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#zombie (A Zombie Apocalypse Series) (Zombie Botnet Book 1) by [Line, Al K.]
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#zombie (A Zombie Apocalypse Series) (Zombie Botnet Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 219 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

In a normal house in the English suburbs, Ven, a mother and world class hacker, presses enter on her keyboard and Armageddon is unleashed. She loses almost everything with that fateful keystroke.

The largest Web hack ever performed has devastating repercussions as it all goes horribly wrong. Designed to compromise the world's connected devices, the zombie botnet delivers subliminal data packets via social media and more - in an afternoon most of the world is either infected or eaten.

Now it 's a fight for survival for Ven and her baby. Kyle, her one and only friend, and her faithful tubby Labrador Boscoe, help navigate the apocalyptic nightmare that is now their world.

The problem is, Ven has never used a gun in her life, has no idea how to kill a zombie, and finds it hard to leave the house without doing her make-up.

Let's just say it gets interesting, and leave you to find out the rest, in this totally unique zombie apocalypse series that will leave you too scared to ever use a hashtag again.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3126 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I863XES
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,027,073 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is full of references to the geek world and is addicting. There is no doubt I am buying the next one and the third when it'S available. A must if you like zombies or even if you don't (not the biggest zombie fan here).
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By Sandie on Nov. 13 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It takes a page or two to say what could be said in a paragraph. I found it very hard to read, so much so that I skipped to the end just to see if the baby lived. Will not be getting book 2.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book reminds me a little of another book I loved, Stephen King's Cell where phones turn the world into zombies. If you're a fan of The Walking Dead and the like, it's well worth a read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9cf4af90) out of 5 stars 71 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cdafe40) out of 5 stars terrible lead character July 17 2014
By S. Hill - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh, I found the main character SO unlikable! I understand that was probably the intention, but why would the author want that? The whole beginning is all about what a selfish, terrible person she is and how she simply doesn't care about others.

Somehow she even goes entire days without eating (which is why she's so thin), because she's so glued to her computer. And yet she's got an infant that stays at home with her and somehow isn't dead? The first time the baby is even mentioned is when she's suddenly overcome with maternal instincts and trying to save her baby from a zombie.

It's am I supposed to care if she lives or dies based on that setup? How am I supposed to believe she's suddenly done a 180 and become a person with, you know, actual feelings?

This didn't work for me at all, which is a shame because the idea of the book is awesome.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cb7b264) out of 5 stars Unique Zombie Apocalypse March 5 2014
By AP - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
(Full disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this book for review through Booklikes Giveaway program.)

Written by Al K. Line, #zombie, follows two hackers, an infant, and an overweight dog as they navigate a new world overrun by zombies. The twist is that Ven (the pre-imminent hacker extraordinaire) is the CAUSE of the zombie catastrophe. Line has come up with a unique scenario of how a zombie apocalypse could begin. What if it all started with a computer hack that perpetuated itself through links on Facebook, hashtags on Twitter, and ads on YouTube? Could it be stopped? How could you avoid becoming infected?

I loved the concept for this story. A zombie invasion that began because a computer hacker unleashed a subroutine through every available avenue on the Internet? BRILLIANT. As someone who uses social media on a daily basis (who doesn't these days?), it was a chilling thought that by clicking on what first appears as an innocuous link on Twitter I could become a mindless destroyer of humanity.

However, I have to agree with another reviewer on here. It didn't hold my attention as I had hoped it would. Line has a tendency to drift and focus on minutiae that has no bearing on the tale. Re-telling of information previously stated is also another issue. Also, I didn't really feel connected to the protagonist, Ven. I didn't especially care if she made it through the apocalypse or not. Your main character needs to at least be somewhat relatable/likeable (at least I think so) to keep the interest of the reader. If I hadn't felt obligated to review I probably would have given up despite the fascination of the story's concept.

In conclusion: great concept and some really great wit but could stand a bit of tightening up on storyline.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cb7b39c) out of 5 stars Brainless Tweet June 17 2014
By Making Good Stories - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alright. I have to admit that "zombie" WILL catch my attention. Add to that fact the horrifically successful trend to hashtag EVERYTHING and, yeah, I'm going to take a look. Not to mention that the cover for this is pretty sweet in its simplicity.

To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website:[...]

#zombie by Al K. Line (and if this isn't an awesome battery-related pen name, I will be slightly disappointed) is an intriguing zombie tale whose outbreak stems from cyber origins, something I've not seen done much before. While reading it, I found myself constantly thinking of it as a cautionary tale of our growing dependence on, and in some cases addiction to, social media; yet I'm oddly compelled to check Facebook or Twitter right now anyway…

The story itself was captivating, as evidenced by the fact that I was reading it and barely even noticed that it had gone from a sunny day to darkened dusk around me. Ven.genence, aka Ven aka Sarah, her infant son, her hacker cohort Kyle, and her well-loved dog Boscoe traverse a world infected by the zombiebot she unleashed. It's a dangerous world, but she manages to think to get to her hippie sister who is a technophobe in Wales in an effort to survive.

As for the characterization and grammatical mechanics of the story, there were some concerns I had and I feel like there are many opportunities for revision. I'm aware that this is in British English and not American English that I'm inundated with every day, but I'm well-versed in both and I found that there were areas that could use a second look from an editor. I also wasn't too keen on the characters, apart from Bos Bos. For a main character, I should feel some connection to them, but with Ven, I was struggling to stick with her. She was static and dynamic at the same time, if that makes any sense; she would go back and forth on different actions or thoughts, but there wasn't really any discernable or appreciable growth in her character (apart from shedding her many pairs of shoes for the necessities, such as sustenance and weapons).

