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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Audible Review: Immortality by Kevin Bohacz

This is an intense and intriguing doomsday thriller.
Written by: Kevin Bohacz
Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins
Length: 26 hrs and 33 mins
Series: Immortality, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:10-28-14
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Sci Fi, Apocalyptic
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Without warning, something has gone terribly awry. In the remote and unnoticed places of the world, small pockets of death begin occurring. As the initially isolated extinctions spread, the world's eyes focus on this unimaginable horror and chaos. Out of the ecological imbalance, something new and extraordinary is evolving and surviving to fill the voids left by these extinctions. Evolution is operating in ways no one could have expected, and environmental damage may be the catalyst. Once discovered, this knowledge changes everything...
©2003, 2007, 2011 Kevin Bohacz (P)2014 Audible Inc.

A strange, silent and swift killer is dropping humans in a small area in an Amazon forest. The phenomena isn’t noticed until another small circle of people drop dead in minutes in Anchorage, Alaska. A specialized military bioweapons group, BARDCOM, is researching the event and trying to keep it quiet. General McKafferty, an ugly, determined man, suspects terrorism but because of the urgency and deadly “kill zones”, he reluctantly brings in the CDC for additional research.

Dr. Kathy Morrison, a CDC specialist from Atlanta, is provided some of the details and has to push for more information. They discover that a large number of the victims are carrying a generally benign water bacteria. Kathy calls in Dr. Mark Freedman, a bimolecular biologist, specializing in research of the water bacteria. Mark leaves his young girl friend, ex-wife and daughter in LA to join the research team in Atlanta. They frantically try to stop the killer even as it hits their own loved ones.

Mark discovers a tiny "seed" embedded inside the bacteria but they are having trouble determining if it is natural or man-made and how it relates to the kill zones. It is similar to nano technology and the more they learn about it the more it seems to be sentient and set on destroying mankind.

Strangely there are a few people who seem to survive even when they were in the limited areas of the kill zones. Sarah, a police officer in New Jersey, survived and sneaks out of the quarantined area with her Rottweiler, Ralph. Sarah seems to have a prophetic vision of the kill zones and, while working her way to Atlanta to try to help the CDC, she realizes that she may have some childhood connection to the menace.

Artie and his pregnant wife, Suzy, survive at the edge of a kill zone in New York. Artie is a former gang member who struggled out of his dangerous youth to become an assistant DA. Artie is intent on getting Suzy to a safe area but runs into trouble along the way. The trouble brings out his gang persona and events thrust him to lead a rebellion against the authorities he views as enemies.

There is a lot of good tension, suspense and danger in the story along with a deep level of scientific detail. It isn’t necessary to get bogged by the detail to enjoy the drama and danger. Bohacz does a good job weaving in views and discussions of society issues including political arrogance, abuse of police powers, class antagonism gang behavior, effects of poverty and religious zeal. The most stressed issues though seems to be the environmental degradation of earth’s resources by man and man's capability and or willingness to change, or evolve. The question arise though - how do we evolve and still remain 'human.'

The story is told with comfortable point of view changes through the primary, and well developed, characters. The pacing flows with good movement from one character to the next to keep things interesting even with the long story. I was intrigued and engrossed by the story and its plausibility until about three-fourths of the way in. At that point Sarah and Mark extend their research into the ‘entity’ through a very unorthodox method that I found a bit far-fetched. Still Bohacz manages to pull in all the pieces to a suspenseful conclusion... or should I say ending as there is a sequel that continues the adventure. I recommend this sci fi, doomsday thriller to readers who enjoy the suspense of a mystery and the imaginative dangers of apocalyptic drama.

Audio Notes: I have to admit I was a little daunted facing a 26 and one half hour listen. I was pleasantly surprised that it moved along well thanks to the strong, narrative performance by Kevin T. Collins. Collins picked up the different voices so there was never confusion about which character’s view was being presented at any time. He also imbued the appropriate temperaments with the characters to help make them real to the reader. I enjoyed the audio and recommend the book in audio format.

I received this audio through Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review. It qualifies for Audio Challenge and I for Alphabet Challenge.

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