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347 of 391 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best zombie novels ever written (no hype!)
Let me get this off my chest: I'm a zombie "purist." I'd been looking for a good zombie novel that stayed faithful to George A. Romero's Dead Trilogy (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead) for decades and decided they probably didn't exist (outside of the novelizations of NotLD and DotD).

I prefer the zombies I grew up with: slow,...
Published on May 5, 2006 by Baron Von Cool

versus
67 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Zombie book fans - it's OK to be critical...
After having recently finished WORLD WAR Z (and loved it) I wanted to continue in the zombie genre with another favored book among fans. I came across this one after reading the glowing reviews...

To be honest, I'm a little disappointed - both in the book itself and the number of fans whom seemingly refuse to be critical of a zombie book.

I will say...
Published on November 16, 2011 by Mark Twain


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347 of 391 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best zombie novels ever written (no hype!), May 5, 2006
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This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
Let me get this off my chest: I'm a zombie "purist." I'd been looking for a good zombie novel that stayed faithful to George A. Romero's Dead Trilogy (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead) for decades and decided they probably didn't exist (outside of the novelizations of NotLD and DotD).

I prefer the zombies I grew up with: slow, shambling and not too smart. No matter how entertaining or well-written, I don't really want anything that differs too much from the traditional "rules" laid down by Romero in NotLD. A few fun little twists are okay, but when you start radically changing the zombies just to be different or "extreme," you change the entire nature of the threat and start messing with your reader's expectations... Chances are they bought the book because they are a zombie movie fan and they expect your novel to play by the rules; if not by the "classic" Romero rules, then by the "new" rules set forth in 28 Days Later or the Dawn of the Dead remake.

Just when I'd given up hope of ever finding such a novel, I stumbled across Day By Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne. Finally, an author who delivered just plain old-fashioned Romero zombies! I will note that there are some fast zombies later in the book but these are well-explained and used sparingly. Far from being distracting, these fast zombies actually add to the horror. Kudos to the author for satisfying fans of both fast and traditional zombies--not an easy thing to do!

The story, told in first person journal format, kicks off with the narrator (an unnamed U.S. Naval officer) making a New Year's resolution to keep a journal. As the days progress, he comments on his life and various problems he's noticing in the news, particularly about a mysterious disease outbreak in China...

Naturally, the "disease" is the zombie virus, and it quickly spreads around the globe, cutting him off from the outside world. The hero is torn between joining his fellow officers on-base or remaining barricaded in his home, but opts for the latter. In the time he has left before everything breaks down, he improves his home's defenses (adding broken glass to the top of his walls, buying more ammo for his gun collection, adding do-it-yourself bars to his ground floor windows, etc.).

He is determined to "wait out" the plague, but the government fails to contain the epidemic, retreating to hidden bunkers, and leaving the panic-stricken civilian population to fend for themselves. The narrator teams up with his only surviving neighbor, an engineer named John and his dog, who is good at alerting them to the presence of zombies (a little too good, as they have to keep her quiet most of the time to prevent her barking from alerting the undead to their presence).

The growing number of zombies outside forces them to decide to get out of the small Texas town (near Austin) where they were holed up. Along the way, they encounter some other survivors, rampaging paramilitary, hordes of undead, and a variety of other realistic hazards that one would expect to find in a post-apocalyptic world.

One of the key features that makes Day By Day Armageddon so interesting as a tale of post-apocalyptic/zombie survival horror is the narrator's unique perspective as a U.S. Naval Officer (the author is also one, currently serving in Iraq). There is a fair amount of military slang and abbreviations that take a little getting used to, but they add flavor to the book. The attention to detail, from the careful descriptions of weapons to the realistic way that surviving the crisis is presented, makes this book stand out from other zombie novels, which tend to gloss over or ignore such things.

Initially, I was a little leery of purchasing this book I'd never heard of, despite all the glowing reviews here (only one negative out of over 45!), so I checked out the author's website and found he had the first 78 pages online to read FREE. I promptly did so and loved it. There were no more reservations; I had to order this book!

I got it in the mail today; it's a quick, exciting read. I finished it in about three hours (starting at page 78--where the free online sample ended--probably shaved an hour or two off, but I'm a fast reader). I thought the book was fantastic, easily one of the best pieces of zombie fiction ever produced and I eagerly await the sequel as well as the promised novel, Dead Land, set in the same universe as Day by Day Armageddon.

My one gripe about the story is I would have liked to see a bit more depth to round out the supporting cast, but I suppose that can't be helped considering the first person journal format it is written in.

