My original Unhappy Endings review many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.
Unhappy Endings edited by Chris Philbrook is a collection of sixteen short stories (one story has four parts) which all take place in the universe of Adrian’s Undead Diary (AUD) series created by Mr. Philbrook. If you haven’t read the series I strongly suggest you do before reading Unhappy Endings. Several of the stories have direct enough references to AUD that they contain subtle spoilers within. There is a forward where the author explains how this collection came into being. I purchased Unhappy Endings because I have enjoyed Mr. Philbrook’s other titles so much.
The story with four parts, Eddie Smith, is written by Chris Philbrook, author of AUD. The other authors include Christopher MacDonald, Steve Gonzales, Joe Tremblay, Lee Smallwood, Tracy Wilson, Sherry Knight, Shane Hershey, Alan MacRaffen, Josh Green, Dennis Pekkala, A. Ben Carpenter, Wendie Haegle, Rob Roche, J. C. Fiske, and Krista Blasevick Pullin
In the Arms of the Dead by Christopher McDonald is just creepy, really creepy. I cannot shake the visual of Alan walking along smiling with Emily trailing after him. Rose by Wendi Haegle reminded me of Stephen King. It was very easy for me to see Rose inhabiting one of Mr. King’s stories. Amy’s Daycare by Sherry Knight just plain broke my heart. This is one that you have to read the AUD series before the full impact of the story hits home. All the stories are good and all involve some aspect of the zombie apocalypse. The best way to describe it is the lens the reader saw events through in AUD, is widened significantly in this collection. We meet characters who while not directly intersecting with Adrian’s story still affect events in the larger universe.
James Foster does an excellent job narrating the audiobook. He narrated all eight of the AUD audiobooks so this is familiar territory for him. He brings emotion and lack of emotion, which frankly can be scarier, to the character’s voices. Mr. Foster has no problem with any voice, male, female, adult or child. His voice is always clear and his volume remains consistent. The production values are great.
I hope Mr. Philbrook considers another collection like this one. There are still so many untold stories from the AUD universe. Having the different authors participate gives the collection a different feel. It is a new perspective on the familiar universe but with new stories and characters. I really enjoyed it.
Story (Plot) 5
Production Quality 5
Attention Holding 5