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  • gilwilson 7:21 PM on July 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , audio theatre, full cast, jail, kc wayland, prison, , ,   

    We’re Alive: Lockdown – A Story of Survival, Book 5 By Kc Wayland 

    32730845We’re Alive: Lockdown
    By Kc Wayland
    Narrated by: full cast
    Series: We’re Alive: A Story of Survival, Book 5
    Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
    Release date: 10-18-16
    Publisher: Wayland Production

    I love audio theatre. The whole We’re Alive series is some of the best audio theatre you’ll find today.  With great writing, nice acting and cool sound effects KC Wayland knows how to put it all together to bring this story to life.

    This series started out as a regularly produced podcast, there are 4 seasons of it released.  I’ve listened to all the series and have been waiting for more since the last season ended in 2014.  Wayland did a crowdfunding campaign to create this latest edition of the series.

    We’re Alive is a survival story about how to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.  I know, I’m kinda getting tired of zombies also, but I have to tell you this is one worth absorbing yourself into.  I used to think no one could top the George Romero movies, the Robert Kirkman created the “Walking Dead” comic book series and I was sucked in again, when it was launched as a TV series I was hooked before it aired.  So now we have 2 kings of the zombies.   Well KC Wayland comes on to the scene and has his own twist to the Zombie Apocalypse and backed by superior cast he becomes the third in my triple crown of zombie writers.

    The audio production quality is top notch.  Not only are the actors superior, but the sound effects will have you boarding up your doors and stocking up ammo, hopefully not in that order.  This is high quality audio theatre that everyone should put on their shelf.

    Publisher’s Summary
    “Life on the inside” takes on a whole new meaning. A riot has broken out at Twin Towers Jail. Simeon, five of his fellow inmates, and the prison guards assigned to them have found themselves trapped in the inescapable confines of T-block during the lockdown. Boundaries of trust are pushed to the limit, as the survivors must learn to work together if they have any hope of escaping the horde of infected and the deadly secret that lies within Twin Tower’s walls.

    We’re Alive: Lockdown serves as both a standalone and continuation of the We’re Alive: A Story of Survival series. It answers questions, asks new ones, and keeps the listener guessing right up until the bitter end.

    What is “audio theater for the mind?” Think of it as a type of show that you can play in your head, guided by the narrative but carried by your imagination. Unlike film or television, an audio drama has the power to strike a deeper emotional connection with the audience.

    ©2016 Wayland Productions (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

  • gilwilson 11:25 PM on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , kc wayland, , , , ,   

    “WE’RE ALIVE: SEASON 2” Written by Kc Wayland 

    Written by Kc Wayland
    created by Shane Salk and Kc Wayland
    Multi-cast performance
    Published by Blackstone Audio
    Approx 14 hours

    Wow, I couldn’t wait to get to the next season of “We’re Alive,” and this second season is just as good as the first, maybe better.  First of all let me recap a little.

    “We’re Alive” is a podcast audio drama about a zombie apocalypse.  The story was written by Kc Wayland who took a hiatus from his film studies at Chapman University, to enlist in the US Army shortly after 9/11.  While in the Army he trained as a broadcast specialist.  Shortly after training he returned to Chapman to continue his education but halfway through the first semester back he was deployed to Iraq.  He did manage to make it back from the deployment and finish his education.  I mention this because, in the series “We’re Alive, three of the main characters are active duty military and a fourth is an old marine.  Wayland is able to create actions and dialog for these characters with such realism, that you know he’s pulling from his experiences in Iraq.

    The main idea behind “We’re Alive” is that something has created zombies and the survivors must fight some way every day for their survival.  The three active duty soldiers realize that in order to survive they must create a base.  The officer in the group has a girlfriend who lives in a 14 story apartment building and they decide that is the place to make as a safe zone, or rather a base.  In season one survivors come to the “tower” and set up residence in the apartments that are now empty thanks to whatever has turned the people into the walking dead.  Also in Season one the survivors in the tower learn that they not only have to survive a world of flesh eating zombies, but also other humans.  A prison which held some of the most dangerous criminals has been opened and the inmates avoid being turned and take over a mall and set up their base there.  When the tower survivors need fuel for their generators, they go to an old pumping station and take a tanker filled with diesel.  The “mallers” as they become to be know, consider the pumping station theirs and soon a war between the two sets of survivors is waged.