There is an exciting cliffhanger ending. I should warn you... there is no resolution! It only bothers me in that we have no idea when we will see a Part 2. It would have been better, from a marketing standpoint, to capitalize on the success of Part 1 by having Part 2 ready to go within a year at most of this book's release so you could strike while the iron was hot, rather than waiting years...

The number of typos increased a bit more than I would have liked from about page 120 on, particularly chronically misusing "site" for "sight" and "wondered" instead of "wandered". It seemed like there was either a misused word or a punctuation error every few pages (but still not as bad as a lot of other self-published works). I'm not sure if these were prevalent prior to page 78, as I had already read the online version and skipped them in the hardcopy, but I don't recall there being very many. There certainly didn't seem to be too many between pages 78-120 (approximate page spread). These typos are a little more forgivable given that this is supposed to be a journal written on the run by a lone survivor.

Besides the very poor cover illustration, there are a few images included in the book. I could not fully utilize the map of "Known Nuclear Zones" or "Hotel 23" (the military base they flee to) because the maps were so small and pixellated. The scattered few photos were cheesy and distracting, and the photoshop filter used to "enhance" some of them didn't help.

Despite these minor issues, I highly recommend this book to all zombie and horror fans. What you are ultimately buying the book for is the story and the author delivers that in spades!!!
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good beginning of one man's day to day struggle to survive a post-apocalyptic world, July 27, 2006
By 
A. Sandoc "sussarakhen" (San Pablo, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
The last couple of years has seen a sort of renaissance in all things zombies. Zombies have become the "monster of the moment" in the entertainment industry. These shambling undead (or Olympic sprinters for some of the more recent twist on the genre) have permeated film, video games, comic books and novels. Really, the only mode of media that still hasn't joined the zombie wave are the tv networks. J.L. Bourne debuts with a fast-paced and exciting first novel that takes the well-known conventions of the zombie tale and gives it a nice personal touch to set it apart from the many other zombie novels flooding the market.

Day by Day Armageddon doesn't go the usual straight narrative of most novels. The novel is written in the point-of-view of the anonymous narrator, but is told through an epistolary-style. Similar to Bram Stoker's Dracula, Bourne's novel tells the story of this one man's struggles to survive the gradual collapse of civilization and through the post-apocalyptic undead world around him through journal entries. Bourne's choice of writing style lends abit of a personal touch to the proceedings as it imbues the tale with less hyperbole and flowery language. Instead, the journal entries gives the reader just the right amount of look into this man's life. Not everything's explained in these journal entries, but enough clues were hinted at to keep the reader interested in reading more. From the beginning of the crisis which has a timely feel of today's current events to the confusion of the crisis spiralling out of control with our narrator as confused as the people in charge seem to be.

Day by Day Armageddon doesn't lack for action and gory detail, but they seem to be more of affectations to the rest of the tale. Bourne concentrates more on the thoughts of his anonymous narrator. From how to plan for a siege to finding a way to distract the growing undead in his first refuge in order to rescue a neighbor who might be the only living person left the area. When the novel does finally have the narrator and the other survivors place themselves in danger in order to find more supplies or a better refuge, Bourne does a great job of keeping the pace of the story fast and tight. There's not alot of overly descriptive passages of the environment and its new undead in habitants. This minimalist style also lends itself to keeping the characters real. They behave with a rational and logical mind in trying to cope and deal with the worsening situation outside their refuge. Plans are thought out in advance and every precaution and angles factored in whatever decision they make in regards to their survival. In fact, Bourne's characters seem to have either read Max Brook's Zombie Survival Guide or at least something similar since they behaved and acted just how Brook's guide said people need to if they're to survive a coming zombie apocalypse.

If there's a bone to pick with Day by Day Armageddon and what keeps me from giving it a full 5 stars it would be the ending. To say that it ends in a cliffhanger would be an understatement. The last couple of journal entries became so action-packed that it succeeded in raising the adrenaline and making this reader want more of the same. But just when things really got cooking the book ends suddenly and with no resolution. The novel is suppose to be just the first book in a larger series. I hope that this is true and that a second novel continuing the lives of the narrator, John and the other survivors in the group comes out. Other than that little complaint, I thoroughly enjoyed this debut zombie novel from a new writer who seems to enjoy the zombie subgenre and knows how to handle it well. No running zombies for Mr. Bourne, though he's hinted at radioactive zombies with abit more oomph than their less glowing undead brothers. Here's to hoping Bourne keeps the sprinting undead to a minimum. Now where's that second volume to this series.
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67 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Zombie book fans - it's OK to be critical..., November 16, 2011
This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
After having recently finished WORLD WAR Z (and loved it) I wanted to continue in the zombie genre with another favored book among fans. I came across this one after reading the glowing reviews...

