Narrator: Scott Parkinson
Series: Life Among the Dead #1
Published by Audible Studios on 2013
Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
Genres: Horror, Zombie Apocalypse
Source: Purchased, Submitted
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There's over a million people in the city of Waterloo. Today, most of them have died, and now they're hungry. Corporal Dan Williamson is caught in the middle of the outbreak, desperately trying to reach his wife who is somewhere amid the urban decay. There are other souls out there, other tales of survival among the horror. Dan will soon learn that the living may prove to be an even bigger threat than the dead.
©2012, 2013 Daniel Cotton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I feel there a couple of musts when writing a zombie book. One of those musts is a real sense of imminent danger and a fight for survival, what better way to express that than a reservist trying to find his wife. Another is the recognition that society is failing and so are most social constraints, in other words there are threats everywhere from zombie to human. When I read the summary of Life Among the Dead, it looked like it had real possibility.
Life Among the Dead starts off really well with a walk through of a few survivors experience in the first hours of the zompocolypse. Daniel Cotton does a nice job of introducing characters at a comprehensible pace so the listener has a chance to identify with them. We start with Dan the reservist who just wants to find his pregnant wife. I really liked the down to earth attitude he had about the whole situation. Then there is Becca the closet nerd, who is a cheerleader. She is the ideal girl, smart, beautiful, and funny, until she does something so horrible that I actually was shocked by this twist. They link up with an elderly couple across the street, which is where the adventure really takes off.
The group heads off to the urban sprawl of downtown, to the hospital where Dan’s wife has a huge “little” surprise. At the hospital the initial group meets more survivors, some good, others not so much. This is the one problem I had with the book; I feel it could have been split up so there wasn’t this always evolving cast of characters. After they leave the hospital to make their way to Dan’s uncles farm when they get separated. Dan stumbles into a crazy possessed as a messiah, who wants to kill him. After he escapes, he continues his mission to reunite with his wife where all sorts of interesting things happen along the way.
After he makes his way to the farm, where he meets up with his wife, son, and the original group from the hospital, they start making long term plans to survive. They wall off the neighboring town and farms. They get a real community started. After the winter Bruce (Dan’s uncle) sets out with a military officer named Rash to find Dan’s parents. Things go wrong along the way. Thankfully for a group of children and a couple of adults (from the hospital of course) found his journal with directions back to New Castle. Like I mentioned would have better split up but all in all it was a great book. Well thought out and well written, I will be checking out book two.
The narration was good. Scott Parkinson tried and mostly succeeded to instill emotion, feeling, and personality with the characters. The pace of reading was a bit slow for my preference, but worked well due to the large cast to follow. I did enjoy how you got a good sense of who was talking. He did a good job individualizing each character as best as possible. I really enjoyed how he portrayed Bruce, I got a real sense of a elderly salt of the earth kind of guy.