The Wretched

Book 1 of The Wretched Series
Narrated by: Brian Callanan
Series: The Wretched Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The human race just got bumped from the top of the food chain....

Early fall. A top-secret research project goes terribly wrong. A new species, the Reapers, are unleashed onto the unsuspecting citizens of Philadelphia and soon the rest of the country. The Reapers are stronger, faster, and have no mercy for any humans who have the misfortune of crossing their paths. 

Philadelphia cop Malcolm Foster quickly discovers a routine disturbance call is anything but ordinary. Foster soon finds himself scrambling to survive, gather together a rag-tag group of survivors, and get them out of the city. As Foster and his group fight to escape the city and find a Reaper-free sanctuary, a looming question prevails. 

Can anyone stop the Reapers from taking over the world? This is the story of the Wretched, a rag-tag group of survivors who may be the only ones that can keep the human race from becoming extinct.

©2018, 2019 E.G. Michaels (P)2019 E.G. Michaels

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ok story.

This was just OK. It took me way longer than I would have liked to finish listening because it just didn't capture my attention like I hoped.

The plot was slow enough to start, and then when it did get going, the pacing was all over the place. There were parts I had to re-read because the pacing slowed way down and my attention started wandering. I liked the different "reapers", yet I felt like we didn't get enough information about how the virus worked or why there was two different types. Also the way the virus spread was not well thought out, and by that I mean, how did it spread so quickly?? One second it said it was only in one place, then all of a sudden we find out it's in other places too. Maybe I missed something about how that happened but I don't think so.

I also didn't particularly care about any of the characters. Malcolm was ok but the rest felt like run of the mill ones that I found hard to connect to. There was also no character development to speak of. It's hard to read a story when you don't care if any of the characters die!

In all, this was readable. I hope that the author can put it all together in the next book and spends time on the character and world development.

The only reason I actually finished the book was because of Brian Callanan. His narration was faultless and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him. He has a clear voice that's easy to listen to, he had plenty of different voices for the characters and he read this really well. I must check out more narrated by him!!

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

Fans of fast paced survival horror will enjoy this
I liked that the reapers weren’t your standard zombie
Brian’s narration was great looking forward to book 2
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • RJ
  • 06-17-19

The stage is set!

Research project gone wrong, resulting in reptilian-like monsters known as Reapers set loose on Philadelphia. Police officer Malcolm Foster is bound and determined to save as many people as possible to make tracks out of the city. In an unexpected twist, one of the researchers called Poc discovers he can communicate and control the Reapers. It doesn’t take long for world domination dreams to form in Poc’s head. The stage is set for the series; Philadelphia is over-run, the heroes and villains are identified, and the virus spreads across the country. Three.point.five for a decent start to a new series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The Wretched

Similar story to them all.Scientist creates the drug,someone tries to steal it and things go awry creating 'monsters'.It does not get interesting until the end. Narration by Brian Callanan was a fine narrator.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.'

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

For Post apocalyptic Zombie Fans!

If you like World War Z then.you will probably like this book. It is fast paced with lots of different characters! The wretched sometimes seem to be hard to get into at the start but after a few chapters it keeps you interested. Overall it os a pretty good read especially if you are into the Reaper aka zombie type stories.

I received this audiobook review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

When Espionage Goes Wrong

I LOVED this book. The action starts immediately and just does not stop. Thank you Mr. Michaels for for an amazing plot.

Brian Callanan does a fantastic job as well...although I did have a slightly difficult time differentiating the voices of Watkins and Walker.

The only problem...now I am craving a Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpet - loved those things as a kid, but not available where I live now :-)

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well worth the time.

The Wretched. . Took a bit to get into the world. But when you do - the book is great and the story and dual plot do hold you. If you like a bit of post apoc then tis book is sure to suit you.
Great job of the narration.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily leave this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Reapers!!!

I enjoyed the different types of reapers there were in this book. Especially how there is an Alpha whom directs them and drive them towards a task. The narrator did a great job with the difference tones for each character.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Zombie meets Super Soldier

Fast Zombie, Slow Zombie, Smart Zombie, Dumb Zombie, Super Alpha Zombie. This book has them all and it couldn't be more entertaining for it. I think my favorite part was when the Alpha Zombie had to go back to open a door because the other zombies couldn't get through, I laughed quite a bit on that scene. Brian Callanan does a great job with the voice characterizations which really helps give the story life. Two big thumbs up.

