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surprisingly, i actually enjoyed this zombie story very much!
don't let the audio sample affect your decision! the sample isn't a good reflection of the story. i wrote a sample below.
anyhooo...i was in a zombie mood after listening to day by day armageddon 3, shattered hourglass, and being disappointed by it (see my review if you like). so, i saw this book surprisingly had a 4 star rating. so, i decided to give it a try. and to my surprise, this was a pretty good story.
the 1st 30 minutes are kind of slow- explaining why the family is in alaska- they vacation there every 2 years. but it picks up from there when they bring the bitten martin to the hospital. it is a great 1st infection scene. the author does aa good job building the tension as the 1st infected person comes back to life. after that, it is an exciting melee as more become infected, and the uninfected don't know what to do initially- help, fight, flee? they don't know what they're dealing with so their actions are believable. this seemed realistic to me. for instance, a couple of cops come in as the dead are attacking the living in the middle of the hospital. the cops yell and holler for everybody to break up the utter madness. not knowing what else to do, they reluctantly fire their guns in the air, but this only attracts the dead to them.
the story revolves around the 1st 48-72 hours of the outbreak, which is very well done. it's creepy b/c the infected start to escape at 7 in the morning. while most people are getting ready for the day, the infected attack.
the story revolves around a few groups of survivors, who eventually find each other, which does not seem to be pushed for plot sake but believable in a small town.
emma, dr. caldwell , and officer malachi ivanof are escapees from the hospital.
jerry, danny, jules also escape the hospital but in a different direction. jerry is a 19 yr old geek who works in the hospital. he is assigned to help danny, 10, and jules, 8, get some mysterious pictures of what the kids say is a caveman off jules' camera so the doc can see what bit martin. don't be put off by kids in a zombie novel. lol the author uses them well and in a believable manner.
neil is at work early hoping to get a chance of catching a glimpse of laney, a girl who works on the floor above him who he has a crush on. instead, he witnesses one of the 1st attacks out side of the hospital. megan is on the phone and doesn't notice what's going on as she walks toward the building, but the zombies notice her. as they turn to the new flesh, she finally sees them and runs back to her car, in her panic, she drops her keys and all she can do is lock herself in her car. neil, totally panicked, can't even warn her. he just freezes.
tony and kim are best friends. kim always falls for the wrong type of guy. she falls for tony, but he's gay. lol
the sequences are broken up by scenes of other survivors, e.g. firefighters arriving at the burning hospital, police trying to figure out what they're responding to and how, the local u.s. army trying to secure different areas.
overall, i really enjoyed this story. the dialog seemed real and not forced. i actually liked the cast of characters. the author does a good job building tension, whether it's the 1st time venturing out among the dead or slowly being surrounded by the dead. the author also does a good job describing the power of a horde of zombies- a real plus in my book.
i liked this book good enough to begin downloading the 2nd before the 1st ended. yes...it does end in a cliffhanger, but how many don't these days? lol
if you're a zombie fan, definitely give this one a try!
From ½ way through the story:
“preceding the masses was the sound of a freight train. the noise, corralled as it was by the mountains, grew in intensity with each passing collective breath of the awaiting soldiers until they could all feel it. trying to be heard above the din, the major used a bull horn to talk. adhering to his training, he calmly said to the mob, "disperse," and then, "ladies and gentleman, this is the u.s. army. we require you to disperse and return to your homes at once." taking a deep breath, the major almost pleaded, "please turn around and return to anchorage, or else i will be forced to order my men to open fire." hearing the loud voice and seeing the soldiers, the crowd only became more agitated and grew louder. their hungry drowns becoming ravenous growls. they were a scant few hundred yards away when the major ordered his men to fire warning shots over their heads. several other soldiers fired tear gas into the bedraggled ranks as well. none of which had the slightest impact on the throng's progress. as if it knew its potential to turn a bad dream into a nightmare just by its presence, the smoke from the gas canisters clung to the ground and reluctantly rose up in dissipating, swirling mists, fading like second guesses. the major licked his lips and got a full dose of salty fear.”
“ he then ordered, "ok boys. let 'em have it!" there wasn't a moment's hesitation. every gun in the firing line begun to chatter and spit- the sound a kin to a chainsaw cutting into a log. instead, it was cutting into the lines of people coming at them. to the major's amazement, the first mixed and disordered rank was hurled back, but the majority of those hit were back on their feet almost at once to re-join the others as they continued forward despite the storm of lead lashing into them. through his binoculars, the major could see with magnified clarity that the bullets his men were shooting were finding their marks. there was a steady, red, misty cloud that hung about the perpetually changing front rank as bullets punched holes in chests, arms, and legs. there was something very wrong. his men were expending huge amounts of ammunition, and a mere handful off bodies were lying lifeless on the road. despite their best efforts , they couldn't stop the rush.”
That’s good writing and storytelling to me!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Title threw me off. I had silly visions of frozen zombies or something. Alaska as a place doesn't really matter as a setting. The story is urban zombie survival and sticks to it right from the first bite.
Through the excellent narrator, you live through the realistic progression of the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of different people as it takes place across the city. The ones that survive eventually find each other. Regular people step up, characters develop, tragedy happens. The story has pretty much everything.
There are only a couple of perhaps stupid things that happen. Like obviously you're supposed to land a helicopter _before_ you run out of gas. And why didn't they just leave the crazy guy at the house?
But just small stuff, almost everything in the book is pretty credible. Its not quite up there with some of my favorites yet, but I'm going to give it full stars because I think it's on its way if it didn't end with the cliff hangar.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful