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First Activation (Activation #1)

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  1,268 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Harry and his brother Jack are on an airline flight, headed for a wild weekend–a ritual they have enjoyed every May since leaving the army. The trip takes a terrifying turn when they land in New York—this year’s destination—to find that JFK airport is almost deserted and that the few ground crew they can spot have all been brutally slaughtered. Is it a terrorist attack? Or ...more
Paperback, 1st edition, 263 pages
Published August 16th 2013 by D.A. & M.P. Wearmouth (first published August 3rd 2013)
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Wow..... wow.... wow...

This book needs to be made into a movie.... and I really really hope they are writing a second book!
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Two men are coming to New York on vacation, when their airplane lands they realize that something horrible has happened... I don't want to say anything else, because I don't want to spoil the story for you...

Think: The Stand by stephen king ... only better... and not as long. Yes, I did say better.

You have a blender ... . put in some The Stand by Stephen King, and add a li
Andy Bryant
A really good premise, and the story really rattles along for the first half. The first half is proper survivalist horror against a disease where mankind has been turned on itself - kill one person then kill yourself - and the authors have clearly had a good time coming up with a range of violent deaths for the corpses the main characters come across.

Then half way through - literally (51% according to my Kindle) - the survival horror which had given the story real momentum gives way to a rather

Publisher: 47 North

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9781477824849

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.0/5

Publisher Description:

Brothers Harry and Jack leave Manchester for New York City for their annual weekend getaway. But upon arrival, they find a silent, deserted JFK, where the few ground crew they can spot have all been slaughtered. Harry and Jack are military veterans, but they’ve never encountered anything like this. As they witness the carnage and stumble across
The story opens with a terrifying premise, that (almost) everyone is suddenly motivated by a chilling urge to kill one person and then kill themselves. The narrator and his companions are trying to stay alive, and trying to figure out what could be happening. It's a brilliant premise for a scifi or supernatural thriller.

Unfortunately, the novel falls very short. The characters were underdeveloped and lacking, to the point that I didn't much care when characters died. Long descriptions of who too
Kath Middleton
Brothers Harry and Jack are aboard a plane heading for JFK Airport when some serious turbulence cuts off all communication with the world. What they find when they get there is wholesale carnage. How did it happen? Why? Those left alive have a compulsion to kill one other person, then commit suicide. The brothers are trying to survive in a world with no power, decomposing bodies and the need to find out what and who is behind it all.

This is a really gripping post-apocalyptic thriller which I enj
Rick Brown
I thought this was one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I don't know why other reviewers feel compelled to repeat the story in the book and I am NOT going to do that. The story line pretty much follows what other reviews have said. I will say I found the characters very likeable and am left wanting at the end of the book for the next. I found the story to be very engaging and the premise different from other post apocalyptic books that I have read. Additionally, you actually do ...more
Michael Hicks
[Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.]

First Activation has really strong premise that gets saddled with some middling characterization and improbable behaviors by its leads. Now, that said, I mostly enjoyed the book and found it to be a pretty effective page-turner that could have benefited from a deeper content edit, despite shaking my head a few times and second-guessing certain actions throughout the story.

The Wearmouths craft a fun little surviv
Linda B.D.
A fast paced, high action thriller. Warning: It has very vivid details of death and destruction, which would of course, go along with some of these types of books. It is expected in some novels. It is a mystery and a mind provoking story. There is no romance or anything like that in this book. It strictly deals with the end of the world with a few single people. The author did a great job of mingling many aspects of everyday life into this story- from the daily housewife to an airplane pilot. He ...more
First Activation is a post-apocalyptic thriller in which nearly the entire global population is turned into brainwashed puppets with one single purpose – to kill someone then kill themselves. Only a few people are unaffected, having been on airplanes when the phenomenon hit. Four of these, two of them soldiers, set off in a group to try to figure out what is going on and to survive. What they find is more horrifying than anything they can imagine.

First Activation had me torn, I felt at the end
I'm giving this 2.5 stars, though it only grabs that last half star because I thought the story had a lot of potential, which was very frustratingly not realized.

