• The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set

  • Extinction Horizon, Extinction Edge, and Extinction Age (The Extinction Cycle, Books 1 - 3)
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 25 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (9,536 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here are the first three books of the best-selling, award-winning, and top-rated Extinction Cycle series.

Extinction Horizon

The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction.

Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force team, code named Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret medical corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. The virus is already spreading. As cities fall, Team Ghost is ordered to keep CDC virologist Dr. Kate Lovato alive long enough to find a cure. What she uncovers will change everything.

Total extinction is just on the horizon, but will the cure be worse than the virus?

Extinction Edge

A new threat that will bring humanity to the edge of extinction.

The dust from Dr. Kate Lovato's bioweapon has settled. Projections put death counts in the billions. Her weapon was supposed to be the endgame, but it turned a small percentage of those infected with the hemorrhage virus into something even worse.

Survivors call them Variants. Irreversible epigenetic changes have transformed them into predators unlike any the human race has ever seen. And they are evolving.

With the doomsday clock ticking, the fractured military plans Operation Liberty - a desperate mission designed to take back the cities and destroy the Variant threat. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham agrees to lead a strike team into New York City, but first he must return to Fort Bragg to search for the only family he has left.

At Plum Island, Kate discovers Central Command may have considerably underestimated the Variant population in New York. As Operation Liberty draws closer, Kate warns Beckham that Team Ghost won't just face their deadliest adversary yet, they may be heading into a trap.

Extinction Age

On the eve of extinction, all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope.

Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance.

Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels - where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape.

At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended.

As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction.

©2016 Nicholas Sansbury Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Should have been narrated by R.C Bray

Loved the story but Pinchot didn't bring enough differentiation between characters. Accents would come and go and most sounded the same which was unfortunate because I loved the story. The entire time I kept thinking that R.C Bray should have handled this series and would have done so with ease.

108 people found this helpful

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Simply Fantastic

I'll be honest. At first I had little to no intrest. I am a little tired of zombie novels, but the monsters in this story just did not appeal to me. The story moved at a steady pace, which made it hard to focus with out interest. About 1/3 of the way through book 1 the monsters are scientifically explained and their nature are revealed. From that point on, it has been a non-stop thrill.
There are plenty of characters that you will get connected to, and some you can watch develop. The action is top notch and Bronson Pinchot bring it all life. My only complaint with Nicholas Sansbury Smith is that his novels tend to be on the shorter side, but he is a very talented storyteller. With box sets such as this and cheaper price tags his pros far out weigh the cons.

71 people found this helpful

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Smith leaves nothing to chance

I had the pleasure of reading the entire Extinction series written by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. Beginning with the first book, Extinction Horizon, Smith plays on the fears of men and women everywhere – the government creating super soldiers and the horrific and unexpected havoc this creates in the world. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham of Ghost, a Delta Force Team and his teammates are charged with several missions that force them to deal with an enemy far more deadly and overwhelming than they have faced before as well as protecting Kate Lovato, the only scientist who can bring the enemy down with chemical engineered serums.

The second and third books of the extinction series brings Beckham’s team and other operatives from SEALs, Black Ops, etc. together to defeat the turned creatures that were once humans but who are now far more deadly and growing more stronger and mutating. The creatures are adapting to the situation and their environment in ways that leave more dead and injured. Plus, they are becoming smarter and capable of strategic planning.

Not only are Beckham and Lovato fighting time and the enemy but they are fighting the men and women who are their leaders with a hidden agenda – an agenda that started the deadly mess.

Smith will have you on your seat gasping and sitting stunned as a result of his cleverly placed and planned twists and turns. A vivid wordsmith and accomplished weaver, Smith brings his audience into the story connecting them to characters whom most of us can identify as our brother, neighbor, friend, or colleague.

Smith knows his terms and has conducted serious research on military, scientific and medical terms/actions. Smith leaves nothing to chance; he constructed his series thoroughly and completely.

Bronson Pinchot as the narrator is not only seasoned but gifted. He didn’t just read the book; he became the book and its characters. His smooth voice reflected the seriousness of each situation, the soft gentle moments as well as the fiercely chaotic ones. I hesitate to call anyone an expert but listening to Pinchot was like listening to a virtuoso. He maintained his level of professionalism throughout the series.

If you enjoy conspiracy thrillers, horror, military, a dash of romance and zombies, this is the series for you. You will remember this series AND the narrator for days after. Is it possible that our government could do this for real? Is it happening now?

