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by Edward W Robertson
read by Ray Chase
©2013 Podium Publishing
12 hours 10 minutes unabridged
Genres: post apocalypse, science fiction
Filed in: Audiobook Reviews
5 out of 5 halos
PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter. When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn't the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA, where Vanessa had planned to move when she left him. He expects to die along the way. Months later, a massive vessel appears above Santa Monica Bay. Walt is attacked by a crablike monstrosity in a mountain stream. The virus that ended humanity wasn't created by humans. It was inflicted from outside. The colonists who sent it are ready to finish the job - and Earth's survivors may be too few and too weak to resist.
©2012 Edward W. Robertson (P)2013 Podium Publishing
AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: In New York City, Walt discovers rather by accident that his live-in girlfriend Vanessa is preparing to leave him to pursue an acting career in California, leaving Walt with some serious questions about what he did wrong and what happens next. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia are on the brink of losing their home because Ray can’t find a job. In both cases the future does not look good. Then people start dying, including Vanessa, and future prospects go from bad to worse.
Within a couple of weeks the so-called Panhandler virus kills billions, an estimated ninety-nine percent of the world’s population. Even though the situation in L.A. is grim, Raymond and Mia decide to stick it out and aren’t doing too badly for themselves. Losing their house to a fire, they move into a now abandoned mansion up on the hill. They plant fresh vegetables in the back yard and forage for the things they need in the surrounding neighborhoods. In New York, Walt simply doesn’t want to live anymore and decides to walk to Los Angeles knowing that he will probably be killed on the way. And then worse finally becomes worst when the alien ships appear in the sky. The Panhandler wasn’t created on Earth after all. But why did these aliens cross the unimaginable depths of outer space to come here and kill off all the people?
I think that Edward W Robertson is drawing some interesting parallels in Breakers. The Panhandler virus, as described by one of the characters, “nickels and dimes you”, weakening you little by little before finally going in for the kill. Robertson seems to be saying that people are the same way. You lose yourself little by little, you give an inch and then another and another, sacrificing your principles and morals bit by bit, until suddenly you don’t even know who you are anymore. This is especially evident in the character of Walt. He did a lot of soul searching on his walk from New York City to Los Angeles and he came out the other side a whole different person. We see it happening all through the story, people reacting to events and being forged into new people, sometimes for the good and sometimes for bad. Robertson does a great job of introducing us to his characters and showing us how they evolve over the course of the book.
Outstanding character development isn’t the only thing that made Breakers such a great read. Robertson is just an all around good storyteller. The chapters of the book alternate back and forth between Walt in New York and Raymond and Mia in California. Each chapter ends with kind of a mini-cliffhanger that leaves you wondering what happened in New York while we’re catching up on events in California. Robertson keeps the suspense at a high pitch all through the book right up to the explosive ending.
This was the first time I had heard a narration by Ray Chase and I liked him a lot. His pace and inflection are very comfortable and he does very good character voices. He even does convincing voices for the female characters, which not many male narrators can pull off. Ray is also good at reading dialogue so that it really sounds like two or more people talking to each other. This is an especially good thing because Robertson uses dialogue heavily to show us who his characters are. I would definitely like to hear more from Ray Chase and I will definitely get my chance since he has narrated all five books (so far) in the Breakers series.
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Special thanks to Brilliance Audio for this review copy. Audiobook review by Steven Brandt. This audiobook review is based on the unabridged audiobook. Come back soon for more audiobook reviews from Audiobook-Heaven.