‘Odium’ is a novel about more than zombies. Yes, it is set in a world in which the dead roam the world outside the high walls of the cities, and yes, it does include lots of graphic, exciting instances of fights with zombies and near escapes. However, what I really loved about ‘Odium’ was Nina, the main character. Sassy, intelligent and strong-willed, Nina draws the reader in – you will find yourself willing her to succeed and really caring about her. The first person narrative helps you to walk with Nina (and bludgeon Zombies with her along the way!) and her sarcastic humour means you enjoy the thrilling journey. Claire Riley has a knack for creating a fast-paced, exciting rollercoaster of a tale that doesn’t scrimp on great characterisation, dialogue and description. The graphic descriptions of the zombies in all their gruesomeness are beautifully contrasted by some touching moments when we learn about Nina’s past and follow her developing relationships. Her concern for 13 -year -old Emily and their growing reliance on each other and affection for each other is particularly well drawn, as are the dynamics between the very different members of the group of survivors that the two girls encounter. Although dystopian post-apocalyptic zombie novels are not really my usual choice of book, I can recommend ‘Odium’ – there is a lot more to this well-crafted story than zombies.
You can find Odium here.