    At the end of season one the tower survivors have managed to fight off the mallers but their tower is on fire and the zombies are trying to get in.  That’s where we begin in Season 2 of “We’re Alive.

    After a lot of work and sacrificing their water supply the tower survivors manage to save the building.  Soon some of the survivors come to the conclusion that the tower is no longer safe.  Some want to stay and fortify but some want to leave, but to leave some things need to happen.  First medical experts are needed.   Two of the soldiers are injured, one, Saul, has a bullet wound that because of only having the most basic of supplies available is not healing well.  Same goes for the other soldier whose broken arm is not healing.  Now the group is run by Burt, the old marine and while he keeps the group together he does it only barely.  One group heads out to find a medical expert, and other go out to find food, water and ammunition.

    The group heading for medical experts is led by Michael, the soldier with the broken arm and former leader of the survivors.  Michael and his group discover that there are different types of zombies and encounter a couple different types.

    On this I have to speak about this concept of different types of zombies.  There is a video game that is hugely popular called “Left 4 Dead,” in which a group of survivors perform missions and have to fight the various types of zombies.  It’s interesting to note that some of the types encountered in that game closely resemble the types mentioned in this story.  I am by no means saying this is a negative thing, in fact, quite the opposite.  This adds a whole new layer in the story possibilities and that is what makes the game popular.  It was just nice that I could relate the two and almost picture them in the same alternate world.  Basically the battle plans have to change when you know the enemy is not just a mindless brain-eater, but rather, they each have different strengths and weaknesses, keeping the story more than interesting.

    Back to the story, Michael and his group discover a rescue center turned into a survivor camp where they have it all going on and it looks like it is to good to be true, and, spoiler alert, it is.  This group has a doctor and Michael will do anything to get help to his friends back at the tower.

    Another side mission is that a couple of the survivors are pilots and soon the search for helicopters begin so they can evacuate the tower and find a safer place, but not before the Mallers threaten again.

    “We’re Alive: Season 2” carries on with the superb audio production.  The sound effects are so real that there were times when driving in Hummers I felt my little compact car was a Hummer and I wanted to go off-road while listening on my commute to and from work.  The acting is superb as well as the dialog.  The dialog is very real, and very engaging.  If you are looking for an audio adventure, go on this one.  If you are a zombie fan make sure you don’t overlook this audio performance.

  • gilwilson 10:06 PM on January 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , kc wayland, , , , zombie podcast,   

    “We’re Alive: A Story of Survival” (The First Season) Written by Kc Wayland 

    “We’re Alive: A Story of Survival” (The First Season)
    Written by Kc Wayland
    Multi-cast audio drama
    Produced by  Modern Myth Productions, LLC
    Published by Blackstone Audio, Inc (2011)
    Approx. 10.5 hours

    If you are a regular reader of my postings then you already know I’m a huge fan of all things zombie.  What attracts me the most to any zombie story is not necessarily the gore and horror of the zombies but rather the stories of the post-apocalyptic survivors.   I guess really you could say I’m a fan of post-apocalyptic tales, but throw in some zombies and the horror of a body rotting but still living and possibly wanting to eat your brain, and you’ve got some fun.  I think that’s what I liked most about this story is that it focuses mainly on the survival of a few people and what they do to survive.  Sure the author adds his own twists to the flesh eating undead, but the main focus of this audio drama is the survival and relationships of people after the world is nearly wiped out.

    This story was originally released as a podcast and when I found out (sometime last summer) they had already started podcasting the second season.  I knew I wasn’t going to start in the middle so I downloaded the entire season to my iPod.  Well here’s where my frustration came in.  I don’t know if it is something that is eluding me or what, but I cannot, for the life (or undead) of me get my iPod to play podcasts in order from start to finish, instead it wants to play the newest release first.  So what ends up happening is something like chapter 8 first then chapter 7  and playing in reverse order.  I could play each chapter one at a time but when listening I usually don’t have my hands free to constantly click the iPod.  So after listening to the first chapter of the Podcast, I was annoyed so much I deleted the entire 2 seasons from my iPod.  I was mad about this because judging from the first chapter the series was going to be phenomenal.    Then just around last Thanksgiving I found out that Blackstone audio was releasing this series in an audiobook format.  I shouted for joy, and could finally listen to the rest of the story.