Let me start from the beginning. You've got Harry and Jack, two British army veterans heading over to New York for their yearly vacation when a wave of turbulence disrupts their journey. Communications go down and after a shaky landing our dynamic duo enter JFK to find utter carnage as waves people lay dead, their bodies butchered by wh
Jan 17, 2015 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people tired of zombies
A unique take on a apocalyptic event was what really caught my attention. The threat feels real while reading and the tension is built up nicely up till the end. I just didn't like the explanation of why and how the event happened. Seemed just a bit silly to me on the how part but otherwise good. I liked how the characters were flawed and made a few mistakes but also made some good choices also., balanced the story pretty well. I look forward to the next book.
M.L. Banner
This was a truly unique post-apocalyptic thrill-ride that will keep you guessing the cause for the mayhem until nearly the end of the book. I loved the surprises, along with the affable main characters: I imagined they share many of the authors' personalities.

Some may berate a few of the characters' actions, as if any of us have been tested anywhere as severely; of course in the dark recesses of our minds we are all Jack Bower (or James Bond for those in the UK), able to save the day with one p
The premise had me interested, the story itself had me hooked. The idea of another post-apocalyptic story line might seem overused, but First Activation has a few things on its side that other stories don't. First off, the characters are clever and well written. The protagonists are all likable, the antagonists are all horrible individuals, and while the story starts off with a sense of unknown, and an intangible threat which could be just about anything, it quickly turns into urgency that doesn ...more
So excited to be a first read for this book!
*received free through Goodreads First reads*

Story told from Harry's perspective which worked. He is with his brother Jack flying into New York from Manchester for a weekend getaway. The plane lands at JFK with no one in sight and the brothers take off to investigate. They soon learn everyone has gone crazy and see the pattern of people first killing someone, making sure the individual is dead, then taking their own life. Appears to be a terrorist atta
Nice to see an apocalypse book that isn't zombies; that was a refreshing change of pace. However, the authors should have gone with zombies.

I was working with some fifth-graders while I was reading this book. One day, one of them started to tell a story and I suddenly knew why this book seemed to drag. and then . . . and then . . . and then . . . and then . . . For ever and ever. It seemed like they had an interesting idea, but then were so busy trying to not be like any other apocalypse book th
So this book had me hooked from the first few pages. It had a very unique and fresh take on the apocalyptic world. The characters were exactly as they should have been, there was just enough distrust and adventure and gore. The ending sort of pissed me off because I would have liked to know a little more post-trigger pull (you'll know what I mean once you read the book). That said, I do have a few criticisms, but they no way detract from the good story: 1) I've lived in England. The author had t ...more
"First Activation" caught my attention at the start and held it for the first third of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the Brit brothers and their give-and-take. I thought the authors should have made more use of the brothers' uniquely British backgrounds and foibles but after a few chapters they just pretty much became like everyone else in the book. I enjoyed their believable decision making through the first third of the book as well, but it quickly became dodgy and then downright nonsensical ...more
Mike Meredith
This is the best book I've read this year. The main characters fly from Manchester to New York and when they get there they are met with the harrowing scene on bodies all over airport terminal. Some have apparently committed suicide, some have apparently been murdered. Nobody knows what is going on and nobody knows what to do next.

As they leave the airport, we find that the bodies are spread all over New York, with few apparent survivors. Those who are alive, seem hell bent on killing one person
Not bad as a debut. Short and punchy, with a fair few instances of slightly clumsy sentences and dialogue, but the plot is interesting enough. The neat idea of the killers is interesting, and the mystery drives the first half of the book nicely through your standard survival horror which pays homage to the first book of The Strain Trilogy, and David Moody's Autumn series without being too derivative.

