"What now, sister?" Tomas asked.
"We kill Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends and then we rule the world," she said absently as she fingered the locket around her neck."
In the latest installment of Mark Tufo's zombie fallout series, Mike Talbot and his family continue their fight for survival as Eliza plots their demise.
©2012 Mark Tufo (P)2012 Tantor
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I like Mark Tufo and I really do like Zombie Fallout as a series, I really do! But... Zombie Fallout 5: Alive in a Dead World felt like a whole lot of stalling by Mark Tufo. There was some headway made in the general progress of the story of course but the headway that was made was very small where the general plot is concerned.
I've said it before and I'll say it again one of the main reasons that the book series is as enjoyable as it is is of the little quirks that Mike Talbot have and the myriad of interesting characters in the book. Mike's quips with... well anyone and his incredibly short attention span makes it a trip when reading from his portions. Mike's best friend in the book seems downright hopeless to me... Mrs. Deno... She's an... interesting one... I can also add a couple others who I all find fascinating and who brings something to the book.
I must say though that where this book is concerned the author drags his foot along a lot. A big portion of the book's plot are a series of seemingly useless flashbacks (I kid you not, they seem completely and utterly useless to me except for providing some fodder to maybe laugh at). There was also a huge emphasis on Mike growing into his new powers. In the grand scheme of things though, I would say that probably one or two really note worthy things happen in this book (both of which I found just plain gruesome even for a Zombie book... I mean.... I am shocked and not in a good way...). Both occurrences could have been fit in the other book prior to this. And to add insult to injury.... this book more than any other ends in a MASSIVE cliff hanger. I really don't understand how or why Mark Tufo would do that... I was quite disappointed.
The narration was great, Sean Runnette did an awesome job again and aided in me being able to make it through this book.
I will get book 6 as soon as it comes out no doubt, if only to know how everything turns out. The narration is great, the story was lacking if you ask me though but the humor was still very prevalent which made the book enjoyable none the less.
This is not a stand alone series. To understand the nuances between the personalities, you must read Zombie 1 - 4. So you have read Z1 - 4, well even a good thing can get a little tired. Most of the series is filled with the Talbot humor. At this point it has gotten, the Talbot banter, "What's the plan Mike, I don't know. I am making it up as I go along" is tired.
The love between a husband and wife and bond of friendship means everyone travels together even when impractical. And Tomas, well I was disappointed when they reunited him with his sister and it does not get better. Tomas' character lent a unique aspect and made it more believable (if a vampire story can have believability) but there is very little of him in this book.
Much of the book is spent with Mike doing his internal monologue providing you flashbacks.What really burned my underwear.... cliff hanger. Yes, it ended in a cliff hanger.
Mark, you know it is alright to end a series. It is better to end on a high note than to see your fans drop off like flyes.
Hoping that Mark will end the series, I will listen to the 6th Zombie.
ZF5 contains several flashbacks of IMMENSE length, showing Michael & his Good Buddy Joel and the Good Times they had. Maybe it's just me, but I found these interludes excruciating: long, long, lonnnggg tales of drunk, stoner pranks and partying. I found myself wondering how good friends they'd be if they actually remembered half of what they did.
Most of what goes for the rest of the Zombie Fallout series goes for #5 as well: 2-D characters, repetitious occurrences, supposedly experienced (by book 5) survivors making stupid mistakes, going off alone (AFTER having a discussion about how stupid horror movie characters are to get separated)...As the series went along, I got the distinct impression that Tufo was taking one or two books & s-s-t-r-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g them out to maximise his bucks for [lack of] our bang. With me, that strategy boomeranged; I won't be wasting my money on him again. Whatever he's gotten from me is already too much.
Michael, the wise-cracking, snarky hero. But, he's considerably over the top with the snarky cracks and deficient in the wise.
Tracy, the wife, who mainly is Mondo Witch (she seems serious when, in ZF1, she's ticked off at Michael because he's ruining the resale value of their house as he's trying to zombie-proof it). Occasionally she slips into icky-sweet "Oh darling, I love you forever and ever and ever and I'm always behind you etc etc etc" gag.
BT: the Big Black Dude Sidekick. I actually liked BT, and really, really wished he was given something interesting to do in addition to just being the BBDS. (Interestingly, he seems to be the only African American to survive the apocalypse in any of the books. Hispanics do only slightly better, with one small family. Asians & other groups apparently are right out). BT had no existence & evidently no interests whatsoever outside Michael & his little group.
Henry the dog: He farts. He sleeps. That's basically it. We get lots of paeans to bulldogs & how wonderful they are but no evidence to support this claim. (Hey, now I'm just DYING to get a dog who does nothing but release toxic farts & sleep!!). On more than one occasion Michael has to carry the dog -not up ladders, but just across flat terrain. I wondered if the dog was ancient, but nothing about that was said. Bulldogs are too lazy to walk?! This is news to me.
Basically, I can see someone who really gets off on say, Adam Sandler movies or TV shows like "Workaholics" really liking this series. Unfortunately, I loathe both and wish I'd stopped at ZF1. Why did I keep listening to them? Partly because good zombie/horror books are fairly thin upon the ground & some tiny hopeful part of me kept hoping Tufo would improve (plus, there was a sort of horrified fascination in seeing what words he'd mangle next -see below), partly because I'm laid up a lot & even irritating boredom gives some distraction from pain at times.
