The Death will find you... Devin Chase was just living his life, when the world changed in an instant. In the matter of a week a deadly virus known as The Death ravages the world killing over 90% of those infected. After six months in a self-imposed quarantine, he emerges into a new world. As he travels, he discovers others like him who are immune, but he also discovers that the world he knew is gone. It has been replaced with a savage and brutal one where the only rule is kill or be killed. Lori Roberts a mother, wife and business woman finds her world turned upside down from The Death. Her and what remains of her family travel to a FEMA camp for help, but what starts as hope for her turns into horror once she discovers what is really happening.
Separated by thousands of miles but connected by the same desire, both Devin and Lori will do what is necessary to survive.
©2014 John W. Vance (P)2014 John W. Vance
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"Ho-hum... wait, I am awake, honest!"
Direct quote: "I love the rotunda, specifically the large pillars that line it at the base; it is very strong-looking" the Chancellor said.
Very strong looking, huh... perhaps the author could invest in a thesaurus?
I think part of the problem is that there is no inherent suspense... unlike a zombie outbreak, or even a traditional viral outbreak, this entire story occurs post-apocalypse and everyone left is already "immune"... so what are they running from? Oh right, "bad people".
The other part of the problem is that the author "tells" us everything. "Devan was scared" "The mayor was angry".
Oh, and the 3rd part of the problem is that the author wanted to impart some political message and/or morals and, since he couldn't add it to the story line, he had the characters have impromptu "show-and-tells" about their political/moral leanings: for example, while waiting to see if they were going to be found and killed, this type of convo starts up: Him "How about I guess your political background" Her: "Okay" Him: "You're Conservative and gun-carrying" Her: "why would you say that" Him:"because you're from the Dakotas and you married a Marine" Her: "you're wrong" Him: "I don't want to get into an argument"... and so on... These conversations add nothing to the suspense, story line or plot and don't even advance the characterizations...
But, actually, the reason why I didn't enjoy this novel is because nothing happens. A couple people go from A to B and a GREAT CONSPIRACY is uncovered. That's it. No rationale, no excitement, no resolution/justice and, honestly, nobody cares.
The narrator was barely okay - he didn't make weird noises or anything, but he certainly didn't add any excitement to the story. There's no gore or overt violence, no gun porn, no sex... there were two or three f-bombs which, while clearly not excessive, seemed very out of place since they were the only swear words used, and they were, literally, only used 2-3 times throughout the novel. It felt like the author added them for "emphasis" just because he thought they should be there, not because it was a natural place for someone to swear.
I won't be reading any more in this series... just not worth the time investment.
I truly admire the narrator's ability to keep a straight face while reading dialogue like: "He's taken me prisoner and has insidious plans to rule the world." The story is a moronic right wing fantasy of evil liberals killing off 90% of the world's population to build a one-world government while shutting up most of the survivors into FEMA death camps. One-dimensional characters behave in preposterous ways to move along a storyline in which very little actually happens. Just dumb.
"Ooh, a good book"
So there are two tales going on here; the book switches rather rapidly between Devin and Lori but wasn't hard to keep track of things as the characters are kept to a minimal. Both are pretty dumb really, Lori is shielded in the FEMA camp, while Devin hid out for 6 months too terrified to face the changed world. Not dumb like it leaves you screaming at them in your head when they do stupid things, it's more as they are portrayed as naive, weak civilians. But they develop and there are other more talented characters.
There are survivors, raiders, cannibals are a crazy sect as fitting an apocalypse tale. Too bad no zombies :/. Hardly any scavenging or building fortifications. I was impressed by the twists in the story, I wasn't expecting several developments. Good story, I liked it!
Narrator isn't bad, but is challenged with female voices, getting slightly better towards the end. It's that kind of transvestite voice. Too bad for him there are so many female characters! I'd pay a couple of bucks more if audible books had two narrators, one male, one female.
"Review of The Death"
First off I think it only fair to say I was provided with a free copy of the book so that I could post a review. So with that being said here is my review.
In any review I really do not like to write about the content of the book just because you usually get all that from the editors notes or the description from where you are buying it. Plus it is really hard to cover the content of the book without giving away key points and plot twists. So I will keep my review to basic aspects about the story line an very little about the actually story itself. From the title and the genre you should by know this is a book about an apocalyptic event that befalls the world in the form of a virus being released.
