Ground Zero : The Becoming

  • by Jessica Meigs
  • Narrated by Christian Rummel
  • Series: The Becoming
  • 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One year after the Michaluk Virus decimated the southeast, Ethan Bennett and his six companions have become as close as family while facing the trials of living in a drastically changed world. Then a mysterious woman arrives at their safe house in Alabama, pleading for assistance in getting into Atlanta. Despite their suspicions that the woman is hiding important information, Ethan and his friends agree to help. But when they’re suddenly forced to flee from the infected, the cohesion the group cultivated is shattered.
As members of the group succumb to the escalating dangers on their path, new alliances form, new loves develop, and old friendships crumble. In the face of unending horror, one man is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends, while another reveals secrets that could hold the key to humanity’s survival.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Award-winning voice actor Christian Rummel delivers a thrilling performance of the post-apocalyptic thriller Ground Zero, the second book in Jessica Meigs’s series The Becoming. His resonant voice creates an intimate atmosphere for this disquieting tale of death and destruction. One year has elapsed since the outbreak of the deadly Michaluk Virus. Ethan Bennett and six other survivors have forged a close relationship and live together in a safe house. Their fragile world is threatened when a strange woman appears, asking for help to reach Atlanta. Chaos ensues.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

the ending made up for the rest of the story

Any additional comments?


first of all, let me say i'm a sucker for zombie books. i'll give any z-book a chance. i downloaded the becoming 2 b/c the first book was entertaining enough. my biggest caveat was the "believability." yes, i'm using the word, "believability," when reviewing a "zombie" story. LOL

well after listening to the becoming 2, i'm still annoyed by the "believability" of the characters' actions. what do i mean? glad you asked! LOL ok...the dead come back to life and start eating people. you lose friends and family. it's a really emotional time. i get it! i feel you. LOL so if you lose you s#!t, i get it. but if you keep losing control of yourself, i'll drop you like a bad habit. sorry, that's just the way it is in a zombie apocylapse. i might not shoot you, but i'll definitely coldcock you, especially if you're my friend, and ESPECIALLY if there are zombies around! LOL

this is what i don't get! ethan was a cop, cade was an idf soldier, and brandt was a marine. why the heck can't they keep their cool? they're supposed to be some of the most disciplined people. throughout the story, they lose control of themselves and yell and holler at each other- e.g. in their safehouse, on the highway, etc...

now, i don't know about you, but i "believe" i would be as quiet as i could in my SAFEHOUSE and on the highway, especially if i was on foot! these outbursts in the worst possible places affect the "believability" of the story.

ok mike...what about the rest of it? alight, i'll tell you if you hold your horses! LOL the becoming 2 picks up about a year after the first book ends, ethan and his team have become somewhat famous for saving people. a mysterious woman named avi shows up, and she wants ethan and his team to escort her to atlanta to find out what the gov't is hiding about the zombie outbreak. as the team heads to atlanta, brandt starts to reveal more about himself and what happened.

the story is bookended with action. as a zombie story, it's ok. what kept my interest were the mysteries around the zombies- e.g. how did this happen, what else is brandt hiding, and why are some of the zombies smarter than others?

like i said, i'm a sucker for zombie books. LOL will i get the 3rd book that's coming out soon? yes! why? b/c the ending of this book hooked me.

however that's not saying that there's still a lot wrong with the story. there's not a lot of zombie action, but there is a lot of inter-personal conflict, which gets tiring. there's no sense of dread from the zombies. there's no zombie hoard to fight or flee from.

overall if you liked the first book, it's more of the same. if you didn't, then come back and read my review when the 3rd book comes out (end of may 2013), and i'll let you know if it's worth listening to book 2.

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- Mike Naka "Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL"

Even More Tension Than the Original

It’s been a year since the Michaluk Virus changed the world, and Evan, Cade and their small group have found a way to survive despite the constant threat of the undead. Yet, when a mysterious woman shows up, and asks for their help to travel to Atlanta, to the CDC headquarters where the virus began, some see the opportunity as a chance for purpose, while others see it simply as a Suicide mission. And for Brandt Evans, the stoic former marine who barely escaped Atlanta after the initial outbreak, it’s a trip back into his greatest nightmare. The Becoming: Ground Zero is the sequel to Meigs excellent debut novel The Becoming, yet, instead of sticking with the tried and true it makes a big change in tone and focus. While The Becoming was a fast paced Zombie Outbreak novel that focused on surviving and adaptation, Meigs slows down the pace and focuses more on the interplay between the characters in Ground Zero. Now, I am never one who gets excited by romance in Zombie novels, usually it seems forced and uncomfortable. While there is a touch of heavy handed romanticism in Ground Zero, for the most part it comes off organically, and actually serves the plot. Meigs has a knack for straight forward characterization that never glamorizes, but portrays realistic reactions to a devastating world. Almost every one of the main characters frustrated me at some point, but in a way that only proved how engaged I was in their struggle. Plus, I like that Meigs characters actually make mistakes, often stupid ones, but manage to learn from them. Unlike many sequels which are just ramped up versions of the original, Meigs actually ramps down the violence through most of the book, yet made it feel somewhat more ominous. And all the character development, mysterious situations, and mood creation pays off in a killer ending that had me wanting the next edition right now. The Becoming: Ground Zero succeeds where many follow ups fail, by changing the tone and slowing down the pace, Meigs actually manages to create even more tension than the original. It’s not an easy ride, with devastating emotion and heartbreak as we become more and more attach to these characters in an extremely unpredictable world. Full of mystery, intrigue and even some romance, The Becoming is a series I want to devour like a lone weaponless survivor in a horde of the undead.

Christian Rummel again brings his talents for characterizations and plotting to the world of The Becoming. One thing that Rummel really managed to do well in his performance of The Becoming: Ground Zero was to really find the dark humor that Meigs has infused this tale with. Meigs snappy dialogue and clever turns of phrase are really brought to life by Rummel’s reading, evoking plenty of audible laughs from me. Rummel also masterfully handles some really devastatingly emotional moments that I can’t go deeper into without spoiling some key moments in this tale. I will say though, I didn’t cry. I am a big, manly man, who doesn’t cry, especially as he’s driving home late at nigh on a particularly curvy road that follows Neshaminy Creek. Tears would have been far too reckless. I did have one small quibbling complaint, and that was in the opening of the book. Meigs used a diary entry by a new character to remind us of the world she created, Rummel read this in his narrative voice, and not in the character’s voice. It really doesn’t change much for the performance, just a little personal quibble of mine that most readers probably wouldn’t even notice. The Becoming: Ground Zero is a wonderful expansion of Meigs world, expertly delivered by Christian Rummel.
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- Robert "I am an audiobook enthusiast who reviews audiobooks for his blog, The Guilded Earlobe. You can find me on Twitter @guildedearlobe talking about zombies, robots, monkeys and audiobooks."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-31-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios