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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 April 2015
Knowing very little about this story, I began reading it on a short flight back to the UK recently ... perhaps not the best time or place to really get into it properly without feeling more than a little spooked. However, as soon as the 2 main characters, (brothers), landed at JFK and events began to rapidly unfold, the book became a real page turner and I struggled to put it down. Even when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it! And it's not like this is my first post-apocalyptic story either. I've read quite a few now. At first, the story had echoes of Stephen King's 'Cell' and the 'pulse' that turned ordinary people into blood thirsty maniacs, (and to a lesser extent, the movie called 'The Happening'), but whereas 'Cell' rambled a little in places, 'First Activation' was tense, well thought out and the objectives were clear.

Although the main characters are brothers, they are both very different. Harry is more of a thinker, giving a considered and measured response to the situation on the ground in New York, while Jack is more impulsive and for that reason, slightly more dangerous. Bound for New York on a flight from Manchester that has suffered communication problems with air traffic control, Harry, Jack and the rest of the passengers on the plane find JFK strewn with corpses and nobody knows why. Being ex-British Army, Jack and Harry are selected to investigate and they take 2 other passengers with them to the airport terminal building in search of answers, rescue and food. I won't spoil the rest of the book as it's well worth a read. Suffice to say that it's gripping, fast paced and very enjoyable. It is true that some of the lesser characters are a little under-developed and they could perhaps do with a bit more depth. It is also true that some of Jack and Harry's plans for their continued survival seem somewhat naive and basic, but they're doing the best they can under the circumstances, especially once they realise that time is running out and a second post-apocalyptic event is nigh. I've just pre-ordered 'Second Activation' and I can't wait!
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on 12 June 2014
There's nothing like a good zombie book... And this is nothing like a good zombie book. I find it hard to believe that someone actually let this go to print in its current form. The premise is excellent, but the excecution is terrible. The characters are an excellent depiction of what human-beings would be like if they spoke and acted in incredibly unrealistic ways. The dialogue is virtually unreadable in places, it's impossible to tell who is saying what. One line seems completely unrelated to the next, which forced me to have to re-read several parts (still none the wiser). The main characters are two cardboard cut-out brothers who apparently don't possess human emotions and don't feel the need to discuss anything much, even the end of human existance. Perhaps a piece of internet fan-fiction was swapped at birth with a decent manuscript of the same name? If not, the publishers should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for trying to pass off this D grade GCSE piece of bilge as an actual book.
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on 16 April 2016
Terrible, terrible book. The sequel is terrible also but I'll mainly focus on this and try to avoid spoilers. What at first seems like a fun idea for homicidal entertainment runs out of steam almost immediately once you realise the rules of this fictional universe. The group of antagonists are ruined by a laughable name, I genuinely think schoolchildren could have come up with a more original title. The writers don't remember what they've written sometimes mere pages before. The entire story is an ego trip for two brother authors and what they think they'd do in an apocalyptic situation. Nobody should buy this, in fact people should be PAID to read it. Spoilers from here, I saw the ending of the sequel coming from the second chapter of it and I have to say I know exactly where the third book is going as well. When (not if) the lesbian character turns heterosexual for one of the brothers it will absolutely confirm the entire series is nothing more than a dirty and disturbing fantasy from two rather twisted minds. Please, guys, just stop writing. Words deserve better.
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on 20 October 2013
First Activation is an imaginative take on apocalyptic fiction and finally something quite original and Ive read alot of this genre; infact I cant get enough apocalyptic action be it in film or book.
Its fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Desperation and survival keeps these two quite different brothers alive as they fight for survival and try and track down the culprits to prevent next activation.
I found the storyline well written and the main characters (Jack and Harry the Brothers) are completely believable, I loved how different they were; but I found supporting characters need a bit more development; maybe the next book.

Without spoiling the whole plot I loved the idea behind how people kill its so original, a unique twist on germ warfare.

So what is the genesis alliance and what a brilliant cliffhanger ending, I didn't see that coming and I look forward to book 2.
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on 3 June 2014
I personally find it hard to read books as I can't always get in to them, this book was one of the few I did. If I was recommending this book to anyone I would say it's a great story that makes you eager to keep swiping pages, but I believe the ending was a little rough, without spoiling anything I'd just say that it was quickly ended and could've been done a bit differently, or at least hinted at what happened next. Over all I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 August 2013
Brothers Harry and Jack are aboard a plane heading for JFK Airport when some serious turbulence cuts off all communication with the world. What they find when they get there is wholesale carnage. How did it happen? Why? Those left alive have a compulsion to kill one other person, then commit suicide. The brothers are trying to survive in a world with no power, decomposing bodies and the need to find out what and who is behind it all.

This is a really gripping post-apocalyptic thriller which I enjoyed a great deal. The characters were believable and although I didn't always like their actions, I have never been in that position. I wonder how I'd behave. I think I'd be the first to be killed off! The authors are brothers and I do hope they will be collaborating again soon. There's room for a sequel but it stands very well by itself. Highly recommended.
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on 26 August 2013
As per the review title, I have never read a book of this genre before and am so glad I took a chance on it. From the first chapter I wanted to find out more about the characters and the plot. The writing is excellent and believable dialogue in the situation the two main characters are facing - ordinarily I may find such a plot slightly far fetched but the writing style of this book gets you thinking that such a scenario could easily arise, and you find yourself putting yourself in the middle of the situation and considering 'what if?'. The ending was unexpected but brilliant - it is all set up to lead nicely onto a sequel and I will definitely be first in line waiting to buy it. Absolutely great value and highly recommended by a non post-apocalyptic thriller fan!
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on 16 March 2015
I was browsing Amazon for a book to read and came across First Activation. Not knowing to much about it I decided to give it a go and after a few pages I knew I made the right decision.

Brothers Harry and Jack leave Manchester for their annual trip to New York. But when they land at JFK they are met with the scene of bodies all over airport terminal. Some brutality murdered and some look to have committed suicide, Nobody knows what is going on but soon they find themselves in a fight for survival and the realisation with whatever is going on may not just be confined to this airport.

Really don't want to give to much away. The characters are great and you really care for their survival. It's a very addictive read and with the trust no one element and the endless amount of danger that could strike from anywhere the book manages to keep you gripped all the way through. As an avid reader I recommend this book you won't regret it.
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on 27 January 2016
I read this book over the course of two days. It could quite easily have been in one session but unfortunately little things like work, family, eating and sleeping got in the way!! This is such a great book. Harry and Jack are definitely two guys who you want on your side when the bad guys try to destroy civilisation. One of the things I liked about the book is that there is no unnecessary padding. Yes there is descriptive text where needed but it does not go on and on. There are however some pretty graphic scenes of killing. The author cracks on with the story taking the reader along with him on a gripping ride which you just don't want to finish. I purchased both book one and two together which I suggest you do too because you will just want to start the second one immediately. I've just started book two and can't wait to find out how the story ends. This is not a long book at 263 pages but it is certainly a little gem.
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on 9 August 2013
I am NOT a fiction reader, I repeat, not a fiction reader. I got to page 30 in Brave New World and gave up.
This book was recommended to me and I gave it whirl......I was hooked in right at the start.
The world is full of Zombie films and books, this appears to be the antidote to this flood.
It has a unique selling point in so far that I have never came across the gist of it anywhere else, certainly not in films or chatter.
Highly recommended and perhaps a sequel to look forward to?
5 out of 5 for me.
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