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Journey Audiobook

Journey: Sunfall, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Ripley's a tomboy at heart who has never met a stranger. Her plans were to finish her veterinary studies and take her family to the country, where life wouldn't be such a struggle. She thought the worst she'd have to deal with at the University of Maryland were the unwelcome advances and attitudes of affluent students, and the occasional East Coast hurricane.

She never expected the sun to fall down.

An immense coronal mass ejection, the likes of which the modern world has never seen, blankets the Earth and destroys the power grid worldwide.

Ripley has no communication with her family at home and - thanks to the University's zero-tolerance policy - no weapons to protect herself. Society is becoming increasingly panicked and desperate, and the government seems slow to respond.

The world, as she knew it, has ended. A new world of lawlessness, betrayal, and scarcity is beginning.

Can she become the woman she needs to be so that she and her friends can make it home?

With the thin veneer of a civilized society collapsing, can she even survive?

©2016 D. Gideon (P)2017 D. Gideon

What Members Say

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  •  
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 05-02-17
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 05-02-17 Member Since 2010
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    "Decent start to a YA disaster series"

    First, let me say that I'm going to assume this book is targeted at YA. Maybe it isn't, but if I go in with that assumption, it makes it easier to accept a lot of things and smooth over some rough edges.

    The story is told from two perspectives: a girl at college with her friends and a grandmother in a small town waiting for said kids to make their way back home (while dealing with her own problems on her end).

    The author opens up the book with an intro that sort of puts down other similar works as "prepper porn". Perhaps there are degrees to it, but I'd personally classify this story as the same. For the kids at college, less time is spent on their actual adventure getting home than on all the "prep" work that went into it. These kids already had maps printed and emergency bags packed for something like this, and we spend a LOT of time talking about it.

    The characters also spend a lot of time discussing and inner-monologuing the psychology and behaviors of other "survivors". Because of this, I'd say this was less of a story and more of a social commentary mixed with, well, "prepper porn". Softcore, probably, but porn nonetheless.

    I do wish the author had spent more time developing the characters. Most of them were interchangeable, and it was hard to follow who was who for a good portion of the listen. In fact, Cory, the grandson of the grandmother the kids are making their way back home to, seemed only to exist for that reason. He was often shoehorned into a scene, and because the author did not do much to set scenes up, a character would suddenly speak or be said to perform an action and you'd be left wondering if you missed the fact that they were there all along. Sadly, that character was often Cory.

    I also wish more had been done to explain their physical characteristics. It was a while before I was able to form a mental picture of them all, and even then, I wasn't too sure I had it right. What made matters worse, is that there are a number of scenes where race plays a part in things, and it's only then that you realize "oh, they're black?". Even then, you can't be sure though. Marco is spanish, that's clear. At least 2 of the kids are black, I think? There's a gas station attendent with a name you can't gleam much from who has racial epiteths thrown his way, and I still don't know what he is. When you're going to throw racial drama into the mix, it would be extremely helpful to know the races of the characters.

    I found the grandmother to be the most interesting character of them all. She was fleshed out well and acted in a consistent manner throughout. The 4 college kids however seemed to be all over the place. Their personalities, points of view and priorities seemed to switch up depending on what the author needed for that situation.

    This made her story far more interesting to follow. While she fell into the same traps of analyzing the psychology and behaviors of others while preparing for a long-lasting state of emergency, it was done far more naturally. The grandmother used what she had at her disposal (brains, connections and physical property) to prepare herself for the disaster. I wish the story with the college kids was written in a similar vein.

    The story ends fairly abruptly with no resolution to the conflicts the book spent a good portion of its 10 hours setting up. Disappointing, but sadly expected.

    Overall, it's not a BAD book at all, and I often found myself getting lost in the small town half of the story, but it plodded along far too much without a commensurate payoff for the time invested. I don't think I'll be picking up book 2 to possibly be treated to more of the same.

    Both narrators did an excellent job, top notch performances.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.Bishop Moose Lake, MN, US 04-23-17
    R.Bishop Moose Lake, MN, US 04-23-17 Member Since 2014
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    "A Decent Story With Excellent Narrators"

    Not the typical SHTF story. The characters are fairly original and the storyline is fairly fresh and not filled with technical jargon or filler to make the story longer and boring. Decent pace and quite interesting! Looking forward to the next book!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edain New England 05-02-17
    Edain New England 05-02-17 Member Since 2001
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    "What a Great Story!!"

