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on 19 January 2015
This is the 3rd Amy Cross novel that I've read and none have disappointed. Brilliant, keep 'em coming.
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on 2 August 2013
Enjoyable read, could of read more.....realistic characters,good plot line, what more can you want? Will look out for the author again.
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on 17 November 2015
From the beginning I knew this story was going to be good. As usual the writing style hooks you and compels you to keep reading...and reading.

Great characters set within a fabulous plot and though a familiar genre, this story certainly has its originality and delightful twists.

I don't give spoilers but will say that this first book of the series is one of the best of its kind and yes, I am already reading book two.

Highly recommended.
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on 15 July 2013
I like this author's previous books, but while this book had a lot to recommend it, I felt it wasn't up to her usual standards. I felt like she was experimenting with a slower style, but it didn't suit her story much. The result was a frustrating read that had a lot of unused potential.

The characters were an odd bunch. I suspect the aim was to compare and contrast two sets of siblings, but the attempt fell short. Elizabeth and her brother in New York were quite interesting, and bob was a good bad guy, but the sections set in Oklahoma fell very flat for me. The characters were quite realistic, but they slowed down the pace.

Then there's the central concept. There was a very good idea in this book, very unique, but it didn't surface until the end, by which time it was too late. The result is that the whole book felt like an overlong prequel. If there's a second series, I hope it gets to the point a little quicker.
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on 26 April 2014
This has some promising aspects but feels unfinished, unchecked and unedited. Firstly there are lots of spelling and grammar mistakes - at least one per page which is above my personal tolerance threshold for paid-for books.

Secondly, there are lots of annoying logical errors. For example, as another reviewer pointed out, Mr Blake became Mr Sharpe for a couple of paragraphs and then turned back to Mr Blake. There were contradictory descriptions of people, e.g. "she seems to have a very still, calm kind of demeanor" yet a couple of pages later the same person is "highly-strung and nervous". And there were time and distance confusions - they drove for 12 hours to a petrol station which was only 10 miles away from home (...?) and a car which was earlier driven away from that same petrol station was later found abandoned there, "where they left it". All very sloppy work (or maybe it's just poorly-written and I misunderstood). Either way, an editor should have sorted it out.

The ages of the younger people in the book just didn't feel right or maybe the author could have improved her descriptions to avoid confusion. I thought one character (a 'girl') was about 6 until she was later said to be twenty-ish, so I had to revise my mental image of her then.

I don't usually mind bad language in books (because dialogue should be realistic) but it was excessive and unnecessary here. EVERY character swore including a mother saying effing to her 20 year old daughter down the phone, and the little old lady who lived in the flat opposite. If the author based these people on real acquaintances then she really needs to widen her social circles.

There was quite a good idea going with the zombies but it only came out towards the end, and I'm really not sure that the book was good enough for me to want to continue.

By the way, although this is described as being eight "books" it is approximately the length of one largish novel. It ends at 81% and there is another unrelated story tagged on the end.
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on 22 October 2013
First of all these are not books, they are 8 chapters. The story started off well, but lapsed into a zombie story and then simply stopped before the end. If that was not bad enough, the author then launches into a second story which is totally unconnected and confusing. Do not waste your time or money on this.
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on 1 July 2014
Okay - here's the good news. The basic idea of MASS EXTINCTION EVENT is pretty good. The bad news is that it is executed in poor fashion. The writing is okay, but somewhat lazy, with an overuse of the word 'eventually' and far too much 'he says' and 'she says'. Characterisation is also very poor. I simply don't believe that this is how people would react to an event of this size and downright strangeness. Then there are odd moments which simply don't hold water. Before the mass extinction event of the title, one character finds a dying policeman and kills him. There is no thought for who might investigate the murder or its consequences for the perpetrator. Later in the book, this same guy informs his family that he will look after the sick woman he's fetched home - they won't have to lift a finger. But in the following scenes he complete disappears and the family looks after the girl regardless.

There are a lot of errors. I won't say 'typos' because many of them aren't - they're just right words in the wrong place, and as such not picked up by SpellCheck.

I'm all for writers publishing themselves, provided they subject the material and themselves to the same rigorous editing process one would expect from a so-called 'real' publisher. As an author (I speak from experience) it is our job to entertain our readers to the very best of our ability, and to spare no effort in producing the very best book we can. I get the feeling that Amy Cross wants to do just that, but somehow cuts corners when it comes to editing.

