Daniel Wright

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  • Zombie Rules: Zombie Rules, Book 1

  • By: David Achord
  • Narrated by: Graham Halstead
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

Rick, an aging Vietnam veteran, alcoholic, and prepper, convinces Zach Gunderson that the apocalypse is on the horizon. The two of them take refuge at a remote farm. As the zombie plague rages, they face a terrifying fight for survival. They soon learn, however, that the walking dead are not the only monsters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen

  • By eddie on 28-03-15

An interesting take on the concept, but a juvenile and unrealistic one.

2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-08-18

I love zombie fiction, and I love it even more when it’s made more ‘realistic’ through background information and the character development due to the circumstances they find themselves in. This book had such great promise from the beginning but fell far short in my opinion.

Every other chapter feels like a misogynistic indictment of the world, with so many references to breasts and sexual fantasies that it really detracts from the serious nature of the story. I understand that the main character is a young man who no doubt would have these urges, but when every woman is summed almost immediately as a potential sexual object, and every other male is a supposed rapist or pervert, it cheapens their characters and drops the main character down quite a few points for having to go to that place. It felt cringe-worthy, and just unnecessary at every point.

Zack is a very unrealistic character too, going from a timid kid to a seasoned killer who actually murders someone without needing to do so before the outbreak even occurs. There would be a much steeper learning curve than described in the book, yet Zack is able to shoot people “right between the eyes” from dramatic distances multiple times, and never seems to come to terms with the fact he’s a murderer. His know-it-all attitude gets boring very fast too, and I imagine if I came across a child who corrected me on everything, or had this inane amount of trivia on the most obscure things that he has to spout constantly, I would be tempted to serve him up to the undead.

It feels like the author may have been a bullied school kid, someone who was looked over by women in his life, and is taking it out on the world with contrived characters who can’t handle themselves or even act like normal human beings until the ‘hero’ swoops in and saves the day. Every woman is either an opportunist, or a slut, and it feels like Zack’s condemnation of them is all that is supposed to matter, without any real indication as to why they’re supposedly this way, or why any strong and independent women have survived the outbreak. Every man he comes across, apart from the ones he wants to keep around as father figures, is a threat and a creep which gets tiring fast. Nobody seems to be self sufficient until a 16 year old nerd comes along and saves their skin. There’s also many tones of racism in the descriptions of characters of colour, and as a mixed race man I found that exhausting and disappointing, let alone close minded.

I would have loved this story to have had much more depth, realism and grit, but this was clearly written for those with similar experiences in their early lives, and without having a jaded view of humanity it becomes a chore to go through. The narrator did a good job of keeping the characters separate and free flowing, but there’s only so much polish you can apply to a turd.