Odium is a tight little zombie apocalypse novel about a woman named Nina. The story starts off with our protagonist in what I would consider a town en...moreOdium is a tight little zombie apocalypse novel about a woman named Nina. The story starts off with our protagonist in what I would consider a town enclave, but all is not rosy on this side of the fence. Right at the beginning we’re privy to Nina’s thoughts and we learn that life behind the relatively safety of the walls is secure… against deaders. Unfortunately, undead humans trying to rip brains out of your skull aren't the biggest worry for Nina, but the shit stains that rule the town are.
Nina leaves the enclave with a young teenager in tow, and the story follows them as they meet another band of survivors, discover a group called the Forgotten (assholes as well), and deal with the lies and deceit that are part of the human condition.
This story is obviously set up to be part of a series, the ending leaving off with many questions unanswered. Besides the current plot still left open, we're left to wonder how the Zombie Apocalypse started, exactly what happened between Nina and her husband Ben, and everyone elves stories to boot. Not a bad thing per se, but with a novel this short I think it would have benefited from having more to it.
My biggest issue with the writing was that many of Nina's decisions seemed quickly reached, without due thought put into them. The POV is told from her view, so we get a running commentary on most everything with Nina's voice. I honestly really liked this about the story, Nina has a wicked sense of humor, and is pretty down to earth, even while caving in some zed head.
What bothered me were situations like at the very beginning. When Emily is about to be booted out the town, Nina decides to go with her. We get a quick glimpse why from her thoughts (and it's more thoroughly explained later) but I felt it was too rushed. Perhaps more back drop should have been written out, just a few pages of right before the incident, showing up the squalor and unhappy citizens or something.
Also, she caught feelings for Mickey pretty fast. I don't mean "omigawdIloveyoulet'shavebabies" thankfully, but they go from shotgun in the face to trusting in two blinks and a shake. Sure, there were zombies at the door, but from choosing the lesser of two evils you don't start trusting immediately.
There was one error I saw, on page 41 Nina and Emily are in a house and this happens:
"It’s dark in here, and my hand roots around the walls until I find a switch and flip it."
And then on page 162:
"The weirdest thing of all about the town? The lights: traffic lights, street lights, store lights. I haven’t seen a light bulb on for years."
From what I gleaned from the novel the Zombie Apocalypse started a few years ago (2-4 maybe?). So what's that first house doing with electricity anyways? I looked again, but I didn't see mention of any generators or anything.
All in all, I found this to be a 3.5 star read (rounding up!). While Nina making decisions in a manner that seemed flippant and not well thought out bothered me, I was still intrigued. Why do maggots and bugs avoid zombie flesh but bacteria is obviously having no trouble? The zombies are all pretty much rotting away, is there an end in sight? How on earth did this happen anyways? Will Nina save the townsfolk from the Forgotten, end up saving humans from themselves?