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The Zona

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The Storms came, and with them disease and blight like mankind had never experienced. Most died, and those who didn't were quick to scramble for weapons, wealth, and control. Petty lords gave way to new societies, and from the ashes of old came the Reformed Arizona Theocracy, or simply put, the Zona. The laws are simple, all sins are punished swiftly and violently. The enf ...more
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 115 pages
Published February 15th 2012 by Curiosity Quills
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The Stand by Stephen KingThe Road by Cormac McCarthy1984 by George OrwellThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
This is the end...
170th out of 712 books — 1,229 voters
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Apocalypse: It's Over, Dude.
109th out of 358 books — 668 voters

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Community Reviews

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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Environmental apocalypse is coming! (No, really it is.) THE ZONA is a novel that warns of what could come after. It chilled me, even though it's set in a miserably hot re-desert-ified Southwest. I've posted my fixed-up review on my blog..

High order scariness written by a man not afraid to scare your socks off. 4.25 stars for a debut novel. Now that's goin' some.

When that Hunger Games juvenilia gets bestsellerdom and movie money, this far better dystopia gets too little. Baffles me.
Picture the end of the world as we know it. Imagine our civilization vanished into thin air. Think of a world where the infrastructure and the government are gone. Chaos? Not so much.

A new order has arrived. The Church controls western territories that haven't been subject to floods, pandemics, and nuclear radiations. The Zona is one of these territories. Lead is a Preacher. He knows how to spread the word of the Lord. His mission? Kill the infidels. Kill men who don't abide by the Church's rule
Aug 10, 2013 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dark post-apocalyptic fiction
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Post-apocalyptic
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: fans of dark post-apocalyptic fantasy
Trigger Warnings: religious persecution (by which I mean the persecution of people by religious dogmatics), torture, murder, killing, violence

My Thoughts: I decided to go ahead and read this book after reading Automatic Woman and liking the writing style. This is a very dark book, but a most engaging one. I was impressed by the author's ability with description; each scene was sharp and di
Why did I let this book sit on my shelf for so long? I'm very impressed with the writing and the story. I'm not going to say that I necessarily enjoy characters ;) suffering, but it is one of the elements of a good dystopian story, and this had plenty of that. Most of the population is wiped out by floods and plagues, and there are only a few survivors left who live in deplorable conditions. I would recommend this to fans of The Passage, and it kind of reminded me of the old Jeremiah TV show. My ...more
This is an interesting, post apocalyptic story, set in a violent, destroyed future American southwest (Arizona, Utah, etc), which follows a "Preacher" named Lead and warring groups of religious extremists who are trying to control the future, apocalyptic world via their own violent versions of religion.

Gritty and graphic, I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the post apocalyptic genre. And the book ends with the possibility of a sequel, which I would be very interested in readi
Christina White
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2012 Taryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of dystopian lit
It did not surprise me to learn that Nathan Yocum, author of The Zona, is an award-winning screenwriter. As I was reading this, his debut novel, I could not stop picturing it as a movie. (I will honestly be very surprised if it isn’t optioned, especially with the popularity of dystopias generally and the upcoming Hunger Games specifically!)

Imagine: After being devastated by rains, floods, and drought, the United States as we know it collapses. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, are killed
I.D. Martin
‘Dark and gritty’ is the phrase that crops up repeatedly in discussions and reviews of this story. It is that in every way. It takes a while to engage with the characters as they are as bleak as the dystopian hell they struggle to survive in. My initial reaction was to compare it to King’s The Stand and I believe it’s certainly in that vein and of that quality. It is also a number of other things. The structure resembles a parable where the progression of the protagonist is a series of lessons b ...more
This is a tiny PA slice of life from one small corner of the world....Arizona now called Zona...several years after storms and floods and God knows what else have ended life as we know it. This isn’t a story of the apocalypse itself but what remains of this one part of the world after the waters and storms have somewhat receded. The author doesn't go much into what caused the apocalypse other than to hint that it was brought on by climate change. No matter, in any event, it's now an ugly world. ...more
In a post-apocalyptic world razed by natural disaster, war and pestilence, the state formally known as Arizona is governed by The Church. Preachers hunt down those who have sinned and offer two choices. Death or purgatory. Lead is one such preacher. He carries out the will of God without question until one day he is ordered to apprehend another preacher.

The Zona is a short but thought provoking story. At the start, Lead has been bound to a rock in the heat of the barren Zona desert. We don't kno
Overall Feedback: This is what we all fear will happen if we continue to abuse the Earth. Nathan does a phenomenal job of painting the bleakest environment we could face and showing us the path we are on. He can use words to paint such a grand picture and leave you astonished at the final act.

Point of View: You spend the majority of the movie behind the lead character's eyes (funny enough we call him Lead).

Voice: I dare you to find a spot in this book that the voice of the author is not begging
A very atmospheric novel set in the years after mankind has almost been wiped out by natural disasters piled on one after another. You can almost feel the scorching heat and spit out the dust from your parched mouth. A very descriptive evocative book makes you wonder whether it's worth keeping going and give up. The Zona of the title is a religious state set in what was once Arizona. Wandering men called Preachers dispense justice on behalf of their so called Church.... Then one day a man Lead f ...more
Throughout the book, each page held a certain charm. Each word drew you in. The author's beautifully written novel contained characters you felt emotions for. This book creates a realistic world you never wanted to leave. In the pages you find the beauty of destruction. I enjoyed this book a terrific amount.
John B.
This was a very good book for anyone interested in the Apocalyptic genre. The author did a wonderful job illustrating the specific struggles of an ex-preacher following the destruction of the West Coast. I would recommend it.
The Zona is the story of Lead, a Preacher in what was once Arizona - before the storms that changed the world forever. Floods, tornadoes and plagues have resulted in the US being torn apart and remade by warring factions, and in Arizona the ruling class are the Preachers.

