April Audio Book Review: Origins of the Outbreak by Brian Parker

Run time 6 hrs and 55 mins

In Brian Parker’s Origins of the Outbreak, we are introduced to the moment the outbreak begins and how it spreads in a series of slice of life vignettes that tell a sprawling story, from one infection to thousands.

I’ll admit, I was a bit leery of the format, as I found the use of vignettes that were interjected into another story recently reviewed to be primarily disruptive and not a positive for the story. This time though, it mostly worked and the story had a unique and engaging feel that I enjoyed following along.

The story starts out in a small town which allows for most of the characters to be closely connected as the infection spreads. This keeps the narrative engaging and kept me tuned in, because even if the characters in a vignette died, they’d be back as zombies in another one soon enough.

We start with patient zero, a scientist at a university in a small town doing an experiment. We learn a little bit about him and what he is doing and then, bam, the outbreak begins!

What did I like about this story?
I liked how we got to watch the virus spread from first this person and then to that person and how those peoples stories interconnected, both pre and post-infection.

I liked the person to person spread so much, I was actually disappointed when the infection grew so large that we lost touch with some of the earlier characters, however, that’s just the way a pandemic goes. It gets out of control.

What didn’t I like about this story?
I could have used more of an overall background storyline for the characters that survive. The story keeps you interested throughout, but there could have been greater connection to the story overall with more main character development early in the story.

Narration: 
The narration was done by Veronica Fox who has a great voice for the job. The inflection with which she read kept each vignette both cohesive and unique.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
The book ends with something of a twist that definitely leaves it open for more of this particular story and I’d be curious to see if Brian does continue the series where it goes from here. In general, it was well written with few issues and I could easily find myself enjoying some of his other works of fiction.

I give this 8 out of 10 stars.

Get a copy for yourself on Audible!

Check out our other audiobook reviews here!

The Zee Brothers Prank Call Promo!

Want to have some fun and win some cool prizes?
We want you to prank call The Zee Brothers!

Who are The Zee Brothers?


Jonah & Judas are two brothers in the Zombie Extermination business. Just like any other exterminators, they get phone calls from prospective clients and go out and do inspections to determine what needs to be done.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the pests, this usually turns into a bloody mess in a hurry. Most often, where Jonah & Judas are concerned, it’s generally pretty funny as well.

While the brothers are serious about what they do, there is one night a year where they will not answer their phone. You see, Jonah & Judas get a lot of prank calls to their Zombie Exterminators phone #, but it’s the worst on Halloween night.

That’s the one night a year when people think it’s funniest to harass them. They don’t answer the phone and they don’t go out. All those costumes and people in zombie make-up are a recipe for disaster for guys ready to shoot anything that’s dead but still moving, so they just stay home and let the phone ring.

The messages range from people making fun of zombie extermination, people pretending they are being attacked, to people saying zombies aren’t real. The list goes on and on. The next morning they nurse their hangovers and listen to the Halloween madness.

That’s where you come in!

We want you to call and leave your craziest, zaniest message about zombies or zombie exterminators to Jonah & Judas. Pretend you’re a potential client or just be a funny prankster.

What’s in it for you?
Your call could be featured in The Zee Brothers Vol.3 both as text in the book and possibly even the audio from your call in the audiobook. We’ll also broadcast some of our favorites across our social media, bringing you untold fame… no fortune, but we promise as much fame as your humor creates.

PRIZES!
The top 3 prank callers will all win signed copies of The Zee Brothers Books 1-3! And the contents of your call will likely be featured in book 3.

(Prizes will be sent out after the release of book 3 mid-2018)

Other prizes may include posters, prints, bookmarks, apparel and more.

How do you participate?
Call the Grivante Press offices at 208-352-2102 and at the beep, pretend you are leaving a message for Jonah & Judas. You are more likely to win if you make us laugh, good luck!

Contest Rules:
Must be 18 Years Old at the time of the phone call.

After you’ve left your message, make sure and pause a moment and then give your call back number, name and an email address so that we can get in touch with you if you win.

Winners will be chosen by 1/31/18.

CONTEST ENTRY PERIOD ENDS 1/1/18

February Audio Book Review : Dead – The Ugly Beginning by TW Brown

Run time 11 hrs and 22 mins

In TW Brown’s The Dead – The Ugly Beginning, we are shown the world at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse and introduced to one of the main characters, Steve. Steve finds that what’s happening on his TV is also happening right outside his front door. The book starts out fast, with some humor mixed in as he is forced to venture out into the world to try and survive.

There are some fun references to Zombie Pop Culture icon, George Romero, establishing the author’s love for classic zombies. On a quick side note, fans of Romero in the Pacific Northwest, he will be the guest of honor at this year’s Crypticon Convention in Seattle May 5th – 7th 2017. As will the actors that played Barbara and Johnny in the original Night of the Living Dead. Come out and meet them!

Now back to our review, it doesn’t take long before Steve finds another survivor, a young girl named Theresa, who ends up being a pretty badass character in the story.

While the tale starts out with some humor, about halfway through, as the world and its rules fade into chaos, the story reveals the darker side of humanity. This brings with it some pretty gruesome and potentially disturbing scenes for the listener. Be warned there are quite a few variations on the same theme dealing with violence against women.

Other characters are introduced, including multiple non-connecting storylines through the use of Vignettes. More on this in a bit.

