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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
I adore the post-apocalyptic genre (1200+ hours on the Fallout series, especially Fallout 3 should tell you something) so I'm especially tickled that it has become so popular in recent years. Final Dawn follows in the footsteps of some of the other great novels and episodic book series (Yesterday's Dawn, I'm looking at you), but has its own distinctive style and taste.

Mike Kraus paints a grim picture of the world in 26 years, though he has yet to fully flesh it out to its potential. Given the nature of episodic storytelling, this is perfectly understandable, and I'm sure that more details about the world itself will come in the next book, though I am left hungry for more by the end of it. With the first book, Mr. Kraus introduces us to the four (presumably) main protagonists of the story, each located in a different part of the USA and each with their own unique survival story. These four characters have escaped certain death while most of the rest of the world has burned around them, though that much you could gather yourself from the book description. A couple of the characters have a stereotypical "end of the world survivor" feel to them, but the other two were markedly different, which I appreciated.

Without going on any further, I would encourage you to give this new author a shot. I enjoyed the book immensely and look forward to reading the next one in the series when it is released.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2012
I have to completely disagree with the person who gave this one star. I read a lot of science fiction, and this book gripped me from the moment I began reading.

First let me say that I do NOT know the author, I just picked up this book while randomly searching Amazon's free/cheap books for something to put on my kindle. I very often wonder if the good reviews I read are from people who know the author and are trying to boost his/her ratings. I can assure you, this is a good book on its own merit.

I started with a sample of the book to see if I would like it, and after the first few lines I was hooked. It is WELL WRITTEN! I knew it was "Episode One" but I didn't know it was a novel written in serial form. I thought it was the first book in a series. I was SO into it, and eagerly picked it up last night to continue the adventure, when to my extreme disappointment I came to the end of episode one. I actually moaned out loud and my husband asked me what was wrong.

Of course you don't know very much about the characters, because it's just the beginning of the book. And I don't think you are reading the "same scene" over and over again... I think each character does react differently, each character's experience is different. I have to add, that the scene with the "mother" in the book (I suspect she is much more than that) is very chilling... I found myself envisioning that scene and her reaction very very clearly, like a mind movie. Well done!

And the twist! The mystery! Wow, what IS that thing!

I had a couple of tiny gripes with the time stamps, as the beginning of the book takes place in March, early evening, and "the sun" is mentioned a couple of times. I could be wrong, but I don't think the sun is around too much in early evenings in March, certainly not at 7:30 PM, which is when one chapter starts. But that is a minor mishap.

This is an excellent book. Trust me.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was well written. It leaves off on a cliff hanger, so there better be a second one! It's pretty short so it doesn't take much time. The characters had good development
. You really cant tell that its a new author. Once again I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it for anyone who wants a quick read.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
If you're looking for a long novel, this isn't for you. But, being a housewife and Mom, it was the perfect length (I've actually finished a book-who has time for that?). I love post-apocalyptic stories; Jericho, Fallout, etc... This one has a unique twist that leaves me wondering what in the world the author has created! Very creative! The characters are very real, and I can't wait for the next one in this series to get to know them (and whatever that "thing" is) better.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2012
There are several things I'm enjoying about the Final Dawn series.

First it's well written. Mike knows how to captivate you and provide the perfect balance of action, exposition, character development and downtime. There are four characters with enough differences between them and from the stereotypical "survivor" to keep things interesting and engaging.

Second, it's original. I know, you think that you've read one post apocalypse book and you have read them all. This series is very different. I was getting goosebumps with reading the last line, it's that good. I have no clue where it's going or what the source behind everything could be, which is more than I can say for some of the things I've read.

Third, it's in nice little bite-sized pieces. It says this on the description and you can see it in the page numbers, too. (It's also priced well for what you get, imo.) I love a long novel, don't get me wrong. But this whole serial/series format is lots of fun and makes it easy to pick up and put down a book without feeling like I have to stay up all night reading. I can read for an hour or two and get the next chunk of the story, then I get the next episode. I'm working on series from some other authors and I love those just as much!

Really, you just need to try it out for yourself. If you like thrillers, adventures or that kind of thing, this is probably right for you. This series is now on my must-read checklist.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2012
This is a series that will keep you up at night. The characters are well formulated, the writing strong and the plot excellent. Highly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
Never heard of mike kraus before, but final dawn was a recommendation after reading a few books from yesterdays gone. Final dawn seems to have a few strands in similar with yesterdays gone, but its going in a completely opposite direction by the end of the first books. Writing is great and the story is very engaging. I'll be sticking with this one through the end. WELL DONE!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2012
I found this book a while back but I hesitated due to the price and the unknown author. I truly enjoy this genre but have unfortunately purchased some doozies. For this I was hesitant. The only frustration I found with this series was finding myself at the ending. More than a post-apocolyptic story it has a mystery that kept my interest throughout.

I only gave 4* because of the price. At $2 an episode the price is really going to add up. I read that there are to be 6 episodes and then more to come after that. While I will definately continue reading this series I may wait and see if there is a discount to buying the entire series at once.

To the author. I might suggest offering the first episode free in order to entice reluctant readers like I was. The only reason I finally bought this book was because I received a gift card.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2012
can't wait for chapter two to come out. The only thing is I hope I don't have to wait years for the whole book as some of the series now out.
Great job, keep writing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2012
As other comments have mentioned, the book is rather short; I consider myself a novice reader and finished it in just shy of two hours.

Although short in overall length, the thrill/level of excitement while reading was anything but. I was unable to put the book down from the moment I opened it up. It almost reminds me of a Tarantino flick in that there are four story lines going on simultaneously, jumping from one to the other, yet they all tie into one another.

I actually got the chills while reading this, a couple of times, and am anxiously awaiting to read more from Mike Kraus.
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