Omega Days (An Omega Days Novel)
by John L. Campbell
Review by Jon Guenther
Berkley Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425272633
Date: 06 May 2014 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Let me begin by stating unequivocally this was my first foray into the sub-genre of "zombie fiction" and I applauded the effort by Mr. Campbell in Omega Days. This was a highly entertaining read with a style that grabbed me from the very first page.
First, I didn't find it difficult to catch the many influences of the author. Indeed, one need only go to his web site to see his list of books he's read to know that he's a master at putting a new spin on the classics. There are creepy echoes, in fact, of masters like King and Koontz. But I wouldn't call this sub-standard in execution. There's something of a higher quality in this work and I found myself turning the pages late into the night.
The story follows several different groups as they attempt to escape an apocalyptic wasteland overrun with hungry, flesh-chomping zombies. All of it's here, really; the unwitting young lady, at first innocent, who must quickly learn to think on her feet and become proficient with a gun. A family of gun nuts who are already proficient. A preacher-turned-greedy-megalomaniac and a priest who has somehow managed to reach deep inside his own, tortured past to find a fearless leader willing to resist the monsters at all costs.
As I read this book, I felt as if I were reliving some of those experiences I had with Stephen King's The Stand, and I'm delighted to say I really enjoyed them--albeit I was totally unprepared for them. If you want highly entertaining, escapist, zombie fiction with plenty of action peopled by rich and interesting characters, you couldn't do better than Omega Days. In fact, I eagerly await the sequel and I commend the work on its many merits. As satisfying a read as I've had in awhile and I recommend it if you enjoy this kind of work.