Once the world was beautiful and full of people. Cities filled the landscape and buildings reached the sky. But now, after The Wandering, very few portions of the old world remain, and more of the surviving fragments of a glorious past disappear every day.
Yet, it is more than just memories of the past at stake when a new enemy arrives in The Waste. Flooding over the land and leaving total destruction in their wake, these mysterious invaders will stop at nothing until all ties to the old world are destroyed and forgotten.
But there is one last hope, a rumor which speaks of a powerful people who survived The Wandering unscathed. Could they be the answer The Waste needs in its darkest hour? Could this rumored people hold back the tide of destruction or will The Waste, along with the final remnants of humanity's glorious past, disappear forever like dried grass in a flame?
©2016 Troy Hallewell (P)2016 Troy Hallewell
The story is set 100 years after civilisation fell. People have reverted back to hunter-gather life style and wander the lands, known as the waste, either alone, referred to as Indie’s, or in groups, referred to as tribes. There are no cities, there are only camps and small trading outposts. Bullets are used as currency and owning books or working appliances powered by suncatchers is a sign of great wealth. Life in the waste is hard and what life was like before the waste is seen as just stories.
The way of life for people wandering the waste has become threatened by a new enemy called the Vorin. This people of the Vorin are not fighting for resources but are instead massacring everyone in their path and burning down crops and orchards. No one knows who the Vorin are or why they are intent on destroying everything in their path.
When one of the larger tribes are attacked the chief of the tribe tasks his daughter Caroline to seek help beyond the wall-without-walls where there are rumours of powerful people who survived the destruction of the old world unscathed. No one has been known to survive the journey and it is seen to be a sacrifice. An Indie called Rock takes the job of accompanying Caroline to escort her across the central waste to the edge of wall-without-walls.
Who was your favourite character and why?
My favourite character was actually one of the main side characters, Mayer Jude. The Mayer is a visionary who is trying to build up and manage Centralia which is the first city in the waste. I thought the author did a great job with this flamboyant character as he tries to lead his people for the greater good and strive for progress and a slow return to how life was before civilisation fell.
That’s not to take anything away from the main protagonist Rock. The main character says very little as he prefers to, and is used to, travelling alone only caring about himself. That begins to change when we meet Caroline, a tribe’s chief daughter, and I liked the pace at which the two came to trust and depend on each other. You can’t help but root for both of them.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
I was actually quite keen on listening to this story as it was narrated by the author himself. Normally narrators, and readers, interpret the writers’ characters whereas this time the author is presenting his characters as he intended. Sounds random after typing that but I thought it was interesting.
I thought the narration was enjoyable and kept pace with the story. The different styles and voices were good and after a while even Rock’s gruff voice grew on me. If I had to nit-pick, I only have 2 very small criticisms. Narrating the chapter titles after a while became a little bit irritating as it did feel like it interrupted the flow a little. Also the mic quality, while perfectly adequate, felt like it would benefit from being a notch better.
Any additional comments?
I actually managed to snag a free copy of the book from the author in a giveaway on the reddit audiobooks section. I normally listen to fantasy, thrillers and adventure books but over the last few months I have been listening to more post-apocalyptic titles. I really enjoyed this book and without hesitation have already spent two credits on book 2 and 3 to continue Rock and Caroline’s story. It is an intriguing world that the author has created and I’m looking forward to experience more of it. So many questions to answer… how did civilisation end? what are the real motivations behind the new enemy? what lies beyond the wall without walls.
"A Western with a post-apocalyptic veneer"
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Rock is an indie wanderer, traveling from place to place trading news and whatever he might have come by in between. He meets Caroline and her powerful father and is given a mission to escort her to the Wall. There her mission will begin as she attempts to find and bring back the last unscathed and powerful remnants of humanity. A tide of warriors is sweeping the land. They don’t trade, they don’t take tribute and submission. Instead, they seem bent on wiping the land clean of inhabitants and Caroline won’t let that happen without a last desperate attempt to push them back. Rock will have to figure out where his loyalties lie.
