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on 8 April 2013
even considering this as a piece of fiction, i found the concept of teenagers swimming through a tunnel to reach an infected long island a bit ridiculous. a little slow and bogged down by mundane dialogue, i would consider reading further if it was free, but only in the hope that the story livened up a bit and the quality of the zombies improved.
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on 3 December 2012
Book Review: Gameland Episode 1 : Deep Into The Game by Saul Tanpepper
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd

Writing Style - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
From cover-to-cover, the atmospheric work is superb in this opening part of Saul Tanpepper's post-apocalyptic series. The first-person style in general is characteristically strong - typical of this author - and is built around some realistic, and often cleverly thought-out, dialogue.
The structure and temporal construction is excellent, following a carefully defined path through a complex, well executed group of sub-plots.

Character Development - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
This is a very simple character group, who begin with simple attributes and flaws, and build fairly quickly into the characters who will lead the way through the coming parts of the series.
As to be expected from the opening part of a series, these characters and their varied histories play the pivotal roles within the central plot, but all seen from the viewpoint of the main character, who drives the narrative from the start and gives you added glimpses into her personal journey through the story.
There are perhaps a few minor rough edges on the lesser members of the group, but you would really have to look for them in order to highlight them properly.

Descriptive - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
This man makes perfect use of descriptive. Say what you like about the subject matter... if zombies aren't your thing, fine... but you have to admit that this writer has a definitive talent for scene-building and nudging the imaginative juices of the reader, so that they see exactly what he needs them to see.
Every element of each section of the plot is beautifully presented. No matter what the atmosphere of the moment, he hits the nail on the head every time, setting up the twists pages and pages in advance, so subtly that they are as easy to miss as the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Language & Grammar - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
As far as linguistic knowledge and application goes, this man knows his noodles. If I were to be picky (which I enjoy from time-to-time) I thought a couple of passages felt forced with regards to the links used to move the story on, but at the same time and considering the punishing schedule the author has set for the release of these episodes, much of this is entirely understandable. Though it does make me wonder what this man is capable of producing, if he were to sit and develop a work over a couple of years.

Plot - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding) - MINOR SPOILERS
Damn, this is a clever one! A simple, central plot revolving around a game-zone supposedly once filled with the un-dead, there to be the subjects in a real-life role-playing-game, controlled by users in the `normal' world.
Interwoven into this is the `company' who go to extreme lengths to keep people out of the game-zone, and therein lies the more obvious twist... did they really try and keep this group out?
The central viewpoint and the primary character group really do make this highly entertaining and equally thrilling as the plot moves briskly along.
By the time you read the closing paragraphs of this offering, you will be frustratedly pinging your way back into the e-book stores looking for the next episode.

General - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
This is a great book for fans of the genre, and promises to be the start of an equally great series. I can't commend this author enough for the way he creates and presents the environs and builds his superb stories around them. It really is an excellent example for writers of the post-apocalyptic genre, and I would gamble that a finished omnibus offering when this series is completed, would be widely very well received.
Five stars... easy.
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on 18 June 2012
I think I still have chills! Tanpepper's Gameland: Deep Into the Game is one wild, intense ride. I have never read a book about zombies before, and so I jumped into this one with only movie zombies in my mind. Let me tell you, my opinion about zombies is forever changed! The way Saul described the monsters is so haunting, I was pretty much shivering with fear just reading about how they walked, shuddered, rasped...their gaping dark eyes and the way the old ones' heads exploded like bags of flour when hit with a bullet! Wow! I still can't get over that, it was insane. And my favorite chilling scene where there's a lone zombie standing still as a statue in the distance, so far away that the characters can see the heat waves coming off the concrete, was very well written. I was pretty much laughing at how freaked out that made me. The images he described will be with me (in my nightmares, probably!) for a very long time, which is the mark of a great writer.

Overall, this book is very, very good. Saul's writing style is impeccable, and the characters he has created are fun and unique, believable as late teenagers. The book is written from the POV of Jessie, a teenage girl, and Saul does a good job of using her as the catalyst for how we get to view the other characters and the dystopian New York City he's envisioned. It's very easy to slip into Jessie's shoes and walk around in them, exploring a future we had all better hope never happens, where government control is absolute and we are nothing more than slaves, taught from an early age to accept our fate.

The series' premise is based in what I think is roughly thirty years in the future, but I could be a little off. The country is broken apart, and an outbreak of zombies years before has now caused the government to quarantine off Long Island and other areas, keeping the zombies contained. Zombies are also used by the government and by private corporations, as a mix of janitors, soldiers (there are no more wars fought by the living!) and the scariest and unfortunately most believable use, as Players. The Players are used to compete in Gameland, which is a competition where Gamers control the zombie Players in some sick, twisted game.

If you are looking for an exciting read and you are fascinated by the Zombie Apocalypse, then please check out the Gameland series. I very much look forward to Saul's prequel, Golgotha, as well as the next installments in this eight part series!
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on 17 January 2013
Brilliant from the first page you are with the geek crowd, learning the new ways of life, defiantly makes you think what the future holds and how the world changes, will defiantly be reading more of s.w. tanpeppers work
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on 26 March 2013
This is a very well written melange of several different genres

Its a Hacker Techno Horror Suspense Zombie story.
Its 15 years after long Island was abandoned due to an outbreak of a virus.
It is now a telepresence driven theme park for millionaires who 'ride' Zombies using implanted electronics.

Five teens decide to break into Long Island to hack the game for free.

A very believeable setup , with great characters and a very slow tense build up. really gripping.
Would make a vet good tv series - much more interesting than the walking dead IMHO
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on 27 January 2013
Absolutely loved it! Exceptional depth of characters and a thrilling plot line with excellent background information. Detailed ending leading up 2 next book was thrilling
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on 9 October 2013
Hmmm. What does one say about a taster? First it is the first of a part-work, not what I really consider a 'book'. On the other hand, if cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, zombies are your meat and drink, this is a good read. If you're hooked, and you're likely to be, you're in for buying a lot more to complete your addiction.
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on 18 February 2013
Was very unsure of this book when I first read the description, but my fears were quickly dispelled after reading the first chapter. The story holds your attention really well and became another of those stories I tried to read in one sitting. Cannot wait to purchase the series.
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on 24 February 2013
started well,there were some interesting relationships to begin with.It then became just predictable and boring once the zombies turned up,can only see the initial idea being dragged out over the series, not for me i guess.
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on 23 March 2013
This book is gr8 keeps you wanting more all the characters are reel cool for a bunch of geeks it's not your normal zombie book takes awhile to get started but still well worth a read can't wait to read the rest
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