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Dead Weight

Narrated by: Joshua Nicholson
Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When 17-year-old Zephyr Rockwell wakes from a camping trip in the woods, he discovers that nearly everyone in the world has disappeared and most of the luxuries mankind maintained are already breaking down. What happened? Where did everybody go? Why is he still here? The boy soon embarks on a journey for answers and companionship in a new reality where great cities lay in ruins, food and water grow scarcer by the day, and every other survivor is a potential threat. There are secrets waiting in California, but is the trek halfway across the country worth the risk? Zephyr and his new friends decide to find out. Some of them, however, may not return.

©2016 Matt Casamassina (P)2017 Matt Casamassina

Critic Reviews

“… gritty, cinematic post-apocalyptic thriller.” — Publishers Weekly

“… will broadly appeal to fans of breathless end-of-the-world action sequences.” — Publishers Weekly

"Solid apocalyptic fiction that focuses more on its character relationships than its sci-fi elements.” — Kirkus Reviews

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for fanatics of this genre!

I don't write a lot of reviews, but if it's a 4 of 5 star I feel I must. For the author, narrorator and the readers that have gone through so many of these type of novels and still want to know when a good or great one comes through.
This one is just really really good! It's not super unique for this genre, but it's is SOLID. Fantastic writing that just keeps you going and a new narrorator (for me atlst) that is just plain GREAT. A different voice for each character but not over the top. Just really really good.
If your constantly searching for the next book on this genre, have already read all the greats, this is a must! All around well done and deserves to be read and definitely heard!
PS. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE! HURRY! =)

Review by ~ Ashelina ~

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I'll wait next time

I'm sorry I selected this when there were so few reviews. My three stars for narration are probably a matter of taste, as I am less fond of very different voices for the characters, preferring more of a reading than a performance. A couple of the voices, including Merrick, I found caricature-ish and that alone affected my experience. The story just didn't grab me. It's lightweight for my taste. I like my apocalypse a little more dramatic. Whether most of humanity disappears, dies, becomes zombies, or whatever I would like to have something a little new and faster paced in it's aftermath, especially if the event itself isn't a real part of the narrative. I'm quitting about halfway through. Maybe it gets better but life's too short.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Awesome Story, Incredible Audio Book

In its written form Dead Weight was an awesome first book by journalist-turned-novelist Matt Casamassina. In this audio rendition Joshua Nicholson adds to a story in ways I wish other narrators would. From the genuine concern in Zeph's voice to the gruff take on Ross, Nicholson brings Casamassina's words to life in beautiful fashion. Awesome story, incredible audio book.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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don't waste your money

stupid ending . leaves unanswered questions . plot is dumb . waste of my money

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Balanced yet strangely twisted!

Seventeen year-old Zepher Rockwell wakes up from a drunken camping trip only to find the empty clothes of his girlfriend. Rushing home he finds the same thing for his family. In fact, there’s no one around, just empty clothes. Well not quite no one, he finds an old hermit and a wandering reporter. They don’t have any more idea of what happen than he does.

When the reporter dies under strange circumstances, he begins to question the motives of his only friend in the world. There is something crazy under the old man’s friendly voice. And so, Zepher’s adventure begins, finding good people, avoiding the evil ones. The world seems to have somehow been divided into some black and white version of itself.

The plot is complex and intricate as Zepher finds and loses friends. It is a coming of age for a teenager in a violent, but empty world. Who to trust is on everyone’s mind, but living alone is not a good option either. So the small group travels from the Southwest to California and back looking for a group they can live with meeting friends and enemies along the way.

It isn’t a zombie novel but has a lot of the post-apocalyptic elements that make it familiar. Scavenging an abandoned world and trying desperately to create a new one from the leftovers.

Joshua Nicholson performs the story well. He gives the appropriate voices to the characters and they are easily discernible. The mood of his voice is appropriate for the novel and for the most part out of the way. An excellent performance with excellent production quality as well.

Dead Weight is an entertaining novel with plenty of action and strange twists. Characters that you get to like get killed but somehow there is a kind of balance to it. It is an entertaining novel that is a little over the top at times, but a fun ride and a good listen. It wraps up pretty well at the end, leaving just a hint of possibility for a sequel. Recommended, especially for young adults.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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A great read

Essentially the rapture occurs but is never verified ventured into. The story doesn’t focus on religion or the criteria for those left behind. So in this case even the non-religious can enjoy the story without being offended. I recommend this book.

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great read, entertaining

it was an easy listen, found it hard to pause because I enjoyed the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen.

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Couldn't stop listening.

Any additional comments?

He's already proven himself an extremely capable journalist. Now he shows just how powerful a storyteller he can be. Casamassina's novel is a compelling and engaging work of fiction that keeps you hooked until the end. The characterizations performed by the book's audio narrator was incredibly fitting for the mood and professionally read.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Story to Add the Canon

Ish. Gordon Krantz. Randy Bragg. John Matherson. And now Zephyr Rockwell. Like the best of post-apocalyptic fiction, Dead Weight poses questions of meaning and friendship in the face of staggering loss, and forces us to examine what we should believe and do with our lives when surrounded by uncertainty. This skillful, first novel by writer Matt Casamassina is an exciting, fresh addition to the genre, and will leave you thinking about its ending long after you've finished reading.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book!!

Excellent read! The story grabs you right from the start. Zephyr is an excellent main character and you really feel for him. Can't wait for Casamassina's next one. Love the narration as well!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful