Here are the first three books of the best-selling, award-winning, and top-rated Extinction Cycle series.
The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction.
Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force team, code named Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret medical corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.
After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. The virus is already spreading. As cities fall, Team Ghost is ordered to keep CDC virologist Dr. Kate Lovato alive long enough to find a cure. What she uncovers will change everything.
Total extinction is just on the horizon, but will the cure be worse than the virus?
A new threat that will bring humanity to the edge of extinction.
The dust from Dr. Kate Lovato's bioweapon has settled. Projections put death counts in the billions. Her weapon was supposed to be the endgame, but it turned a small percentage of those infected with the hemorrhage virus into something even worse.
Survivors call them Variants. Irreversible epigenetic changes have transformed them into predators unlike any the human race has ever seen. And they are evolving.
With the doomsday clock ticking, the fractured military plans Operation Liberty - a desperate mission designed to take back the cities and destroy the Variant threat. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham agrees to lead a strike team into New York City, but first he must return to Fort Bragg to search for the only family he has left.
At Plum Island, Kate discovers Central Command may have considerably underestimated the Variant population in New York. As Operation Liberty draws closer, Kate warns Beckham that Team Ghost won't just face their deadliest adversary yet, they may be heading into a trap.
On the eve of extinction, all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope.
Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance.
Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels - where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape.
At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended.
As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction.
©2016 Nicholas Sansbury Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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.
"Human Potential on Display; Good and Bad."
I am writing this after listening to the first five books in the series.
Yes this is a zombie apocalypse series but it is not just another zombie apocalypse series. If you have read my reviews you will know that no fan of zombie books am I; but a fan of Bronson Pinchot I am. Having recently finished listening to The Anubis Gates I was hungering for more Pinchot. This series had many good reviews, so many that I felt it might be worth a chance. From the start the story pulled me in with its realistic characters and Sci-Fi based verisimilitude. The epigenetic justification for humans becoming hungry monsters is at least in the realm of science and not unexplainable magic. The battle scenes are well done, reminiscent of the best military science fiction scenes I have heard. Zombie novel fans may find that the character development and plot development sequences get in the way of the non-stop action they are used to, but fans of military science fiction will find familiar ground here.
Each volume in the series escalates the development of the infected and the desperation of the remaining humans to the point where the survival of the race is in serious question—hence the title: Extinction Cycle. Desperate times are ahead for the listener if you decide to take on the variants in this series. The writing is terse and tight with little opportunity for humor. This is the end of the world as we know it, that’s no laughing matter you know!
Just a little mention of the so-called science behind this piece of science fiction: The zombie-like creatures in this piece of fiction are deliberately created in a military lab as a weapon of war. The designers tapped into the hidden capabilities locked in the DNA of humans and unleashed them through means of epigenetic triggers. When the infected manifest these hidden characteristics it is explained in the novels as evolution. This is typical of the thinking of neo-Darwinians, that any change is evolutionary change. Actual epigenetic change requires the capabilities waiting to be manifested be already present in the DNA sequence of the organism; a preexisting condition. When these capabilities are switched on new capabilities are manifested in the organism, and may even be preserved in the offspring. But these new capabilities are not new as in, never have been seen before; they are only new to the organism. The fact that the DNA stored this information, that the DNA had retained these hidden capabilities in its database, means that these capabilities were already there waiting to be triggered. Epigenetic DNA expression is the evidence of prior planning—dare I say design—and not the evidence for evolution.
Need I mention that Bronson Pinchot delivers a wonderful performance? Okay then, Bronson Pinchot is amazing! His voice is always clear and precise. Every character voice rings true. You always know immediately who is talking. This is such an advantage to understanding a book that it makes any book whole degrees better since the listener is able to engage with the story so easily when the narrator gives the proper queues. Pinchot does everything perfect. His pacing is just right; escalating when things get moving and slowing when things are tense. This is just the Pinchot fix I was hoping for.
The Extinction Cycle:
EXTINCTION AFTERMATH is due to be published October 13, 2016. If Bronson Pinchot narrates watch this space.
"Smith leaves nothing to chance"
I had the pleasure of reading the entire Extinction series written by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. Beginning with the first book, Extinction Horizon, Smith plays on the fears of men and women everywhere – the government creating super soldiers and the horrific and unexpected havoc this creates in the world. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham of Ghost, a Delta Force Team and his teammates are charged with several missions that force them to deal with an enemy far more deadly and overwhelming than they have faced before as well as protecting Kate Lovato, the only scientist who can bring the enemy down with chemical engineered serums.
The second and third books of the extinction series brings Beckham’s team and other operatives from SEALs, Black Ops, etc. together to defeat the turned creatures that were once humans but who are now far more deadly and growing more stronger and mutating. The creatures are adapting to the situation and their environment in ways that leave more dead and injured. Plus, they are becoming smarter and capable of strategic planning.
Not only are Beckham and Lovato fighting time and the enemy but they are fighting the men and women who are their leaders with a hidden agenda – an agenda that started the deadly mess.
Smith will have you on your seat gasping and sitting stunned as a result of his cleverly placed and planned twists and turns. A vivid wordsmith and accomplished weaver, Smith brings his audience into the story connecting them to characters whom most of us can identify as our brother, neighbor, friend, or colleague.
Smith knows his terms and has conducted serious research on military, scientific and medical terms/actions. Smith leaves nothing to chance; he constructed his series thoroughly and completely.
Bronson Pinchot as the narrator is not only seasoned but gifted. He didn’t just read the book; he became the book and its characters. His smooth voice reflected the seriousness of each situation, the soft gentle moments as well as the fiercely chaotic ones. I hesitate to call anyone an expert but listening to Pinchot was like listening to a virtuoso. He maintained his level of professionalism throughout the series.
