by Jeremy Robinson

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250031716
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

JEREMY ROBINSON is the author of bestselling thrillers, including Island 731, SecondWorld, The Last Hunter: Descent, Project Nemesis, and the Jack Sigler Thrillers including Threshold and Ragnarok. His novels have been translated into ten languages. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and three children.

Read an Excerpt





A scream tears through the night, grating and inhuman, filled with something that sounds like agony, but I know it means something else. I sit up quickly. “The raccoons are mating again.” I smile, feeling excited at the prospect of finding the stripe-faced creatures. So much about them is foreign to me—the way they walk, how they hunt, and survive, and live. Having so little experience with the world, there isn’t much that doesn’t thrill me, including raccoons and their nocturnal habits.

I’m not sure why I sat up. I couldn’t possibly see the raccoons. Not because I have poor eyesight. I don’t. It’s just that they live on the forest floor and I’m sitting at the center of a rooftop. The old abandoned building, built from red bricks and mortar, is dilapidated, but still sturdy enough. The construction strikes me as flimsy, but it seems to be resisting erosion and the encroaching tree roots. I’m still learning, but I’ve come to one conclusion I’m sure of: the world is always changing, yet always fighting against that change. I suppose that is the nature of things.

My escort—I don’t know his real name, so I call him Heap, on account of his size—is far less interested in the world around us. Instead, he’s wholly, at all times, focused on his mission: to protect me. From what, I’m not sure. The world has never been safer. I suppose I could trip and fall from our ten-story-high perch, but that’s just as unlikely as Heap going off mission. And it doesn’t explain the weapon he carries.

I don’t know what it is or what it does, but when he detects a strange shift in the wind or an out-of-place sound, he snaps that weapon up and scans the area before telling me to proceed.

Perhaps the strangest thing about Heap is that I’ve never seen him without his armor, which is a deep blue exoskeleton. Like a bug. With round glowing white eyes, two on either side of his face. His mouth and chin are exposed, which allows him to speak clearly, and his four round eyes change shape with his moods, so he has no trouble emoting. But it’s strange to never really see him. I know there is a man inside the suit, but he’s a mystery … and he’s my closest friend. My only friend, I suppose.

He’s knowledgeable about the world as it is, and as it was, during the Grind—the time period when the Masters used people as slave labor—but he’s far from an expert on raccoons, or any of the mammals that populate the planet. But when he sits up next to me and says with uncommon reserve, “That wasn’t a raccoon,” I believe him.

When he raises his weapon slowly and stands, I ask, “What then?”

“Silence.” He thrusts an open palm at me with practiced efficiency, punctuating the command.

Heap generally carries himself with a serious demeanor, but I’ve never known him to be rude. Something has him heating up.

I stand without making a sound, maintaining perfect balance and stepping lightly despite the pitch black, moonless night. The tar covering, of what once was something called an apartment building, flexes slightly under my two hundred pound weight, but since it seems to hold Heap’s girth just fine, I don’t worry about it.

Heap’s arm blocks my path as I near the edge.

“I won’t fall,” I tell him.

He ignores me, scanning the evergreen forest that grows around and sometimes through the abandoned buildings.

“It’s impossible,” I say, and I consider explaining all the safeguards that will keep me from losing my balance, but decide it would take far too long. The raccoons, or whatever they are, will be gone before I finish. Instead, I say, “Even if I did fall, I could—”

“I cannot allow you to be hurt or by inaction allow harm to come to you,” he says like he’s practiced the line a thousand times.

“You,” I say, “are not very fun.”

He turns to me. “Fun is not my job.”

“You are more than your job.”

He thinks about this for a long moment, which for Heap is about half a second. “It is not a raccoon.”

“Then what?”

“I cannot see it.”

“I might,” I say and then tap my temple, next to my right eye. “I have all the upgrades, remember? I can see better than the birds in the sky.”

He remains frozen in place, solid, like one of the trees below.

“You can hold onto me if you like,” I say.

He looks back down at the trees.

“If it’s a danger to me, we need to find out what it is, right?”

That does it. My looking over the edge of this building suddenly makes sense to the round-shouldered brute. I take his hand and his thick fingers clamp down tightly, compressing to the point where I think he might hurt me. He doesn’t, though my shoulder joint would probably pop loose and my arm would separate long before he would lose his grip on my hand.

I step to the roof’s edge, make a show of testing my weight on the foot-tall, brick wall, and step up. Standing on one foot, I lean out at a 45-degree angle, hovering over the forest, which now looks like it’s reaching up to snatch me from the building’s edge.

When Heap’s grip tightens just a fraction more and I think my hand will be crushed, I stop leaning and look. The implants in my eyes are capable of viewing multiple spectrums, separately or all at once, though I prefer the clarity provided by focusing on groups of wavelengths at a time. They also have 200x optical zoom, meaning I can see things that are very far away like they’re right next to me. Not that this helps me now. The swaying trees below block most of the visual spectrum, and the open spots are clouded by fine yellow pollen.

“Are you sure it’s not mating raccoons?” I ask. “Even the trees are mating.”

“Just look.”

I blink and switch to infrared, revealing a good number of small animals. Birds sit in the trees and small mammals litter the forest floor. Before I switch to ultraviolet, I note something odd. Granted, I’m new to nature, but over the past few weeks of observation, I have never seen the forest so absolutely still. I listen, tuning my sensitive ears to the sounds of the night. “The insects are silent.”

“I know,” Heap says. “Audio upgrade.”

“Good for you,” I say. “And here I thought you old guys couldn’t change.”

“Just don’t like to. Now look.”

Blink. I switch to ultraviolet. Nothing.

Blink. I switch to electromagnetic. I see it right away. Well, not really. It’s technically obscured from my direct line of sight, but I can see the electromagnetism cast from its form like the glow of a lightbulb. Each living thing on the planet has a unique electromagnetic signature, from fish to cows, but this one is distinct. It’s a man. I’m about to announce that I’ve found something when I notice several more electromagnetic signatures closing in on the first. Three men. One woman. I’m confused by this on several fronts, but manage to conclude, “They’re chasing him.”

“Are they human?” he asks.

“What?” I say, confused. “Of course they are.” I look back in time to see Heap’s grim expression. It’s subtle—I sometimes wonder if he’s capable of emoting—but I see the brief downturn of his mouth before he forces it away. “What else could they be?”



Copyright © 2014 by Jeremy Robinson

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XOM-B 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
garnetS More than 1 year ago
I have to start this review by stating that this certainly deserves as many stars as possible! This is one of those books that took me out of my comfort zone, bothered me somewhat. With a little back and forth with the author, yes, Robinson is that kind of guy, I looked at it from a whole, new perspective. Without giving anything away, I can say that Robinson didn't disappoint! "Civilizations end so that new ones might rise from the ashes." Thus starts the war between the Masters and the slaves. We meet Freeman, a young man who has lived his whole life in protected custody with the Masters, watched over by his Protector and friend, Heap. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Freeman is thrust into a hostile, zombie infested world where he must survive without the help of his protector, and far away from the Masters. Along the way he meets some very colorful characters, the little man Jimbo, the beautiful Luscious, and the houseman Harry, all needing Freeman's protection in order to survive. During the war between the Masters and the slaves, a virus was released that killed most of the Masters and turned the slaves into zombies. Freeman must now try to stop the infestation of the zombies and to try to find the cure. Whom do you trust when you have been lied to your whole life? Where do you start? Find out the horrors that were kept from him, battle the giant robots he must overcome, find out what civilization has endured. Freeman's journey takes him to the end of the line, which is back to the beginning. What will Freeman find at the end of his journey? Maybe the question should be, what will YOU find at the end of the story? I can guarantee that you have not read a book like this before!!
CarolPixieBrearley More than 1 year ago
XOM-B by Jeremy Robinson was definitely a different take on the whole viral outbreak and zombie apocalypse theme in a very good and interesting way! From the moment I started the book I felt invested in the survival of Freeman, rooting him on and holding my breath when he was in trouble. XOM-B brings us to what could very well be our future thanks to the advancements in technology, but will we learn from their mistakes? Probably not. An excellent, hard to put down read!
Nikki8541 More than 1 year ago
XOM-B  Jeremy Robinson has done it again.  You think you know Zombies?  Are you a fan of everything The Walking Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead – Zombies.  Well take everything you think you know about them and throw it out the window.  I love everything Zombie and didn’t think I could really be shown anything new.  How wrong I was!  How about adding in some Robots?  What?  Robots and Zombies!  Yeah figure that one out! Jeremy has come up with a flash bang of a story line. I could not put this book down!  I read until the wee hours of the morning then only slept for a couple of hours because I just had to know what was going to happen to Freeman and Luscious!  Where would they end up next?  I loved Luscious’s character!  Watching her overcome her internal wiring to become the woman she thought she wanted to be was inspired.  As her feelings for Freeman grow so too does her wonder at Freeman and more importantly herself and what she is becoming. Just when you think you have this book figured out – BAM!  Something to make you second guess what you thought was going on.  Jeremy is a master at twist, twist, twisting the plot of a novel.  This book is a great read and I am going to be telling all my friends they need to go get it!  
Mrs_Anastasia More than 1 year ago
Let me start out by saying that when I was thinking of reading this book, I thought "I don't like zombie books", but I love Jeremy Robinson's books. So, I decided to go ahead and read this book. And WOW!! I am so glad I did!! This book has Zombies, Robots, High tech sci-fi, even a rather cute love story. But with that said, Xom-B was the most amazing book I have ever read. Robinson is following in the tracks of some of the greatest authors out there. If you love zombie books read it!! If you can't stand zombie books, read it!! But whatever you do, do not under any circumstances not finish it. The book has the most amazing ending you will ever read. Thats a promise!!
MikeP16 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading XOM-B, and in my opinion, is Robinson’s best book to date. There was action right from the beginning, and as it was written in first person, I felt like I was transformed into the story as the main character, sharing his thoughts and having the same nagging questions as he did. That outlook on the story caused the character development to naturally flow as I continued to read. I found myself just plowing through the story just to learn more about the main character’s situation and try to find the answers to his questions. Robinson has written some fantastic novels in the past, but the bar has been raised with XOM-B.
jlgc More than 1 year ago
XOM-B is a post-apocalyptic story. The story takes place in a large city and its surrounding environs, including downtrodden suburbs and a deserted city. The main characters are Freeman, Heap, Luscious, and Harry. Freeman is young and just learning about the world. Heap is his guide/protector. The characters are credible. After a brief history and a peaceful beginning dialogue between Freeman and Heap, this story becomes non-stop action. Zombies, the infected, are spreading the virus at an alarming rate. Quickly turning everyone into more zombies. Our valiant group is out to find a solution. They have to work hard to stay ahead of the zombie hordes. Freeman is not told all the details, or even the truth of things, and that makes it harder for him to understand what is going on. Heap was my favorite character, as is Freeman. Heap is steadfast in his responsibilities and Freeman shows a refreshing innocence as he discovers the world around him. One of my favorite parts is actually threaded through the book. It is the protectiveness that Heap shows toward Freeman and life and then in turn, Freeman’s protectiveness toward Luscious. The author, Jeremy Robinson, describes music, books, and beauty with wonderful words This book is a well written wild ride. I found myself hooked. I wanted, needed to find out what was going on. The answers are alluded to, but not fully explained until later in the story. I would recommend this book to those who like post-apocalyptic zombie stories, as well as those who like science fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't create a stupid pen name B&N... but my name is Becki Laurent! There! Here's my review! OMG! You have to read this book! Bible story-esque (I won't say which) plus, Like a weird Terminator franchise= HOLY COW! WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE? First you get dropped into action, then more stuff happens and then, blammo, THOUGHTFUL! Wizzah whuzzah? I'm debating things I thought I knew about philosophy and real life! FROM A ZOMBIE BOOK! Did I mention? A FREAKING ZOMBIE BOOK? Who thinks of these things? Jeremy Robinson! That's who!! And now MUST READ IT AGAIN! And don't you wish you were a friend of mine because as soon as I finish typing I'm buying this book for my friends! ARE YOU HEARING ME? That's how good this is!