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No Easy Hope

Surviving the Dead, Volume 1
Narrated by: Guy Williams
Series: Surviving the Dead, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
4 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)

Regular price: £23.49

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Summary

Eric Riordan was once a wealthy man leading a comfortable, easy life. Until one day Gabriel, his oldest friend, Marine Corps veteran, and a former mercenary, told him how the world was going to end.

He did his best to prepare. He thought he was ready for anything.

He was wrong.

As the dead rise up to devour the living, one man finds himself struggling to survive in the ruins of a shattered world. Alone, isolated, and facing starvation, his only chance is to flee to the Appalachians and join forces with Gabriel. But the journey will not be easy, and along the way his humanity, his will to live, and his very soul will be tested.

This is the beginning. This is his story.

©2011 James N Cook (P)2013 James N Cook

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Its ok

It's ok. Narration was ok. This would be a good intro book for someone new to zombie apocalypse. The gore details are light compare to other authors.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Oh God - This is TRIPE!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book really is an appalling load of tripe and falls into the familiar trap of forgetting it's a zombie novel in favour of what sounds like the classified section of Guns 'n' Ammo. It veers horribly from pages of boring, stilted dialogue to tooth-grindingly dull prose which sees our office worker hero selecting and loading, unloading, shooting, discussing, cleaning, and strapping-to-his-manly-chest various forms of gun, rocket launcher, grenade etc. Over and over and over again. The zombies barely get a look-in. Add to this the fact that the only female characters are cooking, having sex or looking after babies and you have a novel that bites in all the wrong ways!

Has No Easy Hope put you off other books in this genre?

No, but will listen to a sample first next time.

What three words best describe Guy Williams’s voice?

Narrator was OK. Made Gabriel sound like an even bigger jerk than he actually was - which demonstrates some talent.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

All of the above!

Any additional comments?

Really, if you enjoyed World War Z, Zone One etc don't buy this - it's not fit to sit in the same genre with them.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda H.
  • 26-07-13

Not bad, Not unique, but well written!

The book is very well written. The characters, dialogue, behaviors, and other elements are believeable not remarkable. The character is a everyday joe who befriends a survivalist type character (pre-apocalypse). The outbreak occurs creating Romero type Zombies. The main character begins his journey to meet up with his survivalist friend. The real journey is the discovery and growth the character endures while meeting other good and bad survivalist. When I first started to listen to the book I immediately thought that this was a "guy" book due to the long drawn out references toward guns, fighting, and other "manly" type interests. As the book went on I found myself engulfed in all the characters and thought to myself how well written this story really was. It became hard to put down. Just wish there were a little more action involving Zombies.

Narration was good but the female voices were a bit comical.

Starting second book now!

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • 08-07-13

Above average in zombie genre

This writer does a good job with his material, "shows more than tells". The characters are well developed, likeable and the banter and dialog is nicely done. I have found that as with most 'end of the world as we know it' works the first half of the book is exciting and moves well, then as the situation becomes static, i.e. we are surrounded by zombies, the day to day living becomes boring, as most life is. Anyway this book does suffer a bit from this, although not as much as others. The lead character and how he was led into the prepper world is well done, the crisis of the re-animation outbreak is well done then as we move into the last part of the book the author looses a bit of the momentum he was able to build and when the ending comes you are fine with the book being over. That said it is a good read if you are into zombie stories it is in the upper end of that class.
Recommended if you like the genre.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 15-07-14

Solid Zombie Tale

A pretty standard tale but though the story's kind of old hat to someone who likes zombie fiction, the characters are well fleshed out despite being mostly well-worn and typical.

Surprisingly, there are a couple of pretty emotional moments, especially towards the end of the story, as the author makes a point of dwelling on cause and effect. He makes a decent stab of putting some real pathos in to proceedings and, more often than not, does a good job of it. In that way, this is a cut well above the average.

Biggest obstacle I have is the narrator who does take some getting used to. Male voices are either slow, deep and gravelly or fast, a bit squeaky and bland. Aside from stereotypes like the duuuude surfer voice, that's about as varied as things get. Female voices aren't that great either. But you get used to it well enough and once you do it rarely intrudes.

All in all, you could do a lot worse than give this a spin. I'm off to grab book 2 anyway, which gives you some idea of how much I enjoyed book 1.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cogito
  • 24-09-15

Zombies ... Again ... But that's okay.

Any additional comments?

This is another zombie story. That being said it is not all zombie. The survival information presented is a little more realistic. Everybody's view of the zombie apocalypse is going to be different and I think that Mr. Cook has done a reasonable job at presenting a more believable scenario that doesn't require magical escapes every other or every third page and doesn't present the protagonist as essentially immortal. Every zombie book requires some suspension of belief, this book does not require over much of it and is better than most in the genre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Chowderhead
  • 08-07-15

Weak story and horrible narration = DISAPPOINTMENT

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book doesn't deserve 2 stars, much less 4 or 5.

