#zOctober Review & Giveaway! Odium by Claire C Riley

On the sixth day of zOctober the undead gave to me…

Claire C. Riley. I had originally scheduled a promo spot for her new release today, but then she sent me an ARC of Odium for future review and… well, I had to at least take a peek at it, right? Yeah, well.. that quick peek turned into flipping pages long into the night and before I knew it.. THE END. So here is my review. πŸ˜‰


by Claire C. Riley
Publication date: October 2nd 2013
Category: YA
Genre: Horror, Zombies
Source: eArc sent by author in
exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

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It’s better to die by the gun than die by the dead.

When the dead began to rise and kill, the government had to make a decision- whether right or wrong- they had to protect what little society was left.

They built walls which kept the dead out, and the live in. Other towns quickly followed suit, forcing the dead to live in the desolation that they had created. Only the zombies aren’t alone either. These lands are not only teeming with hungry zombies, but also with the very worst of what was once a civilised society.
Nina now lives in a world where all the rules have changed. Where those who don’t cooperate are tossed over the wall and into hell, and the good are rewarded with a pitiful existence.

When Nina empathises with a young girl called Emily-Rose who’s about to be thrown over the wall, her life gets a whole lot worse. The leader of the town has rules which he will not break, even if it means blood and death for the unfortunate ones, and with this in mind Nina makes the decision to go with the Emily and protect her at all costs. However, can a woman with no fighting abilities and a penchant for spending money on expensive clothes really keep them safe?

Nina must now fight the zombies which rule the free-lands, and find a safe zone that could be just a myth.

Scared, starved and on the run from everything, Nina has everything working against her survival… but she’s not quite ready to give up on life yet, not now she has someone to live for again.
Her quick wit and snarky attitude might just keep her alive long enough to find some way to protect Emily-Rose. Maybe…

~My Thoughts~

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 getting dragged toward the wall before she finally speaks up. Nina hasn’t cared about anyone for a long time. She shut her emotions off like Stefan from The Vampire Diaries after “the incident.” But now.. something about this particular day and this young girl have her fired up. After a slap across the face from the “leader” of the group, she makes a rash decision to head over the wall with Emily. Armed with nothing, including the first clue about how to survive, they drop down to the other side to find a world they haven’t even seen in years. One that mother nature and the undead now rule. How long could two girls without any survival skills possibly last out there?

Odium takes us back to the realm of traditional zombies — which I love! I’m all for an insane zombie story now and then to shake things up a bit, but even in my video games I prefer the old school shambling zombies to the newer evolved superman zombies. With the slower corpses there is actually a chance of survival, which gives people hope and a reason to fight. While I do enjoy watching or reading about the occasional high speed zombie horde that strikes deeply rooted fear into me, there is no chance in hell anyone is making it out alive, no matter how it’s written. If I’m caught in the middle of an apocalypse with zombies that run faster than an olympic sprinter, I’m throwing in the towel right away. Go ahead and eat me at that point. I will be the first to admit that I’m not strong enough to take on Z-man and his super stamina.

My favorite thing about this book is how realistic the characters are, especially Nina. She is the poster girl for how I imagine a person would feel and react during the zombie apocalypse. Her fear is palpable which pulled me right in. I actually felt as if I was Nina trudging through the woods, hopeless and lost, so close to giving up I could taste it. Her character arc is absolutely brilliant, and her surprising sense of humor kept me chuckling between all the spine-chilling moments.

“Perhaps we can hide from it. If it doesn’t know that we’re here, then it might just keep on walking. I fall to my knees and slide myself under the car as quietly as I can, though every noise my body makes on the ground sounds like a fireworks display being set off. I can almost imagine the giant red arrow pointing at my location: ‘She is here; dinner is served’.

— Claire C. Riley, Odium

Odium is a very well-balanced zombie tale with vivid imagery, amazing characters, and heart racing action. I highly recommend this book to all of my fellow zombie fanatics!

~About the Author~

Claire C Riley

Claire C Riley, is a mother first, a wife second, but a writer at heart.

Claire likes to break boundaries with her writing, incorporating an old school style of horror and romance. Sexy and dark. (Think Bram Stokers Dracula, but for the 21st century!)

Claire is a mother to three amazing little girls who hold her heart. She hopes to make them proud, and show them that if you work hard and believe in yourself… then, as Cinderella once said… dreams really do come true.

She is an avid book collector and has a great zombie apocalypse plan in place thanks to a questionnaire she asked her readers to fill in for on her blog!

Claire is currently working on the sequel to Limerence and also a dystopian post-apocalyptic zombie novel called- Odium.

She actively encourages reader participation on her blog and author Facebook page, with questionnaires, quizzes, and fan art. So get in touch!

Claire’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

~zOctober Giveaway~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follower of Jesus, loving wife, homeschooling mom, blogger, author, gamer, and a lover of the culinary arts. Toni lives in Michigan with her husband and four children. If she's not writing or curled up with a book, you'll most likely find her playing with her kids, baking cupcakes, or killing zombies.
  • Pauline Creeden

    Adding this one to my TBR! πŸ™‚

  • Randy Streu

    Looks interesting!

  • Lindsay Galloway

    Each type of zombie has its creep factor. The shambling type of zombie tends to be easier to outrun, but if you’re stuck in a swarm, even running isn’t going to be enough to save you. The faster zombies are harder for me to believe, because they’re decomposing corpses (I know, I know…. zombies aren’t real….probably), so it takes an extra step of the imagination.

    • I totally agree, each does has its creep factor. And what do you mean they’re probably not real? LOL

      • Lindsay Galloway

        I said “probably”, not “definitely”. πŸ˜›

  • You know Zombies are new to me but you are quickly turning me into a fan. I’ve only read two zombie books so far and they were awesome. I will have to gain some more zombie reading experience before I can answer which I prefer, slow and stupid or fast and furious.

  • Laura (@lejamez)

    Love proper Zombies, saying that no matter the zombie, I reckon my survival skills would get me killed/eaten within the first few days lol been looking forward to this, can’t wait to read.

  • Jessica Sturgill

    IDK I perfer both really. I think they should start out fast & strong which is scarier. As time goes on they get slower & weaker, which if you have survived that long they will be easier to kill if you can avoid the swarms.

    • That makes a lot of sense, Jessica. Although they’d probably wipe out the entire world before they slowed down. lol.

  • Julie Courtney-Counts


  • Michele Zugnoni

    A giveway? Well, now I have to comment. I’ve been a fan of Claire’s for awhile, and I’m super excited to read Odium. Her novel, Limerence, was outstanding; I can only imagine that Odium will be the same.

    • I have a copy of Limerence that I will definitely be reading once this event is over. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Michele. πŸ™‚

  • Elyse S.

    I like reading about both, they’re both scary!~

    • They are definitely both scary and I do enjoy both, I just don’t want to be stuck in a zom poc with the speedy ones.

  • Mike Bolter

    Shamblers all the way!

  • Claire C Riley

    Hey everyone, I recently did a post on Armand Rosamilia’s blog about why I prefer ‘real’ zombies. I’ve added a link to the Z’October horror event. Go read it, maybe I can convince you. While you’re there you get to check out the king of zombie books himself too. Bonus!

  • Heather D

    Shamblers, I can run faster that way πŸ™‚ ha ha

  • bill norris

    old fashioned

  • Katie Hayoz

    Give me slow zombies. At least I’d have a chance to get away!

  • sunnie

    I like slow zombies.

  • Eric Asher

    The book sounded good before I read the review. Now it’s a must read!

  • Rainne Atkins

    I prefer the old fashioned shamblers… but I think both types have a place! πŸ™‚

  • I guess it would depend on the situation and also on what mood I am in.

  • Becky Stephens

    I love reading about both kinds of zombies – shamblers and the superman sprinters. If I were to be stuck in a world filled with the undead, walking dead, beaters, whatever you want to call them, I’d prefer it be the shambling type of zombie so that I have at least a slim chance of surviving. I don’t think I’d survive a world with sprinting zombies. I’d either be dead or turned into a damn zombie myself.

  • Somia

    It looks great!

  • kathy

    I’m not sure… they are both creeper

  • Sonya A.

    Both of them πŸ™‚

  • Daniel M

    i like both