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, Zombies seem to be a popular focus in pop culture at the moment but XOM-B is not so much a zombie novel as it is a work of classic dystopian science fiction. The story focuses on all of the elements that make dystopian sci-fi work. It explores the concepts of class struggle, totalitarian government and the question of what it means to be human in an advanced technological society. It explores the nature of humanity and in the quest for a utopian society it shows how humanity can go astray in a very dark and haunting way. Freeman, the story's protagonist, is a classic dystopian hero...one who quite literally grows in a utopian state and as he matures he learns that not all is right with the world or with his understanding of how things are meant to be, His questioning leads to continued growth, the development of trust, love and vengeance and eventually rebellion from the powers that be. All of these archetypes are woven into a thrilling and exciting novel full of action, suspense and of course a zombie plague that plays an integral part in Freeman's character development. There is a small collection of supporting characters who are all well developed and each, in their own way, plays an important role in the overall story's development. There are no "throwaway" or useless characters here. They all have purpose and the reader will inevitably develop a favorite. Overall, Jeremy Robinson has managed to combine elements of Philip K. Dick and Issac Asimov with his own unique brand of thrilling fiction to create a new breed of science fiction. As the story progresses the reader will want answers which makes XOM-B the type of book you will not want to put down until you get those answers.
Kelnyg1 More than 1 year ago
I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book - robots, zombies and great writing what more does a person need from a book? So much so, that as soon as it arrived and I was greeted with the choice of reading or sleep, I chose to read and I definitely don't regret that decision. As always, Jeremy Robinson has written excellent characters that you love or/ and hate in equal measure. I thought Xom-B was fantastic, it incorporates lots of thoughts on what it is to be human, with nasty enemies and a  few surprises. I'm waiting for the announcement that its going to be a movie because this is the sort of book that is crying out to be made. We as an audience need it. 
smanke More than 1 year ago
This is, by far, one of the more unique genre fiction novels that I've had the pleasure of reading.  And while the title implies a zombie based plot, the book is more distinctively science fiction than it is horror.  Set in the not distant enough future, this is at its core a cautionary tale— an all too plausible, "what if" scenario that at first seems somewhat farfetched.  But by the end of the book, odds are that you'll find yourself no longer considering the events of this book as implausible as they might have first seemed. First and foremost, Xom-B is the tale of one man's wide-eyed and innocent discovery.  It's told from the first person-present perspective.  While at first this point of view was a little jarring and unfamiliar to me, it soon became more comfortable.  I have no doubt that it was the right perspective from which to tell this particular tale.  So much of what happens is made much more effective by the real-time first person point of view, and I think my initial discomfort from the perspective came simply from the fact that so few books utilize this perspective. There's no question that every aspect of this story is creative and thought-provoking.  But for as much as I enjoyed the first 75% of the book, nothing prepares you for the kickass ride that is triggered at the story's climax.  Once you reach that point, hang on.  Not only are ALL of your questions answered, but the book turns into a killer roller coaster ride that's just about impossible to put down until you reach that last page. If you like zombie fiction, this book is for you.  If you like quality science fiction, this book is for you.  If you want to see the two paired in a single, fun thriller— Xom-B is the book for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've got two words for you: Zombies and Robots! For most fans of the sci-fi/action drama, need I really say more?! Do those two words combined not already make you salivate with anticipation and make you want to dive right in? Fans of books like World War Z and Robopocalypse are in for a treat because Robinson beats them both! Well for anyone who is already hooked, I am only going to say good things from now on (because every single time I read something by Jeremy Robinson I am always blown away and this time is no different) so you can just stop reading this review, get the book and start reading about, Zombies and Robots! For those of you who may still be skeptical about how good this book actually is, let me help guide you towards getting this book without hesitation. Yeah ok, this book is insanely awesome because it has zombies and robots in it and I think its no spoiler to say, they fight. They fight in huge beautifully written battles that may take the reader across miles of landscapes yet you never get lost in an overabundance of scenery or explanation of action or devastation. Robinson always knows how to give the reader just enough to perfectly imagine what is happening while allowing us to read smoothly as though you are watching a movie. I don't know how he does it but the images just form and you can actually see the action, drama, and suspense as though you were there. So yes, Jeremy Robinson has proved time and time again that he knows his science and he knows his action. Here is something that I have just lately started to realize about Robinson also, and it is something that he does to perfection in this book. The man can create a character. Many people my pick up Robinson's books because they are always a sci-fiers dream! Lately however, I find myself getting more and more excited about his coming out with new books because I want to meet his new characters. He develops his characters with such amazing clarity that after a couple of pages, you already feel like you've met them before. In Xom-B he not only creates wonderful class based characters who fit perfectly into the story he is telling, he also brings the reader on a journey of self discovery. Robinson has been doing this a lot lately in his more recent stories and as always the journey of discovery is just as exciting as wondering what is going to blow up next. Xom-B is not only an amazing story of action and suspense, it is most importantly a beautiful story of survival and how far one would go to become the person they are meant to be. It is a perfect mix of a literal journey for the characters but also a metaphorical one detailing (amazingly for each and every character, not just the main character) a harrowing journey of self discovery