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Summary

The best-selling dystopian series, plus a previously unpublished bonus chapter, available now in one box set.  

"A fierce post-apocalyptic story of war and loss, of nature's vengeance, of survival in the face of overwhelming odds." (Manhattan Book Reviews)

Two years have passed since humankind faced extinction: Two cousins are leaving the protection of their underground bunker after a cataclysmic war and unrelenting disease ravaged the Earth. On the other side of North America, a young survivalist is leaving the seclusion of his cabin deep in the woods, traveling with his aging canine companion, Winston. For individual reasons, these men are traveling east, to where a small number of survivors have established colonies.

But in the deep recesses of Haddonfield Maximum Security Prison, a wickedness emerges to defile what is left of humanity. With society coming to its knees, the opportunity is right for a terrible army to claim the world as their own, and inflict upon it the same pain they received in life.

Fueled by personal desires and the need to survive at all costs, those left alive face the final war. Although the colonists are not yet aware, the strength that resides inside them will soon be tested, and destiny will call for their fates to be forever intertwined.

Semifinalist in the BookLife Prize for Fiction, run by Publishers Weekly, for Best Mystery & Thriller

Silver medal winner in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards for Best Adult Fiction

Winner in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards in two separate categories

Finalist in the Red City Review Book Awards for Best Literary Fiction

Winner of The Underground Book Review's Pitch Perfect Book Award, and nominated for their Book of the Year Award

Gold Quality Award from BooksGoSocial

©2020 Brandon Zenner (P)2021 Brandon Zenner

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  • Read and review.
  • 02-05-21

Great dystopian series! Highly recommend.

It's great to hear a post apocalyptic story that doesn't involve zombies, or some unbelievable storyline. It's completely believable, especially with what we've seen the last year with covid. I listened to these books separately when they came out, but then again when I saw this version came with an extra chapter. I found I missed the characters as they were introduced again, and Winston is still my favorite of all. Highly recommend.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Ray
  • 13-05-21

Coul-du No-tu Liste-nu to dictio-nu.

I gave it two hours. The story is building nicely. HOWEVER, after listening to more than 500 audible books in my library, this is the first I'm returning because the narration was so distracting that I could not enjoy the story.

James Romick is obviously a professional reader, having dozens of books to his credit. I just can't stop noticing his uncanny diction that "steps on" the last consonant of many words in most sentences. "He'd watch the card game" has five syllables for most of us. It has 8 or 9 syllables if it was narrated by Romick because the "d's" "ch's" and "rd's" are separately pronounced from the word. Watched is two syllables, not one.

Sorry for this writer. The book might be great, but the narrator ruined it for me.

11 people found this helpful

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  • RJ
  • 03-06-21

Warmonger!