Extinction Horizon
I enjoyed Extinction Horizon very much. The plot was very well developed with several twists and turns. A cliffhanger ending but then again, when humans are faced with extinction … no one wants it to be over! Characters are well developed; readers are able to connect with all including the man responsible for ordering the weapon. I liked knowing how the disease came into existence and how it spread. There were no questions other than the most important one – how to stop it.

Extinction Edge
And if this is not scary enough for you – imagine the dark murky depths of the sewers and large coccoons of spider-like webbing holding what few survivors there are in New York … The description of this was horrifying!

Smith does an excellent job of continuing the story plot and keeping the actors growing. Lovato and Beckham are dancing around a romance but it is far from the true focus of this story – no, its the flesh ripping, terrifying variants!

Extinction Age
The human race has entered the extinction phase of their existence worldwide. Who is running Plum Island now and calling the shots? Who will be saved? Who will die?

The variants are mutating and they are even deadlier now that there food supply is dwindling. Extinction Age is an action-packed non-stop adventure. Just when you thought it was safe … and Kate has a secret!!

Exciting and well developed plot and characters keep the story line moving. Relationships are well thought out and plenty of those “you love to hate’em” types who get their just desserts!

Audiobook was provided for review by the Author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

41 people found this helpful

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Guns A'Blazin

Where to start?...make sure you like some of the following : this is a 3book set for one credit, it's a cliff hanger in other words the saga goes on, medical experiments gone wrong on a world wide epidemic level, millions of rounds of ammo being shot, mutated people that are difficult to kill. Not zombies but maybe the next level up because they continue to evolve, there are heroic rescues, did I miss sex, yea there is some of that also, then there are handicapped heroes , oh and I almost forgot a dog. And in the end you find out some higher score have very questionable agendas.
This set will keep you listening for 3 or 4 days for only one credit, and it is no stopped action.
Hope you enjoy this one

37 people found this helpful

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Be patient!

When starting this series you need to exercise some patience. The first book starts of slow and i felt it lacked in character development. You never really feel like you know any of the characters by the end of book 1, but you really get caught up in everything from the second book and you never look back from there! Narration is good! Anyone who enjoys these types of zombie / monsters apocalypse storie will love the seried as a whole!

32 people found this helpful

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A great twist on the zombie genre - Well worth it!

These reviews were written for Amazon.com and have been consolidated here for the first Audible omnibus. Great works all around!

EXTINCTION HORIZON

Where to begin with this fantastic story. As someone who grown to be addicted to Nick's writing, I can say that, without a doubt, this story kept up the tradition of drawing me in and leaving me wanting more. I am writing this review based on the audible omnibus edition (which included books 1 through 3, but my review for this portion only includes material, I am hoping, from book one).

While I will admit that the story started out a bit slow for my taste, I stuck through it as I have not been disappointed by Nick in the past. Man, am I glad that I did. What happens when a secret military experiment goes awry and results in mutations that seek to feed and spread? That is where this story takes you. Starting out with an experiment set back during the Vietnam War, the story gradually unfolds with what is clearly well researched science and thought. Reed Beckham leads Team Ghost through a mission to recover a sample from a gone-silent medical research facility as USAMRIID (pronounced u-sam-rid, minor nit-pick on my part as it is spelled out phonetically quite frequently during the narration).

As someone intimately familiar with Fort Bragg, I loved the details about the base as Reed leads his team to search for survivors throughout the now overrun base. The roads and locations called out easily helped me to picture what was going on and Nick clearly did his homework with regards to the base. Likewise, the details which go into Kate and Ellis's research into curing the infected fro the initial outbreak. All of the details make this story feel very real and help draw you in to the various situations which impact the human condition of each of the characters in the story.

The details on the infected and variants definitely give this a very unique feel (not typical zombies, not resident evil mutations, but a good and scary mix which also reminds me of a creature from an X-Files episode).

I am very glad I invested in this story as, like Hell Divers and Trackers, this story has me as another hooked reader (listener in my case). Great work and highly recommended!


EXTINCTION EDGE

Already on to book 2 of this amazing series. As is my history with Nick's writing, I am absolutely addicted to his style of storytelling (and that of Bronson Pinchot's narration as I am listened to the audible edition of this book).

