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Publisher's Summary

A dense black cloud boiled up in the southeastern sky. It rose high and fast, like a time-lapse movie of the birth of a thunderhead. But it was no rain cloud. Wholly black, it reached up and up until it loomed over her, blocking out the sun. Somehow, she knew, it was Death coming for her.
Pre-med student Coral is on vacation in Idaho when something terrible happens. The black cloud is followed by a wildfire and searing heat that lasts for days. She survives deep in a cave but emerges days later to find the world transformed, with blackened trees, an ash-filled sky, and no living creatures stirring - except for her.
So begins her desperate journey to find water and food and other survivors...and the answer to the mystery of what happened.
Note: This is a combined edition of Gray I, Gray II, and Gray III.
©2017 Lou Cadle (P)2017 Podium Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Christen Doc on 11-09-17

Promising but ultimately tedious

The author is truly compelling when writing about the nitty gritty of survival in this post-apocalyptic future. This is most of the first 2/3 of the book. But whenever the plot takes us beyond that into some society it falls apart and becomes cartoonish, almost laughably so. There's no nuance to the secondary characters and antagonists, they are straw men that the main characters can judge, defeat and leave behind. It gets very tedious. And by the end I was so sick of the holier-than-thou attitude of the main characters that I was eager to end the whole thing. In fact I didn't bother with the last hour because it was so annoying and boring. The narration is actually solid throughout, better than the story deserved.

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29 of 29 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kurt Schwoppe on 11-05-17

Great Story - Superb Value

When comparing entertainment value to story length, Gray: The Complete Collection cannot be beat. Being kind of cheap, I prefer spending credits on longer books, and this was a 24 hour listen fest that I simply could not put down. The combined talents of Lou Cadle and Lauren Fortgang ensured I wasn't disappointed.

For 2017, I've been binge listening to Post Apocalyptic books, and this book is right up there with the best of them. For me, plausibility is a big deal - I like real people solving real problems. I think the author did a great job creating believable situations that held my interest. This is also the first Post Apocalyptic book I've read that was written from the perspective of a woman. Many of the scenes involve her struggling with self-doubts, but always becoming the strong woman at the right time. This may sound tedious, but I felt the way it was written helped embellish the storyline. Some may also feel that the main characters were a bit too lucky, but in this new World you make your own luck, and that's what they did. Overcoming one obstacle after another as the World grew ever bleaker truly holds your interest.

Please don't be put off by my 4 star review. This book is well written and highly entertaining, which most people value (I certainly do). To get a 5th star, a book has to have meaningfulness - it has to make me think. While Gray has some thought provoking situations, at the end of the day, it's a standard overcome all odds type of book. Lauren Fortgang is also, by far, the best female narrator I've listened to; able to read multiple male and female characters equally well. So, if you like the Post Apocalyptic Genre without any zombies, then Gray: The Complete Collection is definitely one that needs to be in your Audible Library.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By S. Ascough on 12-02-17

A bleak apocolypse

Did you read The Road and think it was just too cheerful? Then this is the book for you!
This is a remarkably bleak apocolypse - unlike most end of the world scenarios there's almost nothing left just lying around for the survivors to utilise. This is a gripping story of survival with an excellent narrator.
I dropped a couple of stars, as occasionally I felt there was too little curiosity by the characters about certain situations. This was obviously essential to keeping the sense of mystery, but wasn't that well written, and strained credulity too much.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Erika on 09-13-17

Captivating disaster survival story

Would you listen to Gray again? Why?

Yes, definitely. This writer creates a compelling narrative that keeps the reader's attention. The characters have personality that I could relate to, although as a work of fiction the writer does take some liberties with caricature. I loved the excitement and mystery concerning what had caused the event that now appeared to disrupt perhaps most of the world. We still don't know how much of the world was affected. I will look for more books by this writer.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gray?

The book had many memorable and exciting moments and to state them might spoil the story for the next reader. The characters' struggle for survival following the event, was it nuclear or was it some natural disaster event, the characters didn't know to begin with, and it's only hinted at. The reader draws a conclusion on what may have caused the event.

What does Lauren Fortgang bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The best thing about an audio book is that you can get on with chores whilst listening. The narrator had a pleasant voice and an accent that I found comfortable to my English ear. An American accent, but not an overly strong accent. An American accent was appropriate for this book, as events are based in the USA.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Oh I wish some producer would. The earth burned.

Any additional comments?

I really recommend this book.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Rebecca on 09-23-17

Very Entertaining Story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm not sure. Although I really enjoyed this book, I can see how others might not enjoy it for all the reasons I did. It certainly wasn't edge of your seat fiction, and I could put it down and go back to it without too much drama. I liked it's steady pace and thorough descriptions, its characters and how they survived.

What other book might you compare Gray to, and why?

I haven't listed to any other books like Gray, however since I enjoyed it so much I have now purchased another book dealing with survival which I am really looking forward to listening too.

Have you listened to any of Lauren Fortgang’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not yet

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really, it didn't seem to be that type of book. It was more thought provoking.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Lauren on 09-08-17

As fun as watching two people starve in real time.

I'll be honest i only made it 5 hours into this, when i saw there were 20 hours to go i gave up. I'm a long-distance driver and i love audiobooks, best thing to keep me awake plus i get to read at work. But i just couldn't slog through this one, i figure 5 hours is enough time to get me hooked. I saw one reviewer described it as Walking Dead without the zombies and they are right although they meant it positively and i don't. It's literally someone stumbling around the wasteland getting hungrier and hungrier encountering issues. Maybe it picks up, maybe it's the most amazing reveal as to the cause of the apocalypse but i'll never know.
If you liked The Road i'm sure you'll love this but it was too dull to keep me awake.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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