February 2018 Audiobook Review Death & Decay Book 1 – Devour!

February 2018 Audiobook Review Death & Decay Book 1 – Devour!


Run time: 8hrs and 42 minutes, narrated by TJ Richards
R.L. Blalock’s Devour is the first in the Death and Decay series and is excellently narrated by TJ Richards.

Devour drops us right into the zombie apocalypse as we join the lead character, Liv, and her infant baby as they desperately try and outrun a zombie horde. They are only moments away from their final destination and safety when things break bad.

We then jump back to hear how they got to that moment.

The story is action-packed and keeps moving as society collapses around the main character. She bands with other survivors to try and make it to her safe haven. R.L. does a great job of pulling us in and leaving us hanging as we wait with baited breath to find out how things will turn out.

What did I like about this story?
I liked a lot of things about this book, specifically some fresh and fun elements the author uses to tell her story, including her unique form of zombie armor. There’s another unique aspect to the way her zombies behave at night that kept me interested and wondering what other new takes on the zombie apocalypse the author might have. I also really liked the transformation that the main character goes through in the book. R.L. puts her through some tough moments, but these shape her into a new woman by the time her story comes to an end.

What didn’t I like about this story?
The only area I didn’t like in this story was I couldn’t figure out how the baby survived all of the attacks and fights that Liv found herself in. It seemed like the baby surely would’ve gotten injured in these various encounters.

Narration:
As mentioned above, the narration was excellent. TJ brought the story to life with passion and vigor. She gave unique voices to each of the characters as needed and is the lifeblood that kept the story engaging throughout the listen.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Yes, I am very excited to listen to the next book and find out what happens next!

I give this book an 8 out of 10.

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January 2018 Audiobook Review Zombie Road: Bloodbath on the Blacktop

Run time: 10hrs and 52 minutes, narrated by Eric A. Shelman
In the sequel to David A. Simpson’s Convoy of Carnage, Bloodbath on the Blacktop we join Gunny and crew as they make their way to Lakota, South Dakota, their new safe home, or is it?

Threats are mounting on multiple fronts. The potential of nuclear meltdown continues, the terrorist threat looms in the background plus the mysterious danger of the shadowy organization that may really be behind everything that has happened to devastate the planet.

There’s a lot that happens in this book, but our main focus remains on Gunny and his band of truckers as they set up shop in Lakota and make it defensible against the undead hordes and the ever-present bad humans that tend to crop up once society falls.

What did I like about this story?
I like that the story continued its action-packed pace and moves the story and Gunny forward toward rescuing his family. Speaking of, I really liked that we got to spend more time with Lacy and their son, who managed to get himself into even worse trouble this time around. They were primarily secondary characters in the first book, but they stand out more this time around presenting us with an opportunity to get to know them and the threats they are facing. I had feared their story might just be left in the same peril as book one, but they manage to find themselves in new trouble this time around that left me on the edge of my seat wondering how the hell they’ll get out of this one.

What didn’t I like about this story?
I know that despicable humans exist, especially in dystopian tales, but they do tend to get old after The Walking Dead’s Governor and Negan. Casey is our primary human villain in this tale and I didn’t like him. He might be a necessary evil to show the differences between our band of heroes and the not so nice people that are left, but I would have loved to have seen more about the other villains that thus far have only been hinted at in the series. The shadowy government organization that appears to be behind things and the Arab terrorist cells that are roaming the countryside decommissioning the failing nuclear power plants. They are still nothing more than bit players and it would have been great to see them step into the spotlight this time around, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until book three to see one or both of them take center stage in the Zombie Road series.

Narration:
Eric A. Shelman’s narration was as excellent as it was last time, bringing life to the story with his occasional special effects and his perfectly toned vocals that matched what you’d imagine for this group of ex-military truckers.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Absolutely. I gave book one a ten out of ten and I’m gonna be a little rougher on this one only because I wanted more of certain aspects that I didn’t get and felt were a missed opportunity to amp up the excitement going into book three. That is, of course, an assumption on my part that book three will be wrapping up the main storyline of the series and those elements will be focused on more there. That may not be the case as I know David has been talking about additional books in the series, so only time will tell how it all plays out and when we will get to the bottom of the true villains of this series.