Book two takes place in a situation where team ghost and the survivors across the world, to include Plum Island, must now figure out how to deal with the variants created by the bio-weapon designed by Dr. Lovato which was designed to eradicate the Hemorrhage virus. After all, “to kill a monster you have to create a monster.” The modified VX-99/Ebola virus combo which infected humanity has now been modified once more resulting in some truly terrifying sounding creatures.

The research into military culture which Mr. Smith has done for this series is truly admirable. I love the shout-out to the wounded warriors out there in this series. I also greatly enjoy the from-the-front leadership style of Beckham and how he seeks to continue to encourage his team and the other members of Plum Island to continue to fight for humanity (they fight so humanity survives. For those who have read Hell Divers, do you see what I did there?)

The details that went into the fight between those at Plum Island, the members of Team Ghost, and CENTCOM really hits home as it highlights a key aspect of military life; the battle between those on the ground doing the fighting and those making the decisions. While not taken to the extremes seen in the book, some of it hit home for me. Operation Liberty fails miserably, despite warnings from the experts who are studying the variants and those infected with the hemorrhage virus, and Team Ghost is left to pick up the pieces.

I will say the most memorable portion of this entry in the series was the opening side story which expanded later in the book. The encounter in the lair was truly horrifying and gave me an Aliens style vibe akin to when the team on LV-426 first encountered those which had been cocooned. And, once again, the way the lips/mouths morph for these creatures is perhaps one of their most terrifying characteristics.

Book two was just as good, if not better than, the first and I am really glad I got to dive into this series.

EXTINCTION AGE

Book three has already come and gone for me and I continue to be drawn into this story line. With Operation Liberty resulting in a beyond failure status, Team Ghost now faces the risk of dwindling supplies, a lack of appropriate guidance from their parent command, and the task that the science team now faces to eliminate the variant threat. Like my other reviews from the series, I am reviewing the audible edition (namely the first omnibus of books one through three).

Like in other books, Nick’s research clearly shines through in this series, as others have pointed out, with very well developed characters and well researched technology, science, and military tactics. He really has a talent for painting a story that is deep, well-developed, believable, and feels very realistic. The audio editions of these books bring the story to even greater life in my eyes and make this series that much better.

Like in the last book, I am really drawn to the leadership style of some of the characters in the book (Beckham, Jensen, etc.). Jensen is the leader every soldier hopes for as they go into combat, one that leads by example and is not afraid to join his men. Beckham has a fatherly quality about in the way that he leads his team and continues to develop them.

As supplies begin to dwindle and the hopes of a re-supply are tarnished by General Kennor’s short-sighted vision of how this battle should be fought, key military locations begin to be overrun. An attack on Plum Island takes this threat and amplifies it as the science team seeks to research and understand the variant threat. Likewise, the threat of those infected with the original hemorrhage virus re-surfaces, requiring a re-look by Dr. Lovato. This all culminates as a rogue destroyer happens by Plum Island and opens up the next chapter in this highly addictive series.

As I’ve said in my other reviews, this series is worth every minute I have devoted to it. Easily 5 stars.

30 people found this helpful

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good good good

was excellent. nice split between action and story. just when you start to think alright enough story, it goes straight into well written action. captivating, engrossing, found it hard to find a point to pause and do other stuff. only complaint is that occasionally the jump from story line to story line makes it feel like you are missing information. that aside , get it, listen to it, love it. also the narration is spot on.

28 people found this helpful

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Human Potential on Display; Good and Bad.

I am writing this after listening to the first five books in the series.

Yes this is a zombie apocalypse series but it is not just another zombie apocalypse series. If you have read my reviews you will know that no fan of zombie books am I; but a fan of Bronson Pinchot I am. Having recently finished listening to The Anubis Gates I was hungering for more Pinchot. This series had many good reviews, so many that I felt it might be worth a chance. From the start the story pulled me in with its realistic characters and Sci-Fi based verisimilitude. The epigenetic justification for humans becoming hungry monsters is at least in the realm of science and not unexplainable magic. The battle scenes are well done, reminiscent of the best military science fiction scenes I have heard. Zombie novel fans may find that the character development and plot development sequences get in the way of the non-stop action they are used to, but fans of military science fiction will find familiar ground here.

