United States Of Apocalypse by Mark Tufo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I've read almost everything by Tufo and Rosamilia. Some I've liked, some not. It's the nature of the game. This absolutely did not work for me. It almost smacked of a money grab. The story has NO resolution. If this was going to be a series, that would be one thing, but to end like these stories did is a huge disservice to the readers that follow both of these men.
There were times when Tufo's narrative almost reminded me of Whitley Streiber's "War Day" but then it would fall back on this Talbot thing. I get it. He is the franchise name, but the writing should be enough, and most of his fans will read a menu if he wrote one, so falling back on the MT thing felt forced here. As for the BT/Talbot dialog (normally a Tufo strength) this felt like it was a cut-and-paste from all the previous interactions between the pair. Okay, so BT was a cop, next make him a sailor, then a biker, construction worker, and Native American and you get the entire Village People line-up. I found Talbot's insistence that he should be cut some slack instead of treated like a criminal when he was just trying to move forward with his life a laugh for my own personal reasons. And the callbacks to aliens and zombies were just pointless. The reader/listener gets it. You write a good zombie series and a decent syfy tale.
Rosamilia had a good story going and to end it like it did was a poor choice. I feel like I got invested in a really cool series (like Firefly) and the had the numbskulls in the network tower kill it after season one. My biggest complaint is his dialog. He said...she said...he said...she said... Give the readers more credit for being able to follow the conversation.
My last complaint is the narration. While Ms. Whelan was okay, just not memorable, I guess I went in expecting something special from Runnette after all I've read. This for me is where the Emperor's New Clothes comes into play. If so many say he is great, then he must be...right? Maybe. If he had more than one tone to his voice, could give character to a female voice in some way. I'm not saying shrill Monty Python stuff, but something...anything would be better than what I heard. And then there is the breathing. All the hitches, breaths, and gasps during the narration were beyond annoying. I can't stand by and say what a great outfit the emperor is wearing here. Sorry, the truth is that he's naked. Find a narrator that can edit that noise out during post-production.
Overall, I can't give a thumbs-up vote for this despite the impending backlash from the mob. I've never padded a review, and won't start now. Both of these writers have received good reviews from me for other works, sadly, this ain't one of them.
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