Audiobook Review: After Twilight: Walking with the Dead by Travis Adkins

1 06 2011

After Twilight: Walking with the Dead by Travis Adkins

Read by Kevin T. Collins and L. J. Ganser

Audible Frontiers

Genre: Zombie Fiction

Quick Thoughts: After Twilight is a faced pace, gruesome tale of Zombie violence, and human rage, and will definitely please fans of Adkin’s first novel, Twilight of the Dead.

Grade: B+

As the month of May wraps up, I have one last Zombie Audiobook to review. Don’t worry, this will not be the last zombie audiobook, I just won’t be focusing on the genre. One thing I learned, whether fast or slow, smart or stupid, infected or afflicted, zombies are here to stay. The last book of my Zombie May celebration is another Permuted Press/Audible Frontier collaboration, After Twilight: Walking With the Dead by Travis Adkins. After Twilight is the sequel to Twilight of the Dead, and hopefully just the second chapter in an ongoing series. One of the things that a good second novel should do is expand the universe presented in the first novel. For a series to work, their needs to be a sense of movement, of expansion. Characters need to become further developed. The worst thing that can happen for a series is to become stagnate, for each consecutive novel just to be a retelling of the original. In zombies novel sequels, you often see the same people in the same place, dealing with the same menace, only a bit more dire. While for some zombie fans, that may be enough, I prefer getting at least a tease of the outside world. Luckily for us listeners, After Twilight: Walking with the Dead does what you want is a second novel, and it does it in spades.

While Twilight of the Dead was an intimate look at a loner biding her time in a small New England enclave, After Twilight expands our worldview. Using characters and situations from the short stories added to the end of Twilight of the Dead, we get a greater look at Eastpointe, its survivors and the mysterious Odd Men controlling the town. Instead of focusing mainly on one character, Adkins gives us multiple points of view, full of back story which gives us a better look at the initial apocalypse and the founding of Eastpointe. The expanded POV’s, whether it be fellow Black Beret Vaughn, or the Eastpointe Marshall Tyrell, opens up the story for us, allowing us to see new things, not filtered through one source. Of course, no matter whose perspective we are dealing with, we are dealing with zombies. Yet, similar to Twilight of the Dead, while the zombies are gruesome, they are not the true evil of the story. Here, zombies are tools used by the hands of a human villain to reek havoc. After Twilight is a fast paced, gruesome tale of the danger one unstable person can unleash on a town stuck in their own complacency. Adkins doesn’t pull any punches in his zombie gore, and fans of the first novel should be even more pleased with After Twilight.

As far as the audiobook production, I missed the voice of Rachel Botchan, who handled Courtney’s Point of view in the first novel. While Kevin T. Collins handles his characterizations well, at times, his narrative flow is stunted, with an almost robotic feel. Also, I found that Leon’s New England accent came off as more of a Southern drawl at times. LJ Ganser’s role was minimal, but it added a few nice breaks in the narrative. Collin’s narration improves as the tension builds, the action of the book seemingly smoothing out his stunted delivery. These small issues with the narration are minor issues at most, and in no way diminishes a novel that will delight Adkin’s fans and hopefully gain him legions more.



One response

1 06 2011

I have never purchased an audio book, so I love seeing reviews about them because my mother loves them. I don’t think she’d go for the vampire genre 🙂 but it does seem like an interesting book. The multiple POV’s may not have appealed to me, but you say the author pulled it off well, so it sounds like it worked. Great review.

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