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Friday, March 27, 2015

Odium III by Claire C Riley (Review & Excerpt)

Title: Odium III
Series: The Dead Saga, book 3
Author: Claire C Riley
Published: March 23, 2015
Format: Ebook received for review
Pages: 292/Amazon

In this life, nothing is simple…not even DEATH

In the third instalment of the Odium series, having distanced herself from Mikey, Nina is on a mission. She’s seeking a woman who could be the answer to all their problems…or just another nightmare made reality.

Travelling alongside Nova, the two women are faced with countless threats and inexplicable circumstances…just another day in the land of the dead.

But Nina is changing, feeling the strain of this life, and beginning to rethink the choices she’s made and the woman she’s become. New allies will be forged on this road of self-discovery, bonds will be broken, and old enemies will resurface. Nina will be forced to make a decision that could have devastating consequences.

However life is nothing without someone to love, or a family to love you in return. And in this new world, there is only one way to prove that love is still possible. Sacrifice.
Claire C Riley has certainly upped the ante in Odium 3.  Friends, if you are into the apocalypse, then I suggest you catch on to this series in a hurry.

I'll skip a lot of the preliminary stuff, and assume you've read some of this series.  We know Nina is a former resident of a walled in city, she's connected and fallen for a man named Mikey.  They travel with some friends, and they are on the run from the Forgotten, which is a group of blood-thirsty criminals. The group feels like they may have found a home base with a new group of people, but as we know all too well - things are not always as they appear.  At the end of Odium 2 Nina and Nova have taken off in search of a couple from Nova's old camp because they are expecting a child.

Now, most of Odium 3 is the story of Nova and Nina, who are alike and different in so many ways.  But somehow in this book these two manage to find a friendship.  Both women are strong and a bit on the bitchy side.  But where Nina is cautious, Nova is more wild and brazen.  However, both women are to be admired for their varied strengths.  And I like both women.  I like that it's not always roses and rainbows and that there are times they hate each other.  I like that they find a certain camaraderie that is so important to survive the apocalypse.  No man is an island, and if you think you can survive on your own for very long, you are wrong.

Claire C Riley really made me laugh throughout this book several times by the way of a character named Joan, a.k.a. Crazy Pants.  Oh my goodness, this woman is hilarious.  She's a bit off her rocker, but she finds companionship with Nova and Nina, and is on the trip with them.  When things get too tense, you can count on Crazy Pants to come through with some comic relief.

Odium 3 does not lack on the gore - or the surprises.  Riley has definitely brought new situations to the apocalypse, and kept it fresh, dangerous, and exciting. I loved this book from the first to the last page! This is one of those series that I find myself anxious for each new book, her writing is that good.  So yeah, if you haven't tried out Riley's version of the apocalypse, it's time you should.


ODIUM III The Dead Saga Excerpt

I reached the first one, side-stepping as it stretched its one bony arm for me. The other arm was barely a nub of bone left jutting out of its socket, yet it still moved. I managed to get behind it and I raised my katana high, slamming it through the back of the deader’s neck before it could turn around. The force of my blow knocked it to its knees but didn’t cut it all the way through, and I grunted as I struggled to wrench the katana free from the thick flesh and bone of its neck. I pressed down, begging the sword not to snap.

Finally the blade cut right through and the head fell from its shoulders with a resounding splat. The body slumped forward with a thud, and thick black gore that smelled like rotten eggs and three-day-old sewage pumped slowly from out of the hole in its neck. The mouth of the head continued to snap, and I slammed my sword through the side of its temple to end the deader’s eternal misery and then I moved on to the next one.

Nova was surrounded by two deaders and the ankle-biter, and I hurried across to help her. I jogged to her side, ignoring my own slow-moving deader, and I stabbed through the ankle-biter’s skull. Ankle-biters were scary, because you never freaking saw them coming. I had drawn the attention of Nova’s two deaders, but she stabbed one in the back of the skull before it could even take a step toward me, and the other followed swiftly afterwards.

I turned back to my one, sidestepping it and letting it follow me until its back was to Nova. She used both knives to hack either side of its neck in one swift movement, and the head popped up into the air like a jumping bean and landed on the ground with a small thud. It was still moving, jaws snapping away as it persistently tried to get to me, and I grimaced. It was possibly once a fairly attractive male. Cloudy blue eyes stared up at me hungrily, its teeth still relatively normal instead of broken and black. Even its skin, though pale and sallow, was still covering a full face, instead of having rotted away in parts, leaving us with a gory view of what lay underneath. I presumed this man had died from injuries other than the more standard facial bites, which were what usually got people killed.

Death brought on the zombie infection, not saliva or blood transference, and a chunk out of the face or neck was almost always a sure killer.

Nova’s boot made contact with the head and sent it flying through the air and into the fields to the left of us. Black blood trailed through the sky in an arc and she whooped and fist-pumped the air.

“Touchdown!” she yelled ridiculously. She raised her hand in an attempt to high five me.

“That’s not cool. You need to go find that head and end it.” I bent down and wiped my blade across the now headless deader’s body, cleaning it free of the gore.

“What? Why?” She bent down and cleaned her knives on a different deader’s back. “You’re just miserable. You’re always miserable, especially when you’re sick,” she huffed.

“You don’t know what I’m like when I’m sick.”

Nova rolled her eyes. “Well you’re sick now, and you’re a moody and miserable, so looks like I was right.”
“Whatever. You can’t leave a dangerous head out in the wild like that. What if someone is walking through here and doesn’t see it? What then? A dangerous head like that could kill someone.” I scowled and stood back up, releasing a hearty sneeze. “Go find the damn head.”

Nova stood back up, giving me a hard glare. “No, you go find the damn head if it’s so important to you.” She turned away and started looking through the pockets of another of the dead bodies at our feet, looking for anything useful. “No one would be stupid enough to walk through a field barefoot anyway. People wear shoes, Nina!” She pocketed several items, not bothering to show me what they were, which only pissed me off more, since we were supposed to be sharing everything.

“That’s a dangerous head, Nova. Go kill it.” I bent back down and started to fumble in my deader’s pockets, finding some gum and a lighter, plus a picture of a pretty woman. The picture did nothing to temper my growing anger. “Do they not deserve any goddamn respect?” I muttered to myself more than her. So I was surprised when Nova replied.

“No, no they don’t. I hate them all and they deserve to die a horrible death.”

My eyes snapped to hers. “You’re being a dick now.”

“Since when did you become a union leader for the Undead Society? These aren’t humans anymore,” she snarled.

© Claire C. Riley 2015

Claire C Riley is a Bestselling British Horror Author, whose work includes: Odium The Dead Saga – book 1, 2 and 3, Limerence 1& 2 (The Obsession Series) Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella – book 1, 2 and coming soon 3, and several other full length novels including Thicker Than Blood co-authored with USA Today Best Selling author Madeline Sheehan.

She writes characters that are realistic and kills them without mercy.

Claire lives in the UK with her three young daughters, husband, and scruffy dog.

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