Book Review – Omega Days by John L. Campbell

Omega Days
by John L. Campbell
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade

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Zombie fiction just never gets old to me. I’m not sure why, but it might be because I love reading all of the different visions of how a zombie apocalypse could go down. Some authors depict a post-apocalyptic world as horrific; others show it as only a minor nuisance. But one thing they all seem to agree on is that the zombies will be hungry! OMEGA DAYS is a new entry into the zombie genre, but it has a lot of bite (pardon the pun). This novel is a force to be reckoned with, and much like George A. Romero, I bet John L. Campbell will soon be a name that is consistently synonymous with the term ‘zombie’.

If you are not familiar with OMEGA DAYS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Berkley Trade:

When the end came, it came quickly. No one knew where or exactly when the Omega Virus started, but soon it was everywhere. And when the ones spreading it can’t die, no one stands a chance of surviving.

San Francisco, California. Father Xavier Church has spent his life ministering to unfortunate souls, but he has never witnessed horror like this. After he forsakes his vows in the most heartrending of ways, he watches helplessly as a zombie nun takes a bite out of a fellow priest’s face…

University of California, Berkeley. Skye Dennison is moving into her college dorm for the first time, simultaneously excited to be leaving the nest and terrified to be on her own. When her mother and father are eaten alive in front of her, she realizes the terror has just begun…

Alameda, California. Angie West made millions off her family’s reality gun show on the History Channel. But after she is cornered by the swarming undead, her knowledge of heavy artillery is called into play like never before…

Within weeks, the world is overrun by the walking dead. Only the quick and the smart, the strong and the determined, will survive—for now.

If you’re not familiar with the Greek alphabet, ‘omega’ is the last letter. In the Bible, God refers to Himself as the ‘Alpha and Omega’, or the beginning and the end. Thus, the title for this book is very fitting since it details, basically, the ‘end days’ of humanity.

OMEGA DAYS is written well, with simple prose and non-flashy sentences. I enjoy the writing style Campbell uses because he is descriptive but not overly so. I never once felt bogged down with too much information. On the flip side, I never needed more elaboration, especially when it came to the action. Campbell is a straight-forward writer, which makes for a pleasant reading experience.

The characters are vivid and believable, and I particularly like how they are not all stereotypical ‘survivalists’. A priest, a college freshman, and a gun show reality-star…they just don’t get much more diverse than this. But these unique individuals make the story even more believable, as they are everyday people who are thrust into a horrifying scenario.

And speaking of the characters, I really like how Campbell weaves a lot of human drama into the tale. In many places, the zombies are just a backdrop to the drama that is taking place between the characters. This is very reminiscent of THE WALKING DEAD, and therefore one of the huge draws for me.

OMEGA DAYS is a heck of a zombie debut, and I highly recommend giving it a look. The book hits store shelves next week, so make a note.

MSB

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