This is an intense post-apocalyptic book with vivid imagery and rough, tough characters - which aren't exactly likeable but either had me sympathising with their battles or appalled by their lack of humanity.

It did take me a whi
Shawn Griffiths
The Zona is set in a dystopic society in a post-apocalyptic Arizona. The story is about a preacher named Lead who is sent by the Church (denomination not clear) to hunt down individuals that have been deemed sinners and heathens to purge them of their wicked ways through either submission or death. The story takes a turn when Lead is sent to hunt down a former preacher who abandoned the Church.

It is not hard to believe that if society as we know it today was wiped out by war, plague, famine, nat

Ambientazione post-apocalittica, Arizona. Del vecchio mondo non resta più nulla se non cadaveri di auto e sacchetti di plastica (ma proprio una marea di sacchetti, sono ovunque), il nuovo mondo è governato dalla follia religiosa in cui i predicatori convertono sostanzialmente uccidendo il peccatore ma sono a loro volta giudicati dal corpo dei Crociati, ancora più cattivo e spietato.
Il romanzo segue il predicatore Lead e il suo incontro con Terence che gli farà mettere in dubbio tutti i valo
I had originally bought a different dystopic novel and Goodreads had told me that based on that purchase that I would probably like The Zona. I was born and raised in Az so I *had* to buy the book. The first paragraph of the summary intrigued me. The Tea Party has taken a pretty strong hold in Az these past few years and I was interested to see how the author would view a dystopic Az...I believe he's not far from the truth.

It was interesting for me to read a book about the areas that I've been.
David P Forsyth
Spaghetti Western meets the Biblical Apocalypse. The Zona presents a stark, chilling and engrossing look at how modern American society could devolve into warped theocracy, if the planet turned against our civilization. Nathan Yocum weaves a unique blend of Old West adventure and apocalyptic judgement in this intriguing look at Arizona after the end of the world as we know it. This is a very good start for a talented new author and I eagerly look forward to the sequel.

I especially enjoyed the in
This book leaves me kind of indifferent. The post-apocalytic setting in the Zona, the idea of The Church, the Priests and Crusaders were all compelling and kept my interest. The prose sometimes seems a little awkward, and there were some distracting typos (not many, but above average). What bothered me were the fate of one of the protagonists and some scenes that were too gruesome and gross for my taste. Also, the ending came a little too sudden. All in all a short and entertaining read, but not ...more
Nina Post
Vividly desolate, brutal, riveting, and f*cked up. I really liked this book. It was very firmly set in a particular southwest setting, and Yocum did a great job worldbuilding this bleak post-apocalyptic landscape. I stayed up late a couple of nights in a row reading this. You can get a good idea of the tone from these excerpts:

"My soul is rolled up so there ain't a way out of it. If I had another fifty years of saving men I couldn't break even with the destruction I've wrought."

"You're like me,
David Brown
There has been an environmental disaster. Sea level has risen dramatically. Everything from before is remember as the Broken Times and the survivors of the human race have split between people just wanting to scrape what living they can and those who have born a super-fundamentalist religion, one imposed forcefully and rigorously on everyone.

The Zona is creative and vivid. The language is just the way I like it, overwrought. But within the dystopian waste of a burning hot Arizona the overcooked
Don Lively
A satisfying read. A future that reminds you, if remotely, of a distant past and the meting of religious authority between 1100 and 1600 AD during the Crusades. While the scenario of what man does in the name of his God or Gods is familiar, the setting and back-story make the story feel all too plausible.
Brad T.
Good dystopian adventure. Well written, well edited. The story built slowly but came to a quick action packed ending.
Interesting book, I liked it. It make you wonder if that is what places look like after they collapse.
Reminded me very much of 'The Road' but with more back story on what happened. I liked it.
J.P. Sloan
If you have a particularly gritty and vicious post-apocalyptic itch, this book will scratch it!
Otmane El Rhazi
One of the best!

Otmane EL RHAZI.
Short and sweet
I received this as a free ARC from Netgalley.

Lead is a Preacher, charged with tracking down Marks for the Church and either killing them or sending them to Purgatory. His whole outlook on his job changes the day he is sent to hunt down another Preacher. When he fails to pull the trigger, his own life becomes forfeit in the eyes of the Church. This is the story of a man who questions his purpose, and through suffering and trials finds himself.

That actually sounds kind of cheesy. Most books out th
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Apocalypse Whenever: THE ZONA (group discussion in April) 99¢ sale 35 77 Mar 17, 2012 12:35PM  
  • Selection Event
  • The Jakarta Pandemic
  • Towards Yesterday
  • What Came After
  • Half Past Midnight
  • A Chemical Fire
  • Breakdown
  • Worlds Burn Through (The Chronicles of Nowhere #1)
  • Yesterday's Gone: Episode 1 (Yesterday's Gone, #1)
  • Renewal 2 - Echoes of the Breakdown
  • Vanishing Point
  • Breaking News: An Autozombiography
  • Dead Things
  • The World Ends in Hickory Hollow
  • A Gift Upon the Shore
  • Joshua
  • The Wandering Earth
  • Shadow of a Dead Star  (The Wonderland Cycle #1)
Nathan L. Yocum is an author, teacher, and entrepreneur living on the Big Island of Hawai'i. His novels, The Zona, Automatic Woman, and The Strong Brain are available through Curiosity Quills Publishing.

He is also the editor-in-chief of SpecLit Masters Magazine and has short stories featured in Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road, Lamplight Dark Fiction Quarterly (Issue #1), Curiosity Quills Pri
More about Nathan Yocum...
Automatic Woman The Strong Brain Curiosity Quills: Primetime Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road LampLight: a Horror Quarterly

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