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Book Review – Odium

Let’s get this out of the way up front. This is a dystopian zombie horror story. It is not a shiny happy place filled with shiny happy people holding hands. See what I did there?

Odium is the story of a group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse. We don’t learn how the apocalypse happened, or even a ton of details, but it’s clear from the first couple of chapters that the world is a pretty horrible place these days. The details that led to the zombie plague aren’t all that important here. This is a story of the survivors and what ordinary people will do when they have to kill or be killed.

Nina, the narrator and main character, finds herself outside of one of the walled cities after she comes to the defense of Emily Rose, a young girl who is about to be exiled for stealing some moldy bread. Nina hasn’t cared for another human being in years. Being behind the walls will do that to you, but she finds herself starting to care about Emily.

They run, and eventually find themselves part of another small group of survivors living in the trees. There’s lots more to this story, including one pretty awesome twist at the end, but I won’t spoil anything for you.

I admit, the ending…it didn’t make me as happy as I wanted. I like my books wrapped up with a bow at the end. This one definitely is not. It’s one big entrails covered mess. I was mad at one character, scared for all of them, and in general wondered how the heck they were going to get out of the mess they were in. I think I groaned, maybe I even swore once or twice. I wanted W and X to happen, I didn’t want Y to happen, and I was just really ticked off about Z. This is one of those rare occurrences where I will honestly say that I’m actually torn on whether or not I even liked this book. But I feel very strongly about saying that this is a very solid 4.5 star book. I think you should read it. I think the author is extremely talented and tells the story that needs to be told, which might not always be the story that the reader wants to read. There were parts of this story I didn’t want to read. But the story worked. Even the parts I hated were necessary and functional and accomplished what I believe Ms. Riley wanted them to accomplish.

The relationships between the characters are real and varied and interesting. You feel every death, celebrate every victory, and bite your nails during every fight scene.

Odium isn’t a shiny happy book, but it is one you should read.

Patricia’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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