To be honest, I'm a little disappointed - both in the book itself and the number of fans whom seemingly refuse to be critical of a zombie book.

I will say that there is some exciting moments in the book (especially the end, although it was quite abrupt). However, the ability of the reader to become deeply involved in the story and visualize this world and the characters in it is severely limited as a result of the author's rudimentary command of the English language. There is practically no descriptive sense in this book. For example, zombies are described as being "smelly" and "hellish-looking" - never did the author bother to go in more detail and way too often are zombie-killing scenes described by a simple one-liner joke. I desperately wanted more depiction and it just simply wasn't there. Where the author focused his attention, though, was on technical babble and military mumbo-jumbo which I found to be really tedious to get through. This is portrayed as a zombie book, but it seemed more a part of the military genre. Funny that WORLD WAR Z had a lot of technical babble in it as well. However in that book it all seemed necessary and did not take away from the author's ability to capture the descriptive undertones of a zombie-ridden world.

Characters are also incredibly one-dimensional and simply not interesting. Beside the main character, I had to keep reminding myself who was who because beside their names nothing else was significantly different or important about any of them.

I still give this book 3 stars because beside its glaring faults it was still an OK book. Honestly though, I gave it 3 stars mainly because I've read far worse. I bought this book as a compilation which included both the first and second book. After having gone through the first, I think I'm retiring it to the book shelf as I don't have a lot of interest in reading the second...

If you want to read a good zombie book look elsewhere, as this one simply falls flat.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, June 9, 2006
By 
sprag80 "sprag80" (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
This end-of-the-world zombie book grabs you by the throat and won't let go. Plot, narrative, pacing and character are all pitch perfect. And need I mention:The horror is realistic, gruesome and scary. There's nothing pretty about this gritty, yet compassionate, novel.

I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars number 8 in my top 10!, October 11, 2009
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I started reading this book on the web. It was a serial that I had stumbled on a few years ago.
After reading the first few chapters I was hooked. Big problem though, it had gone out of print
before I had even found the website. No Joy. I figured I was SOL. Until I found the Kindle store!
And I finally got to finish the story I started so long ago. And yes, it was worth it! One of the best Zombie
fiction in ages. I couldn't stop reading it on line, and when I finally got the book, I didn't sleep until I
finished it ( literally up all night ) I had to hook my iPhone to the charger cable so I wouldn't run out of
power till I was done.

If you like Zombie fiction, this might be up your alley. ( a dark alley, with noises like shuffling feet off near the
darkest part, and a cat jumping past you and bashing off the top of a garbage can.. )

Enjoy.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes, I regret making a purchase., February 26, 2011
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This was definitely one of those purchases. I mean, I wasn't looking for Serious Literature, I just wanted something fun and zombie-oriented, something like World War Z maybe, and the reviews I read convinced me that this was what I was looking for. Well, the reviews were wrong, and I was an idiot for not previewing it before mu purchase. Caveat emptor, I guess.

The idea here is that Day by Day Armageddon is a diary found some time after a zombie apocalypse, kept by a Naval aviator (I think? He mentions Marine boot camp but maybe that's a thing that Navy personnel go through, I dunno) - this, I think, is one of the largest problems with the book. It doesn't read like a diary, for one thing: the language is stilted and impersonal and reads like it was being written for someone else's benefit, not as a recording of personal thoughts and experiences (the author often includes handy acronyms for the benefit of...himself? Also, diarists generally don't include footnotes). The diary format also makes it difficult to adhere to the whole "show, don't tell" thing; "A thing happened, and I felt bad about it" gets pretty old pretty fast. The characters are one-note: the narrator is really competent, but sometimes he feels things; a fellow survivor misses his wife, but also loves his dog. A family that joins them fares just as badly: the husband is a chemist who is asked by the narrator to come up with something that might help against the zombies (hopefully he doesn't work for Sherwin-Williams or similar, although God knows new paint colors could be a psychological boost), the wife has a name and not much else, and the daughter is mostly there for pathos (she is young, but "mature," because of zombies). The last member of the group is a young woman who survived five days in a compact car surrounded by zombies, who goes on to display no psychological or physiological issues despite her ordeal (the author seems to be setting her up as a love interest for the narrator, but nothing ever comes of that). They travel places (lack of fuel is always a concern, and yet nothing ever comes of that either, which seems to be a pattern here), shoot zombies, and finally stumble upon a recently abandoned and fully functional missile site (staffed by the 102nd Deus Ex Machina Unit, one presumes), something dull happens, and that's it. The End. Look for the sequel!

