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4.4 out of 5 stars103
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 February 2014
I don't really understand the high end reviews for this book... the reviews on are more balanced.

The good - it's an interesting concept and I did want to find out what had happened.

The bad - There is no explanation and no finality. Also, the text needed better proof reading, some of the plot lines didn't really hang together and some scenes were completely wasted as they didn't fit at all within the plots.

SPOILER: For instance... Nate and Brynn - what was that story line all about. They turn up, seem mysterious and untrustworthy, Gramps is after Brynn and prepared to torture to get information etc, etc. What was the point of this plot line? It wasn't expanded upon and it wasn't explained.

Also, the main character is a 13 year old - really, in the real world, would anyone believe such things from someone so young? Really?

I wanted this book to be great but I was disappointed... unfortunately.
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on 7 July 2013
Something about this story feels very reminiscent of Stephen King's better books.
The story is well paced and plotted, thoroughly engrossing and very atmospheric, and really sucks the reader into its world. It is suitably dark, unsettling and twisty, without ever becoming gratuitously gory or resorting to shock value to patch over weaknesses in the narrative.

I gave a four star review rather than a five for two reasons:
One, because there are a fair few typos/errors that should have been caught by a proof reader, such as spelling a character's name as both "Robby" and "Robbie" within the space of a couple of lines. I'm not even sure how this could happen as it's not an obvious typo!
Two, because in two or three places, the story inexplicably "jumps" without explanation; for example, suddenly one character who was alone and had been for some time is written about as being part of a group of people, which was never explained or segued naturally into the story.

The book could really benefit from the touch of a good proof reader and editor to address these issues, but regardless, I do strongly recommend this book.
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on 9 September 2015
Lets just say that even with the number of negative reviews for this book, I found I couldn't put it down. Even with the obvious typo's and continuity errors, the storyline still had me hooked and I wanted to find out what happened...which of course leads to a book 2 :) I don't think the thought of a 14 year old being the 'brains' of the story and having all the answers far-fetched, just look at 'savants' in the real world, who's to say this couldn't happen? It's a good blend of sci-fi, horror and occult all rolled into one ! So I think you should just read this for yourselves and make up your own minds. I totally enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one.
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on 18 March 2014
too much annoyed me for a higher score. Sure I finished it, but not too impressed. Good sci-fi should be clever and well written and, sorry, I found this one too silly. Couldn't believe the characters, nor did I care what happened to them. The grammar and spelling mistakes got to me, but came to the conclusion that this has suffered from very poor editing - surely the author proof read it at some time! And new ideas get launched in with no real reason or explanation - was glad to get to the end
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on 21 March 2016
This was a very enjoyable read. An interesting plot and a story that moved along at a good pace. Some have commented that they were unhappy with the way in which there seemed to be no conclusion, however, there is a sequel I believe and to be fair, this first instalment did conclude well enough.

It's also fair to say that it could do with a good proof reader, who would undoubtedly spot issues such as the multiple use of the same word within a paragraph which detracted from the flow. However, editing and proof reading are costly and this I would imagine is just a happy pastime for the author.

On balance this is a very good effort and something Mr Hamill can be proud of.
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on 30 November 2015
A solid book with an interesting premise and the kind of tension that creeps up on you from behind before whacking you over the head. The idea of a teenager being in charge is a brave choice, but the author does a good job of making it believable - although some opportunities to explain Robbie's behaviour were missed. For example, at one point he loses it in the LL Bean store but the rest of the group never call him on it, and it's never really explained. We get hints of what's going on inside his head, but not enough to really, completely root for him, which is a shame because he, and Brad particularly, are otherwise extremely believable characters.

A few plot holes dropped the star points on this: the relationship and situation around Nate and Brynn was never explained, and when they dropped out of the story there was no real sense as to why they were in it in the first place (unless they were simply a plot device to separate Brad from the group); it seemed like what happened in the Volvo was a red herring, never explained nor mentioned again, even though it clearly was profound for Robbie. Robbie's theories about the cause of the disaster were just...too convenient - this goes back to not fleshing out his character enough so that, when he made his pronouncements it was kind of like wtf did that come from? Is he a savant, for example? Is his memory eidetic? How does he know this stuff? It felt a bit deux et machina at times.

But the writing is good. The ideas are interesting. The tension of the story was excellent - a proper page turner and, all in all, a darned good read. I'd definitely read other work from this author.
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on 5 June 2016
Great potential but very poor editing and some plot holes and lack of characterization which at times spoils the pleasure of reading. Nothing is really explained and I felt some indispensable "scenes" were left out. For instance we never get to be explained what exactly is Robby's theory regarding the nature of the very strange events unfolding (Robby being the brain of the story). In one chapter, it looks like Robby is at last going to lay out his theories and share them with the rest of the survivors, but then the chapter ends abruptly and no more is really said of Rob's explanations. It is frustrating considering that all the decisions made after that by the group of survivors are made in response to the said theory. Also, characters appear and disappear with no apparent purpose (Nate and Brynn among others) and the reader, at the end of the book, is left wondering what the story was all about, considering the many unanswered questions and loose ends. Strangely enough, there is however enough left to make for a compelling reading (you really want to know what's going to happen next, and despite the text being wordy at times, most of the time it's very well written), and you keep turning the page hoping that all will finally be revealed (even if it never does), hence my rating of 3 stars out of 5. Still debating whether i will purchase the sequel or not.
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on 8 October 2015
Really enjoyed this book. Gotta say tho that a large part of me thought I was reading a Stephen king book. This is not a criticism - Stephen King writes great books. The Maine setting, the characterisations, the parts where the author waffles for a page or two......All these things made me think I was reading Mr King under another pseudonym! Thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.
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on 5 April 2016
Some very well constructed tension building elements that keep you reading right to the end, although many fell by the wayside and were never fully explored or resolved. This is book one of three, so these plot hooks may be explained in a later volume.

My only major criticism with the plot was the unlikelihood of a band of adult survivors of a global apocalyptic event to elect a 14 year old boy as their leader, following his lead without question.

As with many other reviewers I am left wondering who, if anyone proof read the book before publishing as it is riddled with typos, spelling and grammar errors which can be a little distracting requiring the reader to re-read some passages in order to understand the narrative.

All this said, I did find it thoroughly engaging and I will certainly be reading book two in the series if only to (hopefully!!) find what the author saw as the reason many of the plot hooks happened.
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on 7 December 2015
Ike Hamill's series opener, Extinct, is well-paced, intriguing and harrowing from the start. Seen mostly through the eyes of 13 year old Sherlock type kid, it is well written enough to make the traumatic apocalypse seem believable.

It's the atmosphere - a creeping sense of doom and danger - that electrifies this book. And the admission that humans are frail, yes, but capable of great feats of kindness too.

My only minus - and the reason i've given Extinct a 4 is that i felt Robby was a bit too quick to move on from the death of his family. Although i'm guessing the sort of high functioning sociopath type he seems to be might account for that.

All in all i do reccomend this book to you.
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