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(The Dead Saga #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  959 ratings  ·  178 reviews
** From USA Today Bestselling Author Claire C. Riley comes the first book in an intense, post-apocalyptic series--ODIUM. Bringing life, love and survival together for one thrilling read. **

The infection came.

Humanity fell.

And the world everyone knew ended.

But one woman’s unwavering determination to live, against all the odds, might just be the only thing to survive this bl
Kindle Edition, 378 pages
Published (first published September 2013)
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3.96  · 
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 ·  959 ratings  ·  178 reviews

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Lo Bookfrantic
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YES
4.5*** Suspenseful & Survival Stars

“I dream of blood, death, friends, & family, everyone dies! Sooner or later everyone dies; the dead will rise and eat you alive"

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This book is not about happily ever after. It's a suspenseful thriller, full of action, sadness, angst, death, and emotions. There is a little bit of romance in between this entire depressing zombie apocalypse outbreak, which I really enjoyed a lot.
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The story begins inside "The Walls", a safe place where humans were a
"RUN! You fall, you die."

Odium is the first book in the Dead Saga. With the original blend of sci-fi, horror, action, and a hint or romance, Claire C. Riley starts this series off with a bang.

"This can't be right. She's just a child."
Nina is living in hell. The world has been infested with deadly zombies. Although she should feel safe in the city behind the wall, instead she has witnessed and experienced horror, torture, and heartbreak. When the safety of a young girl named Emily is threate
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
4 1/2 riveting stars

I love Nina and want to be just like her when I grow up and the zombie apocalypse happens!!

But did it have to end that way?? Cant stop now....have to find out what happens with Mikey, Emily and Nina!
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
Odium is a book that I had been looking forward to review for a couple months now. When I finally got my hands on a copy I started devouring it almost immediately. As far as Zombie stories go I liked Odium. The book had decent character development, the Zombies were ruthless in their pursuit of the living and I think the Author came up with some creative ways to keep the survivors safe. However, Odium is far from a perfect Zombie book and here's why:

First off, my biggest issue with the story is
Becky Stephens
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zombies
Odium was a terrifying, exciting ride through a land of zombies. A land that is not rotten and black, as the self-proclaimed leaders behind the walls of the barricaded cities would have you believe, but alive and flourishing. Except for the dead that bring their rotten stench with them.

One of the many things I loved about this novel was how Claire C. Riley used the sense of smell, which is usually overlooked in zombie novels, to bring another level to the dead she created in this world. I felt l
Nov 20, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm ready for whatever is thrown my way!

4 Addictive Stars!!

I might not be Lara Croft yet, but the desperation to live can fill you with a hell of a lot of enthusiasm for surviving, and if that means fighting hand to hand with a walking corpse when you need to, then so be it.

Its official- IM HOOKED. I read the 0.5 Novella (Nina's Story) before reading this one, and I am glad I did. I highly recommend doing that so that that you get to know Nina- what she has been through to get to the point where this one starts out. And you d
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All fans of horror & zombies!
Review also part of #zOctober2013 on My Book Addiction!

The story begins with Nina in a walled off safe zone, a place she’s survived for quite some time, witnessing a teenager being kicked out for stealing a piece of moldy bread from the animals. Those are the conditions they have become accustomed to since the world fell apart. Control hungry jerks in charge that don’t give a rats ass about anyone in their care. It’s more like a prison. Nina is tired of being bullied and it takes watching Emily
Eli Constant
I feel privileged to have read a beta-version of ODIUM and experienced its evolution into an ARC and publication document. Claire C. Riley has taken zombies to their roots, to those tried-and-true, shambling entities solely focused on filling decaying bellies with fresh flesh.

Claire C. Riley provides readers with depth and emotion not always seen in horror storylines; it's altogether fresh and unexpected. From the instant Nina climbs the wall to follow Emily into the unknown, she begins an inter
Nicole Storey
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really dislike it when I read a book and want to kill the character I'm supposed to be pulling for. I mean, why did Nina risk her life for Emily only to treat her like dirt for most of the book? Yes, I know she had issues with "trust" but, in my opinion, the author took that way too far. By the end, I just wanted HER out of the picture. I couldn't find any reason for keeping her around. She whined, she judged, she pushed everyone away, and she was a "B."
The antagonists, The Forgotten, were por
Ugh. Just Ugh.
Yet again another book that does NOT live up to the hype. Were we even reading the same book?
This has the most annoying main character EVER. Just bitch slap her and feed her to the zombies, please.
If you take out the main character and the stupid one-sided insta-love that someone had of the main character, I think I might like it.
Scott Toney
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Realistic, Haunting and Drenched in blood. I'll start by saying that I am not naturally a zombie enthusiast, but that Odium had me clenched in its dead maw in chapter 1. I picked this book up as one of 2 October reads and I remember in those first few nights reading, going to bed looking around me for deaders and dreaming nightmares that had me filled with unrest in the morning. I woke up going "I'm done. I just can't take reading this before bed." but each night I couldn't resist picking Odium ...more
Ivan Amberlake
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Odium" is the sequel to "Life Ever After", a short story where we get to know Nina, and also where the zombie apocalypse starts. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed LEA and really looked forward to reading "Odium".

In "Odium" Nina and other survivors live behind the walls that protect them from deaders, but life there is far from happy. She decides to leave together with Emily, a girl who’s been banished from the place. The two of them are supposed to survive in a world feasting with zombies. As it
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I've been waiting for this book for a while now. After reading Ms Riley's debut book Limerence (which was a fantastic read, that you should totally check out.) I couldn't wait to get into Odium. A book about the Zombie Apocalypse and Survival. I had high hopes for this book as I love brains...ooops I mean Zombies and it didn't disappoint.

The main character in Odium is Nina a strong willed, Feisty, Stubborn and Snarky woman. Who has took it upon herself to look after a young girl called Emily
Amy Queau
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was kindly provided an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Odium is the continuance of Life Ever After: Nina’s Story, a novella found in Fusion (a collection of short stories from genres including: science fiction, horror, crime, and romance). After reading about Nina’s zombie adventures in Life Ever After, I was very eager to begin Odium. And I can tell you that I was not disappointed.

(DISCLAIMER: You do not need to read Life Ever After to enjoy Odium, but I guarantee you th
Maribel Zamora
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I need me some Doc Martens.

WOW! This was my first zombie read and I'm sooo happy that it was. I was soo consumed by the all the "doom and gloom" in "Odium" that when I wasn't reading, I would be looking at my surroundings-where to go-how many people are around-wheres the closest weapon I find (yeah I went into detail).
More than likely I would be with my younger sister and of course do WHATEVER I HAD TO DO TO PROTECT HER. That's what I found so compelling about our heroin "Nina" she had gone thr
Sep 23, 2015 rated it did not like it


Uhmm, okay... Wtf is with all the four and five star reviews; did I read a different book or something? Seriously?!?

Basic Plot Rundown


This book starts off okay. Apocalypse. Zombies. Walled city with tyrant leaders. A woman, Nina, sees a child, Em,being thrown out of the protective walls and decides to stand up for her. They're both discarded to the zombie ridden world. Along the way, they meet a guy, Mikey, whom then introduces them to other survivors living and surviving by living in the t
Liz at Fictional Candy
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombie, horror
Yay zombies! Ok, well, no, that would suck (not!) and we would all be in trouble (not me...ok, maybe me). But either way, I love reading about them! I've heard awesome things about Odium, and I couldn't wait to read it. But first - I had to look up what Odium freaking meant!! Odium: general or widespread hatred or disgust directed toward someone as a result of their actions. Oooh, Ok - I get it! Especially after reading this book!

Ok, so I'm not going to rehash the blurb, it's all really self exp
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Odium is my very first Claire Riley book and will not be my last! She obviously has no problems killing off characters, burning bridges, and symbolically letting the empire win the ground war for Endor! (It’ll make sense after you read the book.)

This story was hilarious and horrifyingly descriptive, engaging as many senses as possible without employing a scratch-and-sniff cover and a free bucket of congealed ooze. Zombies are disgusting, messy, gross, and on their better days they tend to offend
ZARIA (Sheldon Cooper lover)

Humanity’s dead began to rise.....

