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What made the experience of listening to The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set the most enjoyable?
This was the sweetest little nugget I have discovered in audible. Nicholas Sansbury Smith is one of the most talented fictional writers of our time and he weaves incredibly intricate details into his dark apocalyptic world. Imagine my amazement when I discovered three of the first Extinction Cycle series books rolled into one 25 hour long adventure. Hell yeah I was in for the long haul. The first three books grip you with some much gut wrenching force that you'll buying the rest of the books before you finish the set. Smith's stories have a way of immersing the reader into the story so deep that its hard to snap back to real life and to me that's the best kind of books. Bronson Pinchot is a great voice actor and did a better performance of this story than RC Bray could have done.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
4.5 out of 5 stars
Book One: Extinction Horizon
They thought they had a cure for ebola -- what they did have was so much worse. The potential cure ends up turning the ebola patients into crazed monsters out for flesh and blood. Beckham and his Delta Force team thought they'd seen it all when they were called to check out an off-the-grid research center where the virus was being tested. They had no idea what they were walking into.
The narration of Extinction Horizon was done by Bronson Pinchot who does a really nice job. This book is gritty and at times nasty -- having Pinchot narrate it really helped move some of the goriest parts along. My only complaint was that either the author or narrator never looked up or have ever read a book with USAMRIID in it -- even if you jump over to the Wikipedia page about it, you'll quickly see that it's commonly referred to as "you-sam-rid" -- every time Pinchot said it, he said every letter. And it was said enough times that it started to get on my nerves by the end. If you didn't know that or just honestly don't know/care it won't both you at all.
This story was good. Smith really went into detail about the virus (which I really enjoyed) giving the readers a lot of background on the why and the how. A lot of times, books like these will skip over these details because they think they're not needed or take too long to explain, but I'm glad that Smith took a while explaining it. The science behind everything he wrote seemed real to me, which makes this an even scarier book.
The action in this book was brutal. Lots of quick scenes with brutal and needed gore. This is one of those books that I wouldn't have expected anything less. I knew that it was going to be a gore-fest, but Smith made it feel needed.
I thought that the characters were well thought out and explained. Sure some of them are just army hardasses, but there are also people who care and act on emotion rather than on instinct. Even the way that he wrote about the infected people felt emotional and real.
Overall, Extinction Horizon was a great introduction to this absolutely terrifying world, and I'm glad that I'll be reading at least 2 more books in the same world. I also completely understand why there is an entire world open for writers in the Kindle Worlds for this series. There is just so much to cover. So many places and angles that Smith couldn't cover in 10 books if he tried.
Book Two: Extinction Edge
This book was intense. I mean it, I couldn't believe how much that Smith crammed into this. It seemed like anytime it was going to let up, the opposite happened. Every time I thought someone was safe, they were thrown back into the fire.
The variants and those infected with the Hemorrhage Virus are now evolving incredibly quickly. To the point where the Delta Force soldiers who think they have everything figure out will be thrown for a loop or two.
The evolving of the characters (both human and variant) was fascinating to read. I love watching someone change in front of my eyes. Whether that be a monster evolving into a better killer or a character evolving into a better person within the pages of the book. It's one of my favorite things in books, and Smith gave me a ton of it in Extinction Edge.
The storytelling was a little different in this one. It's much more focused on action and involvement, and a lot less on the actual virus. Granted the ebola virus is mostly gone and what's left are ever changed variants.
Overall, the book was 100mph almost entirely throughout. It was fast and gritty and very much needed. It was so quick I honestly couldn't believe it was over. And when I say over, I mean continued with the next book in the series.
This is also one of those books that I feel like I'm writing too much of a bland review for, but it's really hard to write a full-length review without giving every plot point of the book away.
Book Three: Extinction Age
The start of this book was crazy! Seriously, I don't want to give too much away, but holy cow. I wasn't sure how Smith was going to get the Delta Force soldiers out of the predicament they got themselves into.
The human element of this book was really well done. There was a lot of emotion attached to Extinction Age -- more than the second book had. The soldiers have more of a heart and realize that the people that they can't save are going to be torn apart in ruthless and unimaginable ways.
The story in Age was a good combination of military fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction with a little bit of bio-thriller thrown in. The combination of these different genres really made Extinction Age feel the same but different in this series. (I feel weird writing that, but it makes sense in my head).
The story ends on a cliffhanger and I know how many more books Smith has written. I definitely need a mini-break from these intense stories, but I'm sure I'll continue the series. I also want to check out more of the Kindle Worlds books that revolve around these stories (and I'm sure I'll understand them a lot better now).
Overall, Extinction Age (and the first three books in the Extinction Cycle series) was very good. I enjoyed them from beginning to end, and I'm definitely glad that I read them.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
I read a bad review which gave me concerns about the narrator before getting this, but I found it brilliant, really well read with engaging character voices and emotions. Great job. Getting the next one asap!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Enjoyed these books will be getting the next ones in the series great story well done
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Unfortunately the narrator uses only one tone throughout the entire story. This book pales in comparison after listening to books in series like 'Arisen', The Passage', and 'The Remaining'. If you haven't listened to those skip this and listen to them, more hours and better story.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful
Really starting to love this author. The narrator delivers an emotional, wonderful and intense performance.