That said, having settled the reader comfortably into this post-apocalyptic world, the characters
Curt Huffman
This is a nice basic zombie book, with a bit of a twist. It was fun while it lasted, but it just leaves too much unanswered for a proper ending. The twists are a good ride, but at times the authors leave you scratching your head thinking, is THAT what you want me to believe? Maybe he's setting it up for a franchise series.
Maybe I expect too much from a zombie thriller. But the ploy motive sort of falls flat after building up a nice head of curiosity in the reader.
I got the feeling that his publi
Polly Halicki
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Fast-paced action! When two British servicemen (also brothers) land in New York City, the airport is deserted except for human assassins attacking from all quarters. Their journey towards finding out what has happened makes for a gripping, hair-raising read! Recommended.
Liquid Frost
So, the market is flooded with post-apocalyptic / dystopian reads...which is good since that is sorta one of favorite genres. The book can completely stand as/is, which is nice change. However, "Second Activation", it appears, is in the works. I will definitely continue the story. The writing was good and the pace was solid to keep me interested. There was some good character development, glorious corruption, douche bags, and a pair of brothers trying to figure out why us crazy Americans are joi ...more
Reading the bio at the end revealed that one of the authors lives in my home town of Harrogate North Yorkshire! Marcus - If you're reading this - hit me up for a beer / dog walk around the stray sometime!

I was drawn to this book. I'm a firm believer of 'you CAN judge a book by it's cover' (to a degree) and I liked the stark simplicity of this jacket. Intriguing. It had a bit of Dharma initiative from TV's LOST about it. I'm also a big fan of gathering just enough info to make a reading decision.
John Purvis
“First Activation” was published in 2015 (March) and was written by Darren and Marcus Wearmouth ( Darren Wearmouth is the author or co-author of seven novels and Marcus Wearmouth shares two of those. This is the first of their ‘Activation’ series.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there are instances of Violence and some Mature Language. This Post-Apocalypse Thriller novel is set
After reading Critical Dawn by Darren Wearmouth and Colin F. Barnes I had discovered a new author to read and was pleased with what I found. Darren did a great job making me feel the tension the characters felt during the opening scene on the plane and during many other tense action pack moments. I too get that feeling in my stomach when a flight isn't perfectly smooth. After what isn't an ideal flight, our main characters (Harry and Jack) land in NYC, and to their horror they find death and des ...more
The second different type of post apocalyptic book that I've read in a row and I love this one, too.

Totally different premise that sucked me in, reminding me more of 28 Days Later than anything else.

The action was good, the characterization wasn't bad, and the story was great. The ending was really unexpected.

My only complaint was that the author didn't have the American characters using American slang, but British slang. It kinda took me out of it.

Christine (Cagnes)
A shout out to these authors! They are generously donating all royalties of this book until Friday evening (12/6) to GB Banks, a disabled author with Type III Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. Together we can give him the support he needs to start his own zombie revolution. :) Please check out GB Banks' indiegogo campaign!

Tina Hsu
First Activation has an interesting premise, but I found the poor characterization and inconsistent action to be a huge negative. The first person voice could have been an interesting aspect of the book, but it was really under utilized. Harry doesn't seem to have much to say about his predicament, and the book is just one dull journey. The villains are awfully dull as well. I found Jack, Harry's brother, to be a complete mystery, but not in a good way. Jack obviously had some experiences that m ...more
Yes, there were problems with the dialogue, and only one mention of the main characters worrying about loved ones (which always bothers me in these kinds of books), but I really liked the first half. It did rush off to a quick conclusion and felt a bit self-indulgent at the end.
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AKA D.A. Wearmouth

Darren Wearmouth spent six years in the army before pursuing a career in corporate technology. After fifteen years working for large telecommunications firm and a start-up, he decided to follow his passion for writing. His first novel was the best-selling FIRST ACTIVATION that he later sold to Amazon’s publishing imprint, 47North in a two-book deal.

Darren is represented by Paul L
More about Darren Wearmouth...

Other Books in the Series

Activation (2 books)
  • Second Activation (Activation, #2)
Critical Dawn (Critical, #1) Second Activation (Activation, #2) Sixth Cycle Critical Path (Critical, #2) Critical Strike (Critical, #3)

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“Chapter 1 – The Plane Our Friday morning flight from Manchester to New York was making good progress over the Atlantic Ocean. I had been looking forward to this trip with my brother, Jack, for months.” 1 likes
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