I was provided this book as a reviewers copy free of charge in exchange for an honest opinion. I will be continuing the series for sure.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Cool concept ... horrible execution

I really dislike leaving negative reviews, but a cool concept and a talented narrator weren't enough to save this one. E.G. Michaels came up with a cool/unique take on the zombie genre. Instead of standard zombies he crafted a kind of werewolf/zombie hybrid. They almost came across as terminator-esque zombies. Unfortunately there were just too many problems to give the story any more than 2 stars. The story was riddled with inconsistencies, painful dialogue, and flat cardboard caricatures that act in incredibly unrealistic ways (the absolute worst being the horrifically unrealistic depiction of governor). Some of the story issues I had were the speed at which the disease spread. Someone would go from one person being infected and to a few hours later so many people have been infected that almost every police station has been overrun? And yet If there are so many people infected, why isn't that really reflected in what we see outside? Philly is a massive city and there are people out at all times, and yet we barely see anyone out and about. If it's so bad, where is all the chaos in the street? If they've all been infected, why aren't the streets overflowing with these creatures? The only people we do come across are a trio of stereotyped street thugs? Now besides all that I have to address the actual writing itself. Normally when I am listening to a book, as apposed to reading, there are some things that I just won't notice, but that's not the case here. I couldn't help but notice Mr. Michaels' writing style. He writes in a extremely passive voice, doesn't seem to understand the concept of show don't tell, and at times seems to have an unnatural love of adverbs. I don't tend to give up on books, but I was really tempted. But I didn't. I forced myself to power through to the end on this one.

The one definite bright spot, however, was Brian Callanan's narration. I thought he did a very good job. And I would definitely listen to him again.

I was given a review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sara B
  • 11-30-19

A fantastic addition to the genre

The Wretched is an action-packed apocalyptic thriller, that will hold your attention right to the end. After Puc, a North Korean agent injects himself with a top-secret serum, he releases a virulent virus on to the unsuspecting population. It doesn't take long for Philadelphia to be overrun by abominable monsters. The creatures (Reapers) are the stuff of nightmares; yellow-eyes, vicious hairy primeval monsters that retain their intelligence and heal fast. Werewolf like with a pack mentality and led by an Alpha, they strategize and select whom they want to convert. It doesn't take cake long for the Reapers to overwhelm the city and forge ahead to the rest of the country.

E.G. Michaels's writing is consistent and well-paced. The plot is engaging with lots of action loaded with twists and unexpected turns, further enticing the reader/listeners. The characters are well developed, particularly the protagonist, Malcolm Foster, a Philadelphia police officer. Foster and a small group of survivors search for refuge as they struggle to stay alive; while battling the pitiless Reapers.

Brian Callanan's performance was phenomenal. He is what I call a one-person show. His ability to modify his voice to suit various character types is incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed his narration.

The Wretched is a fantastic listen with a great plot, characters and an exceptional narrator. I highly recommend this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Norma Miles
  • 07-27-19

Mankind has become the Wretched

A zombie story with a slight difference: these 'reapers' are fast, dog like in movement and are of two types, the alphas, chemically created, and their followers, made by being bitten and resurrected from death. The alphas are able to plan and have ambition, and they control their children telepathically. This makes them far more dangerous than the mindless shambling undead of many stories.
However, the book is mostly about a small group of humans just trying to survive, in particular a police officer and his ex-army buddy, together with his wife who is a nurse, and her doctor friend, and another just discharged army guy. Initially just trying to find each other, then fighting to survive, this code group gains, and loses, members as time passes. This is a non stop action story as the madness of infection rapidly spreads across the city then on into the state.

Readers who enjoy zombie stories should love this: it has the gore, the growls and the biting tension of a decent horror thriller as our handful of human heroes evade and fight the hordes of hungry yellow eyed, self healing, super strong monsters. The main protagonists, though not fully characterised, are far from simple two dimensional characters, engaging a certain empathy from the reader in addition to the natural instinct to see the people survive and win. Narrator Brian Callahan further enhances the living individuality of each protagonist, giving them each a separate voicing for their conversation and frequent banter as well as reading the story text with a certain emotional tension.

This is the first of a new series so, whilst there is a suitable conclusion, the story does not end but will continue into book two. My thanks to the rights holder of The Wretched, who, at my request via Audiobook Boom, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy. It was an enjoyable read but only time will tell if I am invested enough to continue with the rest of the series: I tend to doubt it..

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  • jim.a
  • 06-25-19

Zombies with leadership now that's Scary.

Quickly escalating with no time to breath, Before you know it there aint many of you left. The concept of hidden intelegence inside reanimated dead, is ace, and could be explored so much more. The spread of the virus, could have been better thought out, but the concept was great. Read superbly throughout with Narration matching both the suspense and energy. Looking forward to Book 2 see where we go,