Nina’s life was irrevocably changed one day, the world succumbed to a pestilence that decimated the living. In its place rose a new species: gruesome, wandering monsters with an insatiable hunger for the living.


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.


Along the pat
Halima Rahman
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Missed a lot of sleep reading this book, it was one of those books that I kept saying just one more page and 2 hours later I would put it down. This is a great novel, an exciting story, an emotional roller coaster with fear, tragedy, horror and romance. Nina is so real & all the characters are relatable and had naturally you start feeling hate or love for them. The way the story is written it makes you feel like you are living the apocalypse with them and through out I felt like I was also f ...more
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of my favorites in the zombie genre. The book is well-written and well-edited. The characters are fully developed - the good, the not so great, and the bad in all. Both strengths and weaknesses are explored and add to the depth of each character. The best part is that this isn't your typical zombie story with those who have been planning for years what to do in the event of a z-event or have kick-butt survival skills. The main character, Nina, is just an average female who manages ...more
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I started reading and was not sure if I liked this book so decided to put it down for a few weeks and see if it was just the wrong time to read it. I am so glad that I did! When I started again, I thought this book was great. At first I wasn't sure about Nina but as I read more, I saw her for the honest, bitchy, lonely, and scared character that made her human, and I liked that in her. Looking forward to the next book.
Laura Smith
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve just had my zombie cherry well and truly popped and boy was it good!

Yes this is my first zombie read and I loved it from the start. Nina was an amazing character and someone you could relate to. She stood up for what she believed was right.... Yes, it may very well get her killed by stinky deaders, but she knew what she had to do. I would definitely want Nina on my side in a zombie apocalypse! #teamnina

Nina’s life goes from worse to even worse when she sticks up for a young girl and ends u
Melanie Marsh
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
edit: I wrote this review a couple years ago. It all still applies now that I've re-read it.

Let me start by saying that I don’t read many zombie books. When I say “zombie books” I am referring to books that the main focus is about the zombie apocalypse and that sort of thing. I’ve read books where zombies make an appearance, and I have occasionally read a full on zombie book. There are only 3 or 4 so that come to mind when I think of a zombie book that I actually enjoyed and could really get in
Jade C. Jamison
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story of how I discovered Claire C. Riley and her book Odium (The Dead Saga #1) is stranger than fiction. I had just finished writing my book Savage, and the time I’d spent working on it had taken longer than planned, so by the time I sent it out to beta readers, it was also an ARC in the hands of bloggers—and my blog tour for that book had been a little more ambitious than usual, because Savage wasn’t the usual thing I’d written. Anyway, the same day the ARCs went out, one of my beta reader ...more
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: heroine-pov, zombie, r4r
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 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.

Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I have no idea why I waited so long to read this book! I did not put it down after starting it. I lie. I did several times to look around (you know making sure my surroundings were still safe lol) and calm myself a little. I was leaning far enough on the edge of my seat so often that if someone would've tapped my shoulder, I would've done a face plant.

Nina is a wonderful character, so relatable. She is scared to death, but falls back on making jokes in her head so that sh
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie-love
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 t
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Life offers such little pleasures these days...How often did we use to take things like this for granted?...well, it makes you realize what a wasteful life we truly led." ~Nina~

I couldn't have said it any better than the brave Nina, as she sips coffee for the first time in forever and appreciates the beauty of the simplest things in life.
I am not a fan of horror novels or zombie books (in fact I have only read one other zombie book ever) but I do love The Walking Dead so I was game to give thi
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Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and International bestselling author with almost twenty novels of various genres to her credit.

A lover of all things dark and dirty, she likes to write books that f*ck with your heart and your head. Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband, three daughters and naughty rescue beagle.

Author of over 20 novels of various genres. 90% of books are in Kindle Unli

Other books in the series

The Dead Saga (6 books)
  • Odium II (The Dead Saga, #2)
  • Odium III (The Dead Saga, #3)
  • Odium IV (The Dead Saga, #4)
  • Odium V (The Dead Saga, #5)
  • Odium VI (The Dead Saga #6)