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Until the End of the World

Written by: Sarah Lyons Fleming
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 32.92
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Publisher's Summary

Cassie Forrest isn't surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too. This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of. Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.

2014 Voice Arts Award Winner

2015 Audie Finalist - Solo Narration, Female

©2013 Saray Lyons Flemin (P)2014 Podium Publishing

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars

Ear candy

I was just looking for something easy to listen to while doing chores and this fit the bill. Does not require a lot of RAM to process this book, but I enjoyed it!

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  • Natalie Harris
  • 2014-09-05

Loved every minute of this

I am a person who watches Walking Dead. That being said, I loved this book. It's basically like a season of walking dead with people who actually make good decisions and with more character development. This book is more about the relationships than the gore, but I loved that aspect of "zombie apocalypse" and the dangers constantly lurking. There were many surprises in this book, and I was on the edge of my seat listening (shouting out loud as things happened). I loved it and can't wait for the next one to come out.

39 of 43 people found this review helpful

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  • Patti
  • 2015-02-10

Best Ever!

I'm a Mark Tufo die hard and have struggled to find another story line worth listening to. well I finally found it. I loved it! found myself actually living along with Cassie and Nelly. GREAT READ!

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike Naka
  • 2014-02-23

a feel good zombie apocylapse

Any additional comments?


as the story opens, cassie and her best friend, penny, are heading to work. the author spends a little time introducing this small group of friends who work together before the action starts. cassie and her friends live and work in brooklyn, new york. the lx virus has spread across the world and has reached the u.s. however, most of the cases have appeared in the west and midwest so cassie and her friends haven't been too worried about it. later in the day when the local news reports that they expect 20,000 people in the greater nyc area to be infected in the next 24 hours, cassie and her friends decide to head to penny's apartment instead of going out drinking.

as they head to penny's apartment, most people are carrying on as normal- eating, drinking, and making merry on a friday night. before they reach penny's apartment, they encounter their first infected person that truly scares them. holed up at penny's apartment, they begin to learn the true extent of the outbreak as james, cassie's techy friend, discovers the local news has been lying about the rate of the infection. as things start to devolve, penny receives a text message from her mom, who works at the hospital. she tells penny to meet her at cassie's apartment so they can flee the city. everybody realizes the situation is much worse than they previously thought, except for anna, penny's younger sister. the publisher's summary describes her as "bratty," and that description is right on.

although the characters are in their late 20s, i would definitely classify this story as a young adult (ya) zombie apocylapse. why you ask? because of the themes. yes, there are zombies, but they act as more of a catalyst for the characters to confront their situations, feelings, and relationships than a terrifying threat. the story starts out as a zombie apocylapse story, but it quickly becomes more of a ya problem / coming of age novel. being in my mid 30s, i can relate to it b/c the main character, cassie, experiences THE most coming of age problems at that age- did i let go of the man i should of married.

this is more of a character driven story than zombie driven story. yes, there is a lot of zombie action in the beginning, but once they escape nyc, the story focuses mostly on the complicated relationship between cassie and peter and peter's and anna's belief that this whole thing will blow over and that things will quickly be back to normal.

i was innitially engrossd by the zombie aspect, but as the story continued, i got caught up in the inter-relationship drama. this was kind of surprising to me. i was kind of bummed that the zombies took a back seat, but i kept listening b/c of the characters. i could relate to them and feel their frustrations. and yes, i was at times very annoyed with some of them, but to me, that's good writing- when the author can stir emotions in you that you weren't expecting.

the narration is really good. julia whelan does a good job bringing the characters to life and portraying their emotions. i found the writing tight and the dialogue smooth and believable.

the story is kind of predictable and more ya than zombie. you could easily replace the zombies with any other serious disaster and have the same story. so if you're looking for a zombie-centered apocylapse story, you might want to read a few other reviews before deciding on this. if you're looking for a good ya story with an end of the world slant, look no further b/c you've found it.

i hope i don't come across as too sexist, but i think female listeners would enjoy this sort of story more than male listeners. but i may be wrong! i'm a guy, and i enjoyed it. but i only listen to ya stories every once in a great while, and i didn't know this was a ya novel. maybe i should've paid more attention while reading the summary.

after listening to the entire story, i would say my overall impression is a feel good zombie apocylapse. kind of an oxymoron, but it fits!