Basically, this was a Western given a little post-apocalyptic flare. It followed a pretty standard, and, at times, cliched, script. The beginning held a lot of promise and I was rather excited to venture into another destroyed future that was mostly desert and full of folks who have their own agendas. Once they started circling the wagons and shooting at warriors on horseback, I had to roll my eyes a little. This is a Western, which can be fun if a bit tired and worn.
On the plus side, Rock is an interesting character if a bit standard. I always have a thing for those strong silent types that are good in a fight but bad in relationships. Still, I was rooting for him the whole way. Caroline was your standard plucky female wild west woman. She’s beautiful and knows how to shoot but is a bit brash and wants to rebel. Still, she’s dead set on saving her people, if she can, even if it kills her. There were very few women in this story, which might explain why the world hasn’t managed to repopulate itself yet. There’s Caroline (who has plenty of lines), a mysterious female leader of the warrior tribe that is sweeping the land (who has perhaps 3 lines), a little baby girl that gets to be cute and cuddly for a scene or two, and then Rock’s remembrances of his own mother (who has 3 or 4 lines as well). This story could definitely improve with some gender balancing.
I also feel the need to comment on how the invading hoard all seem to be brown skinned, instead of a greater mix of ethnicities as I had been expecting with humanity surviving an apocalyptic event. Perhaps they are akin to a Mongolian tribe or perhaps akin to a Native American tribe. Since we haven’t met any of them individually, other than that brief encounter with one of their female leaders, we don’t know much about them. Still, their feathers, beaded clothing, horse skills, and archery all add to the Western story tone of the book.
Now I am very curious what lies beyond the Wall and why everyone thinks their saviors may be hidden in that direction. After all, no one has survived their journey over the Wall and returned to tell about it. In fact, bones of those who died shortly after traversing the Wall can be seen from it. I think Caroline definitely has her hands full in attempting this quest.
Over all, if you enjoy your standard fare Western and want a little more sprinkled in, then this is a good book for you. For me, it was so-so. It started off promising but the middle was very predictable. The ending has promise for the series with the Wall and beyond.
I received a free copy of this book through Audiobook Jukebox.
Narration: The author performed his own narration of this book. It was mediocre. First, the production quality wasn’t all good but it wasn’t all bad either. The volume goes up and down but never so loud as to blow out your ears. Also, sometimes it sounds a bit tinny and sometimes it’s good and clear. Hallewell does do a good job of keeping each character distinct. However, most of his voices appear to be based off old Western serials, which adds to the whole cliched Western flavor of this book. His female voice for Caroline is OK.
""You have to ring the bell. Read the ... sign""
With the opening passages, I thought that this was going to be yet another post apocalyptic story of one loner battling for survival as he makes his way through lands of starvation and desolation. How wrong I was. Yes, one of the main protagonists, Rock, is usually a lone traveller but the majority of the people are grouped into large tribes or smaller clans or families, some of which are nomadic but the others stay in one place, farming or trading. And, whilst most of the scientific achievements we take so much for granted such as cars, planes and the internet, no longer exist other than as fabled stories of Once Upon a Time, (like the tales of skyscrapers and vast populations), a few little electrical devices have survived - kettles and toasters, for example - but these are now rarely used, though treasured, as they need the magic of the power from shiny black Suncatchers and their little black storage boxes to make them work. Even these items are slowly disappearing as the technical knowledge to repair them no longer exists. We are not told what caused the transition but it happened just within the memory of a previous generation.
Into this reasonable settled world comes an invading army of horse riding, bow wielding aggressors, seemingly determined to destroy everyone. The story revolves around the journey of a young woman sent to seek help against them. She has to travel to, and beyond, the Wall without Walls, a place offering instant death to anyone who tries to cross it. She is accompanied by an initially reluctant Rock, whose service to deliver her there is purchased by the bribe of five old books, these being a rare and valuable exchange commodity. As well as being an exciting and rattling good story with plenty of action, there are numerous great characters all given depth and personality by the author. My personal favourite is Dickens, an odd man, himself a book collector.
