October Audiobook Review: Rise of the Dead

Run time: 7hrs and 57 minutes, narrated by John R. Crosthwaite
In Jeremy Dyson’s Rise of the Dead, we find ourselves at the start of the zombie apocalypse. The story is in first person and we follow the plight of Blake, a man who finds himself separated from his family by the rapidly deteriorating world around him. He bands together with other survivors in an attempt to keep one step ahead of the dead, but their escape is leading them away from his wife and daughter.

What did I like about this story?
I enjoyed the fast-paced fall of civilization, how it fell apart so quickly and our main character who had led a life of controlled decisions found himself thrust into a world of unpredictable chaos.

It was tough(in a good way) listening along as his attempts at survival took him further and further away from his family. I could feel his frustration and fear, knowing that he had to do what he was doing to survive, but knowing that it could mean he’d never see his wife and daughter again.

There are some other interesting characters, Quentin, Danielle and Stitch who band together with Blake and help him in his travels. They added some interesting twists, especially the temporary salvation that Quentin’s father brings the group. This part of the story also helps to reveal just how bad things are becoming.

What didn’t I like about this story?
This has nothing to do with anybody but me, but I had a real problem with the narration and it severely affected my enjoyment of the story. I’ll cover this more in Narration below.

Narration:
Ok, so I’ll repeat, this has nothing to do with the story or even the narrator really, but I had a hard time listening to this book. The narrator did this thing with his voice where he would be reading normally and then would switch into a very husky demanding tone and that is the same voice I use to make my wife laugh. I call it my Batman voice. It’s a silly thing I do with her, but hearing it quite frequently in the story as I listened kept throwing me out of the story. I couldn’t stand it. It’s one thing when I do it being silly, its another thing when a good portion of the story sounded like it was being read in that voice.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Unfortunately, due to my struggle with the narrator’s use of “Batman” voice, I would not. This doesn’t mean that others won’t enjoy it just fine, in fact, they likely will, it’s just that it didn’t work for me.

I had a tough time deciding how to rate this. I’d give the story a 7-8, but as discussed, the narration was a real challenge for me and I’d give it a 4-5, so I’m going to average the two out and give it an overall 6 out of 10.

Get a copy for yourself on Audible!

Check out our other audiobook reviews here!

Product links on this page will most likely take you to an Amazon webpage.

Don’t have Audible? Get 2 Free Audiobooks to check it out!

Enjoy audiobooks? Get a free The Zee Brothers Short Audiobook here!

[mailerlite_form form_id=2]

September Audiobook Review: Speakeasy Dead

Run time: 7hrs and 35 minutes, narrated by Nick Podehl & Emily Beresford
In Vicky Loebel’s Speakeasy Dead we find ourselves in a most unexpected version of the 1920’s. Zombies, witches, warlocks, gangsters, ritzy movie stars and a dance competition? Yep, a dance competition. Oh and I forgot to mention ghosts, a djinn, a demon and probably more that I cannot remember. It was a crazy mix of characters in the familiar setting of prohibition era America. I didn’t know what I would think of this story, but I was actually quite delighted by it.

The two main characters, Clara & Bernie, who we follow in alternating narratives, reminded me a lot of characters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Bernie, reminded me of Xander and Clara a cross between Willow and maybe a little bit of Buffy herself.

The book is billed as a roaring twenties paranormal romantic comedy and it definitely fits that description. There’s love brewing as well as potions, booze and trouble!

What did I like about this story?
I loved the way the story flowed back and forth between Clara’s point of view and Bernie’s, each with its own opening quote from either the “Girl’s Guide to Demons” or the “Boy’s Guide to Boggarts”. The characters are constantly in worsening peril right from the beginning and the heat just keeps getting turned up as the story goes on.

At times the differing points of view tell you parts of the same scene from their unique perspectives and at others, they are jumping off into a new direction for the story. This kept each chapter fresh, interesting and unexpected.

The world the author created around the prohibition era, filled with witches, warlocks and demons is also filled with possibilities for future stories, while I doubt they will be filled with more zombies, I hope more books are written because these characters were a lot of fun to listen to.

What didn’t I like about this story?
Ultimately, it’s very sparse on zombies, which is ok, but if you are reading this because you really like zombie books, especially apocalypse level books, you might not care for it. If you like fun stories with action and drama, with characters you can laugh at and root for, then you’ll enjoy this book.

Narration:
The narration on this book was done quite well, with each of the two main characters having their own narrator. It made it fun to listen to and also really helped with what can be one of the challenges of an audiobook, knowing which character is doing something.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Yes, I would. I really enjoyed this story. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that when I set out to listen to it, I wasn’t too sure I’d like it at all because it was so vastly different to everything else I’ve been listening to. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much, it was fresh and interesting.

