Loneliness drives an agoraphobic shut-in to write a letter to the girl in the apartment across the hall, trying to strike up a friendship. Unfortunately, a series of apocalyptic events interrupt this attempt at human contact. Now he watches out the window as the world gets cut to pieces by plague and riots. There are even rumors of zombies. Getting to know someone could be harder than he thought, let alone surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. He might even need to leave the apartment.
©2016 Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus (P)2016 Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus
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"There are so many good things going for this book."
The first thing that struck me when looking at new releases a while back was, "Why is this in the romance genre?" Obviously miscategorized when first loaded into Audible as it has now been fixed. I am betting that many overlooked it because of this snafu.
The Scattered and the Dead is a very short introduction to a zombie apocalypse series that I am going to have to listen to once it comes out. Following the very familiar and successful journal style format. Decker is continuously writing letters. Letters to a love interest that lives across the hall from him, introducing himself, telling her about each day. Being too afraid to go talk to her in person. As these letters were never delivered to their intended recipient, quickly they turn into a record of the apocalypse as more discoveries are made.
At the beginning I wasn't too sure if I was going to enjoy this or not. As I am used to the action packed apocalypse variety stories. However, I am now hooked. Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus somehow created a post apocalypse that feels fresh, new and exciting. Along with a protagonist that evolves so much in a two hour book, going from a agoraphobic hermit to and adventure driven fearless explorer.
There are so many good things going for this book. I cannot wait for the next installment and I hope it is full length. However there was one thing that stuck out to me as a slight annoyance. Each journal entry starts off with the day count either before or after and the location of Pittsburg Pennsylvania. This location never changed. Why keep it in there so many times? Not sure. It does not take anything away, just a slight irk.
I am always a bit weary when I see an author is narrating their own work. As I have experienced so many that just don't do the story justice. I am very happy to report that Tim McBain's performance was spot on. I can't even think of anything critical to say. He delivered the story in such a melancholy manner in the beginning evolving with Decker into a strong personality and confidence.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"Introverts unite ;)"
This is told in letter form, which reads like a journal almost. Decker is the MC and it is his story we are following. He has a crush on the girl across from him but has never told her. Now with the apocalypse happening, he writes her letters and tells her about his days. How can an introvert survive in a cruel world?
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this because I'd never heard of it before, but I know I didn't expect to become invested in the character! Decker was such a believable character that it was hard not to root for him. He captured my heart and his journey became mine. My heart broke for his loneliness but rejoiced with his overall development from a quiet introvert to a self sufficient man that knows what he has to do. It was awesome watching him evolve.
Now, don't go into this expecting an action packed zombie book. This isn't it! This is one mans tale of the "before" and the "after". Zombies are just starting to appear but all this man sees is society crumbing with violence. This just wets the appetite for the series to come, and I can't wait!!
This is the first time I've listened to a book that both the author and narrator are the same. I wasn't sure if it would work, but in this instance, it totally does. The author was able to bring Decker personality to life. It's often hard for a reader to totally "get" the MC but since it's the author narrating, he does and so was able to portray Decker perfectly.
*I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affected my thoughts.*
"An intimate narration"
The Scattered and the Dead, Book 0.5 had been on my Kindle radar for a few days. I liked the description. The prices was right, less than a dollar, but I just had not made that commitment click yet. Earlier today I was offered a free copy of the Audible version in exchange for a fair review. I immediately committed to it. I thought I would start listening to it tonight and finish tomorrow since it is only two and a half hours long. That did not happen. I sat in my chair totally lost in the book. Other than pausing to tell my family to fend for themselves for dinner (all over eighteen so it is not abuse, it is character building), I got lost in a new universe.
The Scattered and the Dead begins twenty-one days before. Before what is something the reader has to discover for themselves. In the dwindling days of “before”, Decker, the main character watches the world slip away. Very important to note, that he watches; other than one event he does not participate. Once the countdown of “before” ends and the count begins to go up for “after”, Decker finds he cannot wait this catastrophe out. When he does venture out and participate, the story was not predictable. I would be neglectful if I did not mention Decker’s reliance on Tang for vitamin C. I feel compelled to share that my plumber advises us to use Tang once a week to keep our sink from clogging. Drink at your own risk. When I finished, I sat for a few minutes wishing it continued. It really is a great story.