The author, Troy Hallewell, also narrates, which can often be a disaster. But Mr.Hallewell's reading is good and his dialogue voices are varied, distinct and the overall performance is worthy of many of the professional readers. There are a couple of editing glitches, but these are minor. My main irritation came solely for the book title, RazorWire, being given at the beginning of each new chapter. A small thing but a distraction from the overall continuity of the action.In addition to a great storyline, well written, and a cast of rounded, interesting characters, there is also a touch of mystery. Who are these new invaders and where are they from? What do they want and can they be stopped? Why does crossing the Wall without Walls mean an automatic death sentence? What is beyond it? What caused the happening which took away the technologies and must have killed so many? And what will be in the next book of After Civilisation, RazorsEdge? I can't wait!
My thanks to the right's holder for sending me a complementary copy of RazorWire in exchange for an honest review. This I have given
An overall solid performance by Troy. This book and the story it presents got me through several long car rides.
"A Vivid and Intriguing World"
Yes, Very much so
When they were running from the Vorran and Dickens was reciting poetry all the way
This is the first book of his I have read. I really enjoyed it. I look forward to future books by him. Troy Hallewell did a good job in the narration
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
This was a good story. I'm still not 100% certain what the wall without walls is. Lol I will be interested to see where Rock & Caroline end up. I love that books are important in this world. I like that people are trying to learn again. I don't get why there aren't remnants of a forgotten world like buildings, cars & things like that. People know about guns, toasters & solar screen to charge things....
Not everything has come together for me but I am hoping that in the next volume more will be explained.
I did not like the voice used for Rock but I got use to it. I also didn't like that the name of the book was said between every chapter. It got old & was unnecessary.
Overall it was a good story. New creative names for things. I am very interested in the woman in the tent. How did she do what she does?
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom
"Great story, okay performance."
I liked the story for the most part, there are a few lines here and there that made me groan. In some areas the performance needed to be better, mainly accents. Overall the book was enjoyable.
I really enjoyed this audiobookThe world building was excellent. I felt like I was stepping right into The Waste. The story is action packed! The plot is developed well and the characters all brought something important to the story. A good story for the 1st book in the series.
"A good start to what may be a great series"
This book is one that’s set in a dystopian future where mankind has been reduced to small-ish groups where most people band together in tribes or clans to provide protection for each other. For the most part there’s almost no electricity and almost nothing mechanical left. Things like body armor and ammunition are also in short supply. The author spent a lot of time describing the details of the environment and surroundings which helped me better picture the world. He also went into the backstory with his major characters, which helped me learn where they came from and why they are the way they are. The level of detail in the environments and all the backstory around the characters certainly helped me feel more drawn into the story. This was the first time I’ve listened to an audiobook that was narrated by the author and I think he did a great job doing different distinct voices for all the characters. It was interesting to hear how the author thought all his different characters should sound. This book does leave several unanswered questions at the end, but I think that’s because this is the first book of a new series, and it did a good job of leaving me wanting more.
This audiobook was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
"A Vivid and Intriguing World.."
RazorWire takes place about a hundred years after civilization ended and humans have reverted back to a hunter / gatherer ways of living.
The main male lead wanderer, Rock, encounters Caroline after her tribe has been attacked and decimated by villains, the Vorin. I did not understand why the Vorin were attacking everyone. I wish more details were provided about them.
Rock is trying to escort Caroline to the Wall without Walls. She is either going to sacrifice herself for her tribe or try to find help against the Vorin. During their journey, Rock seems to develop feelings for Caroline.
There are a few unanswered questions and some scenes are a bit slow.
However, the author has created a vivid and intriguing world and the story is well written with complex characters.
The book was narrated by Troy Hallewell, the author, and it was interesting to Hear His Characters come to Life.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
"A Different Kind of Apocalypse Story"
His characterization of the different lead characters in the book. It gave them personality and made the story more interesting.
When they were running from the Vorran and Dickens was reciting poetry all the way.
This is the first book of his I have read. I really enjoyed it. I look forward to future books by him.
Yes. I listened to it every chance I got.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."
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