of who they started out as, and who they could ultimately be. With Robinson's natural talent for pacing, narrative and dialogue you fly down this path with the characters and hope that they all make it to the end of the story and become what they dream to be. I could rant and rave about this book (and sorry if I already have) but I just need to say one more thing. This book, this amazing story that has zombies and robots, that has hovering cars and giant robots (not just small ones, that has rail beams and decaying mobile corpses, has something greater than all of that. It has heart. It is a wonderful look at what it means to be alive. And it asks you this question in stark contrast to a background of walking dead. You are left wondering exactly what it means to be human, to be alive, to have a soul and to exist. If you are looking for action and adventure, you found it. If you are looking for a great science fiction romp, you found it. If you are looking for a book that will make you think once you flipped that last page, you definitely found it. So enjoy Robinson at his best! Also, did I mention...ROBOTS and ZOMBIES!!!!!!!
Farley1 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most unique books I have read. Zombies, robots & hover cars AWESOME. This book is like nothing you have ever read the story is full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Xom-B is the best book Jeremy has written to date, You won't be disappointed!
chrisgoldman5 More than 1 year ago
A fantastic book. It's like he re-invented the genre.  Jeremy took a well known and established genre and put a whole new polish and spin on it.  It's fast paced and always keeps you guessing.  Another masterpiece By Jeremy Robinson!
HeatherBeth More than 1 year ago
XOM-B is the BOMB!!! Wow, did Jeremy Robinson over deliver above and beyond my expectations. Xom-b is a refreshing and different zombie, sci fi thriller with everything you need for a gripping story and hopefully a new series. Robinson blew me away with the multi-faceted layers and themes found throughout the book like slavery, freedom and class structure, survival of the fittest and human evolution, genocide and global domination to name a few. His characters are very believable. From our protagonist Freeman to Luscious, Heap and Harry, whom all represent different walks of life that come together for one purpose, to save human kind from the Sir's of the world. Seeing the world through Freeman's perspective was so true and innocent that he became so real to me. I felt his pain, his love and his happiness and even shed some tears. Only the great mind of Robinson would put together a story like this. A cross between I Robot, Ellysium and Dawn of the Dead all in one. I did not want this adventure to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Early science fiction was more than just robots and hover-cars, it was a commentary on the condition of man as seen through the eyes of a fictional future. XOM-B was a futuristic melding of the early type of social science fiction written by Issac Asimov with the flat out action thriller that is Jeremy Robinson’s forte. The author throws in some zombie hordes and a couple of unexpected plot twists to create a modern science fiction novel that is both entertaining and thought provoking. Despite the presence of ambulating undead this book is more than a horror story, despite the action it is more than a thriller, and despite the trials faced by its characters it is more than a comment on the nature of humanity. This is a well-written story that is greater than the sum of its parts; it can be enjoyed simply as an exciting adventure or taken more seriously, and given greater contemplation. It is a recommended read for fans of horror, science fiction and action who want something intriguing and better than the ordinary.
Peligrie More than 1 year ago
I'm not primarily a science fiction reader but this had elements of the story that I really enjoyed. Jeremy Robinson's writing style drives the story forward and the book gives me wonderful flashbacks to a movie I've seen, without meaning to- and without any distinct, or direct intended imagery (there's nothing in here that tells the reader that he's seen the movie--it's just that feeling, and that imagery that in my head as the story slips forward). I can "see" the movie "9" in the environment that Freeman moves around in and that gives me happy thoughts all around. I definitely recommend checking this book out. Even if you're not quite sure it's your genre or not, Jeremy Robinson has a way of casting a storytelling spell over you to where you start not to think in 'genres', but in just the story itself. Full of action, adventure, zombies, and adrenaline - I think that you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. And if you're looking over the reviews because you haven't picked it up yet-- and are thinking about it...try out the audiobook. R.C Bray is an excellent narrator and it'll give you 11.5 hours of enjoyment. Pop that audio on in your car on your way to work--it'll put a smile on your face before your feet hit that well known linoleum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im quite the zombie fan and enthusiast. When I read XOM-B, I was settled in for what looked like a rather well written, run of the mill post apocalyptic zombie book. But as I read more and more, I found myself rather enthralled by its characters and story. Putting it down didn't last very long as I was frequently day dreaming about this world the author had created and wanting to know more. Up until a surprising turn I was guessing with some surety as to its culmination. And I was not disappointed in its unveiling. XOM-B is every zombie enthusiasts appetite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended... Robinson is an excellent writer and his skill shows h3re Learly and descr8ptive
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to fjh res six if u wanna do it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant we both be slaves i wont gwt in ur way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best I've read in a while. Definitely keeps you turning pages.
roxygurl More than 1 year ago
Awesome! awesome book! Highly recommend! Fun read with mix of action, adventure, humor.  I'm not fan of zombie themed books but this book, i found entertaining mostly bec the characters are so likeable and story well written.  Hard to put the book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tried to be sci-fi meets zombie apocalypse and failed miserably. It was ridiculous in the extreme. I finished it by skimming battle scenes that seemed to comprise half the book. I had a theory about one of the characters and wanted to see if I was right. I paid for that curiosity much more than it was worth. I don't know what book the glowing review givers read but it couldn't have been this one. I don't see how anyone could love this book but to each his own. You have been warned. That's more than anyone did for me.
Mattyshack More than 1 year ago
A fantastic novel with twists & turns you never see coming until they smack you in the face. this is not your typical XOM-B story. this is NEW and REFRESHING.