The ending of the story was a good surprise that had me uttering, "oh s***." It leaves it open for the subsequent books in the series, but I'm not sure if I'm personally inclined to continue reading on. Maybe Ven will have character growth with the *spoiler* turning of her son, but, then again, maybe not.

Overall, I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cb7b45c) out of 5 stars Tweets to die for: When hashtags fight back March 17 2014
By The Bookie Monster - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Designed to turn viewers catatonic and follow a subliminal command allowing hacker, Ven, to access their personal data brings about an unexpected side effect. '#zombie' is trending, and those unlucky enough to be accessing the internet and other visual media become mindless, ravenous zombies. Those affected go into a food coma much like after a big Thanksgiving dinner; satiated and content, with their distended abdomens bulging to max capacity.

As described in '#zombie', the internet is a frightening beast. Add zombie kids snapping selfies, ordinary people feasting on the flesh of anyone in sight, and the world becomes an odd and scary place to survive.

Ven and twenty-one year old Kyle are an unlikely pair to survive the ordeal, but survive they do. With Ven's infant Tomas and cheese-loving Labrador Boscoe in tow, a plan is hatched to traverse the unruly U.K. Streets with the only logical destination in mind. Ven's sister, Cassie, having elected to forego societal luxuries resides in a Wales commune, yurt style. If Ven's group can make it to Cassie, they just may make it through...well, that's the plan anyway.

'#zombie' is an original take on the zombie genre. Set in the United Kingdom, American readers aren't hit in the face by a barrage of British terms. Unfamiliar lexicons are an easy way to pull a reader right out of the story, and let's face it, no one wants to stop and Google in the middle of a book. The author appears to be keen on that fact and it allows '#zombie' to appeal to a broader audience.

For a gruesome topic, the book remains a light and easy read. It's short length allows it to be read in a single sitting and ends in one heck of a cliffhanger with promises of a sequel. While the ingenuity of it's plot is worthy of a five star rating, the characterization lacks some depth and development. Emotions feel unrealistic at times, and while the two main characters are likable, they aren't always believable. There are some minor editing issues that could use another pass through editing, but overall the writing is solid and the story very entertaining.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cb7b840) out of 5 stars The Twittering Dead Feb. 24 2014
By Kelly Garbato - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
(Full disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Member Giveaway program.)

“Ven hit enter and Armageddon was unleashed.”

Ven – short for ven.GEANCE, her online hacker tag; Sarah to the tax collector – just wanted to make an obscene amount of cash. And, perhaps more importantly, build the best botnet the world had ever seen. And she did. Build a virtually indestructible bot, that is. The cash? Well, as it turns out, cash is less than useless in the zombie apocalypse.

After a decade plus spent carefully nurturing and cultivating her notorious zombie bot, Ven was finally ready for the end game. Using stolen bits of psychological research, she created a virus loaded with “data packets” of information – images, text, and videos, all transmitted from device to user quickly enough to elude conscious awareness – designed to manipulate internet users into opening a Bitcoin account…which Ven would then hijack and drain of funds. (Bitcoin? Really?) The plan was flawless, or so she though. Then she hit enter and accidentally unleashed Armageddon.

As you might have already guessed, those exposed to Ven’s subliminal mind manipulation didn’t open Bitcoin accounts. Instead, they either became hopelessly locked onto their machines, unable to look away from the devolving gibberish that flashed across the screen (Zombies love to tweet and take selfies, dontchaknow.), while those who failed to maintain steady eye contact went on a murderous rampage. They became zombies of a sort, although it remains a matter of some debate whether they died and were resurrected, or are still alive (and thus potentially curable). Either way, they want brains. In the absence of such, any other body part will do.

Ven’s husband Paul is one of the first victims of her zombie bot; while checking Twitter on his way up the landing, he’s infected with the virus, goes into anaphylactic shock, and then attempts to devour his wife and newborn son. Luckily, she and her hacker friend Kyle are able to dispatch of Zombie Paul using his own decorative samurai sword – right though the eyeball.

The rest of the story sees Ven, Kyle, three-month-old Tomas, and six-year-old adopted Black Lab Boscoe (Bos Bos) fleeing their neighborhood in the UK for the safety of her sister Cassie’s commune in North Wales. All the while, Ven struggles with her unwitting role in ending the world. Convinced that she can’t be solely to blame – after all, she viewed the same data as everyone else during the testing stage, with no ill results – she vows to find the person responsible. By story’s end this hasn’t happened, but the author’s note suggests that this is the first installment in a series.

#ZOMBIE is a different kind of zombie story, relating the infection to social media rather than a biological virus or environmental pollutant. Line has a rather cheeky sense of humor, and the blood and gore in the early zombie scenes is rather fun. I also adore Bos Bos, and appreciate that the author imparted a nonhuman with his own personality and voice. And – spoiler alert – the dog doesn’t get it. (I hate it when the dog dies. The dog ALWAYS dies!)

While the story has potential, the writing could stand to be tightened up a bit. The author tends to rehash the same points ad naseum, resulting in quite a few redundancies. For example, Line includes a lengthy “aside” explaining to the reader the construction of the internet, and why its web-like nature makes it so difficult to shut down. Later on the characters discuss this same material a second time. Likewise, the book (especially the opening chapters) is filled with descriptions of how awesome Ven and her unstoppable bot are. Show, don’t tell!

If I hadn’t been obligated to review this book, I probably would have bailed 30% in; it just didn’t hold my interest, and there are plenty of other books in my pile that I’m itching to get to. As it was, I skimmed over a number of passages in the second half of the book. Line has an interesting concept here, but way too many words. I’d love to see this as a novella or short story. 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 on Amazon.

In conclusion: “Well, f*** Twitter, that was no real loss. It would be a shame to lose Instagram though.”