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The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol. 2: Empire Decayed

(The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  260 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Published 2016
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  260 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Start your review of The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol. 2: Empire Decayed (The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, #1)
Shaun Hutchinson
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How do I even rate a book like this? Like all of Daniel Kraus's books, it was visceral and disturbing, but also weirdly beautiful. It's the kind of book that challenges what a young adult book can be.

The most disturbing part for me was (view spoiler)

Zebulon Finch is like the anti-Forrest Gump. And the ending was profoundly odd and will require additional readings to digest
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Okay, this is my first Goodreads review, and I don't really know what I'm doing, but I need to write about this book. This book (and the duo as a whole) is beautiful and horrifying and gruesome and sweet. In other words, a literary masterpiece. Having just finished it five minutes ago, I'm still reeling. My thoughts may be a bit scattered.

This book was not my favorite book, but it struck something within me. I have never come off from reading a book feeling the same way I do now. I can't quite
Munro's Kids
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I described the first Zebulon Finch book as "Eighteen separate layers of awesome drizzled with a liberal helping of amazing." The second and final book of the series receives almost equal praise. Although I would only grant this book sixteen layers of awesome, that is still a significant portion of awesome, and well above the daily-recommended amount.

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch continues to be one of the best young adult series that I have ever read. With a writing style reminiscent of
Weve all read this kind of review the one that hyperbolizes, fanboys, laments how there are no words for how the book made them feel or to accurately describe its quality.
But those books, as fantastic as they may be, feel utterly common when placed next to Empire Decayed. To witness this achievement, began in book 1, is nothing short of miraculous. Even the word sublime does little to convey its effectiveness. Is there a word that means the same, but indicates a darker connotation, a
Samantha Carter
This book made me feel a lot of feelings. Just like the first volume, it's very slow and full of climaxes and falling actions. But this volume felt so much more real. Zebulon is achingly human. It almost hurts to read, but that's how every human is. He messes up, panics, and tries to fix what he's done. He did a lot more crazy stuff in this book compared to the last one, but he is so much more mature in this book. You can tell that his true age is finally catching up to him, even if he doesn't ...more
Stacey Kondla
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book rocked my world as much as the first one did and now I'm actually kind of in mourning.
This book is graphic and gritty and will probably offend and horrify and I loved every glorious moment of it! Zebulon Finch is completely epic and a beautiful tribute to life. Live your life, live with fear and live your life well as it is short and not at all guaranteed.
I would highly recommend this duology to anyone who has loved Anne Rice's vampires or Mayfair Witches.
Beautiful work, Daniel Kraus!
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Was totally on board with these books until after the 1960's Mercury stuff. Then JESUS did it go downhill. He did not know how to end this damn book. It got weird, it was unnecessary, and I read two giant volumes of a book with the most bullshit ending ever. Very unhappy I spent so much time on these. Do yourself a favor and skip them.
Nina Marceny
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Empire Decayed is a wonderful end to the tour de force that is the Zebulon Finch series. The book follows the title character, Zebulon Finch, who is an animated corpse with dry wit and a criminal streak, as he travels through the 20th century in the USA. In small character-centric stories based on time period, the reader sees not only the history of the United States and its changes, but the changes in Zebulon himself and his developing worldview. The story, along with its narrator, often ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall it was a very good book, but I could've done without the final chapter (especially as I listened to this as an audiobook, which did this chapter no favors, despite being narrated by the wonderful Kirby Heyborne).

As for the rating, I'm a little torn but decided to "round up", because it was, by and large, a very good story, even though it didn't quite live up to its predecessor, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol. 1: At the Edge of Empire.

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol.
See the full version of this review and others at Odds & Ends

Empire Decayed is the kind of book that exposes fundamental truths about humanity and forever shifts your perspective of the world, the kind of book that you can never forget because it imprints itself on you and your thoughts. Its the kind of book you wish everyone would read because of how incredibly brilliant it is but also because of how important it is.

Its by no means an easy read. Empire Decayed is heavy, intense and complex.
Sharp Queener
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Life and Death of Zebulon Finch is undoubtedly one of the most amazing works of fiction I have read. The entire book is filled is fantastic prose, based on Zebulon's 19th century upper class childhood, and every character feels fully fleshed out. Zebulon as a character also has serious development, with his mind figuratively aging in his ageless death. I felt that the second volume has an entirely different feel than the first, as while that one was the rise of an empire, this one is the ...more
Cameron Russell
Stunning. Won't be getting over this one for a while.

