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Biters / The Reborn

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The Double Down series continues with two novellas that explore very different post-apocalyptic worlds.

Harry Shannon's Biters is classic noir set at the end of the world. Buck Ryan can't get enough of Sarah, but she's had more than enough of her husband. To win the girl for good, all Ryan has to do is kill the man, steal his money and survive the zombie apocalypse on the
Paperback, 230 pages
Published April 11th 2014 by JournalStone (first published April 8th 2014)
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4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  56 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Bark (2 Dumb 2 Read Blurbs)
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This novel contains two novellas that are not connected in any way except for the fact that they both take place many years after a world changing event occurs.

First up is Harry Shannon’s Biters. Now I’m not going to lie, I had some problems with Biters. If you loved Biters you might not want to read my words.  Many people are forgiving sorts but I’m afraid I’m not.  So when the protagonist utters the following I find it hard to go on and/or to care about anything he does pretty much thereafter.
11811 (Eleven)
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to 11811 (Eleven) by: Brett Talley
Shelves: favorites
I received a free copy from Mr. Talley in exchange for an honest review. He's cool like that.

We have two books here by two different authors in one volume:

This was my first Shannon read and I've been looking forward to his stuff ever since I saw the cover art for Pain. I didn't find his story in this duet to be particularly ground-breaking but the writing was excellent. I'll go 3.5 stars for the story and 5 stars for the writing. I'll be checking him out again. His bibliography just invaded my t
Adam Light
First for me from both authors, and you better believe I will seek out more from them both.

Shannon's story was like Alfred Hitchcock meets The Walking Dead with a spash of Mad Max. A strange, but effective concotion. Perfect pace, great characters and twists that were predictable nut still fun to read.

Talley's story, at first reminded me of an Ed Lee novella I read a while ago ( a friend said the same, and even named it for me, but I have forgotten again) but then it grew into something more ori
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book from the Goodreads "first-reads" giveaway. This was the physical copy of Journalstone's double-down series, and the second that I have read from them.

Overall rating of 4.5 stars, rounded up.

This book consisted of two novellas; BITERS, by Harry Shannon, and THE REBORN, by Brett J. Talley.

I first read BITERS. In this tale, a plague overcomes the world, killing many, infecting the rest with the ravenous taste for other--non-infected--human flesh. I wasn't too sure on how
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent post-apocalyptic duet from the minds of Brett J Talley and Harry Shannon. Two separate novellas from two great authors in one volume. I read the kindle version, but need to pick up the paperback of this one because it is an old school flip book design, which is pretty freaking cool.


Buck Ryan and Dog take a road trip to hijack a van load of guns and Oxy in order to buy back their freedom and a former stripper named Sarah. Unfortunately, the road happens to be overrun with Bite
Carl Alves
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Reborn is a mesmerizing post-apocalyptic story that captivated me from the start and continues to linger well after I’ve read it. The premise of this story is that through the use of a specific strand of DNA, it has been scientifically proven that reincarnation occurs. Although this seems like it would be a good thing, this causes all hell to break loose. It starts with prisoners being released en masse, society being destroyed, and a person in China who claims to be Genghis Khan reborn who ...more
Frank Errington
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of post-apocalyptic horror
Review copy

This is the fourth entry into the successful doubledown series of books from Journalstone Publishing. The idea is to combine the work of an established writer with a relative newcomer in a single volume. This time it's life after the apocalypse.

FIrst up is Biters from Harry Shannon who knows a thing or two about zombies. His series featuring Sheriff Penny Miller, The Hungry, co-written with Stephen W. Booth, just released its fifth book, All Hell Breaks Loose, and there are more on t
Douglas Wynne
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read Harry Shannon's Biters yet. As a Brett Talley fan, I jumped right into The Reborn, a story I'd been eagerly anticipating, and I was not disappointed. This may be Talley's best effort yet. It definitely breaks new ground for him and raises the bar from the elegant, yet subdued horror of That Which Should Not Be (a tough act to top) to the intensity of a white-knuckle thriller.

The Reborn weaves a seamless tapestry of post-apocalyptic sci-fi, horror, and crime thriller that somehow s
Rob Slaven
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As usual I received this book for free in exchange for a review; this time from a LibraryThing giveaway. Despite that kind consideration I give my scrupulously honest opinions below.

