by Claire C. Riley, Madeline Sheehan
Series: Thicker Than Blood , #1
Narrator: C.J. Bloom
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
A true friendship never dies. Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything…Even an apocalypse. Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize. Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss. Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity. Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together. But in such a savage world, is there room for love? In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death. There are friends… And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.
Some books just naturally translate to audio and suck the reader into their story. Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley is one such novel. Narrated by C.J. Bloom I quickly became caught up in this post-apocalyptic zombie tale and the characters within. Friendship, survival and a world that seems to have lost its humanity Thicker Than Blood will help alleviate withdrawal symptoms for fans of the Walking Dead.
Before zombies walked the Earth, Leisel and Evelyn were both happily married and the best friends. They were living in suburbia where their biggest concerns were what dish to bring to the next town picnic. Now they live in a brutal world where men rule and marshal law is in effect. All that keeps them sane is their friendship. In the dark of night, Leisel final snaps and her action will see her dead before sunrise that is until Alex, Jami and Evelyn bust her out of jail. Together they take off into the wilds leaving the sanctuary of the small town they have called home since the world collapsed. Filled with action, danger, friendship and a smidgeon of romance Thicker Than Blood takes us on their journey as they struggle for survival. The listen was intense and fascinating.
The focus was on Leisel and Evelyn and they had this whole Thelma and Louise vibe about them. Leisel is extremely broken when we first meet her, and I will be the first to claim I wanted to slap her and yell, “Snap out of it bitch!” She felt more like the first character to be killed in a B-horror movie, but then Alex said something about her strength and I realized he was right. From that moment on, I changed my attitude about her and watched as the authors allowed her to grow and become this little kick-ass. I am woman hear me roar. I loved the transformation. Evelyn, Alex and secondary characters added to the tale and I lost myself listening. At just under 12 hours, I consumed this over a two-day span listening into the wee hours and finding excuses to slip in my earbuds.
C. J. Bloom did an excellent job of narrating giving both Leisel and Evelyn clear voices. This was important since the story switches perspectives each chapter. Her male voices were especially pleasant and did not have that gruff weird tone that many female narrators give to male parts.
Thicker Than Blood was dark and twisted at times but the gore is rather low making it a listen even non-zombie fans will enjoy. Thicker Than Blood wraps up nicely despite having a slightly open ending. It appears there will be another book and I for one will be snagging it on audio.
I haven’t heard of this one yet! I’m loving how you mention there’s a Thelma & Louise vibe going on. Narrator sounds good. I can see myself picking this one up. Thanks, Kim!
I’ve heard so many great things about this book. Thanks so much for sharing. Its been on my radar for a while now but I think I really just need to buckle down and read it even though its not my typical read.
This is different enough that it is the perfect book to stretch your comfort zone with,
I think the cover is misleading, it screams murder to me lol this sound like a good intense story, I’m glad you could enjoy it 🙂
Well, there is murder..in fact the first scene is a murder scene, and well then their are zombies..lol
I’m curious about the secondary characters and how they became involved in Leisel and Evelyn’s life. It’s great that you changed your mind about Leisel because this could have been a very different experience for you. Are they just close friends or more by the way? I don’t know why, but it feels like they get really close.
Sometimes I felt like there was a hint of something more, but both were married. Simply best friends who lean on each other or give each other purpose.
This sounds interesting. I’m not normally into Zombie books, but I might want to give this one a try.
I hope you do Judy, this one was good
With my initial glimpse of the book cover, I thought the premise would be about teenage vampires. Thanks for the post.
Ooo yes that would work too..nope best friends.
I wondered about this book when I saw Madeline posting about it on FB. I loved the books I read in her Undeniable series. I guess I’m what you’d call a closet Horror genre lover trying to find my way out of the closet. Maybe I should give this one a shot?
Post-apocalyptic is different the horror, although at times it can freak you out..I mean flesh eating zombies chasing you..hello. However the gore factor is minimal and the focus is more on characters..so go for it!
I just read my first post-apocalyptic with zombies (The Girl with All the Gifts) and could not put it down. It was gripping from the very beginning! The gore was pretty minimal on that one, too, but it sure did keep me on the edge of my seat. I think I’ll mark this one for future reading. I never thought I’d like zombies but have found that I’m drawn to those flesh eaters. I wonder about myself, sometimes. 😉
I’ve never tried listening to “horror” audiobooks, I’m happy that this one isn’t too high on the gore level though. I may give this one a shot though, I’ve been pretty disappointed with the past few narrators I’ve listened to.
