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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2013
I had read the synopsis, so I knew the basic outline of the plot, but I was still disappointed by the alien element to the story. The first part of the book is quite good pandemic survival stuff. Nothing special but OK. The moment the aliens appear it starts to deteriorate. Its a bit of American mini-series plot and I was disappointed with the main characters. Not likeable from the start (self-obsessed, whingey and quite pathetic characters) they managed to endear less sympathy as the book went on, despite one of them going from a "city/domestic" dweller to very capable "hiking/survivalist/killer" overnight.
The writing style was easy going, despite a predictable plot. I certainly didn't find this book a "page turner" and felt no compulsion to complete the book. However, strangely enough I did immediately buy the 3rd book in the series, as the parallel storyline sounded more interesting than the one I just read.
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on 19 March 2014
Sometimes you start to read a book and get into it after a difficult begining and then absorb the story as you go along . . . and then something happens which sort of makes it all go wrong. Well this is that kind of book.

You read many books which have been padded and expanded to make loads of books in a series. This is very much the opposite way - it is condensed to the state where it does suffer - especially the last 5 - 7% of the book where I had to keep looking back to see if I had missed something -

There is a bad saying amongst war gamers - "and with one bound he was free" describing particularly bad endings, well this book has one of them..

Will I read any more in the series? No. I'll pass
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on 14 March 2013
The novel started very well. The gist is that a plague has wiped out most of humanity, and the book follows those who are immune from the outbreak onwards.

There is a varied cast of individuals, all characterised very well, and the way they cope with the end of civilisation varies from person to person.

It starts out like an intelligent take on something similar to Survivors, and I read avidly their tales... And then the aliens turned up.

It's not a surprise to anyone who read the blurb that aliens are in it, and yet they ruined, for me, an excellent book.

It went from something exploring character development and plot and specific well thought out pacing, to a bog standard action adventure story. The first half of the book could have been nearly anything without affecting the second half remotely. And it spoiled the reading experience for me.
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on 18 January 2013
I love this book. I mean I really loved reading this book. The marriage of the two genres worked incredibly well (separated by the simple act of looking out of a window) and the characters were so well defined that none took precedence in my affections and I turned each page eager to find out what came next. In short - real page turner. The first half for me was comparable to 'The Stand' and the second half Weber's 'Out of the Dark'. Both being excellent books reveals the regard in which I hold this particular book. Many thanks to the author.
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on 11 April 2015
First thing’s first; let me start by defending my average rating of a very decent book. I was utterly engrossed by the initial part of ‘Breakers’ and thrilled that there was a whole series for me to work my way through. Then I hit the middle, the aliens were ushered in and despite the curveball to the plot I felt my interest slowly slipping away. Yes, I had been warned about the aliens, so it can certainly be argued that it is my fault that I didn’t enjoy the book overall – I have never classified myself as a huge fan of alien fiction, apart from a few distinctive exceptions. It was the other intriguing aspects of the book which caused me to overlook what turned out to be a major flaw in an otherwise good story.

With a love of catastrophe of most kinds, the start of this book was a winner for me; an epidemic of a mystery strain of flu has killed off 90 percent of the population and those who are left must do what they can to survive this new and dangerous world. The story gives us the perspectives of two of those survivors; Walt, a man who was slightly unhinged even before the virus was implemented, and Raymond - who will do almost anything to provide for himself and his wife. We follow these characters as they deal with the devastating affect the virus has on their lives and the world around them, and how they function after the end of the world as they have known it.

The build up to the disaster is suspenseful and exciting – it is fantastically implemented and at just the right pace – I could not put the book down at this point. I also loved the author’s portrayal of the world after the virus; the post-apocalyptic setting is highly convincing and accurate, it was very easy to get lost in the situation. There was just the right amount of gore to make the plot effective, but not too much to put me off.

Another huge positive for this book was the multi-faceted characters; the author presents us with an intimate group of average but flawed people who were fascinating to read about, even before the virus hits. I absolutely loved the intense transformation of these characters as they adapted to their new surroundings and faced a whole host of tragedies, complications and danger. How do they adjust being survivors in a perilous, unfamiliar world?

It certainly makes the reader question a lot of deep rooted assumptions about human nature and the blurring lines of morality after the deterioration of civilisation. Whatever else I have to say about this book, it was chock full of really profound ideas which genuinely had me thinking; how do humans adjust to chaos? What happens when order crumbles and it is every man and woman for themselves?

But after the aliens are announced the book loses direction, and in my opinion it really goes downhill. Secondary characters feel hastily written in, in contrast with the slow and intense relationship we have developed with the main survivors; there is no connection made. And the ending is just as hasty and abrupt – I found the dialogue amusing but since I had lost interest it felt superficial. I had a difficult time envisioning the aliens, though the descriptions were in depth I couldn’t wrap my head around their image.

Despite loving the authors approach to disaster and survival, I cannot honestly say this outweighs the negatives in this book. I felt the alien aspect seemed completely out of the blue, it was almost awkward. Yet saying this, if this is your kind of thing then perhaps you will have better luck with it, but it is doubtful that I will continue on with the series.
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on 13 July 2015
I was torn between two stars or three stars and decided on three, but mainly because this was a free book. Most of it is decent. Robertson sets things up well and there are one or two philosophical moments which lift this out of trad pulp territory, but its not enough. The main issue I had was that characters never feel more than flat 2d cut outs. They don't have any real psychological depth and we rarely get to understand their drives and motivations. I don't even remember any of them mentioning loved ones, brothers, sisters, mums, dads. As if they exist in a vacuum.

But I persisted because liked the premise and The Stand is one of my all time favourite books. This is a pale imitation of that modern classic. Once the twist happened, about half way through, it really became shallow. I gave up at 70 percent.

This is not all bad. Robertson is good at describing action and he doesn't patronize the reader. I think if he can flesh out his characters he will become a very good author.
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on 7 January 2013
A lot better than most self published ebooks. Somewhat unrealistic at times (yes I know it is science fiction) and lose some of the irrelevant jokes. Some good descriptive moments and the relationships are nicely described. Will definitely read more by this author.
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on 1 August 2015
Exceptionally well written post-apocalypse tale, a standout series in an extremely overcrowded genre. The plot is complex, the writing style flows, & the action is pacy & satisfyingly fast-moving. The characters, especially the main character, Walt, are very human - sometimes selfish, sometimes brave, cowardly or heroic - & always, I felt, real. You can really care about them, warts & all. The pandemic in this case, the Panhandler is a cut above the usual 'mysterious virus' which is often unexplained & unrealistic - people just turn into flesh-crazed zombies without any believable reasons why or how...
When the twist comes, & we discover the origin of & reason for the Panhandler, the book takes on yet another, equally terrifying, dimension. I have carried on reading Books 2 & 3, & loved every minute. Along with Bobby Adair, Edward Robertson should be a much bigger name. Overall, highly recommended series.
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on 17 September 2016
Was a little sceptical at first but the story really gripped me - throughout. Great characters (such a shame ... got blown up) and what happened to ...? Thoroughly enjoyed it. Will definitely buy the next in the series, just not quite yet.
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on 5 November 2015
The "Americanese" of this apocalyptic sci-fi novel makes it a little grating initially to an English ear (eye) but that did little to diminish its entertainment for me.
The aliens don't become apparent until nearly half-way though and, for me, that was a nice touch - getting into the human prologue of the apocalyptic strike. The racy human stories and slightly overdone descriptions of the pre-attack plague fit more on a pulp-fiction shelf than with good literature, but the author has created a very "believable" story of what an extra-terrestrial colonisation attempt might look like, and a compulsive read.
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