I give this book a 9 out of 10.

For my review of book 1 in the Zombie Road Series, please click here!

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December Audiobook Review POW: The Zombie Days

December Audiobook Review POW: The Zombie Days

Run time: 5hrs and 46 minutes, narrated by Jacob Bruce
In Peter Oliver Wonder‘s POW: The Zombie Days, we find ourselves following the author in a first-person account on a post-apocalyptic adventure the likes of which you won’t find in many other zompoc style books. Consider this a buddy movie type story. Two dudes out to keep their small part of the world safe from what remains of the dead after society has fallen and is starting the slow rebuild to something new. The author takes an interesting tongue-in-cheek approach to himself in the story.

What did I like about this story?
The story was filled with bro-humor, alot of it funny, some not so much, but it was the humorous and bizarre aspects that I enjoyed the most. I liked the fact that the story involves a society that has fallen and is rebuilding itself and for the most part, zombies are just a nuisance to be dealt with. There was some interesting character development and even some unexpected plot twists, such as a romance that you think is going one direction and then goes somewhere else.

What didn’t I like about this story?
The same thing I enjoyed I also grew tired of. The bro-humor was entertaining but constant. It got to be very juvenile at some points and tiresome as the story went on. If you’re a fan of constant sarcasm and two dudes bantering, you’ll enjoy this. I just grew tired of it. For me, it was good for comic relief, but not what I wanted to listen to the whole story.

Narration:
The narration was well done. Jacob Bruce’s vocals were energetic and carried the tone of the story well.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
While the story ended with a setup for a sequel going in a very different direction(hint not Zombies), I don’t think I would enjoy another go-round of this type of storytelling, for me, it would be a pass.

I’d give this book a 5 out of 10.

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November Audiobook Review: Rise of the Horde

November Audiobook Review: Rise of the Horde

Runtime: 8hrs and 3min Narrated by Luke Daniels
In Devan Sagliani’s Rise of the Horde we are introduced to a trio of young adults, Xander, Benji and later Felcity as they navigate a world that is deep into a zombie epidemic turned apocalypse. The story starts with the two boys on a military complex where Xander was left by his older brother and told to stay put, no matter what, only on the first page that same military complex is being overrun by a massive horde and Xander has no choice, but to run.

 

What did I like about this story?
At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of this story. It was interesting, but I kept waiting for the “adults” to get involved. After I caught on that this is basically a young adult zombie apocalypse novel, I was able to enjoy it on a different level.

The story explores the zombie apocalypse from the viewpoint of the 3 young characters and offers us a different perspective than the normal hard and gritty zompoc story that is so common. Bad things are happening, but we’re seeing it from the eyes of teenagers that don’t have the same life experience as adults. Their adventures or misadventures as the case often was, were fun to follow along with, especially as they encountered different scenarios that forced them to grow up. Including everything from a town under the control of a group of white supremacists, a drug-addicted rocker, and a crazed cult.

In the end, these young heroes are faced with decisions that even adults don’t want to have to make.

What didn’t I like about this story?
It’s a young adult story, which I wasn’t expecting. That said, the story is good, but it has a juvenile quality to it and if you aren’t prepared for that it can take awhile to wrap your head around it. By the end of the book I was enjoying it quite a bit, but I spent the first portion trying to understand what was going on.

Narration:
The narration by Luke Daniels was well done. Giving unique characteristics to each character with his vocal talents. The narration can make or break an audiobook and Mr. Daniels added to the overall experience of the story.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Yes. Once I got into the fact that it was a young adult zompoc I enjoyed it and found myself wanting to know what would happen to these characters next.