I give this 10 out of 10 stars, which is the second month in a row I have given that rating and on two vastly different books!

Get a copy for yourself on Audible!

Check out our other audiobook reviews here!

Product links on this page will most likely take you to an Amazon webpage.

Don’t have Audible? Get 2 Free Audiobooks to check it out!

Enjoy audiobooks? Get a free The Zee Brothers Short Audiobook here!

[mailerlite_form form_id=2]

Undead Worlds is here!

The anthology zombie loving fans everywhere have been waiting for is finally available for immediate download! And for a limited time, you can grab it for just .99c! Featuring 22 brand new stories from 22 different authors all in 1 great book!

Check out Undead Worlds today!

August Audiobook Review: Zombie Road: Convoy of Carnage

Run time  9hrs and 32 minutes, narrated by Eric A. Shelman
In David A. Simpson’s Zombie Road: Convoy of Carnage, we find ourselves introduced to a variety of nick-named truckers hanging out at a truck stop, right before the world ends. Well, not the entire world, that’s one of the fun and interesting elements of this book, but before we dive into that, we’ll tell you a little more about the main characters.

The protagonist of the story is Gunny, an ex-military man, who the book opens up with as he is being interviewed, presumably where the series ends, talking about how he survived. We quickly come to learn that the fall of civilization, to a very fast and ravenous form of zombie, was orchestrated by people with evil intent. The chaos starts almost immediately, with our group of truckers surrounded inside the truckstop learning how the rest of the country has fallen. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the country, we find Gunny’s wife and son trapped in even direr circumstances.

With the help of his friends and fellow truckers, Gunny prepare’s for the long journey to rescue them.

There’s a lot going on in the background of the story. Shadowy government organizations, an unexpected new president and a foreign power suspected of orchestrating the fall of humanity. Oh, and did I mention nuclear peril? It’s almost as if, even if they do survive the zombies, they can’t possibly survive all the other things that are going to destory them. All of these multiple elements really keep you on the edge of your seat and hungry for the story to continue.

What did I like about this story?
At first, I was getting whiplash from all of the truckers with nicknames. Everyone seemed to have one, but I quickly came to find and delight in the fact that each of those names came with a story of their own. Each made sense and made the characters not only memorable but also loveable.

I loved the fact the story was so action packed, pretty much right from the get go. The author makes light of the fact that zombies were impossible until they weren’t, something any modern zombie story needs to have is a little bit of self-awareness about the genre, and he does that well.

What didn’t I like about this story?
While I’m not generally a fan of fast zombies, they add to the action packed thrills of Zombie Road. Hordes of slow zombies wouldn’t be all that scary if they were getting mowed down by a semi, but fast ones, that don’t stop running, even after you’ve burned rubber down the road, well that’s some scary shit!

Aside from that, it did take awhile for the Convoy of Carnage to begin, but not without reason. You can’t just roll out and drive through this crazy world without a plan.

Narration: 
Eric A. Shelman, an author of Zompoc fiction himself, does a fabulous job of narrating the book, including adding little tidbits like making the radio communications sound like they are actually coming over the radio and giving each of the main characters a unique voice.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Absolutely. This book has been getting rave reviews for months and I actually moved it up on my listening schedule so I could find out what all the hype was about and it didn’t disappoint. The second book is out now and I’ll be listening to it soon and then I’ll be like the rest of Mr. Simpson’s ravenous fans and chasing his truck down the road screaming for him to finish book 3!

I give this 10 out of 10 stars, the first of the reviews I have done to earn that rating.

Get a copy for yourself on Audible!

Check out our other audiobook reviews here!

Product links on this page will most likely take you to an Amazon web page.

All About The Zee Brothers Vol.2 Zombie School Lockdown!

The Zee Brothers Vol.2 Zombie School Lockdown Cover Reveal Post

You may have seen glimpses of this popping up on the internet, but we are glad to finally be able to do the full reveal!

Here it is!

Book 2 features the brothers and JJ dealing with an outbreak inside a charter school. They are trapped, with no weapons, toxic zombies, and scared children. It’s going to take a lot more than brute force to get them out of this one!

The Kindle edition is available now! Click here to get it!

Here’s the full paperback cover which will be released August 25th!

And for you audiobook fans, the audiobook is currently under production in the capable hands of narrator and opera tenor, Ian McEuen. Look for release information this fall!

And for those that haven’t yet gotten the new edition paperback of book 1, you can order it here!

