The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set: Extinction Horizon, Extinction Edge, and Extinction Age (The Extinction Cycle, Books 1 - 3) Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Here are the first three books of the best-selling, award-winning, and top-rated Extinction Cycle series.
The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction.
Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force team, code named Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret medical corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.
After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. The virus is already spreading. As cities fall, Team Ghost is ordered to keep CDC virologist Dr. Kate Lovato alive long enough to find a cure. What she uncovers will change everything.
Total extinction is just on the horizon, but will the cure be worse than the virus?
A new threat that will bring humanity to the edge of extinction.
The dust from Dr. Kate Lovato's bioweapon has settled. Projections put death counts in the billions. Her weapon was supposed to be the endgame, but it turned a small percentage of those infected with the hemorrhage virus into something even worse.
Survivors call them Variants. Irreversible epigenetic changes have transformed them into predators unlike any the human race has ever seen. And they are evolving.
With the doomsday clock ticking, the fractured military plans Operation Liberty - a desperate mission designed to take back the cities and destroy the Variant threat. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham agrees to lead a strike team into New York City, but first he must return to Fort Bragg to search for the only family he has left.
At Plum Island, Kate discovers Central Command may have considerably underestimated the Variant population in New York. As Operation Liberty draws closer, Kate warns Beckham that Team Ghost won't just face their deadliest adversary yet, they may be heading into a trap.
On the eve of extinction, all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope.
Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance.
Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels - where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape.
At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended.
As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction.
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|Listening Length||25 hours and 31 minutes|
|Author||Nicholas Sansbury Smith|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||26 April 2016|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 27,174 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
335 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
1,342 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Books)
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The good stuff: I like a decent read, a story with pace and structure and I find it hard to resist a box set, especially when it's end of the worldy. Smith does a decent job of building a world where the shizzle has hit the fan and mankind is facing the big end.
His description of the enemy is sufficiently distanced from the typical zombie to be worthy of fear and to some degree admiration. After all, a new species evolves in a few hours/days/weeks is to be respected, even if the cause for said evolution is due to fairy dust and magic, not science, you know, cos science don't work like dat! And that's despite the weighty chunk of science in this story. Yes, I'm well aware of the fiction bit on the "science fiction" but seriously, there's a lot of science at work here and even then it requires a dab of magic to make it plausible.
The actiony bits start off well. There are suspense moments, characters running whilst looking over their shoulders, shouting and shooting moments, plenty of epic will they just about make it out (again) alive or will the guy/girl we don't really know get ripped to pieces by the zombies, I mean variants.
The characters are okay and there's some decent dialogue here and there, even if it does feel a bit copy and paste from similar stories, but that's not easy to avoid once an author announces the end of the world, introduces a group of plucky soldiers where the odds are stacked against them and says "Get go em! Hoora!"
The plot ticks along quite nicely, escaping, arguing, banter, showing respect, getting in and out of tricky situations that would make mere mortals go cry in a corner. Every so often it grinds a little around the bend of Plot Street in order to direct the cast at the next clearly marked objective.
Okay, so the bad stuff, or to be nice about it - "The stuff that got on my nerves but probably wasn't noticed much by many others."
Two key phrases bugged me. "A beat" and "taking a knee." I get that instead of saying "after a moment" or "a second later" Smith thought that measuring that smallish period of time using a heart beat, or beat, would be worthwhile. Sure. Once, possibly twice. But it popped up 65 times! It got old really fast. 62 for the dropping or taking a knee thing.
It sounds weird right? But little things like that bring me out of the story and question whether or not the author had someone check it over for repetition before hitting publish each time.
The characters were a little 2D for my tastes with little in the way of dialogue nuances to tell any of them apart. I had to wait to be prompted by a "said Horn" to know who was speaking most of the time. I never felt there was the right level of threat at any point because it became very obvious who the main characters were and they wouldn't be dying anytime soon.
Generic Delta Force Ghost Recon Call of Duty Spec Ops Baddass soldiers from good old 'Merica who happen to be permanently armed to the teeth, fueled with Banter Juice and always ready to dish out pain to the zombies, I mean variants. The core unit is a drop down menu of characters - choose your cliche hero - big guy with a big gun, injured guy who rocks the sniper role, a young cocky lad with an eye for the ladies, grizzled leader who thinks a lot about the subject of respect...and so on.
Sometimes all three books in this set had a hard time figuring out what they wanted to be - action, thriller, military-political drama, science drama. I quite liked the swap and change between the gritty street level action, guns blazing, cocky tooled up soldiers sticking it to the bad guys, and the crisp clean lab scenes where science is done at the reader. I found it amusing that Kate whatsername was championed as the brains behind the sciency bits, but it's Ellis who does the majority of the hard work, the thinking and putting the pieces together for her.
It's just that I never felt any of the characters, or me as the reader, were given a reason to fear for the important characters. It was easy to pick out the guys in the red shirts, the ones you know are going to be got. And it was easy to see the plot gears grinding away in the distance. After a while it all got a little...samey. And that's often a problem for longer apocalyptic series, plots get recycled as the situation gets generally a little bit worse with each installment.
I almost stopped reading when the incident happens with the blood on the ship. And I'm like "Yep, that's him done. No coming back from that. Sad to see him go, but it had to happen. Shame, cos I kinda liked...oh, he's still alive. Hmm. And...the science is okay with that? Seems so. I'm not okay with that."
Smith, as an author you can't change the rules when you feel like it without giving a damn good reason why. Especially when the essence of the plot is rooted in science.
It looks like I'm ripping it to pieces when I'm not. There wasn't anything massively bad about the characters or the plot, and for a newcomer to the genre it's not a bad place to start, though it's fully biased toward 'Merica and how amazing they are at both killing and saving everyone at the same time.
This was an okay box set, and despite the crappy bits and the somewhat flat plot and 2D characters, I'm still going to buy book number 4 because I'm a sucker for a series and I love to watch the world burn.
Electrifying and gripping, a must read for post-apocalypse and zombie lovers alike.
I just can't stop reading this series of books. I purchased The Extinction Series Box set and it is a great way to get the first 3 books and save some money. I like the first three stories so much that I already purchased the first 5 books.
This is one of the best series of stories that I have read for a while and I just want to move onto the next book. The books are well written and edited and the action and intensity of the story just keeps me on the edge of my chair. I honestly can't believe that someone has not purchased the rights to these books to make them into a film or into a TV series.
If you are looking for a good story to read that will keep you awake at night then this is the one that you need to get. I highly recommend these books.