Ultramarathon: any footrace longer than a traditional marathon (26.2 miles).
For ultrarunners Kate and Frederico, a typical Saturday morning is spent pounding out a 20 to 30-mile "fun run." It's during one of their runs that an insidious illness descends upon northern California, turning humans into flesh-shredding zombies.
When Kate receives a desperate call from her son, Carter, she and Frederico flee their hometown and set out to help him. The only problem? Carter attends college over 200 miles away and the freeways - clogged with car wrecks, zombies, and government blockades - are impassable. Running back roads and railroad tracks becomes their only means of travel, but neither of them has ever run so far before.
As pain, injuries, hunger, and fatigue plague them, getting to Carter and staying alive seem impossible. It's either outrun the undead or become one of them, and for Kate, death is not an option.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Norma Miles on 12-09-18
If I got eaten by a zombie in the next 30 seconds.
Kate is a runner, both physically - she has taken part in numerous ultras (races longer than a marathon) in the past but not since the death of her husband - and psychologically, blaming herself for being weak, especially for not being there to prevent Kyle's death and for falling apart afterwards.
Her only son, Carter, is 200 miles away at college and Kate is running with her best friend and racing partner when several texts and unanswered calls come from Carter asking her to call him urgently. An outbreak of some kind was causing riots, people were dying and the authorities had instituted what was, in effect marshal law in the areas and he and his fellow students were confined to their rooms. Kate and her friend Frederico have already seen why - the zombie apocalypse had begun!
She determines that she must be with her son so, denied the usual plane, train or automobile means of travel, she and Frederico decide simply to go by foot, to run.
Written in the first person, this was a fascinating story from Jane's perspective: her internal past life and emotions unfolding at the same time as the couple face the hardship of the journey as they sought to avoid both live and undead alike who would seem to prevent them reaching their destination. The privations endured both on this journey and in recollection of past ultra races is fascinating and painful, so much revealed about the stamina and fortitude required makes this a real gem. In so many ways shocking and well delivered, the one expectation seemed to fail was the zombie aspect itself - blind and too interested in feeding on their victims, for this reader at least, the threat they posed after the initial shock appearance seemed to make them less of a threat than most. Yet within hours they seemed to have been everywhere, even in unexpected locations.
The narration by Gwendolyn Druyor was good, emotionally charged and with seperate voicings for the individual protagonists, though that used for the 20 years old son made him sound far too young. As the voice of Kate, however, Ms.Druyor was superb. The overall reading pace also seemed a tad slow but this was easily resolved by increasing playback speed to 1.25.
I had requested Undead Ultra from the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom, and was very fortunate in being freely gifted a complimentary copy. Thank you. It was an unusual and informative book, immersive with excellent character construction, .making both Kate and her friend Frederico seem very real, increasingly so as the book moves towards the dramatic conclusion. Definitely worth reading by fans of dystopian and horror genres, zombie zealots, and anyone just interested in learning more about running an ultra.
By Carol on 13-08-16
Unexpectedly loved this story
I love zombie books. I have read so many which involve special forces, groups of survivors etc. This was a bit different. Two runners running towards their children during a zombie outbreak. Loved the descriptions, the humanity the characters. Loved the facts about ultra running woven into the story. My advice would be to get by the first paragraph with the descriptions of someone suffering the effects on the bowels of eating very hot chilli and then enjoy this simple story about love and endurance with zombies thrown in
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By DeeDee on 15-05-16
I remember when....
It feels like 80% of this story is told as "I remember when" stories that really only contribute to character development, so in that sense, I would say it's a bit overdone. Bonus point for having the characters run through the zombie apocalypse, literally on foot. But otherwise, I would say it's pretty average.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By RJ on 17-09-18
Strength and perseverance!
Kate, aka Jackalope, and Frederico are ultra-runners; they relish torturing their bodies in foot races over twenty miles, hence ultra-races. A virus sets California on its ear turning people into zombie-like creatures. Kate’s son is at college and in danger 200 miles away! Transportation is out of the question due to the chaos. Kate and Frederico decide to run the 200 miles. This is really a story of strength and perseverance. You learn much about the characters and what makes them tick. The author is a runner herself, which makes me wonder how much of the tale is from personal history. Will Kate and Frederico survive the journey? What of her son; will he be safe, still waiting for them? Undead Ultra is a good story and an easy recommendation. This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful