Narrator: R. C. Bray
Series: Mountain Man #0
Published by Podium Publishing on 17 April 2018
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
Genres: Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Zombie Apocalypse
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After a long day of prepping a house for painting, all Gus Berry wanted was the night off to spend some time with his girlfriend and relax before having to return to work the next morning. But that isn’t going to happen. Because Gus’s co-worker Benny has found a one-night job at the local Mollymart East, a job that has to be done by morning. If Gus and his paint crew can complete the work by then, it could mean huge business with a respected, established grocery store chain.
But as Gus and his fellow painters soon discover, the much-anticipated zombie apocalypse doesn’t start with a bang. It starts on a Monday. And barricading themselves inside a megastore isn’t the end.
It’s just the beginning.
©2017 Keith C. Blackmore (P)2018 Podium Publishing
R. C. Bray is a fantastic narrator. I have listened to several of his books including Burnt Offerings, The Elementals, Gilded Needles, and one of my all-time favorites, The Martian. He does an excellent job of creating discernable characters. His females are never falsettos. They sound natural. Bray’s accents are incredibly good. He excels at communicating emotion including snark, which is actually hard to pull off. There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.
Last year I listened to The Hospital: The FREE Short Story: The First Mountain Man Story. It is a short listen that can be listened to at any point but chronologically between book 1 and 2. It got me interested in the series. When I was given the opportunity to review Mountain Man: Prequel for Audio Book Reviewer (https://audiobookreviewer.com/), I started listening immediately.
Gus makes a living as a house painter. He lives in a small town in Canada near the Bay of Fundy in southeastern Canada. Gus lives a simple. He hopes to make a life with his girlfriend Tammy. He tolerates and encourages his young coworker Toby. Life is going on in a normal trajectory until it takes a sharp, violent turn.
As a virulent strain of flu starts to hit the area, Gus’s boss signs Gus, Toby, and another coworker Gord up to paint the manager’s office at the local Mollymart. The manager’s office is on the 2nd floor overlooking the sales floor. While not thrilled to be working from 7p to midnight after working all day, Gus is glad to make the extra money. As the painters start their work, the world crashes quickly outside.
Individual’s dying from the flu strain are resurrecting as mindless, eating machine zombies. Individuals bit by zombies die and become zombies. One of the stricken runs into the store screaming. What follows is a wonderfully constructed scene. The reader/listener has a good idea of what is happening outside. The people in the store do not. They are confronted with a raging man who does not respond to any type of deterrent and argue with how to proceed. Even though no one can reach 911, the people still are unaware of how violent and dangerous it has become outside the store.
Mountain Man: Prequel is an exciting start to a different take on the Zombie genre. The Canadian location adds some subtle tweaks to the known geography of American towns and cities. The book tracks Gus and friends over the first few days of the outbreak. No explanation is given for the dead rising. Honestly, Gus does not have time to consider anything other than surviving minute to minute. A good story paired with an excellent narrator creates an accessible and exciting entry into a new series.
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