    This is an excellent book! Not only was I impressed by the forward but the story and the characters grew on me as they developed.

    It has two story main storylines that intertwine - one a group of college kids trying to get home after a CME and the small town where they are heading striving to survive the CME's aftermath.

    Amazingly as stated in the forward these were mostly just regular folks, NOT some super preppers with backpacks loaded with everything they would ever need - What a refreshing idea!
    My favorite characters surprised me. I never thought I would like Ripley, the optimism that rolled over every common sensical thought drove me crazy at first but it also helped me see her normalcy bias more clearly. Marco my second choice, reminded me of a friend who also experienced the balkans and regaled me with his real life experiences.

    Kevin Pierce and Becket Royce did a masterful job of narration! A thoroughly enjoyable experience!

    It was such a wonderful tale, one of the best I have read! I can't wait for the next book.

    "This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.

    "While I was given this book in exchange for a review, I have reviewed the book honestly to the best of my ability. I would never recommend a book to someone else if I would not purchase it myself."

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 06-29-17
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 06-29-17 Member Since 2015
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    "The Start of Something Interesting"

    Sunfall: Journey was refreshing for a post-apocalyptic book. Sure, it still takes place in a bigger city and involves people trying to bug out to a safer location, but it follows a group of teenagers in college for some of the story. I haven’t read too many books with a college-aged protagonist who was also familiar with the prepper mindset (or at least enough to have some things on hand if things ever went south). Some of the college-aged kids were prepared and others were not.

    It also follows Ripley’s grandmother at her home and the struggles that she faces trying to save herself (and wait for her family to make it home). It was just a nice change of pace, especially following the college students. I liked hearing what would happen and how most people would shrug it off as just a few-day issue and not a big problem. That felt incredibly realistic to me. Most people are stuck with a normalcy bias and don’t realize that things are going south quickly.

    The interaction between the Ripley and her friends is easily the most memorable part of this story. It happened exactly as I pictured it would. There were “end of the world” parties thrown by fraternities on frat row, people completely and utterly unprepared, and some kids think that they ‘deserved’ more than they were being offered.

    Unfortunately, there were a few parts to the story that took me out of the moment. Both of them came near the end of the book. One of them was where Ripley just couldn’t get herself into the mindset (even though she seems to have been mostly in the mindset since before the CME hit). I just had a hard time with back and forth characters like that. She was definitely a mini-prepper before this happened having made up plans, routes, and a go bag. But she also couldn’t believe what was going on around her or do things that would be harmful or take from others (that she would never see). It wasn’t enough for me to stop reading by any means, but it did pull me out of the story a little.

    Overall, Sunfall: Journey was an enjoyable change for the post-apocalyptic genre without being too different. There are definite parts that I’ve read in every other book, but they were sprinkled into new or fresh stories. I took a full star away from my review because the book doesn’t’ really have an ending. I am 100% fine with a series of books, but you have to give me some sort of story arc. This one felt like it was split up on purpose to make two (plus) books out of one.

    The narration for Sunfall: Journey was done by both Kevin Pierce and Becket Royce. You’ll recognize Pierce’s voice (and presence on this blog). He is one of the “go-to” voices in post-apocalyptic fiction, so I completely understand why Gideon chose him to be one of the two narrators. The other narrator is Becket Royce, who I have never listened to before this book. She does a really nice job voicing the “motherly” character in this book and I would definitely listen to more books narrated by her.

    I received a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review of my opinion.

    If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps. If you'd like to see more books like this please check out BriansBookBlog DOT com.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie @ BookLoversLife 05-02-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Great start!"

    This is almost two separate books melded together. First is a story of some college kids who witness the CME. They are at the University of Maryland, which is a University where affluent kids go. Not much happens here, apart from the occasional hurricane. Ripley and her friends are prepared for the worst, the worst being a hurricane! They are preppers, of a sort, they are aware of what to do and where to go in the case of an emergency, but their skills are put to the test when the electricity and water go off.

