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Jacob's Odyssey

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  35 reviews
For Jake, a perilous journey of survival will soon turn into a quest for redemption...

A terrible virus has struck and the world has deteriorated into chaos. And with the infected now outnumbering their human counterparts, chances for survival lessen with each passing day. After running out of food in his condo, Jake must make his way across the Salt Lake Valley to reach th
Published (first published December 1st 2014)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Enter for a chance to #win one of three eCopies (International) or a SIGNED copy (U.S.) of Russ Melrose's FINDING AJ!

Click on Banner to enter ~ Ends June 18, 2018
*Note: This is a Standalone Read!*

What? Another zombie infestation caused by a virus? Definitely not! Russ Melrose’s Jacob’s Odyssey is a story of survival against the odds, of personal redemption and how one average joe learns to become a survivor and a savior.

What would you do if the world was overrun with killer zombies? Jake had n
Rev. Tricia
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novel! Read it in four days, and it has now joined the ranks of my top 10 favorite reads.
From the very beginning I felt drawn in and captivated and began to feel a connection to Jacob, the stories main character. The author weaved details about him and his life that had me feeling a sense of connection to him immediately, as well as feeling compassion for him and his ongoing dilemmas, predicaments, and crisis’s. I also experienced having a sense of understanding for the rea
Patricia Walker
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For zombie fans this is a must read..the action keeps on coming from the minute you open the pages until you close the last page and it isn't all about blood guts and gore - there is a real tangible story line.

The plot line is excellent through out with a superb twist that the reader just doesn't see coming until it hits you square in the face. I was a little disappointed with the final ending as I thought it was weak after such an active, mind bending, soul freezing story that kept the mind in
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jacob's Odyssey

I sure hope that this is going to be a series because this book pulled me in on the very first page and didn't let go, I hated to see it end. Russ Melrose is a wonderful author. I will certainly read everything he writes. I thought I liked him after reading his first two short stories but I absolutely love him now. This is not a book I would normally read but I was very pleasantly surprised I can not wait to read whatever he writes next!
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I've read a lot of zombie fiction and would definitely consider this one to be in my top 5, but honestly, I've had a hard time pinning down exactly why. Many would say that because I live in the Utah Salt Lake Valley, and that's where this book takes place, that would make me a little more apt to rate this higher. However, the fact that it was based in Utah had it's pluses and minuses for me. The plus side is that as the MC is traveling I know exactly where he is. The down side is that I know ex ...more
Rebecca Trotter
The top 10 reasons I loved this book:

10. CNN - the last news organization standing during the zombie apocalypse
9. Google, especially Google Maps
8. Youtube - learn to pick a lock, it could save your life
7. lock pick sets
6. Proof that we really need to become dependent on solar and wind power, asap.
5. metaphysics
4. Raj, may he RIP - I certainly did not see that coming
3. The Swimmer
2. The knowledge that thoughtful introverts (i.e. readers!) are the most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse

And the
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an arc review—a free copy for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised by this story. This isn't your everyday apocalyptic tale. The apocalypse actually serves as a backdrop for the real story here, which is about an everyday man who is forced out of the comfort zone of his life and thrust into an apocalyptic nightmare. Jake will have to do things to survive he never could have imagined. While the story has its share of thrilling moments, plenty of them, this novel revolves around it ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jacob's Odyssey by Russ Melrose is a fantastic and unique take on the zombie apocalypse genre. The main character is well developed and the scenarios he faces are all too realistic. I love the addition of the intelligent, "Alpha," zombie and the relationship that it creates between Jacob and this particular zombie throughout the novel. Jacob's story is fantastic and full of breath taking and thrilling adventures.
As the story progresses, Jacob picks up realistic experiences and useful abilities
Edmond DeRousse
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a riveting tale of survival in a land overrun by the undead. Zombie fans will devour this book! The zombies do not disappoint. The last part was a bit of a let down. Or does this have a sequel? I'm not quite sure. Anyway, I had fun. It was a great read!
Well, I liked it but I can't say I loved it. There were many good things that I truly enjoyed about this book.

