January 2018 Audiobook ReviewZombie Road: Bloodbath on the Blacktop

Run time: 10hrs and 52 minutes, narrated by Eric A. Shelman
In the sequel to David A. Simpson’s Convoy of Carnage, Bloodbath on the Blacktop we join Gunny and crew as they make their way to Lakota, South Dakota, their new safe home, or is it?

Threats are mounting on multiple fronts. The potential of nuclear meltdown continues, the terrorist threat looms in the background plus the mysterious danger of the shadowy organization that may really be behind everything that has happened to devastate the planet.

There’s a lot that happens in this book, but our main focus remains on Gunny and his band of truckers as they set up shop in Lakota and make it defensible against the undead hordes and the ever-present bad humans that tend to crop up once society falls.

What did I like about this story?
I like that the story continued its action-packed pace and moves the story and Gunny forward toward rescuing his family. Speaking of, I really liked that we got to spend more time with Lacy and their son, who managed to get himself into even worse trouble this time around. They were primarily secondary characters in the first book, but they stand out more this time around presenting us with an opportunity to get to know them and the threats they are facing. I had feared their story might just be left in the same peril as book one, but they manage to find themselves in new trouble this time around that left me on the edge of my seat wondering how the hell they’ll get out of this one.

What didn’t I like about this story?
I know that despicable humans exist, especially in dystopian tales, but they do tend to get old after The Walking Dead’s Governor and Negan. Casey is our primary human villain in this tale and I didn’t like him. He might be a necessary evil to show the differences between our band of heroes and the not so nice people that are left, but I would have loved to have seen more about the other villains that thus far have only been hinted at in the series. The shadowy government organization that appears to be behind things and the Arab terrorist cells that are roaming the countryside decommissioning the failing nuclear power plants. They are still nothing more than bit players and it would have been great to see them step into the spotlight this time around, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until book three to see one or both of them take center stage in the Zombie Road series.

Narration:
Eric A. Shelman’s narration was as excellent as it was last time, bringing life to the story with his occasional special effects and his perfectly toned vocals that matched what you’d imagine for this group of ex-military truckers.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Absolutely. I gave book one a ten out of ten and I’m gonna be a little rougher on this one only because I wanted more of certain aspects that I didn’t get and felt were a missed opportunity to amp up the excitement going into book three. That is, of course, an assumption on my part that book three will be wrapping up the main storyline of the series and those elements will be focused on more there. That may not be the case as I know David has been talking about additional books in the series, so only time will tell how it all plays out and when we will get to the bottom of the true villains of this series.

I give this book a 9 out of 10.

For my review of book 1 in the Zombie Road Series, please click here!

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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.

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