    Then we have Dotti and her community. Dotti is not really prepared but knows that something serious is going on. She gets whatever money she has available and tries to buy essential items. Following her story we see how life is for a community.

    This was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't sure what too expect from it but I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I loved how we kind of get two books, in one. We see the end of civilization both from a group of people who are somewhat prepared, or at least have an idea of what to do, and we see it from a community of people who are just trying to survive.

    It's quite a frightening scenario that plays out here. CME's are something that do and have happened and seeing what life could be like, and how quickly things degenerate, was truly scary. The plot and pacing were realistic and fairly fast paced and kept my interest throughout.

    Character wise. Each of them were well written and developed. I liked Marco and am interested to know more about him! Ripley was awesome too. She has a good head on her shoulders and I liked how she stayed the same even when things were hard. Dotti was also awesome. I am so rooting for her and can't wait to see what happens her.

    In all, an exciting and entertaining start to the series. It's intriguing and definitely makes me want to read the next one.

    Kevin Pierce is the go to guy for a post apocalyptic book. He has a voice that suits these type of books and always delivers a flawless performance. He is a narrator I always recommend. Becket Royce, meanwhile is a new to me narrator and I have to say that she did an amazing job too. She had plenty of tones and voices for the characters and performed the story brilliantly. I will definitely check out more from her.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Mahoney 04-22-17
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    "Beware the power of the Sun!"

    This was a very enjoyable post apocalyptic story about a coronal mass ejection that hits the planet. This story is unique in that it has two narrators, Kevin Pierce and Becket Royce. Ms Royce narrates Ripley and the college students as they deal with the event and their plan to get home on foot the100 plus miles. Mr Pierce narrates Dottie and the people of Ripley's home town as they deal with the breakdown of society after the event. The writing of the story is excellent with well developed characters from a diverse background. The story told is fun and makes you think about what is going on around you and how fragile our world is. If you enjoy this genre you should like this audio book

    The narration was excellent in this audio book. Mr Pierce delivered another stellar performance. This is the first time that I have heard Ms Royce and enjoyed her performance and would enjoyed hearing her again.

    This review copy audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge via Audiobook Boom.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Christian C. 05-18-17
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    "Useful prepping advice inside an awesome story!"

    Part cautionary tale, part prepper guide, book one of "Sundown" is a potent illustration of how quickly society can break down after a widespread power grid failure. Throughout, the author uses the story as a tool to describe various situations, and how one or more people might use their surroundings and commonly available items to survive. Some of the advice is common sense, but there was a lot of "Ah, now why didn't I think of that" sort-of stuff that I took away from the reading as well. The only problem I had with the story was not believing how a present-day college student who lives on-campus wouldn't have a cell phone as was the case with a main female character. Otherwise, it was very enjoyable from beginning to end, and the narration was top notch. I got more than a few laughs out of the Dottie character and the voice qualities provided by her narrator, which were excellent. Looking forward to the next installment!

    (I was provided a free copy of this audiobook by a narrator in exchange for my unbiased review. Many thanks to the narrator for this opportunity!)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 06-17-17
    Daniel 06-17-17
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    "awesome read."

    this was a great book. very well thought out. excellent job on making the story realistic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John D. Traub 06-07-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Nice change of pace"

    A much more plausible situation for a
    Post apocalyptic fiction novel. It shows the unprepared side of a disaster among common people and also shows how much a little knowledge and prepping can help the average person who doesn't have a huge budget for essentials for a disaster.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 06-06-17
    Adam 06-06-17
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    "Two very different stories interwoven"

    Follow two very different individuals as they weather the apocalypse in their own respective spheres. Will their stories intersect? I enjoyed one storyline more than the other. But the author was able to hold my interest to the very end. Which isn't really the end at all.

    Excellent narration by two different narrators, one of which is the only name in post-apocalyptic prepped fiction, Kevin Pierce! The other was some lady I had not heard of. Both were good, Mr. Pierce had a better character to narrate, or his narration made his character better in my mind.

    The lady narrator's characters employ some foul language which seemed a bit gratuitous, which could also be a contributing factor to my split reaction to this audiobook.

    This audiobook was provided by the producer, author or narrator through AudiobookBoom.com for free in exchange for an honest review.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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