One of the first things I liked about the book is that you are not barraged by a myriad of characters in this book. When you read A Song of Fire and Ice by George RR Martin you are introduced to so many characters it is almost impossible to keep them all straight (an before all you Game of Thrones fan boy start ragging on me….I love that series and have read all five books. But I know more than a few people who have given up because they could not keep track of all the characters). The other thing I enjoyed about this book was the rawness of it. The characters in the book who “the good guys” do not live some magically charmed life. They get hurt, they get shot and not all of them make it to the end of the book. The other thing I really enjoyed was the fact that there are no super soldiers. It seems like allot of other books the main character always seems to run into a former Navy SEAL or ex DELTA guy or at the very least a former military Sniper an suddenly amazing feats of violence or unreal action scenes are there by made believable. Not in this book. For the most part these are just normal people who have to survive in very trying times. Characters get tired and have to rest, they suffer scrapes, cuts, and bruises. It really develops to feeling of exertion and the toll that the fight for survival takes on the mind and body. I really liked that. The plot line starts out a little slow and one does have to grind through the first part of the book but I would say that after the first third of the book things pick up fast and things really get intense. I lost one good night of sleep to this book finishing up the last two hours of it.
While not giving away any of the plot, there was a last minute development that I found kind of cliche. But I will have to see how the author handles this in future books of the series. Overall I found the book entertaining and a great read. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
"It was okay."
I enjoyed the book enough, but didn't end up caring much for the characters or the writing style. The characters changed too drastically, too quickly. The reader did a mediocre job. He made an effort at the different voices and did an okay job at it, but he would inflect his tone really oddly and it the tone would often conflict with what the dialogue was.
Overall, it was a decent story, but I probably won't use my credits on the last two books mostly because the last book is just over 4 hours long (not really worth a credit, imo, or $10). Seems like a lazy way to end a story.
"The author devolves into pedophilia"
This book did not add to the apocalypse genre at all. In fact it shamelessly took from other works. The book is separated into two stories; a group of people in Colorado and a group in the Midwest. The Colorado group could have been taken from the camps in The Passage and the Midwest group is a perversion of Will Smith's movie version of I Am Legend.
The Death started with so much promise. In the prologue an asteroid lands on Earth and a civilian team is chased away by a government team. The civilian team ends up dying by a mysterious virus. So by the first chapter I have so much hope in this book. My mind swarms with ideas about mixing aliens and zombies. But after the first chapter this book has nothing left to do with the virus or anything extra terrestrial. In fact the asteroid ends up having nothing to do with anything. The author changes midstream and tries to work between a military novel, a political thriller, and a story of survival - but he fails at all of it.
By others, the author is applauded for his military work attributing to the dynamic characters in this book. I find the characters the least attractable part of the book. They are all very one dimensional. The good guys are all altruistic and clueless. The bad guys are all cruel and arrogant. There really is no middle ground. The author even describes how one character is conservative and that character turns out to be typical cookie cutter conservative. One character is said to be liberal and that person turns out to be typical cookie cutter liberal. Just to add a twist one character says they're libertarian, then goes on to define the typical cookie cutter libertarian. The book is full of character generalities and poor development. The military types are all knowledgeable about everything military. Even the marine's girlfriend is all knowledgeable about everything military. That's unusual because military skills are often specialized. That's by design. Pilots aren't usually expert marksman and know how to make bombs. These are specialized skills. Even in infantry units not every soldier is a marksman. There's just no depth there and the author uses these extraordinary people to get out of plot holes (oh, and there was a plane there the entire time but they never use it). The military area is especially lacking because it is supposed to be the author's area of expertise.
