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Editorial Reviews

A conscience is a terrible thing to waste.
Steppenwolf Company and Chicago Shakespeare Theater veteran Scott Aiello performs the initial work in the Clayfield series, featuring a reasonable man - the director of a nonprofit museum in a small Kentucky town - trying to survive insanely unreasonable times. The virus that was once a small blip of foreign news exploded into a global pandemic invading even his small corner of the world. To survive, he must transform from a soft, sensitive man who cares about killing even those forms that threaten his life into a hardened murderer ready to take what he needs, wherever he finds it, and suppress any shreds of decency left that might work against keeping him alive.
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Publisher's Summary

On a cold February day in the small town of Clayfield, Kentucky, an unsuspecting and unprepared museum director finds himself in the middle of hell on earth. A pandemic is spreading around the globe, and it’s turning most of the residents of Clayfield into murderous zombies. Having no safe haven to which he can flee, the director decides to stick it out near his hometown and wait for the government to send help.
But the disease and those infected are not his only concerns. He must also contend with armed gangs, strife within his group, his own lack of skills… and his conscience.
There are tough decisions to be made if he is to survive. But if he is smart - and a little lucky - he can do more than survive; he can live like a king.
©2011, 2013 Shane Gregory (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"One of the best survivalist horror stories I've read in quite a while.... This is a tale that is well worth reading." (Jeff Jellets, Territorial Disaster Coordinator for The Salvation Army)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Mike Naka on 07-31-13

surprisingly good

What about Scott Aiello’s performance did you like?

the narration is very good. the narrator has a smooth voice, and he's easy to listen to. i found it easy to distinguish the different male characters he portrays, and he even does female voices well!

Any additional comments?

DON'T be put off by the title and cover art! chessiness aside, this is a solid zombie tale! definitely in the top 10 i've listened to so far. i actually liked it that much!

the story is told in the first person by our nameless protagonist. he's not a survivalist nor has he any military background, which i found refreshing. instead, the main character is an out of shape, 30 something museum director. he's unprepared and has no ready supplies,
except a submarine sandwich and a few packets of ketchup. he's kind of a loner and is preparing for a senior citizen's tour when the canton b virus hits his small town.

the author does a good job developing the characters as the story progresses. the main character's gradual transformation is believable. he makes mistakes, which is refreshing. a few times, i found myself talking aloud- you idiot...why didn't you...i was totally engrossed in the story.

the supporting characters are also given the time to develop, and they aren't the typical cardboard cut out supporting cast. they definitely add to the story.

this story has a mix of zombies- the slow, shambling kind and the quick kind. there are lulls in the zombie action, and the author wisely uses this time to develop his characters. this is more than just a zombie story. it's also a story about how to survive when civilization collapses.

this is the first in a series, and the ending really surprised me. i didn't think the author would go that way, but he did.

overall, a surprisingly excellent addition to your zombie library.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By crazybatcow on 12-15-15

Bumped it a star for good writing

Okay. I've given this an extra star because, for a zombie novel, it's actually very well written. The characters behave normally and respond believably and, while there are the typical post-apocalyptic "bad guys" who use the ZA to feed their personal egos (and I'm not convinced such azzhats would be this numerous post-apocalypse)... for the most part the characters seem realistic.

There was one scene where an otherwise strong and capable woman throws a hissy-fit because her "man" of 5 whole days might or might not be looking at the only other female survivor "in that way" - this stereotypical behaviour felt extremely out of place in this novel. Dunno why he felt the need to make her come across as so petty, but... the novel in general is still way less misogynistic than nearly every other zombie book I've read.

The other little issue is how most of the book was written as if the characters had never heard of the nature of zombies before - for example, there are many many scenes where they are "baffled" as to where the "people" they shot went, or how they didn't "die" from a gunshot wound or two. The main character plays video games, and was aware of the existence of zombie movies, so why this hesitance to acknowledge that the people they "killed" got back up because, I dunno, they were zombies?

If it looks like a duck...

So, why did I give this more than 4 stars? Well, because the characters are well-written, the ZA is a little different from the typical one, the main character is not some super hero, there is no gun porn or herding/raping of women...and those people who do "bad things", like try to herd women for reproduction, are actually shown to be "bad guys", not the norm in a ZA world. And, probably most importantly, I didn't want to put the book down until I finished it...

The narration is very good. There is no sex or gore and I don't recall much swearing. I bought the rest of the series from Audible.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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