To start, I must admit that when I received this book in the mail I was immediately skeptical. I know it's a mortal sin to judge a book by its cover but this one looks rather low-quality and self-published. My doubts deepened as I read 'Biters' and found that the first 10 pages are littered with profound editorial bl
Graeme Reynolds
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*I received a copy of The Reborn from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not read Biters*

The Reborn by Brett Talley
I am a huge fan of Brett Talley’s previous novels, That Which Should Not Be and The Void, so was eager to get stuck into his latest tale, The Reborn.

In the early 21st Century, science manages to prove that reincarnation is a reality, and that criminals in a previous existence seem to be destined to repeat their atrocities in their new life. As a result, the United
William Holloway
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Talley has brought us a world recovering from nuclear war and an America ruled by an allegedly benign technocracy. This elite has a means of determining in utero if a person is "Reborn," a kind of genetically determined reincarnation of a dangerous, evil sociopath. To this end specialized police hunt down the mothers and terminate the pregnancy on the spot.
One would have to be blind to miss the politically charged soup that Mr. Talley has jumped into here, but one would have to be illiterate
Christopher Payne
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Double Down series continues with two novellas that explore very different post-apocalyptic worlds.

Harry Shannon's Biters is classic noir set at the end of the world. Buck Ryan can't get enough of Sarah, but she's had more than enough of her husband. To win the girl for good, all Ryan has to do is kill the man, steal his money and survive the zombie apocalypse on the way back. Piece of cake.

Marcus Ryder ended the Great War with one shot in Brett J. Talley’s The Reborn. He comes home to a bra
Xavier Price
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

So I am sure this is not a new thing, but I’ve never seen two books in one cover before, and I really like the idea. Biters and The Reborn offer two post-apocalyptic stories that could not be more different. In fact, they only have one thing in common—they are both wild, enjoyable rides.

Since Biters was first, I’ll start with that. I’ve always been a fan of noir, and one of the best recent trends has been its return. By taking
The following is based on an eARC from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Biters/The Reborn is the first of the DoubleDown series of books from Journalstone publishing that I've read, and it's very safe to say, it won't be the last.

Both novellas included here are quality stories linked only by the theme of life after two very different versions of the apocalypse. In Harry Shannon's Biters, slowly evolving zombies have all but over-run the world, leaving only a few pockets of hu
Anastasia Emel
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book free in exchange for a fair and honest review.


The plot is rather slow at first. I mean, while reading the first two chapters I kept wondering : “Ok, what is going on where are the zombies already? “(not that I am a great fan of them) But as the story continued and I began to get to know the main character, Buck, I realized that behind this cruel and somewhat rough exterior is a tender man wanting to love and be loved. Fortunately, the zombies, apart from the gruesome d
Icy Sedgwick
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Post-apocalyptic stories can be a little hit-and-miss, particularly when they involve well-used tropes, but thankfully this double novella works incredibly well. Biters, by Harry Shannon, brings us a post apocalypse ravaged by disease. While never saying as much, the Biters of the title are clearly zombies, with their victims rising to join the horde. Women, medicine and other supplies are traded in this noir-tinged hell, and the story follows Buck Ryan, a drifter who wants to save a former girl ...more
William Bitner Jr.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading “Biters/The Reborn: JournalStone’s Double Down Series Book IV by Harry Shannon & Brett J. Talley. First let me say that I won this print copy on This is my first read by both of these authors and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to get to know a little of their work in this two novellas in one layout edition. I first read “Biters” by Harry Shannon, which was a great zombie apocalypse dystopian type of a read and was great fun and not your run of the mill ...more
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
This book is actually 2 separate short stories; the first being shorter than the second.

I don't usually read books by men, mostly women authors. There is definitely a difference.

