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Summary

The sequel to one of those most popular zombies of all time in a new, uncut, author's preferred edition!

In this sequel to The Rising, cities are overrun with legions of the undead, intent on destroying what's left of the living. Trapped inside a fortified skyscraper, a handful of survivors prepare to make their last stand against an unstoppable, merciless enemy. With every hour their chances diminish and their numbers dwindle, while the ranks of the dead continue to rise. Because sooner or later, everything dies. And then it comes back, ready to kill.

©2005 Brian Keene (P)2017 David N. Wilson

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Profile Image for Muraenidae
  • Muraenidae
  • 23-01-18

More Than Infinity

Was super excited to get back to this story. With the huge cliff hanger in the last story I really had to know if Jim’s entire journey was worth it. This book starts off with that gun shot heard from outside and sets the stage for a long journey that has a lot of ups and downs. You can’t read this book without reading the first, it is a seamless transition.

This book is very much the same style as the first one. The first story was all about trying to save Danny, this one is all about just trying to survive. We meet some new characters, lose a few characters, Frankie is still hardcore, and pick up a cat named God. I thought that “The Road” painted a very bleak apocalypse, can’t say that this one is much better. Not sure where the story line is going after this book. While the story itself was good, had some crazy moments – zombie sex, the overall tone was more depressing and I honestly am not sure I can handle more of Keene’s world. As others have said, the zombies aren’t your typical lumbering zombies so that story line and explanation is what is going to force me to listen to more.

Joe Hempel is amazing. Really enjoyed his character voices. Think he is continually improving and is already my favorite narrator so he just keeps pulling further away from all the others.


I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 19-01-18

Better than the first book.

So book 2 starts straight after the ending of The Rising. We see the group trapped in the house with zombies appearing everywhere. After struggling to escape, they head towards New Jersey. On their journey they see something they haven't seen for a long time, a skyscraper lit up. They decide to avoid that because it's both a beacon for humans and zombies. But things don't work out like that and they find themselves rescued and brought to this skyscraper. This skyscraper was built to withstand basically everything that can be thrown at it. It has become a place for humanity to make their stand. But with the owner of the sky scraper losing his mind and thinking he is God and with Ob taking control of the zombies, this might just be the end.

I have to say, this was a lot better than the first book, The Rising. There is a lot more character development and a lot more action in this one. I was also able to connect more with the characters, even the newer ones we were introduced. I feel like the story really came together, which was awesome.

I absolutely love the zombies in this series. The way they came to be and how they are sentient and able to do everything was truly scary, plus the author doesn't hold back on the gore and horror, which just makes them terrifying. Zombies are bad enough, but when you think of zombie rats and birds, well it just made me shudder!!

In all, this was a fast paced and thrilling read. This book holds nothing back, it is pretty much non stop with the action and I flew through it. The author wraps up everything nicely and I'm glad I read this series.

Joe Hempel is a narrator I know will always deliver a brilliant performance. His tone and cadences always make for effortless listening, because he brings the story to life. I always find that he is able to draw me in to the book and this one is no different. I loved his tone for Ob!! Great performance from an equally great narrator.

I was given this free audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Simone K
  • Simone K
  • 25-02-18

Satisfying Sequel!

If you liked 'The Rising' then you'll definitely enjoy 'City of the Dead.' I have to say that I enjoyed the first book more, only because I find the outbreak aspect to be the most interesting part of a zombie story. In book two, we've learned what's going on with these undead and are now in 'battle them' mode, which is fun too!

The cast of characters remain fabulous, as in 'The Rising,' but....

****SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN'T READ 'THE RISING'****

... if I have to hear Danny say "Daaaadddddyyyy I'm scared!" one more time, I may kill him myself. I know he's a kid, but he is a brave kid, he survived all on his own and now he's with his dad. At no point does this kid grip what is going on (*zombies*) and is constantly in need of Jim's attention when Jim is trying to save humanity. It just took me out a little bit, it didn't raise the tension for me to remind me that there was a scared kid, it was just irritating.

