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Victim Zero

(The Fall #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,177 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Kell McDonald isn't your average guy. He's a brilliant biologist and geneticist, a leading researcher in the constant fight against disease and death. He works in secret on a miraculous organism with the potential to change the world.

But he isn't the only one.

Victim Zero is a story about life and loss, self-awareness and the hard choices between what is right and what is n
Kindle Edition, 214 pages
Published June 5th 2013
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,177 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was EPIC ...... but ultimately draining. 😨 The best zombie/living dead book that I have read to date, it is a "world building" series - and it's been so looong since I've read one of those that I'd forgotten just how much information and how many characters are packed into making one. I'll try to keep this review short because there are so many others already.
I loved how The Fall was started by a misused virus and the whole Biologist/Researcher premise that started with Kell. There was a gr
Stjepan Cobets
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fan of the Zombie
My rating 4.7

The book "Victim Zero (The Fall # 1)" by Joshua Guess is quite a solid zombie apocalypse novel. The lovers of the genre are easily involved in the world described in the book. The cruelty of the world in which every wrong step can lead to death is a very good writer, and the main character, Kell McDonald, through the book, experiences a kind of catharsis of his existence. Kell is a brilliant biologist and geneticist and has found an organization with which he could change the world.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, zombies
Well I'm pumped. Looks like there's like 5-6 more books to this series so I'll have to get on that. Looks like these books sprung from a blog and my copy has a very self published feel (super fucked up typesetting throughout kind of gives that away), but it's better written than like 90% of the zombie books out there. And I didn't notice a single grammatical or spelling mistake--so special shame to some of the more "professional" books out there that are riddled with errors.

Even though he wrote
Jett Cat
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not just another zombie ride. Guess brings his usual style of making me, the reader question my excitement when our Hero's overcome the trials of a free for all society.

Is there really justification for killing in defense of self and others?

This was a great prelude to LWTD series, even though it left me wanting more.. A guilt ridden scientist semi responsible for the zvoe outbreak learns to survive his guilt and the zombies. Along the way he makes a few good friends, meets some people from the f
Jon Grafton
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Victim Zero is a deep plunge off the zombie diving board into the darkest end of the pool. This series opener provides a detailed and unique explanation for the rise of the zombies, and the central protagonist, Kell, is the scientist indirectly responsible for releasing the... spoiler... into the world. Like everyone who writes zombie dystopia, this author's take is varied just enough to keep you interested in the new universe he's building. The first part of the story was the most fascinating; ...more
Alexis Winning
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: zombies
I had no idea that this Joshua Guess' Victim Zero was a spin off of a blog. How awesome is it, that in modernity, we can freely share our stories with the world? I wish I had known this preface before reading, as I would have interpreted it in a different light.

Guess knows that the most important thing about the zombie genre, is the emphasis on people and humanity, not the undead. Guess introduces us to a strong, interesting, and "real" hero. Kell is a large African-American scientist with an a
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Victim Zero is the story of how it began. The end of the world starts with curiosity and greed--the scientist looking at a new life form, testing, trying to see what it can do and the people in charge, deciding to make money off of the new organism. Bad idea. Very bad idea. It spreads quickly, leading to the death of millions. Follow the scientist, Kevin McDonald, through his attempt to survive and to cure the monster that he inadvertently unleashed...

I have been following Joshua Guess' Living W
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow, a collaboration between Joshua Guest and James Cook? Who would not want to read that?
This tells the story of the scientist who made the virus and knows everything about it. He does escape the lab knowing that the only way to kill the zombies is damage to the head. And he soon learns a lot more about how to defend himself. He is a huge man, very tall and big. He saves some women from marauders and they become his best friends. They know a safe place and they go there. I won't tell you detai
Sally the Salamander
The prose itself isn't awful, and the plot is standard zombie post-apocalyptic fare. The reason this gets 2 stars instead of 3 are as follows:

Kell is a Marty Stu. His name is Kelvin (get it, because he's a scientist??) and he's massive, in-shape, and a genius. He also happened to be working on the zombifying organism before the outbreak. He thinks he can create a cure, so the main driving force behind the plot (apart from some minor detours) is Kell trying to get back to his lab so he can work o
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
An interesting take on the end of the world and zombie apoc. In Guess' book we actually get to follow the man who found the nascent organism that would eventually be altered to become the Zombie maker.

Now about the rating. Don't get me wrong, many people will find this book entertaining, but I can't give it more than 3 stars.

The wordsmithing is good. Otherwise I wouldn't have finished it as I have a low tolerance for authors who can't string sentences together into nice paragraphs. What I found
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zombie-horror
This was a very good novel. Shows what could happen when mucking about with organisms and someone decides it is safe to use on humans. Also shows how a scientist can go from the lab and the loss of his family to someone who can survive and care about others again. Great characters and plot. Goes on my list of read again books. :D
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, horror
4.5 Stars

Really exciting and well written zombie apocalypse book, but damn it was DEPRESSING.
I guess I need a little HEA with my zombies. Still amazing, but really won't read #2.

Recommend for hard core zombie post-apocalyptic terror lovers.
Walter Scott
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My knife is not a weapon. It is a tool.

It is a Zombie Apocalypse novel. There are a lot of those available to readers. This is a very, very good one.
I loved the pacing of the story and the action contained. No superhero stuff; all physical actions are realistic.
The main character, Kelvin McDonald, who is meticulously brought to life in the early stages of the story, evolves into a completely different person, and the reader has the privilege of watching it happen. Other characters are revealed a
Kara Prem
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
It starts with some wealthy moron using his money and power to allow his son to be injected with a virus to help fix a problem (I think with his arm, but I'm not sure). The virus starts to mutate, and the young man who has been infected is sent to Cincinnati to be studied by an expert researcher, Kell who has worked with the virus (but never approved for it to be used on humans). Of course it all goes wrong and the zombie apocalypse is upon us.

