I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Odium #1
on September 2013
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Horror, zombies
Source: the author
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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.
The book opens after the end of the world. Zombies have taken over and life as we know it is gone. Nina is living behind the walls of a protected city, but not for long. She’s tired of living under her oppressors and, as she watches them evict a young girl from the city, she decides that she has had enough of hand-to-mouth survival, being ruled by bullies. She steps up and follows the girl, Emily, beyond the walls into the unknown beyond.
I love that the story starts well after the beginning of the end. Finding food, transportation and supplies is not so easy as walking into the local Walmart. Looting and pillaging has long since passed, and now finding even a single can of food is lucky. Nina has been sheltered from the chaos outside for so long that she isn’t prepared to survive, and I appreciated that she struggles in every aspect. I was a little sad that I didn’t hear the whole story about what life was like within the walled city, but I’m hoping that I might get another glimpse with Odium: Origins.
Claire’s writing is fully infused with personality! Nina has so much sass, you won’t know what hit you! One thing: her sass comes with a language warning. We’re talking a grand total of 152 F-bombs, and 129 Shits. I promise they’re all in appropriate context (I mean, who wouldn’t swear a little when being chased by an undead horde?! Am I right?), but if you don’t think you can handle it, then this might not be the book for you. The book is also full of colorful analogies. I can’t get enough of them!
I had a mother who was a drunk and a father who brought more trouble to our front door than old ladies to a bake sale…
They head straight for us with long, hungry growls, as if mamma didn’t give them their last meal before bedtime.
It lets out a throaty groan, like I’ve just given it a sensual back massage and not tried to lop its head off like I was She-Ra.
She continues doing the same thing along the full length of the wound until Britta’s skin is sewed up like a prize pig at a slaughterhouse.
And did I mention GORE!?!? There is so much brackish blood and violence, and it fulfills that deep-seated primordial darkness that lives inside all of us. I have already dug into the sequel, and I know I will be harassing Claire constantly for the third installment. Write faster! This book won’t be for everyone, but for zombie lovers it won’t fail to impress.