Other than that though, the story itself is phenomenal. The uniqueness of 'The Rising' carries forward into the sequel in that this one lacks any cliched zombie tropes. And as always, Joe Hempel delivers a performance more than worthy of the this epic tale. If you like a zombie story, this two book series is probably the best one I've ever read. I'd recommend it to anyone at all who likes this genre!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Sabrina Miranda
  • Sabrina Miranda
  • 13-01-18

Good listen worth credit

A fun fast listen. Brian Keene has certain style that I love to read or listen. Narrator was very good. Love horror show podcast.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Char's Horror Corner
  • Char's Horror Corner
  • 11-01-18

A Worthy Sequel to The Rising!

3.5/5 stars!

CITY OF THE DEAD has been on my TBR pile for a year or two, (and on my physical bookshelf), so when I saw it listed on my Audioboom! email, I immediately requested it. I'm glad I did!

This book picks up right where THE RISING left off. Most of the group is now trapped in a house and you can't help but to root for them. The zombies they are fighting are not your normal zombie-they can be fast, use weapons, and drive cars. They are led by Ob, and in this book we learn more about him and his mission on earth.

Fast paced and filled with lots of fun action,(zombie crocs and birds anyone?), there isn't much time to rest here, and why would you want to? There are plenty of gross outs and characters to root for and not of lot of time for quiet moments, fancy prose, or reflection. If this is the type of book you're in the mood for, then CITY OF THE DEAD is the book for you!

I listened to the audio, narrated by Joe Hempel. It took me a while to get into his narrative style, but once I did, I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

Recommended for those in the mood for bloody, smart-zombie fun!

Thanks to Audioboom! and Joe Hempel for this audio copy in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Bill
  • Bill
  • 11-01-18

The craziness is back!

I read this one a few years ago and enjoyed it, but think it's even better with audio. The narration really added to the overall atmosphere of the story. Since it's a non-stop crazy action fest and must have been pretty hard to do, but Joe did a great job.

*I requested a review copy of this audio from the narrator and have voluntarily left this honest review. Thanks, Joe!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Michael Oberhardt
  • Michael Oberhardt
  • 10-01-18

A Crazy Sequel

City of the Dead is the second novel in Brian Keene's "classic" zombie series, written early at the start of the century when zombie novels were a rarity. It starts off following from the end of The Rising, and rapidly resolves the main outstanding cliffhanger from the first novel. To be honest, I'd have preferred it if they had ended book 1 with the resolution. That aside, be aware that this book does tie up an ending nicely, and although it leaves it open, it doesn't leave any main plot point unresolved. One other story style I really enjoy on this book is that although there were major villains and fools, their contribution to the story weren't dragged on, and were all nicely resolved. And there were so real non-zombie nutters in this volume. If you haven't listened to The Rising, I suggest you do that first. But as with that novel, the zombies are not your typical Romero variants.

The narration by Joe Hempel was again enjoyable, and easy to follow, with a good degree of differentiation between character voices.

I did get this audiobook as a free review copy, but I do actually own the novel on paperback from the old days. To be honest, this edition is revised, but I can't pick what was different. Possibly some more modern references were added? I don't have any of the novels in this series, so I do look forward to the next audiobook to hear that story for the first time.

Also I'd like to add a big thanks to Crossroads Press. They are releasing so many audiobooks of classic horror from my youth, from authors like Chet Williamson, Clive Barker, Brian Lumley, and more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Todd (Toad) Vogel
  • Todd (Toad) Vogel
  • 09-01-18

Excellent ZomPoc!

Great story by Brian Keene. I was a little upsetting after book 1, The Rising, because I thought the author left us on a huge cliffhanger. I didn't realize book 2 was coming lol. City of the Dead picks up right where The Rising left off. No cliffhanger! This book has loads more of demon zombie action as Jim and his companions try to escape to safety.
The highlight of this book for me was the narrator. Joe Hempel really brought these characters to life. My favorite character only played a small part. Pigpen was great! I sometimes wonder if the author gives the narrators an idea of what the characters should sound like or if the narrators have free reign. I honestly think it was the narrator in this book. Fantastic job Mr Hempel!
I'm hoping to see more of this series and really hoping the author sticks with the same narrator!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Michael Hicks
  • Michael Hicks
  • 04-04-18

City of the Dead Is Well Worth The Visit!

