Narrator: Mark Gagliardi
Series: ARES Virus #1
Published by Self Published / Indie on 16 August 2017
Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
Genres: Science Fiction, Zombie Apocalypse
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What would happen if a viral agent was released on American soil? How would local agencies react? How would the military respond? What if it was one of their own? Would they own it or attempt to cover it up? If a major operation was jeopardized because of the release, would that alter any of the decisions? A potent viral agent, created to destabilize a region for forces to move in and clean up, is accidentally spilled in a metropolis. Those infected serve only to afflict others through any means.
As forces move in on the beleaguered city, Sergeant Brown has to make his way through roving bands of the infected in order to escape. Will the ring close before he can reach safe grounds or will he and others he finds be added to the final tally?
©2017 John O'Brien (P)2017 John O'Brien
John O’Brien has crafted a new world from his previous works in this genre. This time around our government has gone a step too far in its biowarfare program and created the unthinkable called the ARES Virus. In true government fashion with congress critters and oversight committees all calling for transparency, they have to send everything out to independent labs for testing and verification or lose those black budgets they depend on to thrive on. Even the worst virus including ARES must be tested or bad dog no biscuit. True to the government employee stereotype men in black deliver the virus to the wrong address at a college campus. The well-meaning person attempts to take it to the correct address on a nice sunny day across campus loses containment and the nightmare begins.
The infected become enraged carriers of a hybrid rabies virus that has only one goal, to perpetuate its existence with the host as the carrier attacking everyone it sees. Those that are bitten rise and continue the infection spreading it with horrifying speed. The government’s theory is they should die off after three days of dehydration and go into a hibernation state with no more to infect. In one of John O’Brien’s rare Meta moments Sgt. Brown is reading a series of books on the lawn on his Kindle. He is the ROTC Instructor for the University and just returned from deployment and mentions the New World order fast zombie series. Just as the virus contagion begins. Sgt Brown is caught in the middle of the infected and the only way to survive and remain uninfected is to leave the campus and possibly the nearby town. He picks three up three cadets at his office but only two survive the exodus out of the city, Cadet Clarke and Cadet Hayward. Along the way, they also find a little girl named Emily and convinces her to come with them. Sgt. Brown knows that with this level of the outbreak the extremes the government and military decide to use to stop the virus and it will be scorched earth for anyone surviving in the town or anywhere close to it.
The audiobook does a good job of holding the listener’s attention through the entire story. The story is filled with plenty of action, adventure, violence, and horror. If you are a fan of Mr. O’Brien’s previous work this will for sure hold your attention. There are enough twists and turns in the story that it does keep things interesting.
Mark Gagliardi provides the narration for this audiobook. This reviewer did not enjoy Mr Gagliardi narration style through this audiobook. There are some narrators who do not change pitch for male and female characters and it works for them. In this instance, I was just not that big of a fan of his narrating style He just did not connect with me as a narrator. I have nothing personal against the narrator just a personal preference. It did not draw me out of the story though. The production value was of the highest quality.