Run time 7 hrs and 27 minutes, narrated by Daniel Rose
In Kristopher & Valerie Lioudis’ Aftershock Book 1: A Collection of Survivors Tales we follow a series of short stories from different characters perspectives. These stories lead us from where they are at the beginning of the outbreak to how they survive and eventually how they all start to meet up and their stories intertwine.
Being that this was the 3rd book this year that I’ve listened to with a similar short story after short story model, I was concerned that it would leave me unfulfilled, as I was really wanting a deeper listen to immerse myself in. The good news is, it didn’t take long for me to discover that not only was there something very unique happening to some of the characters but also that their stories were going to connect and form a larger overall narrative.
The stories start with a survivor who is abandoned by the people he is with. He is bitten but survives… this pulled me right in. Why? What’s going on here? What makes him immune? The conspiracy theorist in me wanted to know more!
What did I like about this story?
As mentioned above, I liked the mystery of the characters who got bit but didn’t turn. This storyline appears to connect many of the characters and reminds me to a degree of Stephen King’s The Stand, where we have 2 different factions of survivors coming together in a post-apocalyptic world. Some for good, some for evil.
There were a number of great lines in the stories, one that made me smile and laugh, was in reference to how to dispose of the piles of the dead. “The most grotesque barbecue in man’s history.” And while that and some other lines made me laugh, the book also has some pretty hard stories where people you are rooting for just don’t make it.
Near the end, there is a great group of scenes where things go very bad for one of the main collection of survivors. Their leaders are at odds about why and how things happened and we are shown each of their perspectives in alternating chapters before they confront each other. The realization that they are both blaming one another gets you on the edge of your seat waiting to learn how it will play out as soon as they come face to face.
What didn’t I like about this story?
There were some moments, possibly because it was in audiobook format and being narrated by a male that I found myself confused about a character’s gender. This resulted in me having to do a double take and reorganize my understanding of events.
The book does have something of an abrupt ending, which leaves you wanting more. This is both good and bad. The book could have continued on, but I suspect it stopped where it did because to continue would have needed a lot more time and space to tell what happens next.
The narration was done by Daniel Rose. In general, Mr. Rose has some great moments and at others, it seemed to lack engagement with the story. It’s a minor detail as overall the stories flow well and he does a good job of giving voice to all of the various characters and storylines taking place.
Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by these authors?)
Absolutely! The story is engaging and it is really cool to see a husband and wife author team working together like this. I look forward to more by them individually and as a team!
Plus, the book ends in such a way that I find myself awaiting word of the sequel!
I give this 8 out of 10 stars.
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