One: Russ Melrose can write. It is very rare that independent authors have what I consider flawless prose, and Melrose is one of those. I was pleased with all the hidden gems of correct grammar, sentence structure, all the little things that made the grammar hammer in me get excited.

Two: The Swimmer. How cool is a partially immune zombie? The Swimmer is an alpha, intelligent, fast, dange
Steven Sheeley
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Russ Melrose is a delight to read. In these days of "quick to press indie, anyone can publish anything and it's usually drek" book, it is refreshing to find someone who can not only write, but understand that 3/4 of the battle is in the editing. I'm not a big zombie fan, I can take them or leave them, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way it was written.

The characters are believable and easy to relate to. They draw you in and make you a part of their lives. I'm not going to get int
Claire Jones
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jacob's Odyssey is an intelligent, thoughtful zombie apocalypse thriller. The novel has good character development woven into an interesting story. Jake (Jacob) starts off on a journey to escape the zombie infested Salt Lake Valley. His goal is simple---get out of the valley and reach the safety of his cabin up in the mountains. At least, that was his plan. But along the way, complications arise and eventually Jake is drawn into helping a woman and her daughter. For me, that's when the novel rea ...more
Kimberly Vanderbloom
I received a copy of this book from the author for a review

Zombies with cognitive thinking is not my ideal environment but I love reading about it. I felt so connected to the main character Jake. He was such a strong and self aware male lead. This was an amazing zombie book. It really put you through a wild rollercoaster. I found it to be very fast paced. The descriptions were so good I could imagine how rough my hands were jumping fences with Jake. I found Sarah to be a great addition later in
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-wins
** I won this book in a GR Giveaway in exchange for an honest review:

I quite enjoyed this story. The back says "an apocalyptic thriller with a heart". And it's true, this story has heart. Jake never loses his humanity and sense of compassion.
This story showed Jake growing into the new situation in the World, learning to adapt & survive. At the same time, its a story about facing your fears, the things that cause you fear in your world, rising above them and to stop letting your fears hold y
Texv Velis
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombie
This book was about a man named Jacob's experience in and around Salt lake City, Utah,during the Zombie Apocalypse. It is told from a first person perspective and you get a feeling for what is going on in Jacob's head while he is watching the events of the book happen to him. What I enjoyed the most is the author's description of the zombies in his book. The zombie virus affects people in different ways and there are zombies that retain more intelligence then other zombies,called alphas. This bo ...more
Jacob's Odyssey was a fun to read gore free tale that kept me on the edge of my seat through many parts. Although it did drag a bit from time to time in the middle there were parts that were rather creepy. As I read I constantly waited for the swimmer to pop out of anywhere or to be staring at them when they awoke. The most interesting thing about this book is how much my it made my mind work overtime figuring out where he'd pop out next. Type-o free solid writing! This book was gifted to me in ...more
Lozzi Counsell
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Russ Melrose for the free copy of this book. I Really enjoyed the beginning of the book with Alex and then Jake being barricaded in his house, but the middle section was a little slow and repetitive for me going from house to house, through backyard to backyard. Despite this I did enjoy the story and I managed to connect with all of the characters in some way, which isn't usual. The ending was very beautiful and almost poetic! Really enjoyed it.
Kelly Rickard
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good story, enjoyed it being based on one character (Jacob) and his journey. Quite inventive with the skills that were learnt and liked the fact that he still had access to the Internet and power. I kept forgetting how short the time span was as it felt like a lot was happening day to day and also I had to check to see how far a block is in Salt Lake City as it isn't something we have here's do it wasn't as far as I thought. The writing was well written.
Danielle Evans
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this apocalyptic novel, a virus has been unleashed, causing people to turn into flesh eating "zombies" or "grays" as they are referred to. The story starts off strong; the scene with Jacob's brother is very intense. Then we are taken on a journey with Jacob as he struggles to survive in this dangerous world. His character is easy to relate to; he's an ordinary guy (which I love) who was a fifth grade teacher before all this madness took place.

Everything in this book was so well thought out.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ecopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Actual rating 3.5 stars
So the more I thought about it the more I realized that I actually overall really did like this book and I think it deserves the full 4 stars. I did have a few issues which I will discuss but it is a good book and I think many woukd enjoy it.
I think my main issue with this book was the title, it says apocalyptic thriller but I was not thrilled for the first half of the book and in truth I became a little
Briar's Reviews
Jacob's Odyssey was an interesting zombie apocalypse novel.

I found this book to be well written, but the first half of the book left me rather bored. The main character, Jacob, does not speak to anyone for the first half of the novel. Without any conversation the novel seemed rather bland. It's like watching someone play a video game of trying to survive the zombie apocalypse - it can be an interesting read, but it wasn't something I enjoyed.

Jacob's first contact with someone other than zombie
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was rather boring, I was glad to finish it and am not interested in reading a sequel if one is forthcoming. It contained unnecessary "telling, not showing" sentences that could have been combined to reduce length. And no, I'm not opposed to long books, I will gladly read 900+ pages but every one of those pages better not be repetitious. Here's an example (from page 95 on the kindle version) "I headed upstairs, using the guard rail to help propel myself up the stairs two at a time. I found tak ...more
Talena Colley
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story!

This is a beautiful story during an apocalypse that is anything but beautiful. It gripped me and didn't let do until I had read the very last word. After many difficult challenges and deep loss, Jacob finds himself reflecting upon his life thus far. What he discovers is nothing less than beautiful. I had just been sharing with my 16 year old grandson a few days ago this very same conclusion that I myself had come to after much reflection of my life and those around me. But, I wil
Kim Roberts
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was a good read, it started well with a strong beginning and engaged you in the story to want to read more. It had all the things I expected from the genre with a few new ideas brought in by the author in the form of the Swimmer who made for an interesting villain. The only thing I did find with the book is that the pace slowed a bit in the middle for me and then picked up again towards the concluding chapters. If you lik ...more
Amber Spence
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this book enough to finish it in one sitting. The characters not only seemed like whole people, but they were also relatable. Jake's journey was well worth the read.

There where a few instances of repetition in the middle, but they can be attributed to the thought process of the character they reference. The lack of an angsty love triangle between the people made up for it anyway. I recommend this read to anyone who likes th
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! Very well paced, the author lets you catch your breath every couple of chapters. Very well researched and definitely not your usual zombie tale. The hero comes across as being an average Joe and I would hope that I would react as well as he does in this story. I hope the author keeps writing about this scenario - other survivors in the same town or different cities or even countries. Also, what is really going on at the "Safe" location. I wait with bated breath for the next in ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was asked by the author if I would like to receive and read this book for free for an Honest Review... well I went and read the first sentence about what the book is about and I just knew that it was a book I had to read... One thing that I know attracted me was it say it was an Apocalyptic Thriller. Last year (sometime in 2014) I had read some books by an author that also had apocalyptic stories and since then I have been attracted to them... They are a Flame and I am the Moth. This book took ...more
Polly Krize
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy from Mr. Melrose in exchange for an honest review.

Thoroughly enjoyable book in the zombie-fic genre. As Jake makes his way through a desolate Salt Lake Valley to his isolated cabin in the mountains, he rises to each challenge. The book reminded me of the Mark Tufo zombie series, but I think this one was more realistic and insightful as to what would happen during an apocalyptic event. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys this genre.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zombie novels aren't usually my thing, and probably never will be. However, I blitzed through this in one 4 hour sitting, and enjoyed the whole ride.

Jacob's Odyssey was well written, well paced, and avoided many of the pitfalls that tend to hamper most first-person zombie apocalypse novels. It absolutely does not feel like an author's first outing.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting Read

Quite an interesting read. I enjoyed watching our hero become our hero. His inner battle with himself is the real story. The apocalypse laid out in this story provides an excellent backdrop for his journey.
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Russ Melrose's path to becoming a writer has been anything but conventional. Over the years, he's done a bit of everything--a jack of all trades you might say. He spent time in the military, the ASA (Army Security Agency, and yes, it's related to the NSA), worked in business (accounting, assistant buyer, management), taught at a secretarial college, spent time as a letter carrier for the post offi ...more