This week I'll be reviewing the book Odium by Claire C. Riley.
Genre: Zombies,Post Apocalyptic, Horror
Publisher: Breakwater Harbor Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2013
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.
First off, my biggest issue with the story is Nina. She starts off actually quite likable when she steps in to save Emily-Rose from a fate worse than death. However, that quickly changes when the pair head out into the Undead wasteland. Her personality changes from strong willed survivor to whiny bitch in the blink of an eye. As the book progressed I realized I didn't like her very much at all. She didn't listen, she whined about everything, she was judgmental, rude and to top it off didn't care to learn anything to better her situation. Sure, she always cared for Emily-Rose and that at least was a redeeming characteristic but it wasn't enough to keep me from wishing she'd end up Zombie chow.
Secondly, I didn't like how The Forgotten were portrayed. I get it they were the big bad of the story who shows up at the most convenient times to reek havoc on the characters lives. All stories need a villain and The Forgotten played the role nicely. I just personally wasn't convinced they were as bad as the other survivors kept saying. At least not compared to Lee whom Nina is constantly referencing as this evil tyrant who took pleasure in torturing the citizens behind the wall.
Lastly, I was severely disappointed how under prepared everyone was handling life outside amongst the dead. Nina and Emily-Rose have at least somewhat of an excuse but Britta, Mikey, JD etc... have none such since they've been living out amongst the dead since it all began. You'd think they'd be hardened pros at planning escape routes and keeping bug out bags stored in various locations just on the off chance they were overrun. One good meal and they all drop their guard, keep the vehicles out of reach and forget to carry weapons with them as well. It was just so bloody convenient that they'd be run off with nothing. Once I could forgive but twice is just plain sloppy.
Now despite all my misgivings mentioned above, Odium was still a good Zombie story. It was brilliant for the characters to convert a Wilderness Survival Course into a sanctuary from the Undead, I loved that! I also loved how Steve kept his chickens safe in the hatch of the RV it was a smart idea and a great way to transport them as well. Lastly, I liked that the Zombies were actually putrefying as a dead body should. Sure the Zombies were still scary but also it was nice to see that they weren't "Immortal". Just wait long enough and they'd eventually re-die off.
While Odium is far from perfect, I still really enjoyed the book and am glad that I read it. Despite my lack of love for Nina I'm looking forward to seeing what the next book brings. Who knows maybe she'll have some growth between this book and the next even. I'd recommend checking this one out if your looking for a new Zombie book to read. With that being said, I'll be rating Odium by Claire C. Riley ★★★.
*Copy reviewed provided by Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.
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Out of curiosity, Have you heard of Odium?
If so, Do you plan of reading it?
What would your Zombie weapon of choice be?
Leave me your answers in the comments below or feel free to tweet me them @Hermyoni
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