I can't decide whether I'm more depressed or alarmed by all the 5 star, frothingly enthusiastic reviews here.
And now, a side issue with writing style/vocabulary: what IS it with Tufo & words?! And has an editor ever looked at his manuscripts, an editor with a good vocabulary that is; as in someone who not only knows big words, but knows the actual MEANINGS of the big words? Tufo or whomever (both?) continually, repeatedly, come up with words that sound close to what they actually mean but really aren't at all correct. This drives me crazy enough in an audiobook; in print my head would explode.
Bizarrely enough, Tufo actually used "clowder" correctly in ZF5 (the actual term for a group of cats, like "murder" is the delightful term for a group of crows. But almost nobody knows "clowder"). Yet Tufo comes out with "sometimes fate "intercedes" (mediates, or interposes on behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble) instead of "intervenes" (gets in the way) -fate intervenes, it never, ever intercedes...that's what novenas are for.
As always, people nod their heads "in ascension" ("climb, soar, or rise") instead of (presumably) "in assent" (agreement). This nodding in ascension business goes on repeatedly in every ZF book. Maybe when Tufo's people nod, their heads go down, then up, up, and away.
In ZF3.5 the scientist speaks of identifying something to "species and genome" (genus). In another (I lost track of book #s) someone takes a "controlling" breath before they shoot a gun...perhaps if they took a powerful enough controlling breath they wouldn't have to take a controlled breath in order to accurately shoot. Elsewhere more party crashers arrive than are "interested," not "anticipated." (In my experience people who throw parties --whether pleasant ones, or when the term is used ironically, they aren't interested in any crashers.)
I have many other examples, but unfortunately jotted them down while listening to the books at night by the light of my ipod, & I can't suss them out. However, there are a very many examples of this kind of demi-illiteracy in all 6 of the Zombie Fallout books, and it is maddening. I have no delusions of being omniscient when it comes to vocabulary but that's why God made dictionaries: LOOK IT UP, for zombie's sake!!
One final note on ZF5
*SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!*
I mean it, I'm about to reveal something about the end. Stop reading NOW if you don't want to know about an end part.
And then there's Joel. I think I was supposed to feel fond of the schlub, particularly since Tufo kept him around a while despite his being woefully incapable....I mean, it's sort of surprising he managed to make it to the grocery store & back even before the apocalypse. The way the guy is taken out is just gratuitously horrible even for someone in a zombie apocalypse. I found it a bit startling, as if Tufo was nursing some deep personal hatred for the mope (and for cats) & was as vicious as possible to them. That was actually the most disturbing part of the whole series for me. I mean, gruesome killings are all very fine in a zombie book --heck, they're required-- but sheesh....
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
finally book 5, and what do we get:
We get some hints about alternate realities
We get some stupid, completely unforseen actions
We get some facts which contradict the established rules of ZF Universe
We get cliff hanger
I've no idea what we will have next!
Although I'm a huge fan of Mark Tufo and this this book series, I'm extremely disappointed with Zombie Fallout 5. It felt like a rushed story with no substance and very little plot. There was a good two hours of flashback stories told that provided no benefit to the story and, frankly, felt like filler. I found myself fast forwarding through much of those portions which is a first. I hope Mark spends a little more time developing a good story for book 6 and doesn't let his publisher rush the process which I'm hoping was the reason this book fell flat.
No... Although book 5 was a complete waste of time with very little story, I'm still looking forward to the continuation of the story line. As long as it gets back on track. If book 6 is as empty as book 5, I probably won't go for book 7.
Of course... Michael Talbot. His perfect sarcastic inflection is, as always, great.
great read, the end was not very good though, it seems that the author just wanted to end the series somehow. I mean really !!!! is this how it all ends? so frustrated
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
He's trying to tone down the joke on every other line a bit, but sometimes there are extended relapses. Then there are the long flashback and other babble that have nothing to do with the story at hand.
Other than that not much different from the other books.
As usual, there are plenty of "what are they doing that!" moments and deaths are handled really weird by this author. That Brian, jeez! His incompetence was driving me nuts and the way it turned out, are you kidding me?!
Well, I'm still gonna read any other book in the series just because I love zombie books, but I actually don't think this author is really into the genre himself.
The main character never seemed to grow until the last 25% of the book. The mantra never improved either. I wanted to enjoy this book because I enjoyed the previous books so much, however, it felt like Friday the 13th part 5....more of the same. It felt like the author rushed the book through.
Yes, because I enjoyed all Zombie Fallouts except this one. I finished it because I wanted closure on the series.
Noreastern twang indeed!
I would but that means nothing regarding quality. I see ALL zombie movies.
Thanks for the ride!
To many side stories. Don't know if he was trying to build up his characters or just filling pages.
Great job, just like the other books in the series.
Hopefully he will get back on track in the next book.
The scene with the cats was by far, one of the most disgusting and horrific chapters of this whole series. It was so intense I had to listen to it twice!! I absolutely loved it!!!!
I almost passed this book by after reading the other reviews, I am very grateful I didn't. Yes there were a few flashbacks that were pretty detailed and long winded but the minimal annoyance of those chapters was worth the revelations and character growth of this story.
Not to mention that frig'n cat scene, I will remember it for years! If you enjoy this series don't skip this one!!!
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