Sean Runnette: voice of Zombie Fallout and Lycan Fallout. R.C. Bray: voice of Arisen and Mountain Man. Two award-winning zombie narrators go head to head! Each given one of Nicholas Ryan's highly praised zombie apocalypse standalone stories. There can be only one survivor. Which narrator is the baddest and bloodiest? 1. Dead Rage When Steve Bannon and the crew of the fishing boat, Mandrake, sailed into Grey Stone harbor, they arrived into the very jaws of a zombie war. The zombie apocalypse has overtaken the coastal town, and Bannon must fight for his own survival in a horrific world filled with unimaginable peril and betrayal...at the highest, and the most personal levels. Dead Rage is a white-knuckled ride into the frenzied terror of the zombie apocalypse, where friends become enemies and every step is a life-and-death struggle. 2. Die Trying Trapped amidst the horror of the zombie apocalypse, three men hear the sound of a helicopter overhead and know it represents their last desperate hope to survive the terror and reach safety. But survival comes at a cost - and the zombie war that ravages the world is not the only lurking evil the men must face. For Mitch Logan, his brother, Jed, and their friend, Clinton Harrigan, there is no choice. They must fight to survive...or die trying.
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Narrator Battle As soon as I saw this in, Coming Soon, I put it in my wish list. The first day it came out, I bought it and the next two days, I listened to it. Why? Because I believe who is chosen to be a narrator makes a big deal. A narrator can make you or break you, when it comes to audible sales. I don't know how many times I have waited for a good book to get recorded and then to read the reviews and find out the book has been ruined by a narrator. I also have been pleasantly surprised the other way. Some of the narrators that often tip me in the favor of buying a book are (in no particular order), Ray Porter, Christian Rummel, George Guidall, Richard Poe, Dick Hill, Anne Flosnik, Wil Wheaton, Kate Mulgrew, and Will Patton.
Sean Runnette I knew before hand that I would not be voting for Runnette. I have never hated him, just never thought he was right for Horror. Runnette has a patronizing or comforting voice that just doesn't seem right for this genre. I have joked in the past that he should be the spokesman for Country Time Lemonade. He will describe a gory scene like he is talking about his grandchildren. What I discovered in this contest, is that he at least keeps your attention. The last thing I want to do is spend money on a book and find that while listening, I am thinking about doing dishes or mowing the lawn. This was not a well written book, yet I listened to every word. That takes talent. Sean Runnette is Michael Talbot. (I hate Talbot)
R.C Bray Bray is The Mountain Man and narrator for The Martian. When Bray describes a gory scene it will seem gory. He has a rough gravely voice and he knows how to emphasis the words in a way to make you go, Yuck!!. Bray does great as The Mountain Man, which is a very well written book, but I found that when he is reading a poorly written book, not so well. Ryan's writing is mostly narration and has very little character discussion. 95% is first person character thinking to himself. In Die Trying, I found my mind wondering. I would catch myself and think, I must concentrate and before you knew it, the book was just background noise. So, even though I originally thought Bray's voice was better, he did not hold my attention as well as Runnette.
Nicholas Ryan Ryan has two other books at audible. One of them has a 3.3 rating and the other a 3.8. I found his writing to be simplistic. There is no science and little imagination. I listened to all of Dead Rage and it was mostly one blood scene after another. Ryan is another author that thinks if you write the word blood over and over it will be scary. King and Koontz are the masters at scary and you will not find everything described as bloody in there books. It takes for ever for the story to happen. In the first book, I almost gave up after two hours, but then a guy got bitten and turned into a half Zombie. I thought that was an interesting hook, and I listened all the way. Although the half Zombie was important to the story, little was done to describe his way of seeing things. Matter of fact shortly after he turned, he was taken out of the story for several hours. I also did not understand why everyone in the story had to be an ahole. The wife was an interesting character. I only listened to an hour and a half of the second book. Like the first book, everything happened very slowly. It took an hour for a helicopter to crash. Having suffered the previous day through book one, I had not the patience to do it a second day in a row.
This is a great concept and I hope to see more, with better writers.
- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."
Between the two books, my favorite was Die Trying
Book 1 – Dead Rage. Fishermen returning from a storm filled fishing trip and a hull full of fish discover their town on fire. Rushing to help and discover what is going on, they find that not only is their town on fire but there are hundreds of the walking dead! Bannon and Sully together try to find Bannon’s wife only to have Sully bitten and Bannon whisked off to a military compound. Because of Sully’s special situation, the military want him and send Bannon and a special team to recover him. Bannon is in for a huge surprise as Sully reveals some personal secrets that send Bannon over the edge.
Dead Rage is an excellently written book with well-developed characters and a solid plot. The ending was excellent! Loved the twist! Nicholas is vivid in his descriptions and situations.
Book 2 – Die Trying. Two brothers (Mitch and Jeb) and a stranger (Clinton) are trapped in a suburban neighborhood filled with zombies. The two brothers have personal issues that will result in one of them dying – slowly and painfully. Then there is the helicopter that is going to crash land in the middle of the zombie infested block. The brothers rush to the helicopter hoping for an escape only to find it crash landed and the pilot dead. They are able to rescue a man and his daughter.
Die Trying is well-written with a strong plot and characters that come alive. Nicholas Ryan does an excellent job of reminding us that humankind is far worse than any zombie or creature that could be. Loved his use of imagery and vivid descriptions! The twist at the end leaves me wanting more!
Between the two books, my favorite was Die Trying. I think both narrators did an excellent job but were assigned the wrong the story. Sean Runnette is my favorite narrator by a long shot but if I were choosing the story and the narrator it would have to be R.C. Bray. They both had passion but there was more room for passion to be demonstrated in the second book. Both did an excellent job of narrating.
I recommend this audio to anyone with a love of all things zombie!
Production was excellent – no issues at all.
Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.
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