[Note: this review was originally published at audiobookreviewer dot com]

Set immediately following the final moments of Brian Keene’s Bram Stoker Award-winning The Rising, a small band of survivors manage to flee the zombie-infested suburbs of New Jersey. Their escape is not exactly scot-free, however, and Jim, Frankie, Martin, and Danny are hounded by a pursuing band of the undead who quite nearly finish them off. They’re rescued, though, and spirited away to Ramsey Tower, an impenetrable New York City skyscraper at the heart of the city where scores of survivors have found shelter and a chance at survival. Unfortunately for them, this rescue puts the survivors out of the frying pan and straight into the fire. Ramsey, an old, perverted, wealthy old tycoon with a reality TV show and dementia (hmmm…I wonder what other old, perverted, wealthy real estate tycoon with a crappy TV show and dementia Keene could have based Ramsey on?) will do anything to survive. Anything. And Ob, the undead leader of the zombie hordes, has set its eyes on Ramsey Tower and the death of everyone hiding within.

With the ground-rules of Keene’s zombie apocalypse well-established in The Rising, this Author’s Preferred Edition of City of the Dead ups the ante a fair deal and provides a wealth of gore, dismemberment, and mayhem. New York has become a necropolis, and in between all the flesh-chomping and headshots, Keene expounds on the goals of Ob and the demonic Siquissim. One of the things I’ve grown to appreciate about Keene’s The Rising series is the way the author infuses traditional zombie apocalypse tropes with a welcome dose of cosmic horror. Anybody looking for solid, edgy Romero-esque carnage will feel right at home with these two novels, and will likely appreciate the spark of originality Keene injects.

The Rising‘s narrator, Joe Hempel, returns to the microphone for City of the Dead to deliver a lively reading. Having narrated more than 150 books, Hempel has a comfortable, familiar reading style that makes for a companionable listen, one that’s smooth all the way through. His production skills are top-notch, as well, and you won’t find any blips or aberrations in the recording to yank you out of the story.

Readers who bemoaned the ending to The Rising can rest assured that Keene delivers a definitive finale to City of the Dead. Personally, I found the ending to The Rising to be very well-done, but I know there’s also a surprising number of readers out there who need every single thing spelled out for them and who are unable to infer details unless they’re beat over the head with them. Well, fear not – City of the Dead has an ending and nobody need fear the mistaken appearance of a cliffhanger!

City of the Dead takes all the best aspects of The Rising and plumbs its cosmic mythological depths a bit more. In some ways, it’s a nastier, darker, dirtier work than the prior story, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Ramsey in particular is a real piece of work, and Keene gives his living characters enough warmth and humanity to stab you in the heart when you least expect it. Thankfully, Keene softens some of the considerable tension and long, violent action set-pieces with moments of dark humor, usually thanks to a cat named God, as well as a few scenes of heartwarming familial repartee. City of the Dead is definitely worth a visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for B. Lane
  • B. Lane
  • 04-04-18

An engaging sequel

After book 1 left the reader thinking it was the end of our heroes, book 2 picks up where we left off, with Jim finding his son alive. The zombies attack, but the next door neighbor saves their lives and joins them on the run. They soon find themselves in a skyscraper in New York City, where a wealthy man runs the show, believing himself to be humanity’s savior. The Zombies meanwhile are making plans to break into the tower.

A bit Walking Dead with a megalomaniac savior leading a group of survivors this time. Joe Hempel narrates once again and does an amazing job. He is really suited to this genre, as is the author Brian Keene. I liked both books in this series and plan to read more from Mr. Keene and listen to more from Mr. Hempel.

I was given this review copy at my request and have left this review voluntarily.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful