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 #3
on March 23, 2015
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon
In the third instalment of the Odium series, having distanced herself from Mikey, Nina is on a mission. She’s seeking a woman who could be the answer to all their problems…or just another nightmare made reality.
Travelling alongside Nova, the two women are faced with countless threats and inexplicable circumstances…just another day in the land of the dead.
But Nina is changing, feeling the strain of this life, and beginning to rethink the choices she’s made and the woman she’s become. New allies will be forged on this road of self-discovery, bonds will be broken, and old enemies will resurface. Nina will be forced to make a decision that could have devastating consequences.
However life is nothing without someone to love, or a family to love you in return. And in this new world, there is only one way to prove that love is still possible. Sacrifice.
I just finished this book. Just now. I’m still raw and beaten down, and if Claire were here, I would have some choice words for her. This is where I will warn you, as no one had the heart to warn me: This is NOT the last book in the Odium series. For some reason, I thought this was a trilogy, so I had a certain idea in my head about where this book was headed. I was thoroughly confused when it went in the exact opposite direction. The further I got into the story, the more wary I became. Why isn’t Claire tying up all the loose threads? Why have my questions not been answered?! WHY is Nina doing that?! SOMEONE STOP HER!! *Sigh* Did I mention I had choice words? Anyway. That’s your warning.
The story started off a little slow, mostly because life kept getting in the way. Apparently a mother is not allowed more than three minutes of unbroken reading at one time. Huh. Anyway, it certainly puts a damper on the tense scenes that Claire is known for. Overall, the pace of the book was a little slower than I was anticipating, but it had a lot of really interesting introspection going on instead. Nina kept flirting with the idea of having hope, before having it dashed on the rocks yet again. This internal back and forth struggle she has going on is both fascinating and painful at the same time. You want her to be happy, to be wrapped up safe in Mikey’s arms, to have all her dreams come true… but at the same time you know that she has to be hard in order to survive. Nina needs to be protected by her sarcastic, bitter outer shell, and quite honestly, I would be sad to see it go!
One tiny detail really stuck with me while reading the first half of the book. Nina gets a cold. It’s such a simple thing, but so overlooked in zombie movies and books! How often does someone have to battle something so mundane, when the overall plot already has the characters running for their lives? I loved it! I can just imagine myself in that same situation. I would be sick ALL THE TIME, while fleeing through a winter rain, undernourished and overly stressed. How are ALL characters not sick ALL the time?!
At this point, I’m going to assume that you have all ready a book by Claire Riley. Yes? If you haven’t, you need to pick one up right this second. She has a very distinctive style, filled to the brim with personality and flair, with a touch of sarcastic bite. Odium III did not disappoint. There was dreadful foreshadowing right from page one (dum dum duuuuuum), and I just knew that my heart was about to get broken. Quick! Cut all ties! Maybe if I don’t love them, Claire won’t kill them! She is ruthless when it comes to sacrificing her characters, but I love how absolutely realistic that is. Just because everyone’s rooting for you, doesn’t mean you’re safe.
Claire, I love you. But I also really, really hate you. I’ll forgive you, though, if you can get Odium IV into my hands by September.
I reached the first one, side-stepping as it stretched its one bony arm for me. The other arm was barely a nub of bone left jutting out of its socket, yet it still moved. I managed to get behind it and I raised my katana high, slamming it through the back of the deader’s neck before it could turn around. The force of my blow knocked it to its knees but didn’t cut it all the way through, and I grunted as I struggled to wrench the katana free from the thick flesh and bone of its neck. I pressed down, begging the sword not to snap.
Finally the blade cut right through and the head fell from its shoulders with a resounding splat. The body slumped forward with a thud, and thick black gore that smelled like rotten eggs and three-day-old sewage pumped slowly from out of the hole in its neck. The mouth of the head continued to snap, and I slammed my sword through the side of its temple to end the deader’s eternal misery and then I moved on to the next one.
Nova was surrounded by two deaders and the ankle-biter, and I hurried across to help her. I jogged to her side, ignoring my own slow-moving deader, and I stabbed through the ankle-biter’s skull. Ankle-biters were scary, because you never freaking saw them coming. I had drawn the attention of Nova’s two deaders, but she stabbed one in the back of the skull before it could even take a step toward me, and the other followed swiftly afterwards.
I turned back to my one, sidestepping it and letting it follow me until its back was to Nova. She used both knives to hack either side of its neck in one swift movement, and the head popped up into the air like a jumping bean and landed on the ground with a small thud. It was still moving, jaws snapping away as it persistently tried to get to me, and I grimaced. It was possibly once a fairly attractive male. Cloudy blue eyes stared up at me hungrily, its teeth still relatively normal instead of broken and black. Even its skin, though pale and sallow, was still covering a full face, instead of having rotted away in parts, leaving us with a gory view of what lay underneath. I presumed this man had died from injuries other than the more standard facial bites, which were what usually got people killed.
Death brought on the zombie infection, not saliva or blood transference, and a chunk out of the face or neck was almost always a sure killer.
Nova’s boot made contact with the head and sent it flying through the air and into the fields to the left of us. Black blood trailed through the sky in an arc and she whooped and fist-pumped the air.
“Touchdown!” she yelled ridiculously. She raised her hand in an attempt to high five me.
“That’s not cool. You need to go find that head and end it.” I bent down and wiped my blade across the now headless deader’s body, cleaning it free of the gore.
“What? Why?” She bent down and cleaned her knives on a different deader’s back. “You’re just miserable. You’re always miserable, especially when you’re sick,” she huffed.
“You don’t know what I’m like when I’m sick.”
Nova rolled her eyes. “Well you’re sick now, and you’re a moody and miserable, so looks like I was right.”
“Whatever. You can’t leave a dangerous head out in the wild like that. What if someone is walking through here and doesn’t see it? What then? A dangerous head like that could kill someone.” I scowled and stood back up, releasing a hearty sneeze. “Go find the damn head.”
Nova stood back up, giving me a hard glare. “No, you go find the damn head if it’s so important to you.” She turned away and started looking through the pockets of another of the dead bodies at our feet, looking for anything useful. “No one would be stupid enough to walk through a field barefoot anyway. People wear shoes, Nina!” She pocketed several items, not bothering to show me what they were, which only pissed me off more, since we were supposed to be sharing everything.
“That’s a dangerous head, Nova. Go kill it.” I bent back down and started to fumble in my deader’s pockets, finding some gum and a lighter, plus a picture of a pretty woman. The picture did nothing to temper my growing anger. “Do they not deserve any goddamn respect?” I muttered to myself more than her. So I was surprised when Nova replied.
“No, no they don’t. I hate them all and they deserve to die a horrible death.”
My eyes snapped to hers. “You’re being a dick now.”
“Since when did you become a union leader for the Undead Society? These aren’t humans anymore,” she snarled.
Claire C Riley is a Bestselling British Horror Author, whose work includes: Odium The Dead Saga – book 1, 2 and 3, Limerence 1& 2 (The Obsession Series) Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella – book 1, 2 and coming soon 3, and several other full length novels including Thicker Than Blood co-authored with USA Today Best Selling author Madeline Sheehan.
She writes characters that are realistic and kills them without mercy.
Claire lives in the UK with her three young daughters, husband, and scruffy dog.
GR Link – http://bit.ly/17e6HWL
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