Under a Graveyard Sky: Black Tide Rising, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Zombies are real. And we made them. Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? The Smith family is, with the help of a few marines.
When an airborne "zombie" plague is released, bringing civilization to a grinding halt, the Smith family, Steven, Stacey, Sophia, and Faith, take to the Atlantic to avoid the chaos. The plan is to find a safe haven from the anarchy of infected humanity. What they discover, instead, is a sea composed of the tears of survivors and a passion for bringing hope.
For it is up to the Smiths and a small band of Marines to somehow create the refuge that survivors seek in a world of darkness and terror. Now with every continent a holocaust and every ship an abattoir, life is lived under a graveyard sky.
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 45 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 04, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #15,083 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#254 in Urban Fantasy
#1,459 in Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,705 in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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As other reviews have noted, the daughters in this book are the glaring flaw. Your mileage may vary, but to me their characterization was honestly so freaking ridiculous that I had to stop reading by page 200. You have a 15 year old, Sophia, speaking in biochemical lingo after ONE DAY in a lab listening to a radio. Her science education included high school chemistry; that's it. I am in the sciences and have mentored teenagers before; I don't care if the radio is spewing this all day, you do not become an expert in a day and someone with only a high school chemistry background isn't going to have an understanding like Sophia did after one freaking day.
The above I could have given a pass to because I did not expect the author to be in the sciences as he points out in the foreword that he consulted with others on the science. But then there's the 13 year old daughter, Faith, who injects herself lightly with a tranquilizer on accident while being chased by zombies. Uh oh, right? Probably gonna die, right? Nah, she takes down NINE ZOMBIES while stoned and without the use of her right arm. I am not making this up and am not exaggerating, this starts on page 139 and this is 100% what happens. The author stresses that she isn't able to use her right arm and has to reload a taser with one hand, then cuts to a scene with nine zombies down and her without a scratch to show for it. Okay. No. Just completely and utterly unbelievable. Some others enjoyed this book but by page 200 I could not continue on, which is a shame because the author did do a wonderful job at making this believable. I really enjoyed the introduction and that he did his research there and it showed, it's just that he tried WAY WAY too hard to make Sophia and Faith badass, likeable characters. The writing needs to make sense, the characters need to be believable and Mary Sue characters like these who have thick plot armor and are already doing impossible things by page 141 . These characters were not at all believable and that is a dealbreaker for me so I had to put the book down.
If you can get past these characters, you may enjoy this book. But, for me, it killed the entire story and I had to quit while I was ahead and stop reading. So, personally, this book sucked and so it gets one star.
In this novel, the author takes us on an expedition to the origin of a biological warfare attack, a large hole in the plot of many such post-apocalyptic plots. The science is detailed, and well written. Even as a biology major, many years ago, I can’t fault his descriptions of the man made virus, or its broad dissemination in an unsuspecting population.
The meat of this story, however, rests in the masterful characterization the author provides. Ranging from a family of 4star survivalists, who receive an ominous warning text “Alas Babylon” from a friend who is in the know. The meaning is clear: “Run, get clear of civilization, it is coming, and it will end everything you know”. They do, and it does. The amazing thing is that the author makes it really easy to suspend disbelief, because his characters are so real. You actually begin to care about what happens to each of them. Fiction writing at its best.
We listen in on discussions in Biowarfare laboratories, we observe the difficulties facing police officers dealing with the street level effects of the attack. We hear them discussing the fact that nobody wants to use the word “Z*****” in connection with the poor unfortunate victims. Actually they discussed the fact that you can’t apprehend them, all you can do is shoot them.
The plot continues through the point of view of the teenage daughters of the preppers mentioned, as they work for their uncle’s business, a large bank engaged in . . . No spoilers, OK? There is also the plight of out numbered police officers in zombie NYC. The press of the infected is so great the National Guard has to take over. Oh! Don’t miss the battle of Central Park. Not saying how this one ends, but there is an entirely separate story included as “Book 2”, and there are at least 6 volumes in this series. Don’t miss out on this adventure.
Definitely gonna keep on going with this one. It was too good for a one-and-done even if I wasn't too sure in the beginning.
Top reviews from other countries
I can't see any reason at all for this choice. He had a character in book one that would easily fulfill the same role - the uncle, Tom. This 13 year old and her sassy one liners (in the anime style) form the main comic relief of the book also. I should note that while I found this mostly poor, some of the passages were highlighted a number of times, so it's clearly to someone's taste.
Overall could have been one of the best zombie stories. Ended up one of the worst.
In general the book is enjoyable action fare, though the world-building and characters really don't hold up to scrutiny and the holes can become rather annoying if you stop to think about them. My advice is don't. It's a quick and entertaining easy reading without too much depth, don't expect more and you won't be disappointed.
The two areas that irritated me were the way in which everyone in this book is pretty much incompetent, except for the central family, and I mean truly, Darwin Award incompetents, and that goes for everyone in a position of authority.
But the most annoying single feature is the women. There are technically three in the central family, though the mother is practically invisible she gets so little page space. The daughters, are allegedly 13 and 15, which is the most annoying feature, because it's what breaks the story the worst.
We are expected to believe that a 13 year old girl is able to deal with killing 'zombies' (technically infected humans) with absolutely no problems, and less time spent dealing with her emotional response than combat veterans who are described as functional sociopaths. We are also expected to accept that she is the size and strength of an average adult male. She has the unarmed combat skills to act and react in close combat without hesitation and is an ace shot. Further she apparently has sufficient training to teach a US special forces soldier about clearing an enclosed area, in this case a ship. Combine this with the way she talks and reacts to other characters, and how much more mature her tactical and operational thinking, all at the age of 13. Her sister is somewhat more believable at 15, and far more cerebral in her persona, but it's still a bit of a stretch. It would be so easily fixed by not insisting on stating their unbelievable ages every few paragraphs, or actually using believable ones, so I'm not sure why Ringo is trying to sabotage his own story, unless there's some long range story arc that requires the girls to be this young to fit in later, but that seems like a really stupid thing to do.
After a few days reflection, I have edited my review to remove one star, because you need something beyond endless zombie bashing, and Ringo does not deliver. The world is not coherent and believable enough to actually care about, and the characters are either some degree of incompetent, or total heroes who can do no wrong. It's too 2 dimensional, and I won't be reading the next one.
The only distraction is that the style of writing is broken into very short bursts which while it keeps things moving is oddly unsatisfying at times. These 'clips' of a few lines even when they are obviously part of linked events broke up the flow for me on occasion.
There is also a lot of military and nautical jargon which while I am familiar with some of it, the references did at times puzzle me. Yes, it adds authenticity to a military-based family but I could have done with a list of acronyms to refer to.
On the whole though a good read.
It reminds alot of the first Posleen War books, with the choice of characters and language. It sets a very very nice stage for the story.
BUT: (And this didnt make me distract stars here, since THIS book is brilliant)
The series gets weaker with each part. In big steps. So if you want to get into it, read part one&two, but stop there and enjoy what you have.
Part three and four will just muddy the waters with rampant US patriotism, unlogical story flaws, boring graphical language and quite unbelievable characters. And instead of actually clearing up some mysteries around the whole apocalypse it just engorges itself on cheap zombie massacre scenes. So while the stage had been set in a non plus ultra way with this book, the sequels do not realize the potential and fall short of the mark.