Book Review: Kick at the Darkness (Kick at the Darkness Book 1) by Keira Andrews [Audiobook]

Parker, college freshman, is getting coffee one night when he finds himself in the middle of a zombie outbreak, being rescued by Adam, the annoying TA who gave him a C+ on his last assignment. With no family of his own, Adam agrees to cross the country with Parker to find his parents, and the two quickly grow closer, though it might complicate things when Parker finds out Adam is a werewolf.

Book Cover - Kick at the Darkness by Keira Andrews
Title: Kick at the Darkness
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 274
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads // Amazon


I’ve read this book twice and am rewriting my review because I think my first time the audiobook just didn’t work for me.

This book caught my eye because it’s a fun mix of genres that go really well together. I like paranormal beings. I like character-focused zombie apocalypse stories. I like romance. So what’s better than enjoying these separately? Enjoying them all together in one book!

Also, individually, this was zombies the way I like them, and werewolves the way I like them. The zombies were formiddable and scary and present enough in the story to be a threat, but the story didn’t focus on them more than necessary. It wasn’t just about zombie killing. And the werewolves in this world can shift into manbeasts or full wolf. I like the manbeast kinda werewolf.

There was a lot of sex, especially considering it’s a fairly short book, but it didn’t stop me from feeling the romance. Which might seem like a weird thing to say. But, for me, too much focus on sex and not enough focus on non-sex bonding can be an issue. In fact, it was an issue the first time I read this. But, either because I tried a different format or because it was a reread, I could feel the feelings between them this time. I believed their feelings. Especially with the adrenaline-filled, high-stress situation, spending so much time together, relying on each other (and obviously attracted to each other). It was a low-angst kind of romance, their banter was cute and made me chuckle sometimes, and there was some sweet hurt/comfort.

(Anyway, having read the rest of the series, I can tell you that I found the characters and relationships got a lot more developed, and I ended up loving them!)

I listened to the audiobook narration by Tristan James the first time, and although I think he’d be a good narrator for some books, he just didn’t have enough emotion and performance for this series for me (e.g. characters pretty much spoke and sounded the same whether they were running for their lives, miserably sick, having sex, whispering confessions to each other in the dark, etc.), and I had a hard time telling characters apart. So if you like audiobooks that are more of a performance, maybe not for you, but if you just want the story read aloud, you might love it.

Overall, the first time, this didn’t leave a huge impression on me, but it might’ve just been the format. I felt more emotion and connection to the characters the second time. And both times, I enjoyed the combo of sweet romance, werewolves, and zombie apocalypse!

*Rating: 3.5 Stars // Read Date: 2020 // Format: Audiobook*
*Rating: 4 Stars // Read Date: 2024 // Format: Ebook via TTS*


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  1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Gah, stupid audiobook lessening your enjoyment of this one. I’ve definitely found narrators impact a lot with audiobook enjoyment, but the fact you struggled to distinguish between characters is not good. I can put up with bland narration but only if they at least put enough effort to make it easy to follow what’s happening. It does sound like an interesting read, who doesn’t like werewolves and zombies?

    1. Kristen Burns

      They definitely do impact enjoyment. I feel like a lot of authors and publishers don’t understand that and think they can just hire the cheapest narrator as long as their book is read aloud. But yeah, the werewolf and zombie combo is fun!