Read by Christian Rummel
Length: 9 Hrs and 4 Min
Genre: Zombie Apocalypse
Quick Thoughts: The Becoming is a fantastic set up for the future installments of the trilogy, a novel that focuses intimately on the Survivors of a zombie plague and yet is full of subtle hints of something more in the nature of the Michaluk Virus and its consequences. Fans of the Undead will enjoy the well orchestrated Zombie action scenes but for the true connoisseur of zombie fiction it is the speculation of what is to come that is the true joy of this novel.
I know it may not be cool to admit anymore, if it ever really was, but I am a big fan of the CBS reality competition show Survivor. One of the aspects of the show I like is that it takes a look at what people will do when all of the niceties of civilized life are stripped away from them. These people are taken away from comfy beds, air-conditioned apartments, and even readily available food. They are exhausted and starving, forced to engage in strenuous activities, and make strategic and social decisions. Let’s just say, these decisions tend not to make much sense to those sitting at home on their fluffy sofas. In many ways, my love of post apocalyptic fiction really influenced my enjoyment of this series. Every time I read a review of an apocalyptic book, where some “know-it-all” survivalist wannabe declares a book to be unrealistic because the characters make seemingly idiotic decisions that a true survivalist never would, I just have to shake my head. The truly unrealistic thing is to assume anyone, no matter how well prepared for the coming end of all civilization, will be acting at peak performance. Starvation, depravation and hyper-violence isn’t the optimal situation to develop a thorough thought experiment. I always look at books where the characters just make these wonderful well thought out and reasoned decisions as they are being chased by a ravenous horde of flesh eating undead to be insane wish fulfillment.
The Becoming is the first chapter in Jessica Meigs zombie apocalypse trilogy and while it is not going to be looked at as a groundbreaking view of a world ravaged by zombies, it does many things extremely well, one of these things being a realistic look at how extreme situations affect Survivors. While Meigs characters overall seem better prepared than most to survive in a zombie apocalypse, they also demonstrate realistic, shocked reactions to what is going on around them. Their reactions and lack of reactions seem much more human then the typical gung ho "lets go kill us some zeds" caricatures that often show up in zombie lit. I also like that Meigs takes us form the initial breakout to the start of the zombie apocalypse. It shows the characters transitional responses from the early rumors of rioting, to being forced to deal with the fact that their loved one have risen and are trying to eat them, to eventually determining ways to survive in a changed world. I enjoyed the premise set up by Meigs, that a virus called the Michaluk Virus escapes from the CDC starting the outbreak in Atlanta. Her zombies are not something that we haven’t read of seen before, but there is this undercurrent of potential permeating through the book. You feel Meigs leading you towards an unexpected path, and while you just can’t put your finger on what it exactly is, you can’t help but feel excitement for the upcoming trip. The Becoming is a fantastic set up for the future installments of the trilogy, a novel that focuses intimately on the Survivors of a zombie plague and yet is full of subtle hints of something more in the nature of the Michaluk Virus and its consequences. Fans of the Undead will enjoy the well orchestrated Zombie action scenes but for the true connoisseur of zombie fiction it is the speculation of what is to come that is the true joy of this novel.
Christian Rummel performance of The Becoming is simply spot on. I love the way he handles the character of Cade. I cannot say his accents was truly authentic for a women who lived in Israel and serves as a IDF sniper but now resides in the American South, but it felt authentic to my untrained ear. Every time I listen to an audiobook narrated by Rummel I am reminded that he is one of the few male narrators who excels at voicing female characters. Rummel leads the listener through this fast paced tale with the gifts of a true storyteller. The action here is fast, but Rummel never rushes the listener through it, instead describing the action with a measured pace that allows the listener to get good visual images of just what is happening. The Becoming is a great start to this trilogy, and the author and narrator both left me wanting more.