If you enjoy conspiracy thrillers, horror, military, a dash of romance and zombies, this is the series for you. You will remember this series AND the narrator for days after. Is it possible that our government could do this for real? Is it happening now?
I enjoyed Extinction Horizon very much. The plot was very well developed with several twists and turns. A cliffhanger ending but then again, when humans are faced with extinction … no one wants it to be over! Characters are well developed; readers are able to connect with all including the man responsible for ordering the weapon. I liked knowing how the disease came into existence and how it spread. There were no questions other than the most important one – how to stop it.
And if this is not scary enough for you – imagine the dark murky depths of the sewers and large coccoons of spider-like webbing holding what few survivors there are in New York … The description of this was horrifying!
Smith does an excellent job of continuing the story plot and keeping the actors growing. Lovato and Beckham are dancing around a romance but it is far from the true focus of this story – no, its the flesh ripping, terrifying variants!
The human race has entered the extinction phase of their existence worldwide. Who is running Plum Island now and calling the shots? Who will be saved? Who will die?
The variants are mutating and they are even deadlier now that there food supply is dwindling. Extinction Age is an action-packed non-stop adventure. Just when you thought it was safe … and Kate has a secret!!
Exciting and well developed plot and characters keep the story line moving. Relationships are well thought out and plenty of those “you love to hate’em” types who get their just desserts!
Audiobook was provided for review by the Author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"A great series (with more after it)"
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.
Where to start?...make sure you like some of the following : this is a 3book set for one credit, it's a cliff hanger in other words the saga goes on, medical experiments gone wrong on a world wide epidemic level, millions of rounds of ammo being shot, mutated people that are difficult to kill. Not zombies but maybe the next level up because they continue to evolve, there are heroic rescues, did I miss sex, yea there is some of that also, then there are handicapped heroes , oh and I almost forgot a dog. And in the end you find out some higher score have very questionable agendas.
This set will keep you listening for 3 or 4 days for only one credit, and it is no stopped action.
Hope you enjoy this one
"Majestically gory * May trigger COMBAT PTSD*"
I read the books and decided to get the audio books. I was NOT prepared for how descriptive the gore would translate into audio. Aside from that great series. If you mentally prepare for how descriptive it can be; it is a wonderful well-written speed fest to the end of the world. I enjoy the author and will continue to read/listen to his other works.
The interwoven story line. I am always frustrated when the science isn't explained and too much personal drama. For example: I will not watch the walking dead because, lets be honest in the end too much whining will get people killed. The written either researched very well, or has some very interesting life experiences.
This is the only work of his I have read but he did a superb job.
I have the whole serer and there are so many on the edge of your seat moments I can not pinpoint any.
This book is very graphic and contains moments of loss that my strike people with COMBAT PTSD hard if not mentally prepared. It took me aback how the experience changed vs. reading the series.
"A marathon that doesn't require endurance"
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.
"Should have been narrated by R.C Bray"
Loved the story but Pinchot didn't bring enough differentiation between characters. Accents would come and go and most sounded the same which was unfortunate because I loved the story. The entire time I kept thinking that R.C Bray should have handled this series and would have done so with ease.
This is an excellent series that really surprised me. I normally do not care for military stories. But this one caught my attention and I made a commitment to the series. The military men in the series would make a solider proud. I think they are a trifle crazy to wantonly run into danger and whinny when they are to hurt to fight. It is that solider loyalty which keeps you on the seat. Many times you will want a solider to leave the body of there comrade but they would not.
I was kept entranced due to a Trump like politician. He was a bigot, cruel and with his own agenda without regard to others. He took humanity to the abyss for his own selfish reason. But his treachery set up situations to keep me listening and I wanted to see him killed.
Right now I am on book four and I am slightly hesitant to continue. There are six books and these people have been through hell and back. We are starting to loose some of the core characters and that just is upsetting for me. I have stopped reading books for stuff like that. But books 1 - 3 are good. There is lots of GORE and SWEARING lots of it. You will want to pull your hair out because Becker and his team keep going our to safe the day but ...
"good good good"
was excellent. nice split between action and story. just when you start to think alright enough story, it goes straight into well written action. captivating, engrossing, found it hard to find a point to pause and do other stuff. only complaint is that occasionally the jump from story line to story line makes it feel like you are missing information. that aside , get it, listen to it, love it. also the narration is spot on.
Absolutly terrifying, tense, and thrilling. The best sci-fi end of the world book out there. Bronson Pinchot crushed the narration.
"Very poor narration."
The narration made a good story boring for me. A dull monotone didn't keep my attention.
Enjoyed these books will be getting the next ones in the series great story well done
"Wow Rip-roaring series"
A horrifying bleak view of the world when man tries to play god
Reed Beckham, not your typical grunt!! deep emotions to his team and to what is right and wrong
Excellent narration, with various pitches heightened emotions and made you believe in what you was listening to.
No where to run no where to hide the variants will find you
Fantastic series, with a different take on zombies, think like world war Z and mix with 28 days later, it will scare the beep outta you. Excellently written and superb narration makes you really care for the characters and to what happens to them. This is definatly the series you need and want in your library! Don't forget to switch on the lights!
Can't really comment on story as the performance totally killed it early on for me. No passion, monotone narration .
R.c.bray, Scott Brick, Ray Chase
Absolutely amazing had me on the edge of my seat!! Well worth a read
if you love end of the world /survival against the inhumane genre , then this is the series to listen to. great characters and edge of your seat listening...had to get the next installment as soon as this box set was finished.
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