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  • The Girl Who Survived

  • Decimation, Book 1
  • By: Richard T. Burke
  • Narrated by: Gary Appleton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

Book one of the groundbreaking Decimation trilogy.

Fifteen years ago, the Orestes virus first emerged, sweeping across the globe and infecting every living person within a matter of days. Despite the best efforts of the scientific community, there is no treatment, no vaccine. It lies dormant until a woman gives birth. Then she dies.

Teenage wheelchair athlete Antimone Lessing can’t remember how she got pregnant. She thinks her life is over as the doctors prepare to deliver her baby. Meanwhile, a hunt is underway to arrest the man suspected of raping her, but even if the police catch him, it will be too late for Antimone.

When she unexpectedly survives, she becomes a vital clue in the race to develop a cure before the global population declines beyond the point of no return.

But survival comes at a price. As her doctors try to understand why she is still alive, she must choose between preserving humanity's future and protecting the life of her newborn child.

How far would you go to save the human race?

©2017 Richard T. Burke (P)2021 Richard T. Burke

What listeners say about The Girl Who Survived

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narration

I stuck with this book because I was invested in the story which I liked. But I did have a couple of issues with the narration.
At various points during the book I was aware of the editing. Sentences seemed disjointed and I could hear the different tone when a section had been edited in .
The narrator actually had a nice voice but I was most put off with his … timing of…. THE….. words. His dyNAMics seemed……. Very jarring with the emPHAsis on… words. Odd

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  • MR
  • 04-09-22

terrible listen

this story sounds great, really interesting idea, BUT the narration is just awful, the worst I have ever heard, a primary school kid could do better. it is totally unlistenable. The narrator put emphasis on odd words and the story does not flow. I cannot listen, it is truly bad. I am sending back for a refund and will buy the kindle version. I never send books back so this shows how bad it is. I persevered for a couple of chapters but it does not get better. Do not buy on audible. Sorry author you need to get a new narrator.

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Good yarn, spoilt by poor narration

I enjoyed this story as am in post pandemic mood, however the narration spoilt it with very strange pauses and emphasis.

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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 15-11-21

More YA romance than dystopian thriller

It was OK. There’s some action, some character development, a smidge of science, a bit of teen angst, and a good dollop of drama. Yet it left me wanting something a bit more. I wanted more science and info about the Orestes virus and how that has changed society. There were also several times where I felt the plot points were weak. Like why wouldn’t any menstruating teen/woman have easy access to birth control and pregnancy test strips? Also, there’s a fancy watch that tells you if you’re pregnant and I wanted to know more about how it did that through skin touch alone? Then the police are apparently terribly incompetent and so is the forensics lab, who read the DNA tests wrong, accusing an innocent man of rape. I can see how those moments lead to drama and move the story along, but they weren’t very believable.

A lot of time is spent on the drudgery of being a teenage girl in a near-future world. Some of this was good, giving the characters a little depth. Some of it was more than I like, but I have a low tolerance for teen angst. Antimone is an athlete and she has a scholarship to a fancy school that relies on her ability to compete. Some of her teammates are real jerks to begin with, but then they like to pick on the ‘poor cripple girl’ too. Very believable and I love how Antimone rises above it and doesn’t stoop to their level.

Obviously the entire world is looking for a cure to this Orestes virus and the Ilithia Corporation and Dr. Rosalind Baxter are no exception. Though Dr. Baxter is making sure to squirrel away a little nest egg for herself. The government funding may dry up soon if her company can’t come up with any breakthroughs. Dr. Perrin is also in on all the illicit research, research that depends on impregnating homeless street women and forcibly keeping them at a somewhat-secret medical lab. All of that is deliciously sinister. As much as I liked that, I was a little saddened to see that all the scientists in this story were part of the problem, and most were outright villains.

Rosalind’s adopted son Jason is about the same age as Antimone and they go to school together. Their fates become entwined at a birthday party, tho neither of them know it for many weeks. I did find Antimone’s countenance a little odd after she finds out she’s pregnant. It’s basically a death sentence and I expected more drama or perhaps even throwing caution to the wind and taking on some more dangerous activities or even just being a teenager and having lots of sex. But no, it’s the beach and an ice cream.

Basically, the story started off strong with a solid base but then turns a bit superficial. It was OK and the story wrapped up in a predictable way, but left enough open for a sequel. 3/5 stars.

The Narration: Gary Appleton was an odd pick for this story. Most of the tale is told through the eyes of two female characters so I expected a female narrator. That said, Appleton did have a decent range of voices so all characters sounded unique. His female voices could use more femininity but they weren’t cartoony, so that’s good. His pacing is odd, like Captain Kirk odd. Lots of pauses plus these odd punctuations on words in the middle sentence. This made it sound like something exciting was about to happen, when it was just an average sentence, nothing exciting here. Also any initials, like DNA, was punched out with each letter being stressed. The overall pacing was a bit slow but I solved that by speeding it up a little. I did notice 1 repeated sentence but there were no other tech errors with the recording. 3/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Mindy H
  • 25-10-21

Very Intriguing read and awesome audio experience

I was a bit leary about A futuristic thriller that involves a virus that will eventually destroy mankind but this turned out to be a good story!! Plenty of new detail is added throughout the storyline to keep the action rolling along. The horror of the Villian Rosalyn Baxter rides a fine line between real mad scientist and unbelievable and stays just on the right side of it!
The real win for me is the pairing of the story and the narrator. It took this from being a solid good book to being a great experience. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.