I haven't read many zombie books and I thought this book would be great but it just wasn't for me.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It's impossible not to make certain comparisons.
If you write about zombies, you will get compared to Romero and The Walking Dead.
If you write about a dystopian authoritarian society and a violent gameshow, you are going to get compared to Hunger Games and Battle Royale (or maybe just to the year 2020...).
The trick is: get compared favorably!
This is me comparing this book favorably to those similarly themed works.
I truly look forward to reading the next book to find out what happens next.
I’ve read these authors before, Yesterdays Gone, and I was kind of meh about it, and not interested in continuing the series or episodes. But I am a fan of all things zombies so I thought I would give this a shot.
I have come to realize these authors are just not for me. It took me a while to get through this and then it ended on a cliffhanger, but I really don’t care enough about the characters to continue on to the next one.
Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
This was so good! Like hunger games that never end with zombies and crazy police run by the rich elite. So much blood and gore and action and twists. I enjoyed it and will definitely continue the series.
Stars: 1 out of 5
This is the second book I try by these authors, and I am less then impressed once again. Though to tell the truth, this seems to be a reprint of a much earlier work, which is probably why it is so bad. I mean, I gave Pattern Black 2 stars where this one barely scrapped a single one.
This book is tries very hard to be a cross between 1984, The Hunger Games, and the Walking Dead. Unfortunately, it does this very poorly, so neither of those three components really work. On a personal note, I was there for the zombies. Unfortunately, there are too little zombies in this book. They barely serve as a plot device. So that added to my disappointment with the book. If you come to it with a different lens, you might enjoy the battle of the "little man" against the tyrannical regime. I didn't.
Probably because those parts of the story are also rather poorly realized. Subtle this book is not. The author has to telegraph every action, every plot point, and every plot twist in the book. It's like he doesn't trust the reader to get it, unless he is hammered on the head with it. This gets annoying really fast. I can get a hint. I don't need everything spelled out for me.
It also devalues the events in the book, because that plot twist about City 7? That could have had such a big impact if it wasn't telegraphed from a high mountain several chapters ago.
I also couldn't care less about the characters, so nothing that happened to them was particularly shocking to me. I know I was supposed to root for Jonah in the Darwin Games, but I didn't know him from Adam at that time, so I didn't really care if he won or if Bear killed him. Honestly, the little we had of Bear's backstory made him a lot more compelling as a character. And the least said about Ana, the better, because she is a typical YA dystopia heroine, and I stopped reading YA years ago precisely because I couldn't stand that stereotype.
I would also like to point out that this book is not a complete story. It ends in a cliffhanger. Nothing is resolved, nobody is saved or even achieved their goals. There is no resolution or even payout for investing hours of your time into this story. If you want to know what happens to the characters, you will have to pick up the next book, I guess. Unfortunately, I don't care enough to do so.
PS: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I am a sucker for dystopian novels. This one is very well written and pretty original. I'll be on the lookout for more from this author in the future.
Goodness....I don't usually go in for zombie fights, or descriptions of gore. But, this one redeemed itself in the story line. It feels a bit The Hunger Games in the beginning in the fight to the death Darwin Games, but the zombies do provide a twist and opponent issue I wasn't quite expecting.
At the heart is the corruption of their society. Ana is caught up in it, quite unexpectedly, as she's really just learning about it after her mother is murdered, seemingly at her father's hand. Her brother Adam is young and impressionable, and now that he's on his own, being manipulated.
Then there's her father, Jonah. Tricked by the "good guys," then set up and abandoned. Now he's trying against all odds to figure out just where the lies are, and save his family.
What has me bothered, as a reader, is that this is billed as a trilogy. Yet, book one just stops. No mid-way resolution of ANY problems, no particular build up cliffhanger. I read now that the story was originally episodic in Kindle Serial and I feel like it was probably broken up into 3 equal parts, rather than natural and understandable places.
Can't say I'll pick up the next installment, because of the way this one just fell apart for me at the end.
Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC!
Life aside, this book took me a bit to get into. It didn’t help that I felt like I retained nothing as I was reading it. There are The Hunger Games vibes which I always love, but it didn’t do much for me here. I wish I could’ve enjoyed it.
I enjoyed this book and the idea behind it. It was a really interesting take on zombies and just the outcome of them in general.
Z2134 opens in the middle of a fight to the death. The stakes are high: the protagonist, whom we immediately warm to, is in a broadcast game where the winner gets to live in the wonderful City 7 forever. The losers die. If the zombies don’t get them the other contestants will. And the contestants are all miscreants, sentenced to participate by the dystopian cities’ justice departments.
I really admired the writing of this book, particularly the opening, despite the lurid details of the soon-to-be-many fights with zombies. Beautifully choreographed in all their putrid flesh-dripping, undead eyeballing, lumbering power. I managed to get through the first phase of zombies, remindeing myself I didn’t need to read every zombie encounter. This helped, since there are plenty of episodes with no smell of the z-word. Jonah is fighting to free himself, so he can go back and free his daughter, Ana, and son Adam. With dad gone, these individuals get to have chapters of their own stories. This nicely reveals depths of depravity in the City Watch that makes Mission Impossible look like Enid Blyton.
There are seriously complicated plot devices and switchbacks in the ‘who is deceiving who?’ stakes. I was really enjoying it until about 95% of the way through. That’s when I realised this was not going to finish the story at 100%. No…to be continued. It’s not even a Fellowship of the Ring sort of cliffhanger. Jonah has not completed a task, or its consequence. Daughter Ana is high and dry, and son Adam is definitely in deep s…. No, to find out exactly what happens, and whether… you have to go for the next book ‘in the trilogy.’
So, it’s not a trilogy, it’s a three-part serial. There’s a difference. So despite it being a really good read, it loses a full star for being incomplete. I can’t justify giving it five stars before deductions, because I don’t have the wow factor left in me.
But if you like zombie stories, and don’t mind expecting to read all three ‘books’ to get the satisfaction of an outcome, then you’ll enjoy it.
This book is a stand out. It's a dystopian future that feels all too real.
There are elements of divergent, hunger games and many other books I love.
Now take all that and add zombies!
A fun and engaging read, I loved it
Thank you #NetGalley for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
Dread Nation Meets Hunger Games Meets Ashfall Meets the Uglies....This was like a ma-up of a lot of great dystopian novels and it works. There is a lot going on here but it all seems to flow and make sense because each theme or area is taken with care and well thought out. Characters are well developed and don't feel like they are just there to keep the story going. Even the flawed characters have you invested in their stories and journeys. The multiple perspectives really work in this story as it sets up the rest of the series. I will continue to read this series and would recommend it to mature students who have an interest in dystopian and can handle graphic violence.
The concept of “The Darwin Games” was fantastic, turning this book into a combination of “The Hunger Games”/“Divergent” but with zombies.
If the book focussed more on the games, instead of the city drama, it would’ve been more interesting in my opinion. Maybe start with the beginning of Jonah’s Game, and then have the underground resistance bits sprinkled in, then Ana’s Game, then a resolution.
I also really disliked the character of Adam, and any chapters from his viewpoint.
First in a Dystopian Trilogy, Z2134 is vividly, viscerally, alive with Dystopian Society and Culture. In the not-so-distant future, what remains of "civilization" following the Zombie plagues is confined to six walled cities in a Culture reminiscent of Orwell's 1984 [also Stalinist Russia], citizens must never step out of line (or beware the Watchers) and are constantly encouraged to spy on and report others. When a member of the City Watch is accused of murdering his wife, and sentenced to participation in the wilderness Darwin Games [yes, Zombies], his brave daughter turns to the city's Underground to find answers.
In this book you have a central theme, and that is the Darwin games, games where people are made to kill others just get the reward of getting to live, and the view of 3 of the main characters and how they participate or feel about the people who participate in the games… it reminds me of the gladiator games, people get excited about other people suffering, yeah, the worse part of the apocalypse its the people.
This story takes place in 2134 one century after the zombie apocalypse, that almost finished the world’s population, in America six walled cities were formed and all of these cities live under the rule of a nightmarish government that enforces pretty much complete control over their population… if you disobey and become a criminal you’ll be sent to the Darwin games, (the Darwin games are televised but you don’t have a crew going with the criminals, a sort of flying spheres, film and also project what they are filming with the voice over of the game host, and that with not only going against other player but having zombies roaming the wasteland (called the barrens in here, that is the uninhabited areas outside the city walls) that can make your life pretty much impossible). People inside of the walls follow the Darwin Games like it was the Kardashian, and they have a blast with that, having a special salute for their favourite players, creepy I tell you…
The story starts with Jonah Lovecraft fighting for his life in the Darwin games, we learn that he was sent to the games for the crime of murdering his wife, or did he?, we also get to know things through Anastasia Lovecraft, she is the oldest daughter of Jonah and she saw her father killing her mother, or did she? And for last we have Liam Harrow and how does all three of them fit together, is for me to know and for you to find out haha.
One thing that make the zombies slight different in this book is that in here they kind of feel pain, and that helps the player also our main character in helping himself out of some very nasty situations…
I did enjoy the different points of view, and we really feel the oppression in thinking what is real or what is a lie, without spoilers, lets just say, things are not really how they first look like… and even if you saw something doesn’t mean you saw the truth.
Its a good book and it reads it quite well, I recommend this book for fans of dystopias, zombie stories but not really focused on zombies, people are so much worse than zombies, at least with zombies you know what they want from you…
Thank you NetGalley for the free ARC and this is my honest opinion.
This was a great read! It reminds me of a cross between The Hinger Games and World War Z. This dystopia set in the not so far off future pits zombies against criminals in a battle to the end.
If you're a big fan of the zombie genre and lots of action you'll love this one. Hunger games meets the zombie apocolypse with a little Matrix thrown in. I loved it!
I loved the Yesterday's Gone books and was excited to explore this new world by these authors. There is a lot that is reminiscent of The Hunger Games, and I was worried at first that it would be a hijacked version of the story with zombies thrown in. That said, this story evolved into its own struggle of the underdogs fighting their oppression. You've got a corrupt governing group that pits family members against each other. Lies at every turn until you can't even trust your own thoughts and memories. An existence in which a gruesome fight to the death against criminals and zombies is a coveted chance to 'win' a lush retirement. As the story progresses, you really feel for the characters as you get to know them and become invested in their plight. I was so involved in the story that I barely put it down once I started it! A great read! I can't wait for the next in the series!
Z2134 is a fast moving sci-fi novel that involves two popular of themes: zombies and an oppressive, all knowing, controlling police state. Sean Platt and David Wrightare experienced writers of the genre , so they have little trouble managing an entertaining and generally exciting story.
Z2134 begins with Jonah Lovecraft ( the use of that name tells the reader there are monsters lurking) in a battle for his life and for his freedom. He and other prisoners of the Gulag are pitted against each other and the last prisoner standing who makes it across a zombie infested wasteland/ playing field is freed and sent to one of the safe cities to resume his life. Good first chapter. The dystopian landscape , zombies and police state came about years ago after some sort of massive killing event, but society, and civilization, of a sort- continue.
With that, the scene shifts to a safe, it dreary industrial city where secret state police are everywhere present . Anastasia lives here , if living is what it can be called : a six-day - a -week job in a clothing factory, earning enough to get along, living in a gloomy room, eating mystery meat food. Ruled by elites, always under surveillance by police, her life is barren. But one night, she is in a musics club when a brawl breaks out. Anastasia is pushed to the floor, then helped up a man . She feels him slip something into her pocket . “ Read it later, when you know you are alone,l” he whispers. Anastasia has just been introduced to the Resistance.
z2134 is similar to the B- movies of past Hollywood: nothing new, with solid story, easy to sit back and enjoy while it entertains.
Cautions: zombies= gore,
this was a unique take on the zombie genre, it was a well done story and I was invested in what was going on in this world. I enjoyed the way the authors work this and I enjoyed the way the characters were created. It works as a horror novel and was a great young adult novel. I can't wait to read more from these authors.
"The feast on the monitors grew louder, as did the cheering. Adam’s friends were glued to every inch of the main monitor. Zombie strikes were bloody, sudden, and hypnotic. Adam turned his attention back to the TV so his friends wouldn’t think he was too scared."