 

The Zombie Road Trip Prize Winner Announcement Video!

Today is the day!

Watch the video below to find out who won the Zombie Road Trip Grand Prize!

If you didn’t win and still want to check out some of the awesome books in this promo, please see the prize list below!

If you cannot view the video above for any reason, you can link to it directly here

And the winners are

Runner-Up Prize Package #1 – Lori

Runner-Up Prize Package #2 – Valerie C.

Grand Prize Winner – Dwayne

The Prizes!

David A. Simpson‘s Zombie Road: Convoy of Carnage
“40 desperate survivors. 14 quickly armored trucks.
2,000 miles to the safe zone. It was going to be a Convoy of Carnage”

 

TW Brown‘s Dead: Onset
“Today is the day Evan’s life changes forever,
and it has nothing to do with his new job.”

 

Grivante‘s The Zee Brothers: Curse of the Zombie Omelet
“Two brothers, one job,
keep the zombie apocalypse at bay!”

 

Kristopher & Valerie LioudisAftershock!
“Zombies are taking over the world. People are scrambling to stay alive.
Aftershock follows the men and women racing towards what they pray will be safety,
and not a place worse than the zombie infested wasteland.”

 

E.E. Isherwood‘s Since the Sirens
“Think surviving the zompoc is hard?
Try it with your ancient great-grandmother while being chased
by looters, the military, and the undead.”

 

Daniel ParsonsNecroville
“When a group of ex-students visit a zombie experience facility,
they soon discover the undead actors are very good at their jobs. Too good.”

 

Eli Constant‘s Z-Children

“Our kids are no longer our future… They’re our demise.
Kids have transformed, changed into ravenous beasts that are nightmarishly quick,
disproportionately strong, and void of empathy.”

 

Jamie Thornton‘s Germination
“A fast-paced ride about a group of runaways, a horrifying virus,
and their search for a friend in a world gone mad over hope for a cure.”

If you haven’t joined yet, come be a part of the growing Reanimated Writers Authors & Fan Group on Facebook!

The Zee Brothers: Zombie School Lockdown (Zombie Exterminators Book 2 Update)

So, you may have heard that book 2 drops this Saturday, but might be wondering why you hadn’t heard about it sooner…well, there’s a bit of a story behind that…

Without diving too deep into the details, we set a release schedule for the book to coincide with our appearance at Crypticon Seattle this weekend. This was based on conversations with our artist back in February which allowed us to feel confident that we would be able to meet this date, and then… we didn’t hear from him for 6 weeks.

When he finally reemerged with apologies at the first part of April, we negotiated specific terms for the completion of the project. Based on the situation, we realized we wouldn’t be able to release the illustrated paperback in time, but we could still proceed with the release of the e-book. We canceled plans for the paperback and changed plans to focus our efforts on the ebook, we were just waiting on the cover.

We received the first 2 concept sketches which captured the imagery we were looking for and agreed on the second image below as it really captured the personalities of the characters and the fun of the story.

Work began on the detailed cover art and a few weeks ago we received the image below with promises of a swift completion.

We were excited and couldn’t wait to start broadcasting that book 2 was coming. Unfortunately, this is when communication with our artist again stopped and we couldn’t do anything but wait. As the deadline for the release date drew nearer we had to accept that we weren’t going to have a completed cover. We were forced to make a choice, try and throw something together, quickly hire someone else or wait.

Since this was the second time in very short order that this had happened, we made the unfortunate decision to fire our artist. The lack of communication being the ultimate reason. We could have dealt with delays if they had been communicated, but leaving us in the dark like that made us wait until it was too late to do anything.

As a result, we made some modifications to the last version of the cover in order to have something to put on the book when it went from preorder to on sale. This is that temporary cover.

Once making the decision to let go of our existing artist, our next decision was either to hire a new artist or completely rebrand the series with more traditional covers, like others in the publishing industry use, and do away with the internal artwork which, while very expensive, we loved having.

We are still undecided on this and would love to hear from any of The Zee Brother’s Fans what you might like to see. Either option will take a fair amount of time, but we are hoping to make a decision soon and start work down that path with a target of an October release for the paperback.

In the short term, we did find an artist who is able and willing to complete the cover from the above sketch that will give us something professional to put on the book. This cover should be revealed in the next couple of days if all goes well. Keep on the look out for it!

Thanks for your time in reading and being a fan of Grivante & The Zee Brothers. We wanted to share this information to answer questions we have been receiving on what is going on. In the end, a lesson was learned, never set a release date until you have the cover art completed.

-G.

P.S. Book 2, The Zee Brothers: Zombie School Lockdown is available for order here!

 

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!