All in all I give this a 7 out of 10.

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October Audiobook Review: Rise of the Dead

Run time: 7hrs and 57 minutes, narrated by John R. Crosthwaite
In Jeremy Dyson’s Rise of the Dead, we find ourselves at the start of the zombie apocalypse. The story is in first person and we follow the plight of Blake, a man who finds himself separated from his family by the rapidly deteriorating world around him. He bands together with other survivors in an attempt to keep one step ahead of the dead, but their escape is leading them away from his wife and daughter.

What did I like about this story?
I enjoyed the fast-paced fall of civilization, how it fell apart so quickly and our main character who had led a life of controlled decisions found himself thrust into a world of unpredictable chaos.

It was tough(in a good way) listening along as his attempts at survival took him further and further away from his family. I could feel his frustration and fear, knowing that he had to do what he was doing to survive, but knowing that it could mean he’d never see his wife and daughter again.

There are some other interesting characters, Quentin, Danielle and Stitch who band together with Blake and help him in his travels. They added some interesting twists, especially the temporary salvation that Quentin’s father brings the group. This part of the story also helps to reveal just how bad things are becoming.

What didn’t I like about this story?
This has nothing to do with anybody but me, but I had a real problem with the narration and it severely affected my enjoyment of the story. I’ll cover this more in Narration below.

Narration:
Ok, so I’ll repeat, this has nothing to do with the story or even the narrator really, but I had a hard time listening to this book. The narrator did this thing with his voice where he would be reading normally and then would switch into a very husky demanding tone and that is the same voice I use to make my wife laugh. I call it my Batman voice. It’s a silly thing I do with her, but hearing it quite frequently in the story as I listened kept throwing me out of the story. I couldn’t stand it. It’s one thing when I do it being silly, its another thing when a good portion of the story sounded like it was being read in that voice.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Unfortunately, due to my struggle with the narrator’s use of “Batman” voice, I would not. This doesn’t mean that others won’t enjoy it just fine, in fact, they likely will, it’s just that it didn’t work for me.

I had a tough time deciding how to rate this. I’d give the story a 7-8, but as discussed, the narration was a real challenge for me and I’d give it a 4-5, so I’m going to average the two out and give it an overall 6 out of 10.

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September Audiobook Review: Speakeasy Dead

September Audiobook Review: Speakeasy Dead

Run time: 7hrs and 35 minutes, narrated by Nick Podehl & Emily Beresford
In Vicky Loebel’s Speakeasy Dead we find ourselves in a most unexpected version of the 1920’s. Zombies, witches, warlocks, gangsters, ritzy movie stars and a dance competition? Yep, a dance competition. Oh and I forgot to mention ghosts, a djinn, a demon and probably more that I cannot remember. It was a crazy mix of characters in the familiar setting of prohibition era America. I didn’t know what I would think of this story, but I was actually quite delighted by it.

The two main characters, Clara & Bernie, who we follow in alternating narratives, reminded me a lot of characters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Bernie, reminded me of Xander and Clara a cross between Willow and maybe a little bit of Buffy herself.

The book is billed as a roaring twenties paranormal romantic comedy and it definitely fits that description. There’s love brewing as well as potions, booze and trouble!

What did I like about this story?
I loved the way the story flowed back and forth between Clara’s point of view and Bernie’s, each with its own opening quote from either the “Girl’s Guide to Demons” or the “Boy’s Guide to Boggarts”. The characters are constantly in worsening peril right from the beginning and the heat just keeps getting turned up as the story goes on.

At times the differing points of view tell you parts of the same scene from their unique perspectives and at others, they are jumping off into a new direction for the story. This kept each chapter fresh, interesting and unexpected.

The world the author created around the prohibition era, filled with witches, warlocks and demons is also filled with possibilities for future stories, while I doubt they will be filled with more zombies, I hope more books are written because these characters were a lot of fun to listen to.

