There's over a million people in the city of Waterloo. Today, most of them have died, and now they're hungry. Corporal Dan Williamson is caught in the middle of the outbreak, desperately trying to reach his wife who is somewhere amid the urban decay. There are other souls out there, other tales of survival among the horror. Dan will soon learn that the living may prove to be an even bigger threat than the dead.
©2012, 2013 Daniel Cotton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I had already listened to another audio book before I wrote this review and realized that I couldn't remember a single thing about the story so had to refresh my memory. A good enough listen - nothing incredible - I do remember thinking that it seemed a bit like every disastrous scenario had been laid out on a grid so that they were equally spaced with a well defined period of rest in between - a bit uniform. Also fair to note that at least one of the scenarios seemed rather... silly?!
So chuffed i found this gem of a zombie horror, i haven't quite finished listening yet but wanted to give a review, as a massive zombie genre fan and lover of James Herbert, this is right up my street, its in true Herbert style, i felt :D
"solid zombie story!"
as the story opens, dan is running from a hoard of zombies. he is the last of his national guard regiment. he has been on the run since his regiment got overrun. so far, he has been able to keep ahead of the shambling hoard, but he's getting tired. the zombies may be slow, but they never tire and are relentless in their pursuing their insatiable hunger. dan's lead is down to 10 blocks and shrinking as he gasps for air. he's trying to get home to his pregnant wife, and he hopes to lose his pursuers in this neighborhood.
elsewhere, becca, derek, and stevie are holed up in derek's basement, finishing up a weekend's game of dungeons and dragons. they're all kind of rank, and becca says she needs to shower. as derek and stevie listen to becca shower, they try to convince the other to finally make a move on becca, who's been their friend since childhood. as they continue to encourage the other to make the "move," they hear a loud noise, which they think is a car backfiring. as they go upstairs to investigate, they see becca in a daze. when they ask her what's wrong, all she can do is tell them to look outside. as they do, their worst geek nightmare has come to life! zombies are shambling down the street. as derek peeks out the window, he inadvertently jostles the shade, and it snaps up. the noise draws the zombies' attention. so starts their horrifying journey into madness! and that's no understatement!
this is a really good classic zombie story! what do i mean by classic? i mean romero-style shambling zombies. there are no gimmicks here, just a solid, complete story. yes, there is a satisfying ending, but i was so engrossed in the story and characters that i actually wished there was a sequel.
speaking of characters, there are a lot of characters, but you never get lost in who's who or who's doing what. the book is broken up into 3 parts, and each part has a couple of main characters and some minor characters. dan is the main character who comes into contact with the other main characters in each part. the author does a great job weaving all the story lines together until they finally converge into one story line.
when i sit here and reminisce about the story, i think, "whew! a lot happened!" i can't believe the author fit all that into the story. nothing feels contrived. all of the sequences and plot lines meld together to make on heck of a story. and this story has everything: great characters, humor in the right places, action, great pacing and shocking deaths. it's kind of like the show, the walking dead. you never know who's going to die until you're shocked by it. and like that show, you're like d@mn! why'd you kill him or her off! that's how attached you become to some of the characters.
i guess i have 3 caveats with the story. one, i didn't bond with the main character as much as i did with another character, bruce. no, i won't tell you who he is, but he was my favorite character. two, the accompanying main character in part 1 is kind of a side note in the succeeding parts. yes, their storyline continues and there is resolution, but i kind of bonded with that characters after the catastrophic incident he or she went through, and i wanted to know more. again, no, i'm not going to tell you who that is b/c i don't want to spoil your listening experience. three, there weren't many descriptions of the zombies. yes, there are general descriptions of who they seemingly were and what happened to them, but i tend to really like the gory details, such as what parts are hanging out or dragging and how bad they smell. a few books have done this well. these types of details are a little more general in this story. hey...we chastise those we love, right? lol
the narration was good, but not great. however, it by no means detracts from the story. maybe, i've been spoiled by some really great narration lately. but i've also heard some really bad narration too. this is right in the middle. but i must say i really liked how he narrated my favorite character, bruce. most of the guys sounded the same, but you could tell who's who by the story. the women were voice appropriate for their age. but by far, i liked his voice for carla b/c it was husky.
overall, a very good zombie story, and a good addition to your zombie library!
The story feels complete and well balanced. It has a little bit for everybody, adventure with action, broken up with humor, love and tragedy. There is no weird angle in this book, just basic shambling zombies; the story and characters have to stand on their own.
Perhaps the only complaint is,without giving too much away, the crazy sect part, which was kinda cliche and implausible.
What stands out in the book are the "mini stories", but unlike many other books, the author weaves all of them and their characters together into a main storyline. Its enjoyable to read when the characters cross paths into each other and impact their stories, which are still tied to the main story. Perfectly written.
