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Publisher's Summary

When Roman legions march over the borders of the Empire they meet an enemy greater than any they have ever faced. Emperor Vespasian has ordered a push further into Germania than the legions have ever been, and an enemy army is gathering to meet them. What neither side is prepared for is the darker force that they will both face. Indiscriminate and incapable of mercy, the new enemy will drive the Romans to the very brink of destruction. The Gates of Hades have opened and the Roman Legions must face what has escaped.

©2017 Michael Whitehead (P)2017 Michael Whitehead

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Not what it seems.

While I live the premise, old Rome and zombies and was excited for what I was sure was going to be a new and refreshing twist on the Zombie genre, I was severely disappointed after the first 20 minutes. The narration and dialect is absolutely horrible. By horrible I don't mean that the narrater is hard to listen to, but that the book is written in a very Proper new world English accent, even with words that you would hear today. for instance a Roman commander tells a subordinate to "get cracking" like out of the Sherlock Holmes movies. There is no realistic Old Roman sound or vernacular like from the tv show Rome or the tv show Sspartacus. It's very disconcerting to try and imagine yourself during the Roman times when it sounds as if you are in downtown London. I would really like my credit back as cannot continue tonlistwn to this book butcher what should be one of the more romantic languages of their time. also there is very little mention so far of any of the old Roman God's which during this age they certainly would have associated a plague of this sort to the anger of the gods.
Anyway one persons review hope it helps others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great twist to the Zompoc theme.

I loved how Michael Whitehead set a zombie apocalypse amongst the political intrigue of the once mighty Roman Empire. A great read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best mashups I've listened to!

Legion of the Undead really hit the spot; I need a second helping! First, I love Roman Empire stories and I’ve come to love zombie fiction in the past few years. Now we have the perfect mash-up. Hungry zombie horde, meet the Roman legions! Cue evil laughter!

Often with ancient Roman historical fiction, I don’t see too many female characters and the few that are present are usually only there to act as someone’s love/lust interest. Not so with this book! Yay! The ladies are true to accepted Roman Empire gender roles but they also get plot-relevant stuff done. Even the minor but evil Sevillia did something that affected the plot. And I love Lucia, who is a 16 year old thrown into the midst of this zombie uprising. She’s not a cliched uber-tough zombie stomping heroine but she is practical, saves the day a time or two like the other heroes, and doesn’t fall to pieces when she needs to be rescued.

Of course Vitas Protus is my favorite. He’s an archer that is catapulted up into the ranks as the zombie issue becomes a real problem. He keeps his wits about him, takes advice from those around him, and gets stuff done. I loved how he watched out for Regulus, the 14 year old lad that was forced into the military. Then there’s big Antonius too. He’s also a practical sort, giving the soldiers orders to aim for the heads if they want to take out the zombies.

Starting out on the outskirts of Germania where the Roman legions were pushing back the German tribes, Vitas has to get his little band to safety. First, it’s to the their encampment and then on to the estate of Governor Clemmons. There Vitas gets his orders to head to Rome with a dire note and Lucia, who can speak to her merchant father’s home being overrun with these Risen (as the zombies are called in this book). Not everyone makes it out unscathed. In fact, a character I had gotten a little attached to takes one for the team before the end. There’s also a touch of intrigue and betrayal!

Anyway, it’s just a really good book and since we’re in November, I can safely say it’s one of my favorites of the year. Legion of the Undead has set a new bar for zombie Roman Empire historical fiction! 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Terry Self really out did himself with the narration. Just a great performance all around. He has distinct voices for all the characters and his female character voices are feminine. There’s a few accents as well (Spain Spanish, Gaulish, and Chinese) which he pulls off quite well. In fact, Terry Self sounded like he was really into the story, it never being a dull moment. There were no technical issues with this audiobook. 5/5 stars.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Philo
  • Pacific Northwest, USA
  • 12-13-17

Very good

As a daughter of a historian, I was drawn to this story. As a student long ago of Latin classes and a awesome teacher that could spin tails like no other for the history of Roman Empire. This story rivals the stories I loved as a child and adult. Just with the undead thrown in. WOOT! Out standing. A few minor issues with vocabulary, but unless you are a die-hard for a mostly dead language you won't notice. Can't wait for more. Recommended highly recommend.

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Different but good!