The book follows Kell through the very early days t
Mary Lee
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved It

This was an outstanding novel. No typos. He brought the characters and this world to full color life. The main characters shoulders a lot of responsibility and thinks a lot about his moral or immoral choices. He has heart and soul despite his terrible losses. I think he wears the guilt of starting the apocalypse too heavy. In fact, he has no responsibility for what happened. He told his bosses not to do what they chose to do. All he did was try to fix their mistake, so in my book, he is
William Knight
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is not your average zombie thriller, and Kell is not your average zombie thriller protagonist. An extremely original origin story for an extraordinary zombie survival setting, with snappy dialogue and genuinely cool characters. This is a very refreshing addition to the genre. Science, empathy, and logical problem solving reign over testosterone-filled violence. Occaisonally, solutions will be so delightfully, ingeniously unorthodox that the reader will think of a time they have been playing ...more
Cheshire Cat
This book is pretty good with interesting scenes and good descriptions of most things. The one thing it really missed was the part that made it hard to put down and not pick right back up.

The biggest issue I had was our main character's incredible luck which never seemed to end. Granted he had a few hardships but how he handled the death of his family seemed unrealistic along with all his luck otherwise in what otherwise was a fairly realistic book. I mean let's face it Kelvin/Kell/K is a big bl
J.L Perrigo
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Guess work aside. This is quality writing.

Joshua Guess gets you at the first sentence and doesn't let go to the last page.

K is a character who is conflicted and methodical. His path from scientist to hardened warrior takes you for a trip. The world as you know is stripped from society to depravity in a matter or months. As k continues to survive despite the hardships of the brave New world, he finds that he must change with it. Victim zero is a must read if you are a fan of zombies.

J.l Perrig
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I continue to be impressed with this author. His writing style has pulled me into a genre that I don't normally read, and I'm enjoying the diversity very much.

His characters are well-developed and likable, his detailed descriptions of less-than-pleasant scenarios paint a beautiful picture of the grotesque at times. The violence is a little much in some cases, but I can't help but respect the author for his writing even then.
Tina Cross
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Must read, if you're a fan of this genre!

This was my second time reading this book. It only gets better!

Don't want to spoil this for anyone. But, you get so enraptured with the storyline. It grabs you almost immediately and doesn't let go.

You can tell that time, research and attention to detail went into this book. I'd have to say that this is my goto author, for this genre.

Well done Sir, well done!!!
Kara Su
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent characters, intriguing storyline, solid pacing.

I'll admit it - I'm decidedly not a fan of zombie stories. But this is so much more than a post-apocalyptic, zombie yarn! This is a story of survival & redemption, of self-examination, grief & the shared horror of humanness in a world where the rules have reverted to barbarity. Well worth the read.
I felt one word the entire time I was reading this book and that's conflicted. My feelings of like and dislike equaled very confused feelings about this story.
I almost put the book (or kindle) down numerous times, but thank goodness I was always drawn back in, since the story consistently became more appealing as I read on.

I believe I will read the second book in the series soon.

Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy Zombies Batman

I'm gone, lost in another novel, a series. Great story line. I am eager to read more. Though a word of caution, my heart's been ripped from me multiple times through this book. I always knew certain ages wouldn't survive an initial zombie attack, but reading a description of the events tore at me deeply.
Mike Lewis
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Intense action packed zombie apocalyptic story

And intense and action-packed zombie apocalyptic story. Great cast of characters great premise and storyline. Action packed from beginning to end intelligently written in tents dramatic and keeps you riveted throughout. Once I started reading I could not put it down. Well worth the read check it out
Sonja McClung
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zombies-read
If you love zombies, this series is for you. But, its not just about the zombies. Think Walking Dead, you become very attached to the characters in this series and I am pretty sure I read straight through the night on several occasions because I just could not put them down.
Joan Barstad
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book of a series of 6. It is well written, and the characters are believable .

There are even a few new twists to how zombies act!

I will be reading the rest of them in the near future.

Definitely recommend these books.
Beth Wilson
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

What a great story! I very much enjoyed the plot. The struggles were realistic and engaging. The characters were like real people, written into print. I can’t wait to read the next book.
Jeanne Pocius Dorismond
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting Twist

Kell McDonald discovered the chimera algae that mutated into creating the world full of zombies around him...Suffice it to say that this "NBA-sized" hero has his work cut out for him. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. A+ Bravo!
barry lindfield
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Zombies with a twist.

If you love the Walking Dead and all things Zombies this is for you. Great hero with a dark and twisted side. Fast pace action with enough twists and turns to keep you hooked.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: started-but-dnf

Wow Kell does it all! He slices, he dices, he’s a genius who does it all.

Fight off a horde of zombies? No problem!

Solve mankind’s impending doom caused by a virus he created? Cake!

The author is so talented that he should have written a super hero novel, oh wait, he did!

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Joshua Guess (who goes by Josh most of the time, but Joshua professionally because his mom insists) is originally from southern Illinois, but moved to central Kentucky at an early age.
Always a storyteller, his interest in creating began with art. He loved to draw and come up with stories about his pictures.
Then he discovered comic books and novels, and things...took a turn.
Devouring everything

Other books in the series

The Fall (6 books)
  • Dead Will Rise
  • War of the Living
  • Genesis Game (The Fall #4)
  • Exodus in Black (The Fall Book 5)
  • Revelation Day (The Fall Book 6)
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“a loveable asshole is preferable to a sweet liar.” 3 likes
“buy it. Read it. Enjoy it, and most importantly, share it.” 2 likes
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