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Swarm (Outbreak Escape #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
John has a dead-end job, doesn't see enough of his friends, and struggles to find meaning in his life. These everyday concerns vanish on the night he’s jerked awake by screams.

Frenzied figures roam the streets. A helpless onlooker, John tells himself that this isn't like the films. This is real life, with real people.

He and his neighbours band together over a small suppl
Published (first published June 12th 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mr. Matt
Apr 06, 2015 Mr. Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, zombies, 2015
When the zombie apocalypse breaks out no one knows what is going on. People die because they assume it is an ordinary emergency - a fire in a club, a car accident, etc. Slowly, painfully, when the truth comes into sharp focus, groups of survivors hole up in their apartments and take stock. Swarm is the story of one small band of survivors.

There are many reasons why I shouldn't like this book. The main character, John, is generic and unmemorable. There are absurd parts of the story that make me s
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“He had changed. He wasn’t everyday John any longer.”

This was an okay zombie story, although I did find it a little gruesome at the start.

John was an okay character, and he seemed to have courage to stand up and do what needed to be done, which was admirable.

The storyline in this was about people suddenly turning into zombies and attacking other people, and John and his friends trying to survive. We got a bit of action, and some difficult decisions to m
Angela Dossett
Jul 25, 2014 Angela Dossett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
* I receive a copy by author for my honest opinion.*

Though I'm not a huge fan of Zombie Apocalypse books, I was surprised how I became engrossed by this story. I devoured it (no pun intended) in a relatively short time. After reading it, my thought process was piqued. I kept asking myself a lot of questions: Would I be a survivor? Would I look back on my life to find wisdom? Would I do what was necessary to survive? The answer is "Yes".

This story has a lot of slang in it, so don't take it as typ
Review copy kindly provided by author and GR friend Alex South.

This is the second zombie-themed novel I have read this year. It was dissimilar to World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War--and that's quite all right. This book reminded me more of The Day of the Triffids. After a catastrophe survived only by a handful of humans who seem to be the only ones in the area, life as we used to know it is reduced to the essentials, and humans must band together in order to ensure food, shelter and
Mar 03, 2015 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a fast paced zombie thriller that starts off on a seemingly calm night out as all hell breaks loose and things rapidly turn from bad to worse as a virus/plague/infection runs rampant through the streets. The main focus of the book is how the survivers manage both with the events themselves and with each other as things don't get better and their hopes for rescue are dashed. All of the characters have a hinted at depth that is drip fed as the story continues giving the reader the feeling ...more
Julie Powell
Apr 25, 2016 Julie Powell rated it really liked it
A fast paced read that plunged straight into the action.

The writing style certainly suited the genre, which delved a little deeper than a straightforward zombie novel, in that it demonstrated the thoughts and feelings of the main character, John, and issues dealing with the consequences of choices, for example.

It felt like it was aimed at a teenage audience but it did keep up (for the most part) the suspense quite well, even if it did wander sometimes.

Overall, a reasonable plot and good for its
Neena Christianson Martin

If you're looking for an action packed book, this will not be the book for you. This book is about John and how he is handling the zombie apocalypse. He teams up with other survivors to find a safe place to stay. John is an angst ridden, depressed person, and his long mental rants get tiring very quickly. I will read the next book so I can find out if they find safety.
May 30, 2015 Leigh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievably bad. Poorly written, poor characterisation, and virtually no plot at all. I've tried to think of something positive to say, but there's just nothing.
Stanley Marshall
Oct 18, 2016 Stanley Marshall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written

Sorry but this is a badly done zombie book, the only thing I learned from it was the author is very familiar with mental health issues.
Jul 28, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Note: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review*

I am usually up for a well-written zombie apocalypse novel and Swarm did not disappoint. Some people don't read books about zombies simply because they believe the entire category to be overdone, but I do not believe that is the case. In fact, the well-covered topic forces authors to do something original with the general premise. Zombie novels are great because they are all so different and unique. Alex South create
Russ Sanderlin
Aug 03, 2014 Russ Sanderlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book by the author for an honest review.

Swarm was a unique journey into a zombie apocalypse and separates itself from other zombie stores by going witnessing characters who strive to retain their humanity in a world shrouded in darkness and uncertainty.

I am a fan of cataclysmic events, usually I like reading about ones that are more plausible but since the Walking Dead has come out, it has pulled me into this genre. Alex South's book, The Swarm does a fantastic job of d
Jeff Dawson
Needs work

This could have been a fresh new perspective on the Zombie Apocalypse, but the lack of editing and re-reading by the author adds it to the slush pile.

It starts out with an excellent, exciting scene in a night bar as the infected appear. Pandemonium breaks out and many of the crowd are bitten or crushed to death. That’s the way to get a reader’s attention.

The second chapter laid out an excellent scene as the occupants of the apartment complex barricade themselves in. As the chapter pr
Oct 15, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r4r
Swarm tells us the story of John, a regular guy who wakes up to screams and life as he knew it has ended. Zombies are closing in and he, along with the other survivers he comes across, will have to struggle to stay alive.


- Large variety of characters, each with their own idiosyncrasies.
- John's thoughts are very believable. I can see myself thinking a lot of the same things he did. He and the others are just regular people, with plenty of flaws, and are not always the best human bein
Trista Borgwardt
I am a huge zombie fan and this was a good zombie apocalypse book. I enjoyed the beginning and how essentially three strangers became trapped with each other and once they realized their resources were depleting, decided they had to move on.

In most zombie novels, it involves a group of people moving from one location to another trying to find more supplies and safety. This novel did not disappoint. This is the fast paced action that gets your blood pumping as the fight scenes unfold before you
Crystal Rafuse
May 10, 2016 Crystal Rafuse rated it it was amazing
It all started in a nightclub bathroom...

One man went down, then two, then an entire club, soon the city, and beyond that...

John wakes up to a commotion, and witnesses a woman being bitten - no, ripped to shreds - out on the street below, by another man. When he calls 999 (911 in America, if you're not aware) he gets nothing but a busy tone. Odd.

That's when it hits. Zombies! Together with an eclectic group of neighbors, John realizes that humanity's worst fears have come true, and that the Lond
Dec 10, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it
Alex South's zombie novel, Swarm, is a fun read for fans of the zombie genre. Although it may have some predictable moments, Swarm is still a thrilling read and filled with the desired zombie gore and adventure. South does not waste anytime getting to the action. From the very first page, South drags the reader into an apocalyptic and terrifying reality that life as we once knew it, is now over.
The characters are developed fairly well, but in some cases could use a bit more background informati
K.J. Chapman
Apr 23, 2016 K.J. Chapman rated it liked it
I’m a sucker for all things Zombie. I saw this book for FREE on Amazon Kindle, and just had to download it. Is it like every other Zombie book? Yes and no. Yes- as far as there are zombies, survivors, and the unknown. No- as far as the book isn’t action packed per se. The narrative focusses on John’s personal journey in dealing with an apocalyptic situation, and not the zombie outbreak itself.

I’m a scaredy cat, but I was never scared. Was I supposed to be? Maybe? Did I want to be? Yes! I read zo
Cheryl M-M
The ultimate nightmare, the end of the world via zombie. To make matters worse, not that it gets much worse than being eaten by zombies, it all happens within a matter of days.

Paranoia is rampant among the survivors. Is there any way to know whether someone has been nibbled, bitten or infected?

Aside from full body inspections there is no way to be certain, which means the small groups of survivors have to trust their instincts when it comes to other survivors.

There needs to be more character an
Bob The Platypire
Jul 01, 2016 Bob The Platypire rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

First I want to say that I really liked the cast of characters. All different, but all learning to survive this mess together. The interactions between the different people were good and seemed genuine for the most part, and I really like Tyler for some reason. Maybe because he's the kid of the group? I dunno, but I like him.

The zombies are rather typical, but there is a slight twist in the way they behave according to their environment, and I enjoyed seeing that! The survivors have the
Jessica Kong
Grabs you from the start.

The opening to Swarm by Alex South reminds me of Don of the Living Dead by Robert DeCoteau. Where do you think you will be on Z-Day? I sure hope I am not on the toilet. Anyway, the toilet is the only similarity between the books, not the person on the toilet or the location of the bathroom. To understand what I am talking about, you will have to read the book. But do not worry, this book will not disappoint you, Zombie fans. I feel the characters were realistically portr
Andy Phillips
May 03, 2016 Andy Phillips rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombies
This is a fairly typical zombie apocalypse in some ways. A small group of people are woken in the early hours of the morning to see people attacking each other in the street. They barricade their building against the horde of bloodthirsty zombies (infected people?) outside and settle down to wait for help. Of course, it doesn't come. They then have to decide whether to wait it out or seek a better shelter or other survivors.

This sort of thing has been seen before, but the book is well written, u
S.K. Gregory
Apr 16, 2016 S.K. Gregory rated it really liked it
John lives a boring life which changes in an instant when zombies take over. Stuck with two of his neighbours, John tries to deal with depressing thoughts as they figure out their next move. They eventually meet up with more survivors and come up with a plan to find a safe haven, but will they make it?
John seems like a good character, nothing very remarkable about him, but he holds his own against the zombies. I think Dreadlocks was the most intriguing character, purely for his attitude towards
Renee Remi
Aug 02, 2014 Renee Remi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was given the opportunity to read "Swarm" by Alex South, in exchange for an honest review.

The opening of the story? Nicely done, gives the reader the hook needs to move forward with a zombie book. So very refreshing to show how he outbreak started, and give examples of people turning into zombies state of mind. Thank you Alex.

Making my way through the story, I couldn't help casting the characters into the actors on The Walking Dead (sorry, I am a fan). This book is definitely comparable to a
Rachel  Turner
Jan 18, 2016 Rachel Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Exciting read, some areas of the book are a bit roughly written.

Overall the book was a very exciting read, it was good to see the first person perspective used in the zombie horror genre. 4 out of 5 as was a good read, but a bit roughly written in areas; such as an odd word missing. The odd rough area can be overlooked once you are engrossed in the story.

Nicely paced book which gathers momentum as you read. The characters were likeable and was refreshing to have a flawed main protagonist, so
Charles Ray
Jun 21, 2016 Charles Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John’s in a dead end job, only staying because of his devotion to his wife and son. When a sick man enters his shop, life takes a distinct downward turn, not just for John, but for the whole world. What’s causing people to turn into flesh-eating zombies? John goes on the run with other survivors, but can he really do anything?
Swarm by Alex South is a zombie apocalypse novel set in London. Despite being a bit choppy, it’s an interesting take on the subgenre, with its focus on the individuals impa
Apr 28, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it
I was given a free book in exchange for an honest review.

I love zombie/post apocalypse reads so I jumped at the chance to read this. The beginning starts off uniquely, and immediately had me gripped. The characters were engaging, but I wasn't as invested in them as I would liked. John, the lead character could have been developed more in my opinion. Overall a good read, and there is 2 more books, so I think the character development could occur in these. A good first novel in the series, but it
This is a zombie book that is fast-paced and somewhat entertaining. While most zombie books delve deep in the outbreak itself, this one focuses less on the zombies and more of John's (main character) thoughts about the entire situation. Though I did enjoy watching the emotional connections between the characters develop.

I was somewhat unsatisfied by how little we knew about any of the characters. Their back-stories hardly did exist, but hopefully will shed some light more when it comes to the th
Raquel Walker
Jun 02, 2016 Raquel Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good start

This was a good start to a hopefully good series. I felt like it moved really slow at first and then really fast towards the end though,and I didn't feel like I was able to get to know the main character very well. What I liked about this story was that there was quite a bit of action once the story picked up, and just when you think the characters are safe something unexpected/unplanned happens. I also liked how no one really knows what is going on. In a lot of zombie books the char
Apr 19, 2016 India rated it it was amazing
John isn’t the most adventurous guy, and when the zombie apocalypse begins in his hometown he starts to wish he’d lived his life differently. He teams up with the neighbours and between the group they find the strength to move to a more suitable location, ASDA.
This book shows the inner workings of a man who wasn’t really prepared for the zombie apocalypse but stepped up anyway. John is a regular Brit and his responses to the ever worsening predicaments the apocalypse has put him in are recognis
Leafar Lope
A straight forward zombie survival story that follows a group of strangers in the first days of zombie outbreak. At the beginning it might feel slow paced in comparison with most zombie stories but With great rhythm it is an entertaining read. Sometimes it was hard to picture some of the characters due to lack of a back story and character building, but I could fully relate with the main character and the reflections he make about life before the outbreak, which was one of the strong points of ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Outbreak Escape (2 books)
  • Swarm II - A Zombie Series

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“Einstein said it right, ‘I don’t know what weapons World War Three will be fought with, but World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones’.” 1 likes
“I can’t fight them,” sobbed Suzy.” 1 likes
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