Good Premise, Missed a Bit on Execution

2.75 out of 5 stars

The world basically ended and no one remembers it. Except for one person. This person happens to remember when the bombs fell and remembered when she was bitten by one of the monsters that were created. The only downfall is that she cannot remember anything from before. She has no idea what he name is or who she was before the bombs scorched Chicago to the ground.

The premise of this story had me really excited. Also, the narrator (who, I believe is the daughter of one of my favorite authors Richard Rieman). I was so excited for this book. Sadly, it let me down quite a bit.

The story itself could have been a really good one and anytime I thought it was about to get really good the scene would end and things would just “workout” for the characters. I won’t go into all the details, but I will summarize how I felt about the entire book. It felt too easy. Travelling from A-B in a post-apocalyptic world is nearly impossible, yet they made it from Boston to Nashville, and then Nashville to Atlanta without an issue. They were let into super secure buildings with barely a question asked. They met one of the most powerful people left in the world by knocking on her door. Things were too easy for a post-apocalyptic world that was brought down by an insane virus followed by bombs and fire.

I really don’t like being negative towards the book. I know that authors spend a long time writing what they feel is the perfect story. With Beyond The Inferno — things felt really rushed through the whole book. It felt like Butler was worried that she was going to lose her audience if she wrote about the journey instead of the destination. There were just some parts of the book that could have been described better or written out a little bit more that could have improved the book a little. And then adding some drama/issues along the way. Nothing goes as expected on a normal trip, but add in The Revenant and other issues — the journeys should have been harder. Trust should come at a cost. People should be scared of new and different things.

The things that I liked about the book was the premise of the story. And even towards the end, just how the whole thing started was awesome. I just wish that it was explained more and with more detail.

I think I could have forgiven more in this book had I known it was written for a YA audience OR if the main characters were all under 20. But they weren’t. They were people close to my age and they acted like they were 15 and going out on their own for the first time.

The thing is — I didn’t hate everything about the book. It’s definitely better than a 1 or a 2, but if Butler were to re-write this book (or take any of my suggestions into her next book) I would be willing to check it out. I think that once Butler hones in on her writing skill in the post-apocalyptic genre that she will be just fine. The other issue that comes into play is that I read a ton of PA books. I’ve probably read more than 50 in 2017 alone. So, I’m comparing the struggles (or lack of) to other books that I’ve read and they just weren’t equal.

Overall, a hit-or-miss book. I think if you’re a YA fan, you might like it. If you’re a hardcore PA fan like I am — I’m not sure what to tell you. Check it out and let me know!

Book Description:

Audiobook: Beyond The Inferno by Shannon Butler (Narrated by Erin Rieman)three-stars
Beyond The Inferno by Shannon Butler
Narrator: Erin Rieman
Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
Published by Self Published on August 30th 2017
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic
Pages: 244
Format: Audiobook
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When a mismatched group of people wakes up and sees their city burning to ashes, they have no idea what happened. They don't remember the dead rising to kill their friends. They don't remember the end of the world. There is just a dark spot in their heads where the memories should be. But one of them rescues a girl from the wreckage; a woman who has seemingly cut off her own arm. And now she'll tell them what happened. The catch? The apocalypse is all she remembers. She is a girl born and bred in war. And now she'll help them find out why the Revenant destroyed their world, and who destroyed their home, and in the process, hopefully discover who she is.

I received this book for free. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About the Author:

Shannon Butler started writing her first story in fourth grade, a story about a girl and a unicorn. She’s grown since then, and she’s written two books since graduating from Elms College, both coming out with Polyethnic Publishing. She’s also an editor and a graphic designer for the company, as well as a polished video gamer. Shannon is an amateur pianist and guitarist, and loves books, tattoos and giraffes! Her biggest inspiration in writing is J.K. Rowling. Knowing that one of the greatest writers she knows had trouble at the beginning helps her whenever she hits a road block.


4 thoughts on “Audiobook: Beyond The Inferno by Shannon Butler (Narrated by Erin Rieman)

  1. Yeah, easy + post-apocalyptic don’t really go hand in hand. The thing with the scenes ending and everything just working out feels like a major cop-out as well. Maybe the author was afraid of playing the scenes wrong // hitting her weak point and just tried to move past it? Not a great solution, but something I could see a young author doing.

    What did you think of the narrator? How did she do with the story?

    1. The narrator was pretty good. I think a little more emotion in her voice in some scenes could have helped, but I definitely didn’t have any issues with her narration style.

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