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Publisher's Summary

Nick and the boys return from the summer's last hunting trip to find the streets empty, the beachfront and park abandoned, and the windows of their own homes boarded shut.

The hunters have become the hunted, in an apocalyptic plague that pits man against beast - very tiny beasts. And Nick is determined to keep his strength, courage and family alive during what could very well be the last winter of their lives.

Note: This is part one of a standalone series. The story continues in The Hatch.

©2011 Kelli Owen (P)2017 Kelli Owen

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really is based on a true story

This is a fun short story that sort of plays out the way I really expect society to act in its final days, a quiet implosion. I think this really depicts us in a realistic light, and keeps things solidly in the plausible. The author says that this is based on a true story, and that alone should chill you, because if scientists are that stupid then we are all living on borrowed time. I can easily see a situation like this one playing out in real life, but I think it would be more localized, but I could be wrong. Maybe stuff like this would go wide fast.

The writing is excellent, you really feel the characters emotions, and suffer their losses right along with them until you get to a point to having silent tension build when the most horrible noise is heard in the kitchen. Freeman does a fine job narrating, and he is awesome doing the voices and conveying the emotions of them moment from the time the gange enters their hometown, to the wolf attack, to the kitchen. You live through it with everyone. This si a fun little exercise in apocalyptia, one you won't want to miss. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. Klein
  • Rocketville, Maryland - USA
  • 06-27-18

Dystopian Tension

This is a very engaging tale of three friends returning from a hunting trip in the woods to find their hometown deserted and in disarray. There's a hint of what's to come during a stop at a rural gas station, where there is no gas, and some disconcerting signs of social degradation. But maybe it's just a wayward backwoods outpost.

It's not. As the men return home, they find a rapidly growing collection of clues that something catastrophic has occurred during their absence. An unusually severe outbreak of tent caterpillars serves as an initial clue, but it's just the tip of the biological iceberg.

The actions and emotions of the characters as they hunker down against the events around them are honest and believable. I think that Kelli Owen has a talent for small details, and exposition that carries you along into, and not just through, her character and stories. They are what I might call "emotionally visual," if that makes sense. She skillfully takes you under the skin of her protagonists, so that you can get lost in their dilemma and their thoughts, and travel through it with them.

The characters' thought processes are realistic and practical, making them easy to identify with. Each scene is well crafted to communicate the emotions, and contribute to a building tension.

I don't want to give the story away, but the cover of the book suggests that big problems can come in small packages. I think this story aptly takes the reader/listener through a journey that might remind you of an entomological "Night of the Living Dead."

I received this book at no cost in return for an honest review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Kelli Owen spun out a creepy little gem.....

Any additional comments?

Be aware that this novella is primarily an alternative world building exercise. It's a creepy small town setting where government and science have mucked up the natural order. Bad things begin to occur....slowly. No one has the big picture. It plays on many real fears, like Ebola, Bird flu, Zika, the Anthrax attacks and our fears of civil society breaking down.The only thing worse than an inept government is discovering that it may have completely collapsed!
As technology fails the sense of isolation and severe separation anxiety take hold of the characters. People die. Danger surrounds the survivors. Nature itself begins to change. It morphs into humanity's worst nightmare.
But is it scary? Yes, but this first part is mostly setting up main characters, setting, and exposition. The author threads it all together with mood & heavy atmosphere. Consider it to be foreplay, not the main event.
The Narrator has a good voice. He doesn't detract from the story in any way. My one complaint involves particular animals doing something toward the end that they physically could not do without shoulders (which they do not have). But I don't want to quibble.
By in large the characters' motives, actions, and dialogue are believable. This promises to be part of a scary new series. I'm down with it.

P.S. Please use Alex Freeman to narrate part 2 "The Hatch".