4 out of 4 stars
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Zephyr is out camping with his girlfriend Keiko when he finds her missing. The only thing left of her is her clothing. Where did she run off to and why would she have gone without her clothes? He knows he's going to get in trouble for losing her as he was supposed to be spending the night at a friend's house. Resigning himself to the inevitable, he races towards home hoping to bring others to help search for her. All that he finds is more empty clothes, bodies gone. Is this the Rapture? Alien Abductions? Where is everyone and how will he survive now?
Dead Weight by Matt Casamassina is a post-apocalyptic novel. The version that I reviewed was the audible book narrated by Joshua Nicholson. It's almost 10 hours to listen to which would be great for a weekend or even a short road trip.
The theme of the novel is certainly not unique. I've read my fair share of books where everyone has disappeared or there has been another such life-altering event. The author does put his own touches on the story, but it still isn't necessarily that different from other such books. So, if you don't enjoy end-of-the-world stories, you aren't going to want to listen to this one. For me, it was still enjoyable.
The narrator has a nice soothing voice that is easy to listen to. He does attempt different voices for each character and, for the most part, accomplishes the feat well. Never once did I get lost as to who was speaking, which can be easy to do in an audio book format. Also, I've listened to books where the narrator is a monotone. That is never fun, and I'm pleased to say that is not the case here. Mr. Nicholson does a fabulous job catching the audience's attention.
There are a range of characters in the story - old, young, men, women. It includes, of course, those that are evil and will take advantage of the situation. Still, most of the people are a mix of good and bad as you would see in real life. To me, this always makes the book more realistic. We do explore some of where they came from, but the book is more focused on their lives going forward.
I did find a fair bit of violence in the book as well as some graphic scenes. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend this to the squeamish or younger audiences. Also, you won't find all the answers here. There are still some questions in your mind after reading, though I was fascinated by some of the theories postulated by the characters. In a genre such as this, that's pretty commonplace, but I realize it might be off-putting to some. Also, the ending of the book does hint at the possibility of another book. Whether or not that is the author's intent, I'm unsure.
All in all, I rate Dead Weight 4 out of 4 stars. The narrator was on-point, and the story was enjoyable. I would recommend it those who enjoy audio books that center on world-altering events. If you are looking for a book that is uplifting and encouraging with no riddles left unanswered, you're probably not going to want to read this one. I hope that Mr. Casamassina continues what he has started, perhaps answering a few more of the questions that were raised here.
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