351 of 396 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
81 of 99 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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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Edit, edit, edit,
I wish I could give this book more than two stars, but here we are. This work suffers from under editing. There are place where the author uses the wrong character name in the scene. This takes the reader out of the story. Yes, he is true to the pure form of zombies but the story is not paced well. Because it's in first person (which from what I'm told is very hard to pull off) the view of the world is very limited. It lacks scope, emotion and fear, the two things you need in a good horror story. I didn't care if any of his companions died save the dog and little girl. The ending lacked any true climax. This is because in journal form and you know he's going to be OK. I felt more time should be spent on his feelings. Most of the time he wrote about the type of guns he had or how much food but not many feelings. Humanity is crumbling around him, this should unnerve the main character a little more than it did. When people write in journals, it's about what they are mentally going through as much as what they did. The final thing that bothered me was the use of the word evil. Zombies are mindless creatures driven by hunger. This is not evil. Evil needs thought behind it. The living who attack the main character, they are evil. The people who created the zombies are evil, not the zombies. I will say that if this author writes another book I will give it a try. Why? Writing is not easy and for all the things wrong with this story, I think he will get better with time.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Newbie (Potential Spoilers Revealed),
First of all, I don't claim to be some professional critic and please keep in mind, this is not a personal attack of the author or the genre. I'm not an expert by any means--I'm not a zombie purist or "zombiephile" like some of the reviewers here, however I can't help but feel compelled to write a review of this book. I'm new to apocalyptic fiction and perhaps, I've been spoiled after having read Max Brooks' World War Z first in the line-up. Because I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to see what else the world had to offer and was pleasantly surprised by a couple of authors also highly toted by the reviewers of Amazon. So, it's really not a big surprise that I would eventually come across Bourne's book. Now, I wish I hadn't. I diligently made an effort to give this book a chance, especially since it seems like it was the author's first real attempt to write and publish, and despite a good number of people who gave it negative reviews, I let the overall high rating sway me in purchasing it. Personally, I found it painful and boring to read this work. Like many others, I found the lack of editing very distracting. Then there was the interesting way in which he presented the journal format. Wouldn't this character know that his skipper is his commanding officer and this his mother's husband is his stepfather? Why would one put that in or any other term that is already familiar to him in parenthesis in a journal really just meant for his eyes? Most people don't write a journal expecting another to read it, but just do it as an act of catharsis. As I forced myself to read along though, that aspect did get better, so again, I'll lay the blame on the editor for not bringing it to the writer's attention. I won't say much about the plot, because it seems that it's always the same--survive. So, though it wasn't entertaining for me in the least in this book, it accomplished its purpose. Lastly though, and I think, most important, I just didn't care about these characters. They felt incredibly flat to me and more often than not, just a little too convenient--a military soldier (who knows how to fly), an engineer, a chemist (who will likely be conveniently useful in the sequel to this book) a former RN who was studying to be a doc, an extraordinarily well-adjusted little girl (wow, this kid is AMAZINGLY resilient--the only time she shows any sign of weakness is in her sleep), the marketing beauty who really has no other purpose than to probably provide a little companionship to our main character, and the dog that can forewarn our characters of impending danger of ghouls nearby. Brief as it was, it took me over a week to finish this book, because every time I put it down (which occurred rather frequently), I had to will myself to pick it up again and try to endure another little subchapter. I think I'll skip the sequel and if I need a fix, just go for reading WWZ again. Even though I feel that this is a one-star book, I'm giving it two stars because I can respect the courage and effort it took for Mr. Bourne to write it in the first place, even if it wasn't for me. Others may love this book and feel it is as vital an addition to their library as George Romero was and is to the zombie genre. Personally, I just don't feel that way at all--just the opinion of an optimistic realist, and a fellow book lover.
25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Zombie Fan Who Knows How To Write For Other Zombie Fans,
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.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars number 8 in my top 10!,
This review is from: Day by Day Armageddon (Kindle Edition)
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.. )
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true zombie story,
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.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to draw the reader in,
I haven't actually read this book, just the first 70 or so pages that the author provides on his website, but it was enough to convince me I wouldn't enjoy the read.
The problem with telling a zombie story from a journal perspective is that it already requires the reader to suspend some disbelief. Who is going to prepare some defenses against zombies, write about it in a journal, prepare some more defenses, write about it in a journal again, and so on? I feel like the memoir style used in World War Z does a much better job of holding the reader in. The problem was magnified in this book as the author frequently added snippets to the journal that served no purpose other than to show off how much he knows about survival skills. For example, when he wants to jump a car he brings along a car jumping kit. This conveys the information he needs to, but instead of leaving it at that, he goes on to talk about how since he wants to jump a larger vehicle his car battery alone probably won't be enough, and that is why he needs to bring the kit. Every time he does this it jerks the reader away from the story, and reminds them that the author is flaunting how much he knows about survival skills. There is no way to enjoy the story, because the author won't let you.
I've seen this complaint by several reviewers, but not others, so maybe it doesn't bother everyone. I recommend you read the first few chapters that he has on his webpage and decide if the book is worth picking up yourself.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shuffling, directionless, flat and boring,
This book is quite terrible. As a blog, it was probably a great idea. The sloppiness of writing, poor/flat characters and inexcusable spelling errors (the window's steel "shudders") could be forgiven. But as a book, one demanding payment of actual hard currency, Day by Day Armageddon is a complete failure.
First, we are not invited to identify in the least with the main character. He is merely a walking talking survival checklist, reading the entries is only slightly more exciting than reading a shopping list for the Home Depot. When he does venture to give this character some depth, it is through the vehicle of trite aphorism, the same bloated "i pity the dead" utterances that were tired several decades ago.
Second, the book uses its journal format as excuse to avoid any kind of story arch, deeper message or journey for the reader. It's written by a military guy obviously enjoying his male power fantasy. It's a romp through a world of gadgets and tools, little else. Chest thumping bravado can be read behind every line.
The one redeeming feature of this book is it's interest to the military or survivalist set. It is filled with enough insider jargon and interesting facts to make it a decent read to this niche audience. But there are other books which are much better suited to this audience. Starship Troopers if full of military insider fun, and it's actually a great read with an excellent story besides. Hard Tack and Coffee is written by a soldier of the Northern armies during the American Civil War. It's about what this book is essentially about, survival and soldiering, but it's real, and it reads as real.
Day by Day Armageddon reads like the notebook of a 14 year old boy, satisfied that he can create a "universe" out of such tired popular culture materials and the tiniest smidge of imagination. Don't buy this book! Go to the library if you're still curious and save yourself the money!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far from Dead but Far from alive,
I agree that a good zombie novel is hard to come by, most are just mediocre at best. and outright awful at worst. Day by Day is somewhere in the middle on the scale of bad vs good. it's not bad, it's not good. it's just ok. most characters are flat (which is bad cause there's not a lot of characters to begin with. and the few here are very vague and uninteresting. some of the character's names i already forgotten. which is never a good sign. i do like the fact it's written as a quasi war journal. the narration is sometimes genuinely interesting. there's roughly 6 main characters (7 if you include the dog). one is a young naval officer (the character that has the main POV, it's his "journal"), one is a middle aged neighbor of his, one is a former advertising agent whom is a vague love interest to the prime protagonist, and a family of 3 a husband & wife and their little girl. nothing of any real importance happen to these characters accept them escaping to a missile silo and fighting off redneck marauders later in the book.
somebody else mention that this was "right wing propaganda" . i can kinda see the right leaning undertones to the book but it's not over bearing. there's is however A LOT of military jargon. it's as if that's the writer's bread and butter cause that's all he knows (the writer was and still is in the service). which is why the main character (and writer) are constantly finding themselves in a situation that gives the lead protagonist an excuse to use some type of military techno babble. World War Z had this too and i got tired of it then (and i think WWZ is a better novel.....by far). but WWZ get's a pass cause most of it was justified. in this case the writer just seemed to use it as a crutch almost.
the book has some very tense moments, but over all nothing really happens. it's mostly about the survivors scavenging. it's not a bad start but i hope the supposed sequel kick into high gear.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, poor grammar and punctuation distract.,
The Good: Mr. Bourne has an interesting story to tell. There are not a lot of new concepts here concerning zombies. The hero's inner monologue is interesting; however, if you are not in the military, his use of standard military acronyms can be confusing.
The Bad: Mr. Bourne's poor grasp of basic grammar distracts from his ability to express himself. I read about 20 pages, and was so distracted by the misplaced punctuation, incorrect homophones, run-on sentences, and fragmented sentences, I had difficulty remaining focused on the story.
I am not sure how this book was published without being edited for both spelling and grammar.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Judge This Book By Its Cover,
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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Day by Day Armageddon by J. L. Bourne (Paperback - September 29, 2009)