What didn’t I like about this story?
Ultimately, it’s very sparse on zombies, which is ok, but if you are reading this because you really like zombie books, especially apocalypse level books, you might not care for it. If you like fun stories with action and drama, with characters you can laugh at and root for, then you’ll enjoy this book.

Narration:
The narration on this book was done quite well, with each of the two main characters having their own narrator. It made it fun to listen to and also really helped with what can be one of the challenges of an audiobook, knowing which character is doing something.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Yes, I would. I really enjoyed this story. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that when I set out to listen to it, I wasn’t too sure I’d like it at all because it was so vastly different to everything else I’ve been listening to. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much, it was fresh and interesting.

I give this 10 out of 10 stars, which is the second month in a row I have given that rating and on two vastly different books!

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Book Review: Midnight Me & Bob Macabre

Book Review: Midnight Me & Bob Macabre

Midnight Me & Bob Macabre by Crash LaResh & Tricia Martin

In this illustrated book designed to help young one’s that struggle with night terrors we are introduced to the young tormented Vex. Vex is plagued not only by the creepy crawlies in his head at night but also the not so friendly character of Twink, his sister.

It’s clear right from the beginning that young Vex’s life is a mess. Enter the mysterious Bob Macabre to help him not only battle his demon’s but also find power over them.

It read like a sophisticated mash-up where The Cat in the Hat meets The Nightmare Before Christmas.

What did I like about this story?
This nighty-nite tale of torture and torment is a noble endeavor by the author. Inspired by his son’s night terrors, he set out to write a story that would help not only his own son to see his demon’s differently, but hopefully others as well.

The story is rich with lyrical imagery, rhyming prose and detailed depictions of Vex’s nightmare reality and his climb through them during the long night in his dreams.

I absolutely loved the art that accompanies Crash LaResh’s prose. Artist Tricia Martin has a style that blends the visuals of a Tim Burton movie with the like’s of Jhonen Vasquez(Johnny The Homicidal Maniac/Invader Zim) or Roman Dirge(Lenore). These are artists that I already enjoy and her art made moments in the story come alive in a completely unique and engaging way, capturing both Vex’s fear and the sometimes crazy hilarity of the moment.

One of my favorite things about the artwork was looking behind Vex at the assorted details Tricia included in the background that added to the content of the story. Well done!

What didn’t I like about this story?
The only challenging aspect to this book is that in most cases, it will need to be read by an adult to a child. I would say they’d need to be at least 12-13 and have a dictionary handy to read it on their own. The prose at times is very thick in terms of the vocabulary used and I found I couldn’t read the book straight through, I had to take breaks and then dive back in again.

The story definitely keeps you engaged as Vex and later Vex and Bob journey through his tortured world, it just takes time to get through the journey.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I read more by this author?)
Yes, I would, in fact the story ends with a to be continued… so I’ll be awaiting the tale of how Vex beats his curse once and for all along with the rest of you!

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August Audiobook Review: Zombie Road: Convoy of Carnage

Run time  9hrs and 32 minutes, narrated by Eric A. Shelman
In David A. Simpson’s Zombie Road: Convoy of Carnage, we find ourselves introduced to a variety of nick-named truckers hanging out at a truck stop, right before the world ends. Well, not the entire world, that’s one of the fun and interesting elements of this book, but before we dive into that, we’ll tell you a little more about the main characters.

The protagonist of the story is Gunny, an ex-military man, who the book opens up with as he is being interviewed, presumably where the series ends, talking about how he survived. We quickly come to learn that the fall of civilization, to a very fast and ravenous form of zombie, was orchestrated by people with evil intent. The chaos starts almost immediately, with our group of truckers surrounded inside the truckstop learning how the rest of the country has fallen. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the country, we find Gunny’s wife and son trapped in even direr circumstances.

With the help of his friends and fellow truckers, Gunny prepare’s for the long journey to rescue them.