    I wish I didn’t have to wait, but I will say the wait was worth it, for several reasons.  First off the production value of this audio drama is through the roof.  While this story could be listened to through a car stereo, headphones, a small set of speakers connected to whatever device or even a full blown stereo every detail can be heard.  I did listen through all of the mentioned devices not just to test this out but because I couldn’t stop listening and no matter where I was if I could hook up my iPod I did.   I’ll start off with the music;  the placement of the music between scenes and at the end of chapters is perfect.   All of the music perfectly reflects the mood of the moment.

    Now to talk about the sound effects.  There are numerous effects needed for this audio drama, first of all you’ve got gunshots, and the folks behind the production didn’t use simple gunshot sounds, rather they went all out.  Each character that uses guns, use different guns, you’ve got Burt with his gun “Shirley” which the character Saul calls his hand cannon, and each time Burt fires that gun you know it’s his gun.  The army guys in the story use a variety of weapons from 9mm hand guns to m-16s and more and each shot sounds like the guns should sound, there are several other weapons used and even the shotgun sounds like a shotgun.  I’m sure that Kc Wayland’s military experience was what made this production use this attention to detail in the drama.  Another aspect are the zombies, there seem to be different types of zombies (I’ll talk more on this later in this review) and each one makes a specific sound and the production quality stays on that same attention to detail when discriminating between each type.  Finally the vehicles used even have their realistic sounds.  When they take a Prius for a drive, it sounds like a Prius.  But I have to say the most fun was when I was listening in my car in the beginning of the story and the three army soldiers are driving a hummer to get to safety, the sound was awesome, I felt I was riding in a hummer with them, it was that realistic.   Based on the sound effects alone this drama was a winner with me, but there’s more, oh so much more.

    Part of that “so much more” is the writing.  Kc Wayland knows how to not only tell a story but to tell a story with real people.  Every piece of dialogue or narration is completely realistic.  The characters are consistent.  One thing I’ve often complained about when watching any zombie movie or even sometimes in a zombie book, is that all of a sudden everyone becomes the expert marksman and is able to make the headshot or that all of a sudden everyone knows what created the zombies and knows how to combat the virus, curse or whatever.  This just makes the movie or book less interesting because it is less believable.  I know, I know, you’re saying, but how can zombies really be believable?   Well maybe they can’t but when a writer, like Wayland, can make the people and the situations believable, that whole zombie thing seems like it is a real occurrence.  That’s exactly what goes on here, everyone is fighting for survival, there are a very few that are expert marksmen, and even though the ones that are experts train the normal civilians, they don’t all become experts.   Not only that aspect but no one in this story (at least not in season one) have any idea of what happened other than dead are rising up and chomping down on the living, and they don’t waste their time with trying to figure out how, they are trying to live and keep living.

    As for the gist of the story, one morning while Army Reserve soldier Michael Cross is getting ready to take a test in his everyday normalcy of college life,  an explosion is felt in the distance, Michael leaves class, under threat that test retakes will not be offered, and finds that mobs are rioting and attacking.  Michael’s reserve unit is immediately called in to the base and he heads to the base to find out what is going on.  Upon arrival he meets up with Saul a former Mountaineering Division soldier and Angel a newbie Officer, they get into the armory to prepare for what looks like mere rioting and when the armory alarm goes off the mass of zombies which include their commanding officer attacks.  The escape in a humvee from the motorpool and decide to go to Angel’s girlfriend’s apartment building, first to check on her and second because the place would make a good securable base.

    On the way they find a couple of survivors and then upon arrival the building’s maintenance man is on scene and trying to get the power back on in the building while fighting off a few zombies.  After clearing out each floor of the 15 floor apartment building they arrive at the top floor to find the building’s owner, Bill, barricaded in and shooting at anything that moves, after not able to reason with him they leave him be.  One of the rescued survivors makes a sign that reads “We’re Alive,” and soon more survivors arrive.

    After setting up a small community they decide to send a party out for supplies, what they discover in the world outside is not too friendly.  Zombies storing the living for food and worse yet a group of survivors from a prison holed up in a mall ready to fight for turf.

    The survival story continues with day to day living and excursions out to try and find out what can be done about the zombies.   They soon find that the undead may not be the worst of their problems, when the “mallers” decide to invade the apartment building.

    This story is phenomenal and every aspect is done right, from the production to the writing, especially when some chapters are told from different survivors’ perspectives.  Get this audio drama now and get hooked.  I’m ready to start Season two now.

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