What was most disappointing about James N. Cook’s story?

Having over 200 books in my library, I'm sad to have this be my first negative review. I love EOTW stories, but this book was horrible. Unfortunately, the narration was just as bad, so there was no saving this stinker. The narrator's choice of voices for the characters was extremely weak, and some of the female characters even seemed to have an OMG "valley girl" accent that made me want to stop listening. I'll be asking Audible for a refund on this one, and I'm definitely not going to waste any time or money on Book 2.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mike Naka
  • 27-05-13

better than expected

Any additional comments?


one of the better zombie stories i've listened to lately. eric comes into money the old-fashioned way- he inherited it. however, how he comes to be a millionaire is well thought out by the author. along with money, eric inherits some property. he sells his grandmother's cabin in the mountains to a guy named gabe. over time, they become good friends and one night eric finally asks gabe how he got the money to buy eric's cabin. hestitantly, gabe tells eric about his mysterious past and the preparations he's making for an uncertain future.

while there are some aspects of survivalism in the first part of the story, the author does not bog you down with too many details.

the 1st 1/3 of the story details eric's background, how he came into money, his relationship with gabe, and the initial outbreak in atlanta. i enjoyed this part b/c the author slowed down and described the initial outbreak via newscasts ric was watching. plus, gabe's background is interesting.

as the outbreak begins, eric is alone. he lives somewhere ooutside of charlotte, nc while gabe is living in the cabin in the mountains. before the phone lines go down, gabe tells eric to hole up in his bunker and head to the cabin once things get a little less crazy.

the last 2/3 of the story is eric's journey to the cabin. on his way there eric faces a moral dilemma. he meets up with another group of survivors and decides to help them. in doing so, he makes new friends and frenemies. the author does a good job of adding depth to these other characters. eric comes to be good friends with some of the survivors and ends up staying with them longer than he planned.

towards the end of the book, you learn more about the state of things in the u.s. and around the world. although most of the zombie gore is in the beginning, this is a good end of the world survival story.

the writing is strong, and there's believable introspection by the different characters.

however, there are some weaknesses. aside from the opening, there's not a lot of zombie gore and carnage. i really like z-bboks that have a sense of dread. i never feared for characters in this book. there was no sense of impending doom, no shambling zombie hoard. guess tufo spoiled me in those regards.

my biggest caveat was the narrator. whlle his guy voices were ok, his girl voices were just aweful. so bad that i wondered if some of them had an adam's apple. LOL

overall, i enjoyed the story. i listen to a lot of zombie books, and the difference between the middle tier z-books are mostly the characters. i've listened to z-books with all kinds of characters- average joes, moms, military types, etc.. i think this is the 1st i've listened to where the main protagonist is a 1%er. so, yeah, i liked it!

17 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marilyn Morrison
  • 03-09-16

A bit boring and lame, but still likeable

The end of the world isn't so bad when you have weapons, ammo, food, access to underground bunkers... plus, throw in fellow survivors who happen to include ex Green-beret and SWAT team members.... overall, our hero has a relatively easy time of things.

This is not to say the book is terrible. James Cook is obviously a talented author.. the story has great character development, our hero is very likable and there are interesting settings, fantastic descriptive detail, and that alone is enough to keep things entertaining. It's just that an end of the world zombie novel should include (at least some) edge of your seat/nail biting tension and the belief that our hero could buy the farm at any moment.

I guess the fact that our hero had no major character flaws or problems, inherited great wealth, and could pretty much do whatever he wanted in the pre-zombie world - should have tipped us off that this guy leads an overly charmed life.. why should something like a little ol' apocalypse change any of that?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • 01-09-16

Loved It

James Cook hit a home run with this one. The story is about the characters not the Zombies. The two main characters are well developed and totally enjoyable. I thought Guy William's voice was not the right one for the book but I was way wrong. Guys voice perfectly portrays Eric's smart ass attitude.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-12-15

Good Story, Good Narration (with Caveat)

Overall this is a promising storyline, and I look forward to listening to or reading more in this series. Narration was actually better than "good," but I rated it a little lower because some of the characters were voiced in a very unlikable manner. A character who is supposedly quite intelligent for his age and uses words like "albeit" in casual conversation should not be voiced as though he just got off riding a killer mondo wave...dude.

Despite some unfortunate character voices, I like the book and the narrator's overall performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Conrad
  • 29-10-15

A bit bland

What did you like best about No Easy Hope? What did you like least?

I like the way the author engaged the concept of survival.
I disliked the interhuman communication. It seemed staged and unrealistic.
The story is too clean; it lacks grit.

What was one of the most memorable moments of No Easy Hope?

Nothing stands out.

Would you be willing to try another one of Guy Williams’s performances?

Sure.

Do you think No Easy Hope needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

I listened to the book as a pastime, but was not engaged.
The narration was lacking. Every other male character sounded like a surfer-dude-stoner, and every other female like a valley-girl.
The story is almost good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful