- File Size: 3399 KB
- Print Length: 1191 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: August 30, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0758C13ZS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#10,338 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #54 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Dystopian
- #57 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Mysteries & Thrillers > Science Fiction
- #68 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Metaphysical & Visionary
The Scattered and the Dead Series: The First Four Books (Post-Apocalyptic Fiction) Kindle Edition
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Sometimes there’s a bit of sameness to the character voices; several of the characters are unusually aware of their own physicality and physical actions/reactions. It’s a bit weird. The characters have some nice depth, though, and sometimes surprise the reader. Current post-apocalyptic fiction still often focuses so intensely on the basics–survivalism, largely–that it’s nice to find a book that develops the depth of plot and character necessary in fiction in general. Most sub-genres follow this pattern, starting out as sketches and basics and then gradually developing into fully-fledged fiction with all of the necessary elements for a good story. Unlike some of the recent books I’ve read, Vargus’s The Scattered and the Dead makes that transition.
I like some of the details. There’s a prepper whose preparations come to naught because he gets hit by the plague, and given the odds, that should happen more often than not. It’s been a bit weird to read post-apocalyptic after post-apocalyptic in which both the prepper and all of his family members mysteriously turn out to be immune; after a while it beggars belief. Another nice detail: there may be some serious perverts in here, but at least it doesn’t depict every male as a rampant rapist and every female as a would-be victim.
Vargus’s work is a bit rough around the edges, but I like the story and characters. If you like the genre it’s worth giving this series a read.
shut-in vs. the apocalypse
I love this book. It's grim, dark, and visceral. While society falls apart, Decker, a guy who sealed himself off from the world at the very beginning of the plague is trying to make a connection with the girl across the hall.
This is a smooth, seamless read. I finished it in one sitting. I couldn't stop turning the pages. I had to find out what Decker would do next, how he would cope with this dark new reality, and whether he would finally give the letter to the girl across the hall. The ending gave me this sense of finality and loss, of irreversible changes—not just to the world, but to Decker himself. I realized I'd been clinging to the old world and the old Decker as tightly as he had been. In the end, that was the hardest part to stomach—watching helplessly while Decker became the man he had to be to survive.
If this is any indication of things to come, then the Scattered and the Dead Book 1 can't come out soon enough. I can't wait to spend some more time in McBain and Vargus's grim and gritty post-apocalyptic world.
it's the end of the world as we know it
One of the coolest things about the Scattered and the Dead Book 1 is that it combines everything post-apocalyptic enthusiasts love about the genre--death, fighting, TEOTWAWKI, the struggle to survive without modern niceties like electricity, and oh yeah, freakin' zombies!--with the contemplation of why humans cling so hard to The World As We Know It in the first place. Why do we fill up our lives with products and meaningless entertainment? What problem does a large Number 5 with cheese solve? How is being ironic on Instagram or Twitter enriching our lives? What lessons are we imparting to the next generation by spending our time in front of a television, ereader, computer, or phone screen? How much time and energy before and after The End are we going to expend trying to keep ourselves numb to the world around us?
Zombie plagues and food for thought. Pretty awesome, right? And you haven't even met the cast yet.
There's Mitch, the dad at the end of the world, who's turning into a zombie and only has hours left to prep his sons for the apocalypse they never thought would come. Erin, a teenager taking care of an eight-year-old while learning to survive in the world After. Travis, raiding the ruins of the world for all the booze, cigarettes, and pills he can find so he never has to feel again. Baghead, on a one-man publisher on a mission to preserve the memory of the world Before. The slick former televangelist, the lone sadist, the mysterious Five...the list goes on and on. Somehow the all-star team of Vargas and McBain managed to weave all of these story lines and ideas into a single book that takes us into, through, and out the other side of the apocalypse.
The feeling I got as I read was one of all these story lines working toward a singularity, of disparate threads coming together, and without giving away any spoilers, I was not disappointed. The Scattered and the Dead Book 1 is epic on so many levels. It's the first full novel in the series, but I would say it could almost be read as a self-contained story. There isn't any cheesy cliffhanger; the ending is satisfying and awful and just right. I can't wait to see what happens with the characters and the world in the rest of the series.
zombie apocalypse with a chance of muuuurder
Like the Scattered and the Dead 0.5, I read 1.5 in one sitting because I couldn't stop. I had to see what would happen. The authors know how to write a story that won't let you go. I'm still thinking about everything that went down, turning over how it could all too easily become reality for mankind—just add apocalypse.
The creepiest parts of this story was the isolated characters' slow slide into dark superstitions. Weird little ideas that might have been easily dismissed Before with the distractions of technology start to take on a life of their own After, where there's nothing but cold and dark and time to think. Suspicions grow and twist into obsessions, and those morph into horrific actions. It was inevitable and awful, and McBain and Vargus never give the reader a chance to look away. The writing is stark, almost painfully clear, and serves to reinforce that this new world is a one without the same brand of hope as the old world, even as one of the characters is offered a fresh start.
The Scattered and the Dead 1.5 is also a volume of Postcards from an Empty World, the collections Baghead has become famous (or infamous) for publishing, and it offers us clues as to why Father wants Baghead dead. When viewed from that angle, it's not just an awesome read, it's an awesome piece of world-building metafiction. Unlike other works of metafiction, though, it isn't alienating or sarcastic. As the reader, you're both completely enmeshed in the characters' accounts and aware of the stories stretching across the Scattered and the Dead series. It's brilliant.
not your grandpa's zombie apocalypse
Some post-apocalyptic zombie stories are so predictable that the only thing keeping you reading is the zombie-head-smashing action. Some are so full of zombie-head-smashing that you can't see the cardboard-cutout-characters for the blood. Some are so focused on methodical survival that they could be the curriculum for a prepper's TEOTWAWKI course. And some are so dark that you can't imagine anyone wanting to survive in that sick new future, let alone actually thrive in it. But The Scattered and the Dead is not like any of those post-apocalyptic zombie stories. In this series, Vargus and McBain have struck an incredible balance between character, action, story, survival, dark, light, and oh yeah, zombies. It's the total package.
Weaving together strands from the characters who fascinated us from the previous books with unpredictable newcomers, The Scattered and the Dead Book 2 takes us on a journey through the worst of human nature: A sadistic psycho driven to torture and kill. A corrupt community where no one is going to punish a murderer because he has connections. The creation of a cult by false prophets preying on their follower's desperate desire for miracles. The realities of scarcity and the lengths the survivors will go to take supplies from each other.
However, unlike some post-apocalyptic series, The Scattered and the Dead isn't a complete condemnation of humanity. The authors didn't just slap some evil characters onto the page and call it a day. They built real, living, breathing humans out of words, then let those humans interact with the world. What came out was dark, definitely, but there was light in it, too. Book 2 is both a look at how awful humans can be to each other...and how beautiful they can be to each other. While reading, you get a sense of hope, a sense that maybe goodness can even survive a zombie apocalypse. The darkness in these books just accentuates the moments of light all the more.
Of course, there's also a bunch of zombie-smashin', Bind Torture Killin', and revenge-soaked deliciousness in there, too. Even more of the disparate strands our favorite author duo started with are coming together in new, sick, and satisfying ways. If you see this ending coming, then you should probably check with your local psychic, because you might be clairvoyant. It's so inevitable and yet so unpredictable—and that makes it downright awesome. Just read it already!
Ok I'll admit, I was hesitant to start this series. I was afraid it was just going to be another zombie book. A "Oh no! There they are. It's them or us! Run!" book. Boy was I wrong, so wonderfully wrong. The richness of the writing makes you feel like you are right there with them them. Going through everything they go through with them.
If you are are looking for a series that you can't get enough of you will love The Scattered and The Dead. It's truly a gift to yourself that keeps on him with another book coming soon.
This is really more of a collection of short stories that are loosely tied together in the same fictional post-apocalyptic world. The perspective changes often, but it works.
What I really like most about the series is the vivid imagery. Vargus and McBain have the ability to describe a scene in a way that makes me feel as if I'm there, and that alone is enough to make it very memorable and enjoyable.
If you like gritty post-apocalyptic dramas that focus on human interaction, then you should enjoy this series.
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