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!

Life as a zombie!

Living your passion presents interesting opportunities. This weekend, we went to Seattle to promote my zombie book series at Crypticon, a 3-day horror convention. It’s a very unique event that fills the halls of the convention center with monsters and mayhem of all kinds. There are people in costumes from all sorts of horror movies. Freddy, Jason, vampires, zombies, teletubbies, everything your nightmares can imagine you’ll find it there. Despite the “horror” theme, the people are all friendly, they are doing what they love and having fun doing it and best of all, celebrating it with others who like the same things.

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We’ve done a few of these conventions now and each time we meet and connect with a lot of people, sell some books and take in the experience. This time around, I decided to take things to the fullest and have a little fun with one of the jokes in my book, that I, the author, was infected and turned into a zombie(good luck waiting on the sequels). I enlisted the help of Tim Peirson of Cast of Thousands Studios in Tacoma, WA to come in and make me up. The results were an astounding transformation that was not only fun to watch unfold but even funner to be.  Make-up assist and photo’s by Jennifer Jensen!
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I was transformed from mild mannered author to flesh eating, brain chomping zombie writing guy. What a treat it was to become part of the eclectic show all around us. I got to scare people, make them laugh, freak them out and be part of the experience with them. I posed for pictures, pretending to eat or chase people, I got to growl and groan like a hungry zombie in their ears, while they smiled for their selfies.
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What a fun day. I hope that you got to do something equally as fun and cool with your weekend.
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May Conventions on the horizon!!!

The summer convention season is starting off strong!

We are excited to be in attendance at these two conventions in May!

We hope to see you at one of them! Come out and see us!lilaccitycomicon

Lilac City Comicon Saturday May 14th in Spokane, WA

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Crypticon Seattle May 27th-29th!

We’ve got new promo book marks to giveaway and photo ops to share!

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Also, don’t forget to sign-up for our mailing list @

http://grivantepress.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=d034713aff9f93f8162a2e91b&id=33b210d780

Grivante & JJ @Crypticon Seattle May 27th-29th 2016 Come out and meet us!

Crypticon 2016
We are excited to be a part of Seattle’s Premier Horror Convention, come meet Grivante & JJ at the 9th Annual Crypticon in Seattle, WA!
 
The guest list for this one is huge! Check out their website for more details!
 
Confirmed Guests

Kenneth Calhoun who worked on (Jurassic World* The Revenant* X-men Apocalypse)

Ginger Lynn from (Rob Zombie’s 31* The Devil’s Rejects* Young Guns II)

Peaches Christ from (All About Evil* The Diary of a Teenage Girl* A Nightmare on Castro Street)

Kane Hodder from (Friday the 13th Part 7* Jason X* Hatchet)

Mark Patton from (Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge* Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street* Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean)

 
Crypticon Seattle is the largest convention of its type in the Pacific Northwest, and 2016 is our 9th year. We anticipate 5000+ attendees for this year’s 3 day event. Our fans will travel from the region extending from Vancouver, BC Canada to Eugene, OR and including Portland, OR, and of course the greater Seattle, WA area. Fans come to meet their favorite celebrities, watch the latest films – many making their premiere at Crypticon -, purchase gifts and collectibles, meet their favorite authors, dress up as their favorite characters, learn the latest make up techniques, meet other fans, and enjoy macabre-themed party events. Crypticon is the gathering for the true fan of creepy stuff in all its forms. It’s the place to be for every fan, and brands familiar to our fans.
 
Come meet us and buy a book!
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