(view spoiler)

I enjoyed Volume One more, but there were definitely tableaus in this volume that I really, really enjoyed, particularly suburbia and, later, the Savages.

I still don't think this book is for teens despite Zebulon's perpetual youth. The themes (and horror) are quite adult even if Zebulon himself displays juvenile behavior.

If you don't mind being in for a long haul and covering a wide-range of time periods and tone shifts, this book
darryl earnshaw
Nov 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A Boring Imitation of Forrest Gump.

I liked the first book in this series. I thought the ideas were fresh. When this sequel was released I downloaded it right away. It started off promising but then it became depressing and boring. It seemed to me each time period Finch loved through was just a rehash of the previous. I skipped thru the last half of the book a lot. When I got to the end I WAS depressed. I expected more. I got less.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said by other reviewers? Keeping this as spoiler-free as possible, btw!

1.) Kirby Heyborne has done an impeccably great job of reading both the first and the second volume of Zebulon Finch (which is no easy feat, given the sheer number of pages in the physical copies, and the expansive list of different characters to bring to life).

2.) It's been awhile since I've felt so conflicted at the end of a novel. It's also been awhile since I've
biblio_mom (Aiza)
Horrifying but sweet, gruesome but beautiful story of Zebulon Aaaron Finch, a rich 17 years old teenager raised perfectly fine by his mother but chosen a different path of life because in my opinion, hes just plain ignorant. But he sure did learnt his lessons after he was shot down by the shore of Lake Michigan, got mysteriously resurrected to live the rest of his life as a corpse.

He does not eat & drink, does not sleep, bleed & breath, but he have feelings. He stays 17 years old though
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Epic. This story in its entirety was epic.

Private prefer not to
Joe gray
Zebulon X
Mother father savage
Frank Zip

Did I forget one?

I have chills man.

Honestly, I don't even know where to begin.
Let's begin at the end.
"CURTAIN CALL" This answered a very pivotal question I had during the 1st chapter of the 1st volume.
It also leaves me with so much peace for him.

Also the visual images of him walking around being full of life but being completely dead and decaying and everything. had me squirming in my
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"She chose to keep living, and that stubbornness, I would like to think, is a Finch family trait. In her honour, as well as the honour of those I've known who were never given the choice, I shall do the same. I shall persist. I shall persist and repent."

I enjoyed this one but not nearly as much as the first. I really struggled with the first part of the book mostly because the mission Zebulon was given was clearly going to fail given that his mission contradicted quite a large event in the
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Iris Alvino
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
😭😭😭 I loved this duology. Zebulon Finch was the type of character that you start off liking because of his brutal honesty and refusal of anything normal. He quickly becomes a hero in his own right and following him throughout his death is heartbreakingly beautiful and eye opening. The ending is epic and those words will mean so much to me from here on out. I will recommend these books to everyone.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is one of those books that is exhausting to read but well worth it. Zebulons character development is great and I loved the aesthetic of this series. I am also a huge fan of the ending; its so unique and really thought provoking. I love when authors take risks like that. I am also a big fan of the writing style and how eloquent it is. ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"What you do with your time alive defines you..but hear me..when I say that you are *not done being defined*.Go out; break things. Go further; repair them. Break hundreds of hearts..Discover awe in a tangle of weeds; find delight in the pattern of a roll of mass-produced paper towels; live, Reader, live; live as hard as I died, and only then I will be happy."
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had been reading this book for nearly a year and I don't regret one second of it! Volume II is as dense and full of detail as the first one. I held my breath, laughed out loud, gasped, and felt a whole range of emotions while reading. The ending was unpredictable, cryptic, and intriguing. A fitting end to such a long, suspenseful story. I only wish there was more to learn!
2.5 maybe? I feel like 3 stars is generous.
Like the first volume, this volume once again is a struggle to get through. Things are long winded and tedious, and I had to force myself to keep reading so I could finally, FINALLY, finish.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Oh wow, that ending was painful to listen to. Do yourself a favour and read the physical or switch over to a paper copy for the last chapter. Whatever you do, don't listen to the audiobook for the last chapter of this.
Cook Memorial Public Library
A 2016 staff favorite recommended by Mark.

Check our catalog:
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book was as good as the first.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Can I give less than 1 star? What a weird ending too.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow there has never been a book like this one.
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DANIEL KRAUS is a New York Times bestselling author. With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored THE SHAPE OF WATER, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored TROLLHUNTERS, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Krauss THE DEATH & LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH was named one of Entertainment Weeklys Top 10 Books of the Year, ...more

Other books in the series

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch (2 books)
  • The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol. 1: At the Edge of Empire

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