaster happens. Both take refuge at the blood test center basement and find that Nate was right after all.
The story is built up very slowly. The first third of the book is just character introduction and how the disaster happened. We are presented with many political details that might have been overlooked, since they do not add much to the story. Also, in that first third of the book there are no dialogues, which makes it a bit dull.
Luckily after the bombs were dropped we start to see some character development and real things happening. There are several characters in the book but only three: Nate, Jeanette and Simon, are really developed and evolve with time. The rest of characters are plain and one-dimensional.
For me there is something in the rhythm of this book that does not completely work. While the beginning is very slow, the end feels rushed. One hour before the end I was convinced that we were going to be left with a cliffhanger leading to a second book, but the story is closed just at the very end. I would have expected and enjoyed a longer and more difficult trip of Nate and his six companions, and I even expected the reunion to happen in a second book. It just felt a bit anticlimactic and rushed.
The book is in general correctly written, but at times Ackerman uses repeated expressions like “Nate did this, Nate did that, Nate went”, that break the rhythm of the narration.
Kevin Pierce brought the story to life and it was an added value to the book. The audio production was correct.
All in all, I liked the story, and finding flawed characters makes it to become real. It is very interesting how they evolve, and Nate undergoes a heavy transformation from a very anxious person to somebody valuable for the community in the post-apocalyptical world.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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one of the best books in the genre. realistic, belivable characters. One drawback is the authors lack of firearms knowledge. a Glock does not have a safety lever or an external hammer. ;)
if you can live with that (an author thats doesnt obsess about guns and gear) this will be a good read. In my mind it was a mixed blessing in the otherwise gear-focused prepping community. the lack of knowledge was a relief and a distraction at the same time.
I love almost anything post-apocalyptic, zombie, scifi, ect. Always looking for some new earhole entertainment!
This is a great story about survival after a nuclear fallout. As always, Kevin Pierce did an excellent job with the narration. I'm really hoping for a book 2 in this series or similar work from this author!
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