Good fiction has a sense of realism. A good fiction author can put their audience in the world they're writing. Vance doesn't do that at all. The majority of the book takes place around April. They can have some brutal weather in Colorado, Iowa, and Illinois in April. There is never a mention of weather in the entire novel. Then there is the corn. Fields of corn. Corn so plentiful the characters use them as cover and concealment. The author even mentions how they can use them like underground tunnels from one place to the other. If the virus hit in October then who planted all this corn? It should have been harvested long before this novel. Corn does not grow naturally in the wild so I guess we are to expect that this is long dead corn that stayed standing after the Midwest winter, or someone is out there cleaning corn seeds and planting them everywhere. But despite these plentiful corn fields the characters have to resort to cannibalism. But just the bad guys. The good guys seem to have all the food they need. Not really compelling for a survival novel, but that's just how it's written. Fuel is also apparently easy to come by in this future apocalypse. Only at the very end does someone say to turn of the humvee to save on fuel. After midway through the novel when the protagonists get vehicles and everybody seems to have a car (but they only use the most fuel inefficient) I start to wonder why they didn't just get a car in the beginning when they were walking state to state. The military flies around in hostile territory with gas guzzling birds. Even after they lose the first group of civilians, they take another group of civilians in; just for a sight seeing tour - nothing too important. People still die. They'll probably fly back in again because the heroes in this novel are just stupid.
The author eventually devolves into pedophilia and specific child cruelty. This was unnecessary but it seemed like he was skipping over so many plot lines he just wanted to get it in there for perverted enjoyment. At one point a 6 year old kid fools his captors and gets to the altruistic good guys. Because that kid wasn't the kid the good guys were looking for they just give him back to the bad guys to supposedly be sold into slavery, or to be raped, or to be eaten. They never tried to save the kid because he wasn't the one they were looking for. Things that are major plot lines in the beginning are often forgotten by the end. Just to add to the author's poor planning it ends with the protagonists useing a humvee to try to chase down their friend in an SUV. The humvee is loaded with a .50 cal and anyone who has been in a good military humvee knows you're not going to get enough speed to chase anyone down and you're going to have to make frequent stops for fuel. At lest they don't have to worry where they're going to get gas from. The fuel in my lawnmower might go bad over the winter, but in John W. Vance's world it'll just last forever.
I won't be getting the next book in the series. It's a little presumptuous for novice writers to only write in series. If he can't get a single self contained novel right then I'm not going to waste time on getting 3 of them. This novel was written for the sequel and has no conclusions or closure.
The narrator was way too chipper and upbeat for an apocalypse novel. He made the characters seems way too happy about the situations they were in. The narrator only has about three or four good voices anyway so in a book with so many characters he eventually used voices that were way to extreme or goofy for the situation.
"Hard to keep my attention"
Story was slow. Characters were incomplete and too naive. Narration was boring. will not get 2nd book.
"Narration just awful!"
I have listened to "Defiant-grid down" by Vance and it is a good story and good narration, looking forward to book 2 of that series. This novel "The Death" is an as expected post apocalyptic story but the narration is horrible! It got me angry listening to how the narrator totally missed the mark on how to portray proper emotion. So much over emphasis made the characters child-like. It was like he was reading to a kindergarten class. I disliked the narration so much I have no interest to listen to book 2, even if it was free. Sorry John but Guy Williams is not the narrator for your work, he killed this series for me. To bad, could have been good.
Wooden descriptions and dialog by the writer, and terrifyingly bad women's voicing by the narrator. I had to stop listening.
"The DNC's best hope for man."
Strangely realistic given our current political environment which this series captures quite well: "Freedom = Bad". "Humans must be ruled by an elite class no matter how cruel the results". "All means toward the desired end are acceptable".
If Clinton has a dream for mankind this story would be a close guide inside her head.
"Death would be a welcome release to this dribble"
You know that's it's time to pack in when you don't care what happens to the characters.
Plastic characters, badly written. Was looking for light escapism but there are limits to how low I will go. Was about to endure but when I realised that it was a trilogy I lost the will to hang in there. Not sure what the guy who penned the introduction is on about. It is beyond awful. A child could write this. The narration is truly terrible. The female accents were the worst that I have ever had to endure. No woman could sound that annoying. Regret listening to a few hours. Delete, move on, life is too short.
I found the story line really really frustrating and unimaginative, the detail of some of things described is unnecessary (eg the mark grenade or the tactical names of helicopters). It felt like the dialogue was only used to stretch the story out as it was slow and pointless conversations between people that seemed so unintelligible it was painful to listen to (and at times made me angry and I had to skip 30 seconds ahead).
I feel this audio book is really for the dimwitted and naive - people who can't see the obvious story line and can be mesmerised by detail that's just simply not needed.
The narration was good, the narrator made best of his voice using different voices for people, however, all the women seemed to sound very similar, there is a conversation between two women that is very confusing because of this.
All in all, seriously don't bother. Not worth the effort.
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