Benton: A Zombie Novel: Volume One : Benton

  • by Jolie Du Pre
  • Narrated by Angie Hickman
  • Series: Benton
  • 2 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Zombies have killed everyone in the Benton household - all except 20-something Jennifer. She's escaped her bedroom, but what now? Waterbank, Illinois, is overrun. Where can she go?
A chance encounter with seven other young survivors points her toward Texas. A charismatic, handsome young man named Mark says he can lead them all to his family's ranch. He's sure they'll be safe there. Jennifer wants to trust him, with her life and possibly her heart.
There's no place else to go, there's no way to escape the zombies but through, and there's no telling if Jennifer and Mark will live long enough to act on the emotion building between them.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

a straightforward post-apocalyptic journey

If you are a fan of television shows like The Vampire Diaries, Dawson’s Creek, or movies like Mean Girls or Twilight… you’re probably going to love Benton: A Zombie Novel volume one by Jolie Du Pre . Perhaps even more so because it’s a short listen at just about two and a half hours.

Benton is advertised as a young adult dystopian novel so I went into the listening of it as such. The story’s protagonist is a teenaged girl from Illinois named Jennifer Benton who is the daughter of a survivalist. When the story begins her family has been devoured by the dead, and she must leave home and find shelter, food and safety on her own. The first book in the series chronicles her early struggles with that journey, and her chance encounter with a group of teenaged survivors that she joins.

In terms of plot and execution Benton is a fine book. While the story doesn’t go anywhere unexpected, it doesn’t disappoint as a result. It’s a straightforward post-apocalyptic journey with all the troubles and trials you’d expect. There are jerk survivors, jerk zombies, a little bit of guns and gore, and difficult decisions being made as the group gets strong-armed by a member into a trip south to warmer Texas for safety and to reunite with friends and family, despite the odds of making it there.

I did find the language of the book to be a little troubling in the light that it is supposed to be young adult. There were well over a dozen uses of the f-bomb, as well as many other sections of crude language as well as a very strangely placed oral sex encounter later in the story that felt… shall we say inserted… to play on the romantic notions of teenaged readers. If you’re a parent with a teen that wants to read this book, be advised the language and sex felt much more mature to me. Closer to the 16-19 age range than the 13-15 year olds. I wasn’t impressed with how the relationship was portrayed (think; silly crush for shallow reasons that turns sexual quickly), but then again I’m not a teenaged girl trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.

The characters are decently portrayed, the dialogue is suitable for the most part, and the book is reasonably well done.

The prose is very easy to read and arguably has been written too simply to inspire. Adjectives are plain and the action scenes especially suffer. There are frequent exchanges like; “I shot the zombie. It fell.” Not much to inspire the imagination in terms of descriptive text. It felt to me as I listened to be a book written in the zombie genre to try and capture the Twilight audience.

If you’re looking for light post-apocalyptic fare that plays it a bit safe on the gore and is suitable for later-year teenagers, Benton is a fine choice.

Having said that the recording by Angie Hickman is excellent. She uses considerable talent to bounce between characters and bring life to the book and reads at a rather quick pace that felt easy to follow, and should easily grab the attention of younger and older readers alike. I’ll be looking forward to her reading other stories, and I’m looking forward to listening to her narrate Benton’s second volume.

Audiobook provided for review by the author.

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- AudioBook Reviewer "All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com"

A decent zombie story

Where does Benton: A Zombie Novel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's a quick listen, with mild gore and some interesting characters. Definitely not as deep as many of the other zombie books I have listened to, but it was still enjoyable. There are many different characters with different motives all tossed together and it works.


Which character – as performed by Angie Hickman – was your favorite?

Angie Hickman did a good job with different voices, and made the annoying character have an annoying voice. Is it wrong to want a character to die because you don't like the voice? Since Katie has a tendency to freeze up, I don't see her lasting all that long in a future book.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did listen to it in one sitting, multiple times.


Any additional comments?

This audio book was provided by the author for an honest review.

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- jami

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-24-2014
  • Publisher: Precious Monsters Press