Undead: a reanimated corpse with a craving for human flesh.
Ultramarathon: any footrace longer than a traditional marathon (26.2 miles).
For ultrarunners Kate and Frederico, a typical Saturday morning is spent pounding out a 20 to 30-mile "fun run." It's during one of their runs that an insidious illness descends upon northern California, turning humans into flesh-shredding zombies.
When Kate receives a desperate call from her son, Carter, she and Frederico flee their hometown and set out to help him. The only problem? Carter attends college over 200 miles away and the freeways - clogged with car wrecks, zombies, and government blockades - are impassable. Running back roads and railroad tracks becomes their only means of travel, but neither of them has ever run so far before.
As pain, injuries, hunger, and fatigue plague them, getting to Carter and staying alive seem impossible. It's either outrun the undead or become one of them, and for Kate, death is not an option.
It feels like 80% of this story is told as "I remember when" stories that really only contribute to character development, so in that sense, I would say it's a bit overdone. Bonus point for having the characters run through the zombie apocalypse, literally on foot. But otherwise, I would say it's pretty average.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I liked Undead Ultra.The author took a different strategy in surviving the zombie outbreak. Instead of finding a crew, ammo, and a safe place to hunker down, the main character just goes for it and runs around the drama. The main character is reflective, self-aware, honest, and likable. This book doesn't follow the typical zombie narrative, but it didn't go so far outside of it that it wasn't believable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
You go out for a short 20 odd mile jog and the Zombie apocalypse happens, go figure!! I reckon if I went for a "short" jog then I'd be the Zombie when I cam back ;) Anyway, a 20 to 30 mile jog is nothing to best friends Kate and Frederico yet they don't realise that this fun run today is going to change their lives forever! On the way home from their run they stop to get something to eat, to replenish lost calories when Kate sees some missed calls from her son, she listens to the voice mail where Carter tells her to get straight home and stop for nothing. She finds this odd and tries to call him but before she does, she sees someone being attacked, and what looks like, being eaten. Suitable freaked out, she rings Carter and what he tells her, and what she sees, makes her realise that her and Frederica need to get to their kids ASAP. Cars aren't a viable option since they seem to draw the Zombies, they decide to do the mother of all Ultra Marathons and run to their kids. What follows is their incredible journey!
OK, not being a runner, I found the idea of Ultra Marathons absolutely fascinating. The fact that people put themselves and their bodies through that was shocking!! The authors descriptions of what happens to them and what they go through was so real that I winced a lot!!
Being a mom, I know I would rip the world apart to get to my boys if they need me, so it's no stretch of the imagination to think that someone would run to their child if it was the only way. You can then just imagine what they have to get through on foot! Apart from the obvious Zombies, they have to deal with lack of food (which they need a lot of, what with the running and everything) lack of hydration, too many blisters etc due to the running, and worst of all, people!! All of this was exceptionally well developed and written, so many times I could feel the pain of the characters, both physically and emotionally, that it shows the author did her homework!!
In all, this was such an awesome read. I loved absolutely everything about it, from it's unique method of transport ;), to it's brilliantly written plot, this is a must read. I've read some of this authors previous work and this one just makes me love her writing style more. I highly recommend you check this book out!!!
I listened to the audio of this and am so glad I did as Gwendolyn Druyor did a great job with the narration. She was clear and concise, her inflections were spot on and she had enough different tones to make each character her own. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio and found it really brought the story to life.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
I like zombie stories, so that was a selling point for this book. I also appreciated the humor that was included at appropriate points. Unfortunately where this story fell short was in the delivery of the back story. There was just too much of it. Further it was delivered in the middle of a potential threat / danger scene. When zombies are a clear and present danger in the moment, I don't want that scene interrupted with what happened years ago between characters. Once or twice might not be bad but it happened all throughout the book. It took away the urgency and excitement of the situation and made the story drag. Personally I didn't care about the backstory; I just wanted to know how the characters were going to get out of a sticky situation. Not bad overall, but I can't recommend if you want excitement.
Any additional comments?
Kate and her friend Francisco come down from their morning trail run in the mountains to find zombies eating their way through northern California wine country. Being "ultra runners" they immediately set out on foot to find their (grown) kids who are hundreds of miles away. They do every type of running you can think of as they fight through pain, blisters, sprains, bad people, forests, trails, roads, tunnels, etc as they move towards their goal. You will learn all about long distance running but don't worry - there are also plenty of zombies in this book, the fast kind - not those lazy ass slow Romero types. The story is about running and zombies but it's really a voyage of discovery for Kate who finds herself along the way. The only complaint I have is that in the few encounters they have with the military she refers to the "Jeeps" they are driving. At first I thought she might simply not know that US military calls their basic transport "Humvees" or "Hummers" but it becomes clear she is talking about the old style Jeeps that haven't been used in 30+ years (I found this same mistake in another pseudo zombie book I really liked called Hissers. Has anyone on the West Coast watched the news in the last 30 years? We had 3 wars. They were on the news a lot). It doesn't make that much difference to the story except she obviously doesn't know that Humvees are tank like in their armor so zombies wouldn't be able to pull the doors or windows off of them (maybe the Resident Evil kind, but not these). If you can get past that little glitch its a lot of fun and might even encourage you to get up off the couch and do some exercise. If you decide to run I recommend a great iPhone ap called "Zombies! Run!" Now get up and go! After all, the second rule of Zombieland is Cardio!
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes I would highly recommend this audiobook - I felt like it really captured the entire story and the reader was very engaging :)
What other book might you compare Undead Ultra to and why?
I don't think I have ever read a book like this before! It's definitely unique :)
What about Gwendolyn Druyor’s performance did you like?
She did a great job with handling the story and had the appropriate amount of feeling for every moment. She also did justice to all the characters :)
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
I just have to say I loved it SO much! The book and the audiobook go hand in hand and both are must-reads :)
I'm a fan of the most explicit zombie novels but now & then it's good to listen to a single story & the struggle with specific characters. I'm a mother so this book hit home through so many aspects. I truly appreciated the raw grit of Kate to get to her son,I even teared up a couple times. I'm ready for more from this author thank you!
I love zombie books. I have read so many which involve special forces, groups of survivors etc. This was a bit different. Two runners running towards their children during a zombie outbreak. Loved the descriptions, the humanity the characters. Loved the facts about ultra running woven into the story. My advice would be to get by the first paragraph with the descriptions of someone suffering the effects on the bowels of eating very hot chilli and then enjoy this simple story about love and endurance with zombies thrown in