41 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • Drew (@drewsant)
  • 2014-08-29

A great story

I thought this book was great. It had some action, great characters and a great story line, everything you want in a good book. Everything from the action, to the interaction of the group to who lives and dies is well throughout and developed. It has something to make you feel annoyed, something to make you feel sad, something to make you feel excited and every range of emotion in between. Highly recommended for everyone!


Julia Whelan does a wonderful job with the narration bringing the characters to life and really adding to the enjoyment of this book.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Canine Counsel
  • 2015-02-27

I really hate zombies....but wow.

This book was a real surprise - I don't like zombie books and dystopia is depressing for the most part. But this book just hooked me and I have to admit to several sleepless nights. Ms. Lyon Fleming has found the key to making a reader invest in each character. One of the most compelling theme is how people can change as a result of their experiences. It was heartbreaking and yet, hopeful. Book 2 was equally good. I'll delve into book 3 when I've recovered. Highly recommend it.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Tess Stickles
  • 2014-07-27

Great start and then I lost interest

What about Julia Whelan’s performance did you like?

I became a fan of Julia's after Gone Girl and I think that remains her best work by far. I still get annoyed at her male characters though. They're a bit cringeworthy. I can almost picture the face she makes when she's reading.
"Cassie..." Julia says poking out her lips and furrowing her brow.

Was Until the End of the World worth the listening time?

I guess there are worse ways I could have spent my time. Just imagine that season of The Walking Dead where they spent a lifetime at Hershel's farm and they'd cut to a zombie every so often just to remind you what show you're watching.

Any additional comments?

First, I love that this book starts you off in New York from the beginning of the outbreak. Most zombie narratives involve a protagonist waking up from a coma or a group of friends coming back from a ridiculously long stint far removed from civilization. I loved learning how this group escaped the outbreak when so many less self involved people may have been infected.

This book also tries to do what a few others have tried and could not. Sarah Lyons Fleming took a zombie apocalypse theme and managed to write a book where the characters are the focus and not the outbreak. It worked really well at first but then I found myself losing interest at the lack of external conflict and I began speeding up the narration. I quickly grew tired of the attitude of some characters. I mean, I guess this is what New York hipsters could be like in a zombie outbreak but I started hoping that maybe they would be sacrificed to the horde after a while.

In all, this isn't a bad read. Just don't expect a pulsating zombie thriller.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Tracy64
  • 2014-06-24

Wow, just WOW!

What an absolutely great story! Narrator was PERFECT, characters were awesome, story was seamless. Perfect zombie tale, but so much more. Emotion filled book. I loved, hated, feared, laughed and cried. This author has done a wonderful job with this one and whoever choose the narrator did their job ten fold. Worth a credit or the price. I'll be revisiting this again and following this author for more!

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Joyce
  • 2014-08-23

End of the civilized world...

Until the end of the world reminded me of Forstchen's One Second After. They both take a catastrophic event (EMP pulse and pandemic) and deal with the aftermath in a realistic way. Infrastructure collapses and those who survive must learn how to live in what remains. There are practical characters and self centered ones. It is definitely not a typical zombie novel. Closer to Lucifer's Hammer or Life as we knew it. If you are a fan of this genre you will enjoy this book.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn
  • 2015-04-20

My 1st 5 star in a looooong time.

I really enjoyed this book. It's like a YA but geared towards adults. In most end of the world type books there are many bad decisions and the main character can be frustrating. This main character is extremely likable. I can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexandria Carnevale
  • 2015-01-03

Loved it! Best zombie book so far!

I don't even know where to start. Before I bought this book I was iffy because the reviews I had read about it said 'it was a 'zombie' book but with so much more'. I wasn't really in the mood for some sappy book, I wanted zombies damn it! But decided to give it a try because audible offered a free novella to go with the series. I never write reviews but for this book I will! The characters came to life and I fell in love with all of them (even Penny's pain in the ass sister). The ending was THE best and it brought tears to my eyes. And yes there were zombies but the review I first read was sooooo right...it has so much more. Soooo happy a have this one a try!!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful