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4.6 out of 5 stars
Taking it Back: White Flag of the Dead Zombie Series
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was one of the most disappointing reads I have ever slogged through. I kept thinking 'it has to get better.' To my dismay, it only got worse.

Perhaps my disappointment with this book is due to the expectations set by the previous installment, White Flag of the Dead. I started White Flag expecting garbage, and was pleasantly surprised. I started Taking it Back expecting it to be good. Bitter disappointment ensued.

The flaws of this book are many, but the following are the top three: 1) The protagonist is blessed with super-human strength, endurance, intelligence, luck, and charisma. Not a single flaw is discernible. 2) The plot becomes increasingly absurd as time passes. Granted, the zombie apocalypse genre is inherently absurd, but an author has to have some measure of self control. Talluto goes 'beyond the beyonds' with a government conspiracy to turn 90% of the population into zombies and enslave the rest. Give me a break! 3) The book is loaded with misinformation about firearms. About 90% of readers know nothing about firearms and will not be bothered by this. However, anyone who has ever handled the firearms portrayed in this book will be constantly irritated.

Save your time and your money. Download a collection of Robert E. Howard's 'Conan the Barbarian' for $1.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Pretty good follow-up to the White Flag of the Dead. Interesting characters and lots of action although at a certain point the main character is just too good a person and way to good at zombie killing to make this truly believable. Some instances like how John Talon finds his brother and goes and recovers his wife's body simply strain credibility. Despite these flaws this is an exciting book and worth recommending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Finally finished the White Flag of the Dead 6-book series. I was planning to review each book as I read it but to be honest as soon as I finished one book I immediately started the next one. I couldn't stop reading. This series is amazing and I was hooked from the very first book. I love all the characters and laughed, cheered and cried for and with them all. I am looking forward to reading the new Generation Dead which I already got ready on page 1 on my Kindle to read but I'm taking a breather to write this review. Although I am copying for each book they are all great books. I had no problem with the time gap between some of the books. Just made it more interesting although I am very curious about Denver now. I hope Joseph Talluto keeps writing because I am addicted to his books. If you like zombie books you will love these!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a great series to read, loved the characters! Being form Illinois and knowing the areas the author centered around made it really enjoyable for me to read. Highly recommended this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I am giving this zombie book first place (5 stars) instead of 2, 3, 4, or 5th place. This book deserves first place and I am sure you will agree.

This book scared me. I now look around every corner where I think the darn zombies might be hiding so that they can eat my flesh and meat.

I look under my bed at night (day too).

The pantry seems like a good hiding place so I check it before I get my Frosted Flakes.

I suggest you buy this book. And then read it. And then post a review and tell all of us Zombie Amazonions how scared you are now that you reded the book.

This was a page turner. I burned through the book in two hours it is so good and scary!

There are REAL zombies everywhere. It is just a matter of time before they crawl or jump out of a dark place (or daylight for that matter) and bite you which could lead to you becoming a zombie too but you would never know if you are a zombie because zombies don't think they walk around limping smelling food (humans) to eat. Do zombies eat horses, pigs, cows, dogs or cats? Please let me know so I can lock up my two Newfoundlands to protect them because I love them so much and do not want them to become dog zombies because they could run much faster than a zombie human and bite you and make you into a zombie dog I think?

Please buy the book. Red it. Enjoy it. and Lock up your house or your apartment, or your cardboard box if you are homeless.

Thank you, Erica P
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Seriously, how much would it cost to hire a poor starving undergraduate English major to edit these books? The errors are so obvious - it is maddening!! And again with the repetitive words/phrasing...I beg of you - buy a thesaurus, brave the daunting world of polysyllabic communication! As an author, words are your building blocks; thus, a varied assortment/plentiful supply should always be at hand. Too abstract? Well, in terms you can relate to, it's like stocking up on the many different types of ammo needed for your possibly world-saving/probably illegal assemblage of weaponry.

That being said, even the best editing is unlikely to save this installment from lost-cause status. The cartoonish (and apparently still superhuman) protagonist John "Rambo" Talon and his supporting cast of one dimensional characters leave the reader emotionally disengaged - there isn't one character compelling enough to actually care about. At times, I found myself cheering on the zombies, begging them for salvation from another cringe-worthy cliche word/thought/action from John Talon. Speaking of cringe-worthy, here's an interesting side item for the ladies - apparently women have their choice of 3 exciting roles in the post-zombie apocalypse world: 1) babysitter for Jake, 2) adoring, obedient girlfriend of John/John's crew (must never participate in action sequences, should specialize in hand-wringing and fretful sobbing for her manly-man), or 3) rape victim of various roving evil gangs who has either been tortured/murdered or remains locked in a cage as their sex slave. Now I'm not exactly hypersensitive or a raging feminist, but are you f***ing kidding me? Anyone who has successfully worked through their psychosexual baggage, please stand up...not so fast, Joseph Talluto.

This could have been an interesting story; there were a few creative ideas, so I'm giving the book 2.5 stars on the Amazon rating scale. Unfortunately, lack of character development coupled with increasingly dull, repetitive zombie skirmishes do little in the way of realizing any of the book's potential. The plot is downright ridiculous at times, and the decisions made by John are inconsistent and unbelievable. Need examples (or post-reading commiseration)? See below for just a few (with obvious spoiler alert).

SPOILERS:
- In keeping with his repeated (ad nauseum) vow to keep little Jakey safe/unorphaned, John goes on a suicide mission to search for his wife's decomposing and/or zombified body because, you know, closure is sooo important in moving on (almost as important as remaining alive). Also, he'd like to look around for his possibly still-living brother...if there's enough time and he's not killed by hospital zombies. Against all odds (yet again...yawn), John survives the death trap hospital - getting a lookie loo at his wife's peacefully rotting corpse and then honoring her memory by tossing her on a couch and burning the hospital to the ground. Could John have sent her to a fiery grave without risking his/Charlie's lives by touring the zombie-filled hospital? Sure, but who passes up the chance to look at his/her long-dead spouse's decomposing remains? What's that?...Every sane/rational person, you say?
- During their escape from the burning hospital, John and his band of suicidals happen upon a note his brother posted on a nearby bridge over one year ago which miraculously (but cryptically) reveals his location.
- John finds and rescues his brother (+ sister-in-law and 2 kids) from an isolated cabin where, after managing to survive for over one year, they just so happen to be only days/hours/minutes from certain death due to starvation, zombies, one or more COUGARS who escaped from "the zoo", and an imminent raid by Wile E. Coyote (desperate, starving, and equipped with ACME Rocket-Powered Roller Skates).
- After doing battle with the zombies and escaping the cabin, John takes his brother/brother's family back to the burgeoning civilization of Leport. He spends a few days with his brother (reminiscing about the good old days, exchanging tales of zany post-apocalypse antics), then decides that he must immediately move his own family (including infant son) to the same perilous wilderness cabin from which he just extricated his brother. Let me repeat: John "Savior of the World" Talon, thus far portrayed as unilaterally focused on restoring safe communities ("taking it back"), suddenly resolves to abandon his friends/newly rescued brother and make a hasty retreat to the isolation and danger of the woods because.....? Life in Leport (post-restored running water) not rustic enough? Town not big enough for 2 Talon boys? Yeah, totally reasonable decision-making in a zombie apocalypse.
- Speaking of unbelievable plot elements, let us not forget about Trevor's discovery of the government's "secret files" in which their evil plans are laid bare. Just as John suspected (yet again thanks to the evil-detecting radar in his tummy and neck hairs), the evacuation camps/"State Centers" were actually a ruse crafted by the evil US government to trick weaker, less self-sufficient Americans into evacuating there. Why? So the quivering mass of socialist leaches could be used as guinea pigs for "zombie experiments", of course!! [Little known fact: a shortage of scientific-grade zombie specimens is a common problem, even during a worldwide zombie apocalypse]. Now ain't it just like that evil US government to zombify the majority of its citizens, create an army of the undead, and then use said zombie army to impose control over the few remaining strong, self-sufficient Americans? Incorrigible - that US government is, I tell you - absolutely incorrigible! Word is that they also put fluoride in the water supply to turn us all communist...and they are hiding all around us, just waiting to confiscate our guns...(OMG excuse any typos, the light is so dim in my underground bunker)...buy gold coins...form a militia...Fox News = Fair and Balanced...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed this second entry in the series, and I appreciate how the author has worked to flesh out some of the characters. like the presence of a plot and characters written so as not to insult your intelligence, plus, it is nice to read a zombie book that has some hope for the future. Too much of the genre is simply hopeless in outlook, but the author has given the readers a chance to see what happens when people actually plan for the future and act on those plans. In sum, a good, fast paced read that leaves you looking for to the third book, which I hope is forthcoming soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Well written, fast moving and gripping! A good writer who knows how to get your attention and keep it, with good characters. What more can I say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Really enjoyed the book, its an easy reading book and the main characters are how I think my friends and I would try to go about it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The second book continues a pretty epic storyline. The author keeps things believalbe and develops a great cast of characters. The thing I really liked about this book was that you actually care about what happens. You're not a detached observer, but you feel as though you're in the story. You're actually friends with the people who are trying to keep mankind alive.
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