There’s a lot going on in the background of the story. Shadowy government organizations, an unexpected new president and a foreign power suspected of orchestrating the fall of humanity. Oh, and did I mention nuclear peril? It’s almost as if, even if they do survive the zombies, they can’t possibly survive all the other things that are going to destory them. All of these multiple elements really keep you on the edge of your seat and hungry for the story to continue.

What did I like about this story?
At first, I was getting whiplash from all of the truckers with nicknames. Everyone seemed to have one, but I quickly came to find and delight in the fact that each of those names came with a story of their own. Each made sense and made the characters not only memorable but also loveable.

I loved the fact the story was so action packed, pretty much right from the get go. The author makes light of the fact that zombies were impossible until they weren’t, something any modern zombie story needs to have is a little bit of self-awareness about the genre, and he does that well.

What didn’t I like about this story?
While I’m not generally a fan of fast zombies, they add to the action packed thrills of Zombie Road. Hordes of slow zombies wouldn’t be all that scary if they were getting mowed down by a semi, but fast ones, that don’t stop running, even after you’ve burned rubber down the road, well that’s some scary shit!

Aside from that, it did take awhile for the Convoy of Carnage to begin, but not without reason. You can’t just roll out and drive through this crazy world without a plan.

Narration: 
Eric A. Shelman, an author of Zompoc fiction himself, does a fabulous job of narrating the book, including adding little tidbits like making the radio communications sound like they are actually coming over the radio and giving each of the main characters a unique voice.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Absolutely. This book has been getting rave reviews for months and I actually moved it up on my listening schedule so I could find out what all the hype was about and it didn’t disappoint. The second book is out now and I’ll be listening to it soon and then I’ll be like the rest of Mr. Simpson’s ravenous fans and chasing his truck down the road screaming for him to finish book 3!

I give this 10 out of 10 stars, the first of the reviews I have done to earn that rating.

Find our review of book 2 in the Zombie Road series, here!

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All About The Zee Brothers Vol.2 Zombie School Lockdown!

All About The Zee Brothers Vol.2 Zombie School Lockdown!

The Zee Brothers Vol.2 Zombie School Lockdown Cover Reveal Post

You may have seen glimpses of this popping up on the internet, but we are glad to finally be able to do the full reveal!

Here it is!

Book 2 features the brothers and JJ dealing with an outbreak inside a charter school. They are trapped, with no weapons, toxic zombies, and scared children. It’s going to take a lot more than brute force to get them out of this one!

The Kindle edition is available now! Click here to get it!

Here’s the full paperback cover which will be released August 25th!

And for you audiobook fans, the audiobook is currently under production in the capable hands of narrator and opera tenor, Ian McEuen. Look for release information this fall!

And for those that haven’t yet gotten the new edition paperback of book 1, you can order it here!

 

July Audiobook Review: The Necroville Series Book 1 The Dead Woods

 

 

Run time  1hr and 4 minutes, narrated by Dave Bulmer
In Daniel Parson’s Necroville, A group of friends graduating university go to a zombie themed adventure park, only the zombies aren’t quite as fake as they were expecting them to be.

A night of fun turns horrific when the dead really do start coming back to life.

What did I like about this story?
I loved the banter between the characters, it made me smirk as I listened. There are some good laugh out loud moments and some great descriptions. “Puss and blood dribbled down his chin.”

Ultimately, this is a pretty short story and is just an introduction to what is to come. That taste though is a pretty good one that definitely whets your appetite for more. And even though it’s a pretty brief listen and part of a series, it is a complete story.

What didn’t I like about this story?
It’s an entertaining and complete story, but at just over an hour, it’s hard to really enmesh yourself in the world.

Narration: 
Being American, it took me a little while to sync with the British accent of Mr. Bulmer, but by the end, I was enjoying it.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
I think the premise of this series is a lot like the humor in Shaun of the Dead, which I loved, so I can’t wait to hear more!

I give this 8 out of 10 stars.

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