I found I could relate to the main character, Dan the soldier, as he tries to just get by and find his wife. Don't see many smokers in popular media nowadays and he helps who he can along the way but doesn't try to play hero, he just wants to find his wife. Dan doesn't take up too much space though, there are plenty of room for other likeable characters and their stories.
"What a great story!!!!"
I got this book with mixed feelings due to some of the reviews. I'm SO glad I did! The characters were wonderful, the story well paced and the humor a great surprise. I've just downloaded book two and know I won't be disappointed. If you enjoy zombies, characters you can get into and great narration, then you will be happy with this storytelling. Very satisfying book which I will listen to again. Worth a credit or price :)
"More Shaun of the Dead than Dawn of the Dead"
If you're looking for a scary, heart pounding zombie adventure, this isn't it, this book is more zombie sitcom. The story got off to a good start and had potential, but didn't quite deliver. Instead of a cohesive storyline, this book reads more like a series of short stories where the characters intertwine at various points throughout the story. Spoiler Alert: The writer killed off so many characters, that for me it got old really quick. The first few deaths were shocking or sad, but after a while they just became pointless and annoying.
Not pointlessly kill off so many central and potentially central characters. He may be going for action packed, but if you're not vested in the characters you lose interest in the story.
The narration flowed smoothly and made for an enjoyable listen. I don't think I would have finished the book if in print version.
Yes, it wasn't bad, just not very good.
"Stumbles like the Dead"
The first and last 1/3 of Life Among the Dead is entertaining if not overly original. It wastes no time with build up and starts as the tide of the zombie outbreak overwhelms the unprepared authorities. A few characters stand out while others fall prey to the various pitfalls of the end of the world. The main character is a National Guard Soldier whose unit is routed sending him running from the growing zombie hoard. With a few exceptions, the secondary characters are mostly one dimensional and fall quickly as their plot purposes are completed. The situations stumble and rise in their creativity. Some are interesting, like the hospital fighting and house to house sprints, while others seem right out of a bad 1970s TV show. A town with a Cultish preacher followed by an encounter with a cannibalistic biker gang (right out of central casting) for example are distractions from the story and seem to be there just to add filler. Once this is out of the way the story gets back on track and the last bit picks up the pace again. Worth a read if you enjoy the zombie genre. Kudos to Parkinson who does a good job with the narration.
*PS - somebody tell the writers club that the Army hasn't driven Jeeps in 20 years. All services switched to Humvees before the first Persian Gulf War. I keep reading about modern troops riding in Jeeps and unless they raided a museum it really blows the sodb.
I loved listening to this book, no character felt safe, and I loved it
Any scene with the uncle in it was hilarious.
The end when Dan received the journal and him reading how everything with his family went down.
"Life Among the Dead starts off really well with a"
Life Among the Dead starts off really well with a walk through of a few survivors experience in the first hours of the zompocolypse. Daniel Cotton does a nice job of introducing characters at a comprehensible pace so the listener has a chance to identify with them. We start with Dan the reservist who just wants to find his pregnant wife. I really liked the down to earth attitude he had about the whole situation. Then there is Becca the closet nerd, who is a cheerleader. She is the ideal girl, smart, beautiful, and funny, until she does something so horrible that I actually was shocked by this twist. They link up with an elderly couple across the street, which is where the adventure really takes off.
The group heads off to the urban sprawl of downtown, to the hospital where Dan’s wife has a huge “little” surprise. At the hospital the initial group meets more survivors, some good, others not so much. This is the one problem I had with the book; I feel it could have been split up so there wasn’t this always evolving cast of characters. After they leave the hospital to make their way to Dan’s uncles farm when they get separated. Dan stumbles into a crazy possessed as a messiah, who wants to kill him. After he escapes, he continues his mission to reunite with his wife where all sorts of interesting things happen along the way.
After he makes his way to the farm, where he meets up with his wife, son, and the original group from the hospital, they start making long term plans to survive. They wall off the neighboring town and farms. They get a real community started. After the winter Bruce (Dan’s uncle) sets out with a military officer named Rash to find Dan’s parents. Things go wrong along the way. Thankfully for a group of children and a couple of adults (from the hospital of course) found his journal with directions back to New Castle. Like I mentioned would have better split up but all in all it was a great book. Well thought out and well written, I will be checking out book two.
Audiobook purchased by reviewer.
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Love the books and narrator, listen to them over and over waiting for the next book to come out.
"cool Zombie thriller"
standard zombie story; don't know how or where it started or how to end it. mana vs zombie and man vs man. cool plot and characters.
"It was ok."
I'm givin it 2 1/2 stars.
This was a very long book, and it was for me, just ok.
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