Jacob's Odyssey

Jacob's Odyssey

by Russ Melrose



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990839101
Publisher: Roether Publishing
Publication date: 11/05/2014
Pages: 302
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Russ Melrose's path to becoming a writer has been anything but conventional. Over the years, he's done a bit of everything--a jack of all trades you might say. He spent time in the military, the ASA (Army Security Agency, and yes, it's related to the NSA), worked in business (accounting, assistant buyer, management), taught at a secretarial college, spent time as a letter carrier for the post office, and he even mesmerized a few clients here and there as a hypnotherapist. He also spent time in the blue collar sector (building floors for mobile homes, a job retrofitting military vehicles for the army, etc.). Along the way, he also found time to get degrees (B.A. and M.A.) in English from the University of Utah and Utah State University respectively. And eventually he became a writer.

Writers who've influenced him the most are Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

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Jacob's Odyssey 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TheHungryMonster More than 1 year ago
Jacob’s Odyssey by Russ Melrose is about the beginning days after the Zombie apocalypse has occurred. When you hear Odyssey, most people think of the famous work by Homer detailing Odysseus’s adventures returning to Ithaca after fighting in the Trojan Wars. The more generic definition of odyssey is a long trip filled with notable experiences and challenges. Both of these apply to Jacob in this novel. The novel starts out with Jacob on his way to see his brother Alex. The zombie virus has hit world wide and they have plans to wait out the trouble at their cabin in the woods that they have been prepping for emergencies. Things go bad right from the start, Alex who is a local police officer has contracted the virus. Jacob stays with him through his finial hours praying it’s just the flu. When it’s clear that his brother has turned Jacob starts his transformation with the hard choice of killing his brother. This novel takes you through Jake’s transformation of a passive easy going fifth grade teacher to the killer and hero he becomes. The beginning chapters, after Jacob realizes he is on his own, detail his plans for escaping from the Salt Lake Valley that has been his home. The story takes place in the Salt Lake Valley neighborhoods. The zombies are everywhere and thanks to barricades and mass exodus of people trying to escape all the roads are blocked with abandoned and crashed vehicles. This makes driving out of the Valley impossible. There is a lot of narrative on Jacob’s mindset and his plans. It can get tedious at times reading though this but it builds up so you understand who Jacob is, and how his transformation in the second half of the book takes place. Running for your life from zombies can be a lonely experience. Jake is fine with being on his own. He has to survive finding homes that are empty and learn how to avoid the zombies that are learning to hunt in packs, also he encounters an “alpha” that is more human than most zombies, making him more deadly. Jake has a good plan and it works out well for him, right up till he gets a call from Sarah. From there on his solitary journey is now mingled with Sarah, her daughter Becky, and their friend Raj. This is where the book turns from being strictly survival and you go deeper into Jake’s personality, his history, and see his growth. The relationship dynamics between Jake and the other three main characters develops quickly, as they are together less than a week. This is not a romance story but the depth of the relationships parallels the danger they are all in. Russ Melrose does an excellent job providing the reader with the fear and thought process involved in surviving the zombie virus. He touches on the source of the zombie virus being anything from a terrorist action to an intentional population control action by the government. I didn’t care much for the conspiracy theory Russ interjects but I can see how it pushes the plot along, and leaves the story line open for further books should he choose. Overall Jacob’s Odyssey is a well written novel, original, and has enough action to keep the reader turning pages.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Cee-Jay Aurinko for Readers' Favorite Russ Melrose’s protagonist in his debut novel Jacob’s Odyssey (Dead Dayz Volume 1) is Jacob Henricksen, a fifth grade school teacher with nothing about him that would tell anybody else that he’s an “action hero.” Plagued by the memory in which he had to kill his own brother, Jake makes his way through other people’s backyards to a cabin somewhere in the Wasatch Mountains. While occupying one of many abandoned homes, Jake receives a phone call from a woman who asks for food for her and her daughter. What Jake finds at the woman’s location is another person – a cheerful yoga teacher. When they ask Jake for a favor, Jake doesn’t hesitate to comply. Maybe by helping them, he can make up for what he did to his brother. According to colorful internet patois, the virus, never named in the book, has already turned most of the human population into "infected," "grays," "zombies," "zeds," or "runners." What sets this post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world apart from most fictitious creations is that in this one, the internet is still up and running. I like how Jake, being a fifth grade school teacher and all, got a chance to use that to his advantage in the novel. For an antagonist, Jake has to contend with an alpha that he refers to as the "Swimmer." The Swimmer quickly becomes Jake's bane, showing up around every corner, smart and calculating. He is a chilling addition to the storyline and a welcome counter plot. Blood-and-guts moments are never very far off, making one fear for the lives of the protagonist and the people he must protect.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
What? Another zombie infestation caused by a virus? Definitely not! Russ Melrose’s Jacob’s Odyssey is a story of survival against the odds, of personal redemption and how one average joe learns to become a survivor and a savior. What would you do if the world was overrun with killer zombies? Jake had no idea himself until he had two choices, survive or die. Follow Jake as we see through his eyes and feel through his heart and mind just how much inner strength lies hidden beneath the most unlikely of heroes when the odds are stacked against him and others are depending on him for survival. Sure, we have guts and gore, and zombies galore, most mindless and desperate only for food, but one in particular will dispel any notion that zombies are created equal and he has Jake in his sights in the race to get out of town and to the safety of the mountains. Jake almost made it, until one call from a desperate mother changed his plans and gave him a chance to atone for something he did that haunting as it was, could not be avoided. Russ Melrose has upped the bar for zombie reading everywhere as he focuses on one man, and the transformation he undergoes in his journey to safety. Jake is extremely likable, he is the guy you see on the street, nothing outstanding about him, nothing that would say, hey-that guy is hero material! In this one character, Russ Melrose has put his mark on the zombie world and sent a message, zombies beware! The supporting characters are not as developed, perhaps because to make them crystal clear would be to uncover their secrets too soon? Brilliant writing, a plot that never lets one breathe and an imagination that never lets up, Russ Melrose has a new fan and Jake is my hero. I received this copy from Russ Melrose in exchange for my honest review.
PollyH More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy from Mr. Melrose in exchange for an honest review. Thoroughly enjoyable book in the zombie-fic genre. As Jake makes his way through a desolate Salt Lake Valley to his isolated cabin in the mountains, he rises to each challenge. The book reminded me of the Mark Tufo zombie series, but I think this one was more realistic and insightful as to what would happen during an apocalyptic event. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys this genre.