The narrator almost ruined this book for me. The only voice that I felt was done anywhere near the definition of 'well' was The Hammer's. And that's only because it sounded interesting and rather amusing, this big tough muscle man who hunts zom's for a living with this little high pitched, red-neck voice! classic.
Side note: I also had the occasionally difficulties telling the voices apart, who was saying what, etc. And some characters - I became quite confused over who 'the brothers' were, but that all got sorted out afterwards.
Anyways onto the important subject: My Issue.
The only issue I have with the narrator (its a bit of a doozey) is that he made everyone sound bland. Bland! in a zombie book! How on earth is that even possible. This guy had so many opportunities to make this book so much more and he just piddled them all away. These characters were guttered, devastated, fearful, in immense pain and vengeful....and yet the narrator for the most part just spoke every line, and just stated the emotion afterwards. No!! I want you to sound it out for me, I was to feel what they're going through. I want to feel their pain, misery and anticipation. It is after all a zombie book, it's what I signed on for!
So yea unfortunately the book was rather bland on the emotional side of things, luckily I still enjoyed the narrator reading the book to me enough that I plan on continuing - though I believe I'll be reading the next book myself.
Now off that subject, lets talk about the Characters.
Boy Benny was a whiny bitch wasn't he? goodness for someone who grew up in a world filled with zombies he sure whinged a lot. You think the kid would be a lot tougher. I am being serious when I say his main goal at the beginning of the book was to do the least amount of physical work, that wasn't exceptionally boring, that's it. His life goal - what a champ aye? luckily towards the end after his brother stopped coddling him - or should I say started paying attention to him, Benny grew up a lot. He became a decent sort, which is nice. His brother, Tom was pretty cool, like to drop his wisdom nuggets on all the other suckers, actually he would make a pretty good guidance counselor. Lol.
Nix was a fantastic character, not cliched, which is nice. Red hair, pale skin, short, freckles, (according to boy's who have no other females their age to go off - very attractive, with big boobies. Which of course is a very important character definition to teenage boys) incredibly intelligent, higher achiever, ambitious, loves learning and researching but is also physically strong, she neither this nor that, but a mixture of things. Willing to put in 110% effort into anything she try's. If anyone one is going to conquer this destroyed world its Nix. She also get's jealous, is incredibly poor, unwilling to take 'handouts' and possible doesn't have the best taste in boys. (yet to be determined).
The Lost Girl was a nice surprised, Maberry would have been boring and made her a hot babe, who kick zombie ass, and was incredibly flirty (the usual combo) but he wen't somewhere different with it, I won't say how - spoilers and all that, but I will say that I appreciated it. Quite a nice surprise.
Chong was a funny boy, and brilliant. I love his smart little lines that flew over Benny's head.
The others, were alright. The baddies, were actual realistic baddies. Someone you can easily picture being created based on the world they live in.
I Also want to point out and say kudos to Macberry for remarking on Benny's attempts to save the 'Lost Girl' from herself and her current lifestyle, and not understanding why she wouldn't except his 'gracious' offer. This is a common behaviour for humans, we note someone is living differently to us, maybe in a way we ourselves would not like to live, and offer them, usually with good intentions to change their living styles. Not taking into account that it is in fact their choice, and that they may be happy with it. Many countries and religious groups do this, Australia included. What I loved about how Macnerry handled this situation was he didn't have the girl accept their offer under pressure, or fold just because the others didn't, couldn't understand. They thought she was a bit nutty for her choices, sure. But they accepted them in the end, and didn't harass her afterwards about it. This I loved.
The zombies were good, not to intense but not without their strengths and the world was great - set 14(?) years after 'first night' which was a nice change from the usual. Overall an entertaining read. Looking forward to the next one.