The production values are excellent. There are no extraneous noises. No background music or sound effects. Just the clear strong voice of the narrator, who happens to be one of the authors. Tim McBain did a fantastic job narrating the book. Perhaps having helped create it helped. He did not seem to be reading it as much as telling it, as one survivor sharing their story with another. It makes for a very intimate narration.
I truly enjoyed The Scattered and the Dead, Book 0.5. I am looking forward to the sequel coming out in the next month. The authors have created a post apocalyptic universe that feels different than many of the other I have read (and I have read many). I cannot quite put my finger on it yet to say definitively what is different but I look forward to the sequel to discover exactly what it is that makes this universe different.
Story (Plot) 5
Production Quality 5
Attention Holding 5
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for a fair review. I purchased the Kindle version myself.
Great post apocalyptic story that starts out with a guy writing to a girl he has a crush on. He continues writing her each day never delivering the note which becomes more of a journal of his time in the apocalypse. You get a real sense of how someone alone in the apocalypse would behave. A little panicked in the beginning and gradually to a snapping point. Excellent story and narration. looking forward to the next book!
I can't say I really liked this story. I enjoyed the writing and descriptions but not so much this mans personal progression during the apocalypse. I couldn't connect to the character but rhe writing style and descriptions were good enough for me to finish the book.
I was a little weary, when I saw that all the paid reviewers gave this four to five stars, but I liked the summary, and figured they have to be right some of the time. I was wrong. This whole book is a narration of a guy's letter, that he is writing to a girl he has never meet. He is a sort of isolationist nerd. He witnesses the apocalypse from the window of his apartment. It was a good half hour, but the book is two hours longer than that. If you like listening to a guy drone on about his thoughts during an apocalypse than this is the book for you.
I understand authors giving away books, in order to get their books noticed. I have just had a bad experience at audible with these starter books. On the other hand there are some great books, that were not given away. These books have been lost in obscurity, which is a shame. The following is a list of authors and books, I feel are good reads, but which have not been discovered.
Ourselves by S.G. Redling
Jigsaw Man by Gord Rollo
Cattle by Joseph Duncan
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Mayrose Wood
Lord of All things by Andreas Eschbach
The Scourge by Roberto Calas
While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell
and I am sure there are plenty more.
If I had a friend that was interested in post apocalyptic works, I would send them to this in a hurry. I normally don't read this type, but I tried it. The imagery and context was beyond comprehension. I pray I write as well as the McBain/Vargus team someday.
From beginning to end, it kept you guessing. It had you asking what was next. You hung on to every word of the author/narrator.
A combination of scenes, really. The way they described all the apartments he entered, you felt like you were there with him. Also, upon finding the deserted (mostly) camp, it left you, the reader/listener, as disappointed in the situation as the main character.
Yes, but certainly didn't have the time.
Just get it. Ignore the foul language and get it.
"Another Element to an Already Great Story"
In the top 10
I would compare it to other titles by the same authors for its realistic inner thoughts and dark, satirical nature.
This is the first, but won't be the last.
The world is falling, so what better time to reach out to humanity than now?
As a fan of Tim McBain and L.T Vargus' previous work, I hoped that the introduction to their new series would live up to their previous series' caliber.
And it did. The Scattered and the Dead Book 0.5 is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
There's something to be said about listening the author read their own book. It makes the experience personal. Relateable. The emotion and fear is captured in Tim McBain's reading of this excellent book.
You won't regret delving into the first chapter of The Scattered and the Dead.
I usually hate post apocalyptic novels and I almost always hate when the author narrates his own novel. Saying this I was truly surprised with how much I enjoyed this novel, the narration was spot on perfect. It was descriptive without going overboard.
"Great tone setter for the series"
Tim & L.T. have done a great job with this prelude to their new book series. With Tim narrating this audiobook, his voice takes you to a world that is crumbling. As a letter to a pretty neighbor, that narrator describes a world that is slowly coming to an end as we know it. The countdown has begun. As society collapses and the human race hangs in the balance, how will you survive. A "must read" as an introduction to this great new series, this prologue is just the beginning of an exciting and crazy ride.
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