It's better to die by the gun than die by the dead.
Nina’s life was irrevocably changed when humanity’s dead began to rise.
Now, she lives behind the walls.
The barricaded cities, erected by the government to protect the remnants of civilization, have become a brutal dictatorship- causing the inhabitants within to starve, steal and claw for survival. Life behind the walls has become as terrifying as roaming the zombie-ridden landscape beyond.
Citizens trade what they can to gain food, water, and shelter. Nina has only one currency—her body and she is tired of submitting herself to the greedy hands of the self-proclaimed leaders.
An opportunity to escape presents itself in the fate of a young girl named Emily-Rose. For the price of a stale piece of bread, she is set for banishment from the city, and most likely a horrific death at the hands of the deaders. Nina tells herself that it is sympathy and not self-preservation that makes her follow the young girl out of the walled metropolis, and into the overgrown world beyond.
Unused to fighting the deaders, Nina tries to scrounge for her survival and against her better judgment, begins to care for Emily-Rose. However, when you have a bread-stealing liability providing your only back up, survival seems even tougher. Nina is forced to fight for their lives, and with every zombie slain, she becomes fiercer, faster – a grim reaper with her not-so-sharp butcher’s knife.
Along the path to a safe-haven that might not exist, Nina and Emily-Rose meet Mikey who introduces them to a new life they could not imagine, a life above the ground. However, this new world brings new dangers, and darker shadows than she knew.
Nina finds out that the deaders aren’t the only thing to fear beyond the wall.
And that fear will not be ignored, or Forgotten.
I have been a zombie fan for years now so it's no surprise I was extremely excited for the release of Odium by Claire C. Riley. I heard about the book via some horror writing friends online and I jumped on the chance to read the story. I'm glad to say I was not disappointed.
Odium is what I call a survival zombie book. It follows characters after the outbreak and gives flashbacks into the "event" itself but is mostly about survival after things go to hell in a hand-basket. This fast paced story takes place three or so years after the outbreak and builds a clear picture of the new post-apocalyptic world through Nina's eyes. YES! The main character is female! And unlike most zombie books, she is awesome. The best part? She isn't over the top awesome. I totally related to this character. I saw myself making some of the same decisions; and some of the same mistakes. I wondered if I would be like Nina or more like one of the other female characters. There are several to choose from. And unlike most survival zombie books, the female characters are strong, real, and not at all at the mercy of the men. (At least not all of the time.) And for this I have to give Ms. Riley huge props - she wrote into a zombie book exactly what I have complained about not having over and over. STRONG. FEMALE. CHARACTERS.
I loved this book but there were a few things that fell short for me. There were typos, enough to be distracting at times. And there were inconsistencies; not many but again, enough to be distracting. There was the one thing that rears its head in most post-apocalyptic books - the idea that humanity will devolve into a dog-eat-dog state and that most people will not look out for anyone but themselves. The idea that the horrible dregs of society will have the power is just hard for me to believe. I suppose it is one option but I would hope the ideal "do unto others" will win out. I was glad to see at least one character question the no-helping policy. Nina has a hard time swallowing it but she is almost always overruled and her internal dialogue explains the behavior away. It would have been nice to see a different option but I guess that would make a fairly boring story.
Overall, I'd give this book four stars. Score one for the girls!
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