I mention all this in the hope that it will wake up some self-published authors and get them to really take this business as seriously as the rest of us.

Finally, I managed to get through 25% of this book, but simply could not face the prospect of having to wade through the remainder.
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on 12 September 2013
First I wish the book had been proof read properly and not just put through some kind of spell checker as some words were not wrongly spelt just the wrong word or just plain missed out which meant that I had to reread a few bits and figure out what the correct word should be, and this just detracts from the enjoyment and infuriates me that I paid from something so badly edited.

Then it suddenly stops at 81% and starts on another completely different and unrelated 'mini book' called The Grid? I was expecting the story to continue and was really frustrated, I hate it when the kindle says so many percent left and the book ends and instead there are pages of something totally irrelevant.

It is misleading saying that this is a series as really the length makes it barely one book.

However after those moans I did finish the book and would like to find out a bit more about the strange one minded dead, but with the weak characters and thin story lines I am not sure I would be willing to pay for any sequel.
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on 7 July 2013
The advert for this is totally misleading - this is just about one book in total and to call it a complete series is appalling. If I had bought the books one at a time - which I would not have after realising what was going on - I would have wanted my money back.
When I reached the end of what is sold here and I realised that I was supposed to have read all "8 books" in the series I felt really conned and let down. I have noticed in reviews for other books that this practice of writing the equivalent of a short story or chapter of a larger one and calling it a book is creeping in a lot.
Having said all that the story was quite good and I would like to see how it develops.
A little more reality about what constitutes a book would be appreciated though.
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on 12 June 2013
The good thing about the Kindle is that it has prompted many people to self publish and get their books and short stories out there. The bad thing is that many of these stories are poorly edited. Without trying to sound overly critical this book has not been properly edited, at all, and the writing style feels a little too under developed. As a result it is a frustrating, rather than enjoyable read, almost like wading through treacle.

Using spell check on Word (or any other word processing software) is not editing. This just picks out spelling errors and some basic grammatical mistakes. For example 'too' and 'two' are two very different words - the former is a number, the latter means 'also' or 'excessively'. Getting 'to' and 'too' mixed up is a common but extremely basic error, getting 'two' and 'too' mixed up makes it look like your grasp of the English language is extremely poor. This is just one of the numerous grammatical mistakes that litter this book, there are many, many more, TOO many to mention in fact so I will not list them all here.

Getting character names mixed up and calling someone 'Mr Blake' or 'Blake' and then referring to them as 'Sharp' a sentence later before switching back to 'Blake' is also extremely bad, slightly confusing, and is not something any writer should be doing if their work has been properly edited and read through on numerous occasions by both the writer themselves and at least one other person with a decent grasp of the English language.

If you are asking people to pay money for your writing, even if it is only a couple of pounds (or dollars) it should be professional, properly edited and well written. While I am all for encouraging folks to get out there and write it is important to remember that writing is a skill, one that improves the more you practise. More practise is definitely needed here.

Character development is reasonable, but not great and the major protagonists in this book are exceptionally irritating. While suspension of disbelief is needed to enjoy the majority of fiction (be it written or filmed), plot and character development has to be at least slightly believable for a reader to fully emerse themselves in the author's literary world.

Writing in the first person and having characters monologue in an attempt to explain key plot details and motivation is clunky, clumsy and more than a little frustrating. Some authors, James Frey and Brett Easton Ellis for example, use first person narrative stylistically, Frey doing so in an autobiographical sense and Easton Ellis doing so to depict the insanity of the narrator (unreliable narration). The key to zingy, punchy prose is in showing, not telling, which the author tends to do too much of in 'Mass Extinction Event'.

Try writing in the third person (be it Limited, Multiple Third Person Limited or Omniscient) rather than the first. This makes you a better fiction writer, helps define characters, allows the writer to describe the action more effectively and gives them more freedom to craft the narrative voice of the story.

The ending is also a little sudden, like the writer had no idea how to finish, and as a result feels abrupt, unpolished and a little weak. There is much better apocalyptic zombie fiction out there than 'Mass Extinction Event' and I recommend you try that as oppose to this. Back to the drawing board for Amy Cross.

Just my 2 cents.
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