[#1] Cousins Brian Rhodes and Steven Driscoll exit their bunker under the house after two years of waiting for the dust to settle. The time had come and they had a promise to keep that they had made to their uncle Al. After that, it was a long journey to the east coast and home. The way these two snap at each other, especially Steven with his anger issues, I don’t know how they managed to live together underground in a bunker for two years. I believe they have an even longer way to go than Simon, running into problems almost immediately, same as Simon. Flashback to the bunker thirty-three days after they entered. We listen to the account of the only time Brian and Steven opened the bunker door to allow Stanley Jacobs in. It was quite an experience, guaranteeing they would never open the door again. Eventually, Steven’s sporadic rage caused a divide between them, each continuing to stories of their own.
Simon Kalispell and his German Shepard mix Winston realize that after two years it’s time to leave the cabin in the deep woods of British Columbia. Simon had a three thousand mile trip to get back home, hoping that his parents would still be there. Flashback to when Simon was about eighteen, before the war, before the virus that swept across the United States. Winston is there too. Simon is sent to the cabin for safety where the story began. The United States is in chaos; riots, airlines grounded, curfews, preparation for war. Back to the present day. Simon has his run-ins with the assortment of neer’-do-wells as he traveled. He has a long way to go and considering his lack of balls err…courage, I would not give him good odds. There are military and mercenary units existing across the country. Simon ultimately winds up joining one of these military units.
Towards the close of the volume occurs the Battle for Alice! With the help of General Driscoll from Zone Blue, the citizens of Alice fought for their lives. Carl Metsger and his lieutenants had been duped and killed, leaving the Dragoons and the Red Hands leaderless. Nick would be next on the list of enemies to find. During the melee, Brian and Steven meet once again in a surprising reuniting. In concluding this raw account of men striving to survive and others of humanity’s worst, Simon Kalispell found home.
[#2] The beginning of volume two had me confused at first, had Carl Metsger survived or not? Volume two is an account of Carl Metsger before the town of Alice and before volume one. The story chronicles the various groups he met and the towns he planned on incorporating into his army; Odessey, Fort Anderson, Masterson, and Hightown. Early on, he had heard about Alice but was unprepared for such a fortified town with powerful allies. With the man they called the Priest’s help, Odessey was more his speed at the moment. And so we come full circle as Carl crushes his list of planned conquests. The tale continues from his defeat and near death at Alice. Giving up is not in Carl’s vocabulary. First, he’ll want to find out how many of his men are still alive. Then he’ll begin to rebuild his army. The war is not over, it only changes battlefields.
[#3] How we got here. Brian Rhodes and Steven Driscoll, Bethany and CaroleAnn, Simon and Winston, and Carl Metsger, each took a different approach to survive the apocalypse. The series is an excellent character study, some people rising to the occasion, others found wanting. Upon his return from the dead, Carl lays his hands on a powerful group of military hardware. With this addition at his command, Hightown is the target. As word gets back to Alice, chaos rules and hopes waver. Now Simon has his heroic moments but he still surprises the hell out of me. After a failed kidnapping attempt and a blown-up truck, he thinks, “This is so unfair!” Is he for real? Back to the story. Prepare for the culmination of Carl’s dreams as he leads his Legion of Terribles!; the Battle for Hightown! All is not lost, the leadership of Hightown has a plan. Of course, things never work out as one hopes. Treachery rears its ugly head and the plan backfires. Oh no! Will Hightown fall, what then? There is a twist or two remainings before we reach the epilogue of this thrilling series. You won’t be disappointed!

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  • Bob
  • 02-07-21

This book made me mad

The characters in this book actually made me mad! I could not take anymore self doubt, whining, self pity, vomiting and just not being a man in any definition. I Know all heroes have a soft side but the heroes should have a hard side someplace as well. These guys disserve to get killed. As soon as someone or something looked at them mean they ran away crying and have a self identity crises. Yeah, this book put me a a real bad mood. I only got about 5 hours in but I can't take it anymore. Sorry, and the narrator reads like he is reporting the sport news. Get it at your own risk.

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  • Jen
  • 29-06-21

TERRIBLY NARRATED

I couldn’t even pay attention to the story based on the narrator. It felt like someone reading headlines of a newspaper. I quite listening after 20 minutes.

3 people found this helpful

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  • MalloryZ
  • 20-05-21

The best dystopian series out there!

This is one of the more believable post-apocalyptic storylines. It begins two years after society collapses, and what starts as a survival story, gets way more in depth. The characters are great, and the bad guys are pure evil. Anyone who likes great storytelling will enjoy this series, even if they don't usually like dystopian fare.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ritchey
  • 14-07-21

fantastic series.

I'm glad I used a credit on this. it was worth it. story was never dull.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph S Tralongo
  • 25-06-21

The reader is the worst!!!

To be honest, I was only able to listen to 11 minutes and 23 seconds before I had to stop it. The reader sounds like he wrote out each sentence and recorded them one at a time . No feeling or inflection of the voice,trying his best to sound like a robo call . And then the character voices are a weak impersonation of Gomer Pyle . I couldn’t take it . I’m sure it’s a good story, but I would be wishing for the apocalypse if I had to spend 33 hours listening to this guy .

2 people found this helpful

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  • kupbear
  • 20-05-21

Terrible

I forced myself to read the entire series. What a waste if a credit.
A depressing read and sometimes just disgusting. If there had been more about the characters and not all the horrible violence. I read slot of post apocalypse books this one was a total waste.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon Starr
  • 12-05-21

LOVE THIS BOOK!!!

Wish it would never end. So meaningful, interesting, exciting, loving among families and friends. Excellent!!

2 people found this helpful