Biters- This was what people would call gritty & raw. Men being crass men, crass dialogue & actions. Of course, this was a zombie- end-of-the-world story, so people aren't on tgeir best behavior. However, zombies were mostly a side dish, not the main course. It was an ok story. Didn't feel like it went anywhere.
T.R. Horne
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this double novella! Biters was a novel about a man surviving in a zombie-laden outback who strikes a deal with an old love that is tough as nails. There was a lot of predictability in this novella but I enjoyed the story nonetheless. My favorite character was Dog by far. Sometimes not being able to speak allows you to see real character. The second novella, The Reborn, was action packed from beginning to end. The story had a great flow and felt like it was a full length novel w ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book; I particularly enjoyed The Reborn by Brett Talley. Post-apocalyptic fiction can be hit-or-miss, and I tend to really like it only when it departs from the allegorical and instead focuses on both a unique premise and memorable, three-dimensional characters. The Reborn hit both elements fantastically. The story was compelling (and truly frightening in parts), and I was fascinated by the principal characters. I was kept constantly guessing about their motivations. Congrats to ...more
Joe Shonkwiler
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Reborn

I have not had a chance to read Harry Shannon's novella yet, but I have had the opportunity to read Brett Talley's The Reborn.

I enjoyed the story immensely and was hooked from the first few pages. Talley deftly shifts time periods/perspectives throughout the story. He creates a product that is particularly thought provoking for the reader, but also full of heart-pounding suspense and action sequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Reborn and enthusiastically recommend it.

Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, autographed
Journalstone's Double Down Series is a bit of a throw-back to the Ace Doubles of the 50s. They were small paperbacks that featured two novels in each book. You would simply read the first tale, then turn the book around and upside down to read the other novel.They were noticeable for featuring both established science fiction and fantasy authors and introducing newer talents. The only thing wrong with the old Ace books is that they were cheaply made and fell apart easily which is why you rarely ...more
Cathy Geha
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Both of the stories in this Storm Journal double down are worth reading. They are thought provoking well written stories of “What If”…

Biters by Harry Shannon

Harry Shannon has written a gritty tale of what might happen in the USA if a virus caused major upheaval and an end of the world scenario. Buck Ryan is a survivor and has seen much. He has seen and done much to survive and has hope that this time he might make a good score, take the woman he remembers from his past with him and set up life s
Crystal Hutchinson
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed these two tales and read them in an evening. Biters breathes an old wild west environment with the classic woman jerks around a man storyline. There is revenge and the recurring theme of "kill it or let it go free". It reminds me of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" novel.
I believe both stories are Young adult and adult friendly. I believe males are a better intended audiance, but I enjoyed it as a female.
The second story was about eliminating babies with a bad strain of DNA, a
Erin Dunn
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Just won this in the good reads giveaway, I can't wait it read it!

Update- As I stated earlier, I won this book on the goodreads giveaways.

This is the first I've read from both authors. I liked both stories, but I do have to say I enjoyed The Reborn more. Biters was a good short story, but I can't say it left a big impression on me or that I will recall that much about it as time goes on. The Reborn I thought started with a very interesting concept and it turned out to be a very original, enter
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brett Talley continues to impress. "The Reborn" is an engaging, fast-paced tale set in post-apocalyptic America. Science and technology seem to hold the key to a peaceful, crime-free society, but all is not necessarily as it seems, as the lines blur between right and wrong, good and evil, power and justice. The novel manages to be thought-provoking and action-packed at the same time, and is a thoroughly entertaining read.

(I have not read "Biters" yet, but will update this review when I do.)
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed reading both these novella length stories combined together as one book by authors Harry Shannon, (Biters) and Brett J. Talley,(The Reborn). both stories are unique in their own ways, and have interesting, likeable characters and situations. Five stars and worth my time reading it.
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, horror
Review to come.
Haven Gordon
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I won this from a goodreads giveaway and I absolutely loved it.
Daniel Barnett
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

As an additional disclaimer, I'll say that I did not read Biters. I've run pretty much dry on interest for zombie novels, and I did not think it would be fair to read and critique the story for that reason.

The Reborn, however, is a solid story that is both crisply written and unique. Talley does a great job of building his post-apocalyptic world, revealing just enough along the way to entice the reader. I was left wanting in some regards--T
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Harry Shannon has been an actor, a singer, an Emmy-nominated songwriter, a recording artist in Europe, a music publisher, a film studio executive and worked as a free-lance Music Supervisor on films such as “Basic Instinct” and “Universal Soldier.” He is author of the horror novels “Night of the Beast” and “Night of the Werewolf” in addition to “Daemon” (formerly