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on 21 January 2016
I had high hopes for this book after reading the glowing reviews and seeing multiple sequels ,however I don't think its as good as others seem to .Don't get me wrong there is nothing terribly wrong with it, its just that I've read it all before. Main character big butch ex marine saves all he comes across and treats other ex soldiers (warriors) as a group apart from ordinary mortals. Of course he's an expert with all weapons and mows down everyone he comes across. As I say nothing really bad about the book but I shan't be buying any more.
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on 20 February 2012
Having been a Zombie novel lover for many years, I was begining to despair at the quality of books being written and released over the last few years (exc the recent Fighting to Survive, which I will also review as a great book), this novel has firmly put my faith back in the Genre. This is a great read, I downloaded on friday and had finished by sunday. Characters draw you in, action is continuous and Zombies are Zombies, not telepaths, not Ra reincarnated just good old fashioned Zombies and the humans are far scarier than the walkers.
I have just downloaded the 2nd installment and will go straight into it this evening.
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on 23 February 2012
I started this one in a hopeful spirit, having read the other reviews.

It is written in cliche after cliche. Every order is barked, every wound is gaping, every respite is brief, every scream is piercing, every pandemic is full-blown, every eye is as wide as a saucer, every blade as sharp as a razor. The hero "hangs up his spurs" after a "slap in the face" when the official definition of terrorism is changed. These are all quotes, and the list goes on and on.

The author also has a tin ear for dialogue. When the hero manages to establish precious phone contact with his wife, he says to her "If my memory serves me, your parents live on a cul-de-sac, right?" Is this realistic dialogue?

At one point he straddles a bike and then attaches a lightweight titanium ice axe to the frame. How? We are not told. I think I would attach it and then straddle the bike, personally.

The US government pulls itself together after the zombie crisis and seals the Mexican border. Again, how? It sounds quite an achievement under the circumstances.

I could go on, but my life is too short; definitely too short to finish this book.
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on 24 August 2015
I tried to read this book but did not get far. Cannot understand all the good reviews as this must be one of the most dire books I have come across. There are some accurate one star reviews already posted, just wish I had taken heed of them.
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on 25 December 2012
Shawn Chesser writes a fairly straight forward tail of the zombie apocalypse. If you are looking for anything ground-breaking or new then I'm afraid your search is not over.

Having said that, this book is one of the better written examples of the genre even if it follows the standard recipe for its type.

If this is the beginning of your foray into zombie literature, then this is a good place to start.
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on 29 December 2012
The first thing I'll say is that I've read a LOT of Zombie fiction. It's my favourite sub-genre of Horror. I've seen all the movies and I'd say I've made a fair crack at reading most of the fiction that's out there at the moment.
I am not kidding when I say I love it. Something about Zombies just interests me and they go so naturally hand-in-hand with my second favourite subject matter; a post-apocalyptic world.
With that in mind I would say, fairly, that I am pre-disposed to like most Zombie fiction I come across.
I started reading this first book (and indeed I've read his second book in this series) and everything was fine. Until very early on we, the reader, gets a very strong impression that Shawn Chesser was at some point in the Services. And that's fine obviously, (Thank you for your service) and in fact it adds a healthy bit of realism. But then it piles on, and on, and on and on until you start feeling like that cursory bit of chocolate fudge at the bottom of a tall Sundae glass with all the cream, ice cream, sprinkles and the cherry on top. It is overwhelming and in some parts of the story it actually over-powers the story, like he is trying to prove that he knows what he's talking about.
I like to know little titbits of survival tactics in books like this, but there is absolutely no way I'm going to care about the inner workings of a plethora of weapons, machinery and vehicles. I'm sorry but I just don't care. It was totally distracting. I don't buy books like this to get a lesson in arms and it just felt like the author was just trying to push the point that his main character, Cade, was a billy-big-boots `operator'.
But do you know what, I could forgive the above enthusiasm for guns, helicopters and folding knives, but what really frustrated me was the completely apparent disillusionment with the United States Government. And I'm not talking about Cade's opinion. I really do mean Mr.Chesser's opinion, because anything that is written with such obvious tongue-in-cheek venom and allusions to current affairs/recent actions taken by the White House and Congress is not written by an ambivalent mind, it is written by someone with an axe to grind and this manifests in the book and is as bitter as chewing coffee grinds.
It was difficult to overlook and actually made me dislike the character a little bit. I don't especially care about USA politics (at least not while I'm reading fiction) but I am aware of the various movements like any other person who watches/reads the global news so the references made by Chesser are not wholly fictional and while it's OK that he have these opinions I find it tacky that he use his book as a stadium to fling mud. However non-deliberately done it was, it was present and it was obvious.
As my title says, I really wanted to like this book, it was a bit different from other books in the genre, but because the author couldn't put aside his politics and spent too-long describing the muzzles of various guns to me, it gets 2 stars; 1 for plot, 2 for good structure. Points deducted for show-boating and soap-boxing.
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on 15 February 2012
I am always looking for new authors of zompoc story telling. I just love them. If you have read zombie books before you will be aware of Max Brooks and JL Bourne, if you like those guys Shawn Chesser is right up your street!! Great story line and chracters that are easily bought into as they have great depth. Shawn either really knows his stuff when it comes to the military or has done an awful amount of thorough reesearch as the reactions to situations that Cade find himself in (lead) are bang on. I feel it is so important to be true to life in the detail as this adds so much "believability" to a zombie book and adds so much. Great book, 5 star read, cant wait for more!!!
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on 13 May 2012
Trudge is the first book in the "Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse" series. I bought it for my iPhone Kindle app after reading the intro in the "Look inside" tab, just to fill the gap in the boring evenings after work.
Wow! I read it in three evenings and a few bathroom breaks in work, on all three evenings I didn't put it down before midnight.
I enjoyed it so much that I bought the kindle version of "Soldier On" minutes after finishing book one on a toilet break and yes, I did buy it in the toilet :0)

Our author introduces us to our hero in a friendly way, he's easy to like, the man next door. He's taking his wife and daughter to the airport to visit her parents on the other side of the country while he remains at home, to catch up on his "to-do" list. Unfortunately for Cade, society starts it's downward spiral between him dropping the family at the airport and his trip home. He realises that things are only going to get worse and prepares to go and rescue his family.

Along the way he meets other survivors, both good and bad and I think it's this angle which piqued my interest. Most Zombie books focus on the "Everyone pull together and save humanity" ideal, however, Shawn reminds us of the reality that some people are just plain evil and would see this as just another opportunity to exploit their fellow survivors for their own gain. He gives us people we can identify with and kills some of them in interesting ways.

I gave it 5 stars because I think it's a gripping story with characters I came to like and mourn and others I can't wait to see killed.

Great work Shawn, I'm eagerly looking forward to the next instalment.
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on 16 May 2014
I fell in love with this family. However, the initial attack scene was totally off for me and the inner dialogue could have been so much better.

This sort of sticky but bland writing continued but the actual story and characters were brilliant.

Around chapter six it seems that SC slides into some awesome author mode and the book/writing steps up several gears. The beginning needs some more kick and condiments to it (IMO) to draw in new readers.

The main characters are Cade, his wife Brook and daughter Raven. As they are on opposite sides of the country the dual settings and storylines really give good, but non distracting, tension.

I really enjoyed all the news caster feed, back histories of the family and even the political rhetoric. The military element is there but again, it is non distracting to us less interested readers.

As each group gathers and loses members no character is safe. There are occasional humour moments which really bring home the realism of the people and the horrors they are facing.

The White House situation was a shock but brilliantly done, it also allowed for the “why” to occur. SC left the book hanging on a fantastic note, no shocking cliffhanger but I have to know what happens next.
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on 14 January 2013
always been a fan of zombie fiction, loved this and can,t wait to download the next book in the series, BUT, and this has to be said. at one point in the book, it seems as if the author has switched off his brain, because something happens that beggers belief. there is one scene, namely a flashback, showing how a bunch of school kids and their teachers became zombies. the female teacher is the first one to go, but, instead of running away, the school kids just stand there whimpering, while she kills and eats them one by one!!!! one or two being frozen in fear i can accept, but all of them? highly unlikely. and considering that she was eating them, how was there enough of them left to reanimate? even more bizarre was how the male teacher behaved. a simple sprain was apparantly enough to prevent him from getting away, so instead, he decides to just lie there, and let the zombie kids eat him from the legs up!!!! its never explained why they stop at his legs. yes, its zombie fiction, and you are supposed to suspend disbelief, but seriously? despite these gripes, it is an enjoyable book and i look forward to book 2
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