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Benton (Benton #1) by Jolie du Pre
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Benton (Benton #1)

by Jolie du Pre

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ABR's original Benton 2 audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Benton: A zombie Novel Volume Two is a continuation of the Benton series written by Jolie Du Pre, and narrated by Angie Hickman.

If you’re just joining us now, the Benton books follow the main character Jennifer Benton; daughter of a survivalist who joins a ragtag group of teenagers who are heading south to Texas to find safety. Book two picks up with them heading in that direction and dealing with all the drama that comes with the end of the world via zombies, and being teenagers.

I enjoyed book one even with its YA feel and book two follows the same premise and design. The main characters Jennifer and her love interest Mark are the sole focus of the story, and to take that sentiment even further, their relationship becomes the central facet of the whole story. To be clear, this is a story less about the undead and survival, and more about falling in love and having sex in the apocalypse.

Some of the love scenes and sexual interactions felt more adult than YA to me, though a mature teenager would fare well with Du Pre’s writing. The action scenes are short and described simply, though with more dynamic wording than in the first book. I thought this was an improvement over the first title, and kudos for that.

Jennifer and Mark’s characters receive some solid development part two. The evolve into more real and believable people, and that makes the story feel more genuine. Tertiary characters felt thin in this entry, including the ‘threat’ to the relationship that is the core of the story.

I was disappointed in the length of the title. In audio it’s less than two hours long and on paper it’s 120-odd pages. This is at most a novella and really a short story and reads like the second part of a serial blog. That’s not criticism, it’s just a reflection of the story’s size. And, as you’d imagine with a serial story design and feel, the ending of Benton part two is fairly abrupt, and is absolutely a cliffhanger. If you’re invested in the story by this point, you won’t want to stop here. You’ll have to move on to the third installment.

Angie Hickman continues her narration well, bouncing between the different characters with ease and skill, making the story easy to follow. Her pace and cadence is pleasing and I’ll definitely listen to her other titles.

Overall I felt that the Benton series solidified its flavor solidly into the teenage romance genre with this installment, and if you’re into that kind of series, this is sure to entertain you. I personally prefer a more adult feel to my apocalypse, with a bit less sex so I’ll leave this title for the kids, and find something a bit more in that vein.

Audiobook provided for review by the author. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Sep 23, 2015 |
Benton: A Zombie Novel is a fast-paced novella that follows Jennifer Benton as she manages to escape her hometown of Waterbank, IL in search of survival after being overran by zombies.

My favorite part of this story was the first quarter. It moved slightly slower, and I felt you could more understand where the MC was coming from due to the inner monologue. Once Jennifer escapes her house and is forced to throw in with the first group she comes to, the story starts to fly by. There's several characters you meet quickly, and I had to stop and think who was who a couple times since the pacing is so fast. There is one sex scene, though short and to the point.

Though the story was not written in the style of a journal, the sentence structure/wording resembles that style somewhat - short, fast sentences that made the pacing even faster.

My favorite character was Mark, who is the leader, and the most optimistic of the bunch. He always did/tried to do the right thing, and the fact that he's the cute one didn't hurt either.

I'm interested in seeing if the group ever makes it to their destination and if they do, what it holds for them. I'd also like to see the relationship play out between Mark and Jennifer. I'll be adding the second book to my TBR list.
( )
  EmberShane | Apr 7, 2015 |
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