Each volume in the series escalates the development of the infected and the desperation of the remaining humans to the point where the survival of the race is in serious question—hence the title: Extinction Cycle. Desperate times are ahead for the listener if you decide to take on the variants in this series. The writing is terse and tight with little opportunity for humor. This is the end of the world as we know it, that’s no laughing matter you know!
Just a little mention of the so-called science behind this piece of science fiction: The zombie-like creatures in this piece of fiction are deliberately created in a military lab as a weapon of war. The designers tapped into the hidden capabilities locked in the DNA of humans and unleashed them through means of epigenetic triggers. When the infected manifest these hidden characteristics it is explained in the novels as evolution. This is typical of the thinking of neo-Darwinians, that any change is evolutionary change. Actual epigenetic change requires the capabilities waiting to be manifested be already present in the DNA sequence of the organism; a preexisting condition. When these capabilities are switched on new capabilities are manifested in the organism, and may even be preserved in the offspring. But these new capabilities are not new as in, never have been seen before; they are only new to the organism. The fact that the DNA stored this information, that the DNA had retained these hidden capabilities in its database, means that these capabilities were already there waiting to be triggered. Epigenetic DNA expression is the evidence of prior planning—dare I say design—and not the evidence for evolution.

Need I mention that Bronson Pinchot delivers a wonderful performance? Okay then, Bronson Pinchot is amazing! His voice is always clear and precise. Every character voice rings true. You always know immediately who is talking. This is such an advantage to understanding a book that it makes any book whole degrees better since the listener is able to engage with the story so easily when the narrator gives the proper queues. Pinchot does everything perfect. His pacing is just right; escalating when things get moving and slowing when things are tense. This is just the Pinchot fix I was hoping for.

The Extinction Cycle:
ENTINCTION HORIZON
EXTINCTION EDGE
EXTINCTION AGE
EXTINCTION EVOLUTION
EXTINCTION END
EXTINCTION AFTERMATH is due to be published October 13, 2016. If Bronson Pinchot narrates watch this space.

28 people found this helpful

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Awesome series

Absolutly terrifying, tense, and thrilling. The best sci-fi end of the world book out there. Bronson Pinchot crushed the narration.

26 people found this helpful

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Great series!

I'll start with the negative and say that the narrator is good, but he works with a narrow range of voices and at times i couldnt tell who was speaking unless he read the name. His voice did fit for the sciency stuff and doctors, not to sound stereotypical (maybe a bit), but he did have that slightly flat tone many seem to have in his voice. His female voices sounded almost over exagerated with the woe is me tone or that im fragile tone. You do get used to it though and the ride is worth it. My only other complaint is that i think he reads some dialogue off a little too whiney for soldiers who've gone to hell and back again.
That aside, he read the action well and overall was easy to get used to. The story is amazing and made the author's version of "zombies" scary as hell and hard to see any hope of survival. Very few punches are pulled. By this I mean bad things keep on happening and there are a lot of consequences to people's mistakes. Though it seems like nothing will go well, the author does a great job of allowing you to hold onto that small bead of hope. I was cheering the mc's on and even some side characters through these books, hoping they get through each trial. At one point I even pumped up my fist and shouted "YES!" Books rarely get me to do that, but for the characters every small victory is worth celebrating as the author guides them through hell.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 09-30-16

Very poor narration.

The narration made a good story boring for me. A dull monotone didn't keep my attention.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Cristian
  • 08-25-16

Poor performance

What disappointed you about The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set?

Can't really comment on story as the performance totally killed it early on for me. No passion, monotone narration .

What will your next listen be?

Similar theme

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Bronson Pinchot?

R.c.bray, Scott Brick, Ray Chase

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • tomasz wojarski
  • 01-04-18

Naive, maybe good for teenagers.

Idea for the story not so bad, but problems they encounter are naive with even worse resolution for them. In my opinion if you are 14yr old you will be content otherwise don't bother.
Regards
Tom

7 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 02-28-17

Brilliant

I read a bad review which gave me concerns about the narrator before getting this, but I found it brilliant, really well read with engaging character voices and emotions. Great job. Getting the next one asap!

7 people found this helpful

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  • DAVID EELES
  • 01-20-17

Very good

Enjoyed these books will be getting the next ones in the series great story well done

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-26-16

Wow Rip-roaring series

If you could sum up The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set in three words, what would they be?

A horrifying bleak view of the world when man tries to play god

Who was your favorite character and why?

Reed Beckham, not your typical grunt!! deep emotions to his team and to what is right and wrong

What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

Excellent narration, with various pitches heightened emotions and made you believe in what you was listening to.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

No where to run no where to hide the variants will find you

Any additional comments?