This was a great story. Not what I expected but I really enjoyed it. I would describe this book as the walking dead against the Roman empire. I really enjoyed the perspective of the zombie invasion in a time without motorized vehicles, guns, tanks ect. All the survivors had where swords, shields, bows and arrows and their training. I really recommend this book for anyone who loves zombies or the roman empire.
The narrator of this book has so many different voices in his arsenal. He brought all of the characters to life.

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  • Paddytra
  • 12-14-17

Brilliantly original story

A fantastic idea for the genre. Excellent writing makes this story flow very well and the pacing of the narrative is well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sometimes I Read
  • 04-29-18

Historical zombie fiction.


Great characters and storyline. Natrator did a great job at doing different character voices. Lots of zombie action. Legionaries are cool; if Vitas dies I’ll be devastated. Will be diving into book 2 straight away.

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  • K. Penelerick
  • 04-08-18

Romans, Battles, Zombies?

Any additional comments?

In Michael Whitehead’s Legion of the Undead we are transported back to ancient Rome. It’s a time of expansion, war, emperors and zombies?

I have to say the premise of this had me cautiously curious right from the get-go. Zombies in ancient Rome? What would that be like? Would it work? Would I care? I dig the history channel and some novels about history, but this isn’t a subject I knew much about, so I feared being lost and maybe not caring. The outcome was a bit surprising to me. I even found myself googling a fact at one point to see if it was accurate. Answer: I’m not entirely sure, but I had to laugh when I realized I was engaged in the story enough to care.

The story opens with hints that something is wrong on the Legion’s front lines in Germania. They are prepared for a big battle that they are almost certain to win. All is going as planned for the well trained legionnaires when the dead start to rise. Not only those of their combatants but their fallen comrades as well. In moments, a sure thing becomes lost in chaos and a retreat is sounded.

From there we follow a dwindling number of survivors as they attempt to reach Rome and warn the emperor.

What did I like about this story?
For the first quarter of the story, I mostly just listened with interest as the main elements were being revealed and we met our main characters Vitus and Lucia. Vitus is an archer in the Roman legion’s and as his fellow soldiers and commanders fall, finds himself rising in both rank and responsibility and before long, he is tasked with escorting a small band of survivors back to Rome to warn the great city about the looming threat.

The zombies, or Risen as they are called, seem to be everywhere, in fact not only are they behind Vitus, they and other threats appear in front of him as well. Vitus is a noble and valiant hero who fights for his friends and the empire. He is swept up in a chain of events that push him along the heroes journey to not only face the threat of the Risen, but a threat from inside the empire itself.

It was this aspect of the story that I didn’t see coming and that by the end had me on the edge of my seat with shock and excitement as the various elements the author had been weaving came together in a rather startling climax. This sets the tone for an exciting series that deals with much more than just the threat of the Risen.

What didn't I like about this story?
There was one major aspect I struggled with during the listen, stemming from something that I suspect was unavoidable, but grated on me at times. That was, -us! Everything and everyone seemed to be named something that ended in -us. Our main character, Vitus, his fellow solider Regulus, their weapons, Gladius. It was a bit much, but like I said it was probably unavoidable as I suspect it was historically accurate. You couldn’t name the characters John and Greg and have it make sense with the period it was placed in, nor were their weapons probably called swords at the time. By the end I mostly got over this peevish irritation, but it was a distraction for me personally during the first half of the book.

Narration:
Many audiobooks can be made or broken by the narration and this is one of those cases where the narration makes the story even better. Terry F. Self does an excellent job of narrating, bringing the characters to life with the proper tone, authority and dignity that you would expect from the way it was written. I can almost imagine him getting caught up in the way of speaking after a narrating session and people trying to figure out what time machine he had just gotten out of. That thought makes me laugh.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Yes. I’m very much looking forward to checking out the next book in the series to find out how the dramatic events of the climax are resolved and what new challenges await our heroes!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-07-18

great

this book was really good, I enjoyed the charater and loved the setting.
two of my favourite things zombies and the roman legion

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  • John Wilson
  • 12-11-17

Great story brought to life by a great narrator!

If you could sum up Legion of the Undead in three words, what would they be?

Original, gripping, enjoyable

What did you like best about this story?

It's a great story and the author has obviously researched the period well. Because of the time period it is set in it is different to all the other zombie books I've been through.

What does Terry F. Self bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He brings all the characters to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I almost did listen to it all in one sitting. Had to take a break for some sleep though!

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone.