Review – The Diary of Jill Woodbine by Jay Smith (E-book/Podcast)

jill_woodbine One of the things I love about listening to so many podcasts is that I discover some of the most amazing authors that you’ve never heard of. One such author is Jay Smith. Today I’m reviewing the podcast/ebook.

Synopsis: Jill Woodbine is a young college student who finds herself in the middle of a mass exodus as the walking dead pour out of our decimated cities in search of fresh meat. Her flight takes her to a house and garden warehouse store (HG World) which has been converted into a temporary shelter for refugees.

As that temporary situation grows into something that feels permanent, Jill begins to investigate her surroundings, its leaders, and its growing culture of denial and power struggles. What she finds may uncover some dark secrets leading back to the start of the zombie apocalypse.

Along the way, Jill chronicles the heroism and cruelty of her fellow survivors and explores her obsession with the beautiful and mysterious “Red Molly”.

Production: This is a straight read. There is some good bumper music, but no effects or additional production values. The audio quality is very clean.

Grade: B

Cast: If you’re going to do an audio book and you don’t have the talent for reading, then please, please, please hire Veronica Giguere. You can find her at http://voicesbyveronica.com. She’s an author and an audio producer as well. She voices all of the characters and provides the narration and is one of those voice actors who remains in my top ten. She developed strong, consistent voices for each character, and while the red skinned lady in the picture steals the show, the rest of her performances are stellar.

Grade: A+

Story: Every once in a while I think I’m over zombies. This, as it turns out, is often only because some writers forget that the best zombie stories actually have very little to do with the rotters and everything to do with the humans running and or hiding from them. Jay has not made that mistake.

The characters and situations in this book resonate with me, even though it’s been a couple of years since I listened to the podcast. Many of the scenes and the overall story have the same emotional punch for me that World War Z (the book/audio book) did. That’s about the highest praise I think anyone can offer for a book in this genre. That’s in no small part due to Veronica’s involvement in the audio. But even she can’t make a bad story into an A+ story.

This is done in first person. That irritate’s some people. Given the format (which follows the format of one of my other favorite zombie stories, Ruby Departed), it makes perfect sense and works for me. This is really the only thing that I could see as a potential for Your Mileage May Vary.

Grade: A+

Verdict: Gee, in case you can’t figure it out, my verdict is “Go get the darn book!”. If e-books aren’t your thing then go listen to the podcast (but buy the book anyway and gift it to someone who will appreciate it!!!)

Grade: A

Amazon
Podcast

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