Amber listening to this was like having a movie unfold in my head, I love when an audio does that.
Braine Talk Supe
I am so envious of you audiophiles! It will seriously make my reading life easier, listening to a book while doing other stuff.
Anyway, I’ve only read one MSheehan book and she ruined all MC books for me, I never picked up another book of hers after. lol… that said, I think I can handle this…
I was very anti-audio until last year, I don’t have a commute and thought why listen for 12 hrs when I can read it in 4. Turns out two things happened..I listen when holding a book is impossible..like when I am folding laundry, dusting, working in the garden, walking etc. The second thing that happened is the more you listen and depending on the narrator you can up the speed and knock off a few hours of time as well. This audio was like a movie in my head.
Well, if it alleviates withdrawal symptoms after The Walking Dead, I’m in. I like the idea of a friendship that is at the center of the story. We need more Thelma and Louise stories! I really love the sound of this one 🙂
Haha..it will, parts in particular. It is very character driven and I think you will like it
I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead and Zombie stories!!! LOL about wanting to yell at Liesel!!! You are too funny! I’m glad she changes and becomes a stronger woman. This is a story that I am very interested in. Thanks for introducing it to me 🙂
Ooo she made me mad and was a hindrance at first..but I ended up loving her
I need this book. I love zombie books. Books exploring friendship in a post apologetic world sounds awesome.
I have a thing for zombie/post-apocalyptic books too Megan *high-five*
I’m not a big zombie person, especially with the end of the world type stuff. But there have been a couple that have worked for me. This sounds really intense, I’m not sure I could handle the audio!
While it does have dark aspects, it isn’t overly detailed with gory information, and focuses more on the characters. If you can watch Walking Dead this is a piece of cake
I haven’t seen this one, but dystopian and zombies and best friends, sounds like a win. plus if you finished a twelve hour audibook in two days that speaks volumes. I am going to see about getting this one. Thanks for the recommendation.
It is an easy listen and the time flies Heidi.
I love the creeptastic cover! Glad this translated well to audio, that is so important!
This did wonderful on audio, thanks Ali
Ohmigod, I haven’t read good PA in months! I need this book in my life. I’m curious to see how the friendship unfolds in the aftermath of both of them losing everything. 😀 This is so going on the list!
Ooo I am glad I tempted you Sarah..enjoy!
Oh Wow Kim, great review and what an intense tale to tell. Sometime I have to be in just the right mood for these especially for an audio. This will have to go on my “when I’m ready for it” pile.
Hope you get to listen.
Sometimes covers speak volumes and seem particularly well suited to a book and this certainly seems to be the case here. Great review, a book I’ll be sure to make a note of – I’m sure it must be available other than in audiobook format.
I really like the cover Tracy and think it fits wonderfully. Yes, you can get eBook and print.
Nice find, Kimberly! You have me convinced. LOL! It’s fun when a story can change your mind about a character after a little while. I frequently want to smack characters.
She made me crazy and then had me cheering her on 🙂
That is a sort of beautifully horrifying cover Kim! I’m glad you mentioned that the gore level is relatively low as that’s what I would struggle with most. I can be good with zombies if there’s not too much blood and eating of things that shouldn’t be eaten involved 😉
You should be fine and really it is the characters you become caught up with.
Tyler H Jolley
It’s always fun to watch a transformation, and the Thelma and Louise vibe is such a great compliment to the author!
I agree on both counts. Thanks Tyler and thanks for the well wishes earlier. Much appreciated. Thankfully I am feeling more like myself
I’m not much of a zombie fan . . . Let’s say I try to avoid everything related to them as much as possible, but I have to admit that you got me quite curious with this one. Perhaps your ‘even non-zombie fans will enjoy‘ will do the trick at some point. 😉
Glad the narration here worked so well for you!
I think because other then avoiding them the focus is really on the characters. I hope you take a chance Silvia
I did not get apocalypse from that cover
Yeah, all that dripping blood kind of screams murder.
It must be wonderful to find a good audiobook like that, to be so carried away by a story. I’m quite curious about the world too, it’s so much fun. thanks for the review.
I do love when the magic happens and I slip right into the story