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Junkie Quatrain, The MP3 CD – MP3 Audio, October 28, 2014
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From the author of Audible.com's best sci-fi novel of 2012!
Six months ago, the world ended.
The Baugh Contagion swept across the planet. Its victims were left twitching, adrenalized cannibals that quickly became known as Junkies. Civilization crumbled as people created isolated safe havens to hide from the infected and the possibly-infected.
Now, as society nears a tipping point, lives will intersect and intertwine across two days in a desolate city. The Junkie Quatrain is four tales of survival, and four types of post-apocalypse story. Because the end of the world means different things for different people. Loss. Opportunity. Hope. Or maybe just another day on the job.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (October 28, 2014)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1491582537
- ISBN-13 : 978-1491582534
- Item Weight : 3.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.63 x 5.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,939,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Here the zombies are called Junkies but serve the same role; they're dimwitted (mostly), hunger for flesh, and their bite is capable of infection. They're non-Romerian zombies in that they are quick and have a degree of intelligence which improves when they get into packs - features that makes them far deadlier than traditional zombies when present in any significant numbers.
The stories are interlocking and are told from a different perspective in each tale. This is an interesting way of telling the story as you don't have a complete picture of events until you've read all of them. Clines paints a vivid picture of a near future ravaged by the spread of the Junkie disease. It isn't quite as bleak as the Ex-Heroes universe - most of humanity has survived this one - but the nature of the disease is actually more horrific. In Ex-Heroes, death tended to be quick and certain after being bitten or scratched. Here, a recently infected victim has the Sword of Damocles hanging over them for weeks while they slowly manifest symptoms that can lead to only one outcome.
** Possible Spoilers Below**
I found all of the stories to be good reads except for the last one. The last story is from the point of view of a professional assassin. That could have been interesting except the character failed the 'Bourne Test' (If the character would handily defeat Jason Bourne in both marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat, then the author needs to go back to the drawing board and redesign the character because he/she is seriously overpowered.) This character would give Stealth a run for her money and that's a problem considering that Stealth is a 'far more than human' superhero. This made it impossible to get into the final story and that made for a weak denouement.
** End Spoilers **
Despite my reservations about the final story, I enjoyed the book immensely. This is due in no small part to Clines' clean prose style and effortless/organic dialogue. Clines' junkies are also an interesting take on the zombie genre and I couldn't help but think about how different Ex-Heroes would have been with junkies instead of Exes.
Cleverly, each chapter links a character(s) from the previous one and while that might sound twee, Cline makes it work really well. So we get this overlay of stories that are sequentially related during the course of a couple of days and geographically focused on the now quiet streets of LA.
I purchased 'The Junkie Quatrain' on the back of Clines' ' Ex-Heroes ', which is of a similar theme. And I was not disappointed (as I was not disappointed with another Cline novel, ' 14 ').
Well, to be fair I was disappointed a little bit.
I'd have liked 'The Junkie Quatrain' to be longer! There is enough meat on the bones of the plot - and the characters - to take the story deeper and show us more of the world post-Baugh Contagion.
This is horror story genre meets high-tech medical thriller and if either of those float your boat, I recommend 'The Junkie Quatrain'.
Clines provides a slightly different take on the zombie genre with the Junkie Quatrain. Four stories, each of which stands on its own, but intertwined with the others. Clines indicates in the preface that the stories are not meant to be read in any specific order, and even suggests that you specifically don't read them in the order they're printed. However, having read the four, I really think that they are in the optimal order as printed in the book.
Overall, they are four well-written stories with believable (and memorable) characters. Unlike much of the zombie fiction out there, I was hard-pressed to find any grammatical or spelling issues. It was a relatively short read, but worth the time and money spent for the book.
That being said, this was still a very good read. Clines has a way of developing characters that is wonderful, even with stories as short as these. Perhaps that's why I was left wanting more, because I wasn't quite ready to leave those characters and that world. I would explain more, but in the interest of not wanting to ruin the stories for other readers, I think I'll stop here. Happy reading!