Fantastic series, with a different take on zombies, think like world war Z and mix with 28 days later, it will scare the beep outta you. Excellently written and superb narration makes you really care for the characters and to what happens to them. This is definatly the series you need and want in your library! Don't forget to switch on the lights!

5 people found this helpful

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  • clive
  • 03-14-17

Terrible

The best special forces who never take any explosives with them. make lots of mistakes

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Reynolds
  • 02-23-17

It is what it is but it's great in it's execution.

These books are gripping thrill rides from start to finish. It's pure schlock but it's great schlock! I do wish there was a bit more creature variety but in general really solid stories from an author which I am now a new fan of!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-24-17

Brilliant

Fantastc...
Absolutely amazing had me on the edge of my seat!! Well worth a read

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ka Livingstone
  • 04-09-17

extinction cycle

great book, realistic characters super nonstop action, if you love military and zombie combination reads. great military detail and armourment explanation....just love this series!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • jack
  • 12-23-16

One tone for the whole story

Unfortunately the narrator uses only one tone throughout the entire story. This book pales in comparison after listening to books in series like 'Arisen', The Passage', and 'The Remaining'. If you haven't listened to those skip this and listen to them, more hours and better story.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 09-30-20

Could of been good but wasn’t.

The story is good, the idea slightly new at least and a good cast of characters but it’s overall a bit of a let down. The story has multiple loopholes and contradictions, so many it’s off putting. If you turned it into a drinking game you wouldn’t make it past the first chapter. Then the narrator has skilfully managed to turn hardcore operators into winey little girls.
If you have listened to multiple audio books you know the best narrators can change their voice to suit a character and situation, unfortunately Pinchot had a monochrome voice with little emotion past winey.
If the writing was better I could live with the narration and if the narration was better I could live with writing. Not both!
Sorry I’m a massive fan of the genre but I won’t be going any further with this book or series. 🤙🏻

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-17

Very satisfying but heart breaking conclusion.

Really starting to love this author. The narrator delivers an emotional, wonderful and intense performance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • noel.doney
  • 07-25-17

Post apocalyptic dystopia: Too plausible.

a grear narrative with a great narrator to bring the story to life.
this is my second pass through. it didn't deter from the experience.
the end of the world story that you hope won't end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joe
  • 04-19-22

Good blend of military action, horror and sci-fi

Packed with drama, bloody horror, military heroics the series is a far cut above the many similar zombie stories.

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  • ClaudRodgerBurger
  • 01-28-22

so bloody good

finally another one like We're Alive where the monsters are actually horrifying and impossible to beat. If people who died however didn't turn in TWD, that outbreak would've been cake. kind of makes me feel like WWZ (book) is a bit dumb but it's actually great for so many reasons that are totally different to this. There's a lot of action, the writing isn't shit hot and there are some dumb sentences and cliché but who cares. I am in this for the adventure and the thrill and Extinction Cycle is full of it. Truly a fun listen and I can't wait for my next cred so i can get me the next 3 books. Could buy them, but not going to.
I am glad this story exists. Lot's of fun. Lotsa bravo bullshit, it is GREAT escapism. Cheers

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  • Robbie
  • 06-10-21

Great twist on the tale as old as time

What a great twist on the old zombies. Something different that you aren't expecting. From start of creation all the way through to first outbreak and case zero and the follow through of the survival of mankind. Would definitely recommend getting into this collection. Well worth the credit. Narration can seem a little plain however the narrator really does a fantastic job at bringing characters to life and the story has very in-depth detail of science explanations and a good mix of action and story development.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-22-20

Entertaining and well read but story is meh

Entertaining and well read but story is meh and predictable. Also cringe worthy with men and women roles. I would recommend buying in a box set with 3 books for price of 1, however not worth the money individually

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachael
  • 09-19-20

excellent

loved it. real good story. kept me intrigued for the whole lot. really for next story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P. Morley
  • 08-26-19

Hooked

Originally intended to only listen to 1-3 and then move on to other titles sitting queued up in my wish list, couldn't do it! Had to get straight into 4 - 6! This was my first time with the author and narrator and both have done a cracking job with this series, I've read enough Post Apoc' to realise it's hard to find a lot of originality in the genre but was pleasantly surprised by Extinction Cycle. I'm now about half way through 4 to 6 and still loving it. Bronson still doing a fantastic job but as an RC Bray fan I can't wait to get to Dark Age book 1. Keep them coming NSS!