As the story progresses, our main characters meet other survivors and we come to learn that the dead are beginning to form massive hordes that are over-running any human compounds they come across, leaving nowhere safe.

The story ends in such a way as to leave us very uncertain about the future.

What did I like about this story?

The story was well written and showed the decline of civilization in a way you can feel. From people still trying to obey society’s rules during the decline, to the absolute collapse of societal niceties and the lack of trust it creates amongst groups of survivors.

The narration was also well done, with Andrew McFerrin capturing the different voices of the characters nicely, keeping it engaging and the characters unique.

I enjoyed the overall storyline, especially some of the nods to Romero and some of the unique twists such as the zombie’s cry, but I’ll leave that for you to learn more about, it’s pretty evil.

Most of the characters had unique personalities and conflicts which created good stories as well as some real human demons to deal with.

What didn’t I like about this story?

There were a few things I struggled with in this book. First, it is part of a series and as can be the case, there was no resolution to most of the storylines. The story is our introduction to a much larger adventure and we are left with cliffhangers everywhere. Personally, I like books that have at least some sort of resolution to storylines. Setting them up for the future is fine, but leaving us hanging on most counts either means we have to be in for the long haul or left unfulfilled.

There are a series of vignettes in the book where characters are introduced and we are given glimpses into their lives. Some continue through in other vignettes later in the book and some simply end in the character’s death. Each time a new vignette started, I didn’t know if I should care or not. Would this be another character that just died? Or is this someone who is important to the overall story? I didn’t know and for that reason, I found myself groaning whenever another vignette section started.

As mentioned above, one of the other challenges was the number of storylines, that at least in this first book, appeared to have no connection with one another. I was left to assume that at some point in the series they will all connect, but in this book, they were all left unresolved.

There was also a point where I either missed something or the main storyline jumped when they were going to a FEMA center and then the next time we are hearing from those characters they had left the center and made references only to what happened there, leaving me feeling confused and wondering if I had spaced out and missed something important. I didn’t go back and re-listen, so it’s entirely possibly I did.

There is a technical issue at the end of Chapter 7 where there is over a minute long pause in the audio.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)

I’ve met TW personally and it was great to finally get some time to sit down and listen to one of his books. Despite some of the things I had challenges with, it was well written and there are a number of storylines that I want to know how they turn out, so yes, I would and likely will listen to the next book in the series, Dead – Revelations.

I’ve also heard that the sequel and the later books in the series get more coherent in terms of the storyline and that means that the good stuff will be getting even better. I look forward to it.

I give this 6 out of 10 stars.

Get a copy for yourself on Audible!

Check out our other audiobook reviews here!

Huge Audiobook Giveaway!! Enter for a chance to win below!

The fine folks over at Audiobook Access are having a huge giveaway for 9 Post-Apocalyptic & Zombie audiobooks!

You can win 1 of 9 or possibly all 9! And everybody who signs up gets a copy of a free e-book!

Here’s a list of what you can win!

  • 9 Audiobooks
  • 1 Ebook (that everyone who enters will receive access to)
  • 1 grand prize winner will win 9 audiobooks. 37 others will win 1 audiobook.
  • Campaign runs through January 20th.
  • Winners will be awarded no later than January 22nd.

To Enter, Just Click the Picture
http://audiobookaccess.com/p

If you are interested in learning more about any of the books, see below!

Lynda Engler’s Into The Outside Available in Print, E-Book & Audio on Amazon!

E.E. Isherwood’s Since The Sirens available in Print, E-Book & Audio on Amazon!

Jill James‘ Love in the Time of Zombies is available in Print, E-Book & Audio on Amazon!

Brian Martinez’s The Mountain and the City Available in Print, E-Book & Audio on Amazon!

Mark E. Cooper’s Hard Duty : Merkiaari Wars available in Print, E-Book & Audio on Amazon!

Bonnie R. Paulson’s Cost of Survival available in Print, E-book & Audio on Amazon!

WR Benton’s Fall of America Available in Print, E-Book & Audio on Amazon!Rebecca Rode’s Numbers Game Available in Print, E-book & Audio on Amazon!

Grivante’s The Zee Brothers Available in Print, E-book & Audio on Amazon!

And Mark K. Kelly’s Altered Genes available in E-Book on Amazon!

The first Secret Zombie Santa Flash Prize!

Congrats to Anna J. she is the 1st winner of a #secretzombiesanta flash prize! A free The Zee Brothers : Curse of the Zombie Omeletaudio book !  Enter for your chance to win at http://ow.ly/FxnN306NuIl

Want to be alerted about who else wins a flash prize or a grand prize? Subscribe to the blog or follow us on social media to get the latest updates!

The Zee Brother’s Audiobook received an Audiofile Magazine Earphone Award!

Did you know we had an award winning #audiobook? Yep! The Zee Brothers Zombie Exterminators as Read by Ian McEuen, tenor received the AudioFile Magazine #earphonesaward #greatlisten #audible #humor #horror #zombies #roadwarrior #thingstolistento #writing #reading #ianmceuen #readmorebooks #whattolistento Get it here —> http://ow.ly/Iep8300YS8W

The Zee Brothers Audiobook Sampler Video!

We are super excited to announce the launch of the new promo video for the audiobook! Featuring 10 minutes of audio, panels from the mini comic, art from the book, music and images from the band Frostbite and narration by Ian McEuen!