I know that things happened in this book, but upon finishing it it doesn't feel like anything happened at all, or at least nothing that mattered. Conflicts are resolved with ease ("A zombie attacked and I shot him in the head; my wound got infected but antibiotics made it all better" and so on) and the tension that should result from millions of dead people wanting to eat you never really shows up. The gore factor is pretty minimal, for a zombie book, and the zombies themselves never really seem all that threatening. The author doesn't seem like he's really interested in writing, except when guns come into play, when the writing devolves into the usual firearm fetishization that bad libertarian pulp always boils down to. Ultimately, it's an empty piece of writing that feels like an over-long treatment for one of those five-dollar PC games filling the bargain bin at a Best Buy. Zombie books can be good (again, see World War Z), but unfortunately they can also be really awful. Day by Day Armageddon is truly awful.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Zombie Fan Who Knows How To Write For Other Zombie Fans, April 12, 2006
By 
Caesar M. Warrington (Aldan, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
J.L. Bourne is a naval officer and internet hound who started DAY BY DAY ARMAGEDDON as an online fictitious journal under the name 'Raptorman.'

The book, in the tradition of Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND, tells the daily experiences of one man living through the horror of a mysterious plague coming out of China and rapidly spreading across the world.

A Navy pilot of a survivalist bent and somewhat a loner, Bourne's diarist prepares early on in the crisis for rioting and looters by quickly fortifying his already quite secure suburban San Antonio home and stockpiling supplies and whatever ammunition is available. The man monitors confusion and rumor-mongering all over the cable news outlets and internet, watching the typical ineptitude of both govenment and the medical community in responding to this crisis (he notes in his journal how Bill O'Reilly angrily demanded an honest answer from a military spokeswoman about exactly what is happening out there. It's good to know that Bill will still be "looking out for you" even in a zombie apocalypse). Within a couple of weeks he's viewing news footage of people attacking National Guardsmen and riot police in Times Square, overcoming them and literally tearing them apart. The government now admits that, whatever the disease happens to be, one thing is certain: the recently dead are coming back to life, they seem compelled to attack the living, and their victims quickly turn to do the same. By now, every night he hears sirens and gunshots and screams in the distance from outside his house. When he gets that call ordering him to report to base for duty, he ignores it, figuring he stands a better chance right where he is. It isn't too long afterwards that he's watching from the viewholes in his barred and shuttered windows the dead wandering his street and lurking under his walls. Now his troubles truly begin.

Bourne's journal keeper, although trained military, is no action movie hero stereotype. He doesn't nonchalantly walk into hell, muttering some one liners before and after blowing zombie heads off with always a clean shot. What makes Bourne's book special and enjoyable is that the man in the story is a real man. He is a regular guy who admits to being scared and overwhelmed. When he hears those things attacking someone down his block it pains him as he tries to ignore the screams. He knows it is too far away and there are far too many of them for him to to do anything about it. But the man is a hero and later on in the book he will answer time and again the pleas for heroism. However, like most most heroes in real life, he becomes one spontaneously and somewhat reluctantly. As you read his journal entries, you see this man change and grow with courage and compassion.

J.L. Bourne gives plausibilty and a strong sense of realism to zombie horror. Guns and ammo are in short supply. Shelters are never secure for too long. The chase is always on, and sometimes you must beware of the living as much as the dead.

Bourne's motto for surviving this nightmare is to "stay quiet, stay healthy, stay safe."

Bourne promises to publish a second volume of DAY BY DAY ARMAGEDDON (I hope he's quick about it). Also included is an eight page excerpt from another project he is working on, DEAD LANDS. This other book will take place in the world of DAY BY DAY ARMAGEDDON.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good zombie journal, April 17, 2006
This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
This was a very enjoyable book, no big commercial flash, no political agenda, just zombies and survivors. The journal entry format was enjoyable, giving a nice character perspective, and giving a grasp of the mind set in a civilization collapsing event. All in all i recommend, and am looking forward to the next installment.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Judge This Book By Its Cover, January 25, 2006
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This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
As someone else pointed out, the cover of this book is [...], but the story inside is pure gold.

I was reluctant at first to pick up this book because of the "diary" format, but got over that very quickly once I started to read the story. Mr. Bourne has a way with words. His style is sparse, but effective, creating a creepy world full of constant danger and fear. I was creeped out more than once, and that doesn't happen very often. This is a very good book, and I can't wait for the next installment.

Don't be put off by the goofy cover, just buy this book. You will not regret it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true zombie story, May 2, 2006
By 
Julie M. (south bend in) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Paperback)
this is a must have book, if you are in to zombies. I have never written a reveiw before but this book is so good I had to. yes he is a new writer and there are a few mistakes but most are easily over looked.
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Day by Day Armageddon
Day by Day Armageddon by J. L. Bourne (Paperback - September 29, 2009)
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