Freeman is a genius with an uncommon mixture of memory, intelligence and creativity. He lives in a worldwide utopia, but it was not always so. There was a time known as the Grind—when Freeman's people lived as slaves to another race referred to simply as "Master." They were property. But a civil rights movement emerged. Change seemed near, but the Masters refused to bend. Instead, they declared war.
Now, the freed world is threatened by a virus, spread through bites, sweeping through the population. Those infected are propelled to violence, driven to disperse the virus. Uniquely suited to respond to this new threat, Freeman searches for a cure, but instead finds the source—the Masters, intent on reclaiming the world. Freeman must fight for his life, for his friends and for the truth, which is far more complex and dangerous than he ever imagined.
Robinson's lightning fast, cutting-edge novels have won over thriller, horror, science-fiction and action/adventure fans alike, and he has received high praise from peers like James Rollins, Jonathan Maberry, and Scott Sigler. XOM-B is a wildly inventive zombie novel with a high-tech twist that will keep readers guessing until the very last sentence.
In the prologue, set in 2052, of this solid zombie thriller from Robinson (Island 731), 10 attack helicopters wipe out unarmed protesters near Manhattan's Grand Central Station in what's billed as a preemptive strike intended to kill them "before they even think about killing us." Delaying the reveal of who exactly is attacking whom works, and the mystery continues as the action moves forward a year and a scientist steals a vial with a virus that could kill billions. The main action, set in 2074, focuses on the struggles of a narrator with the portentous name of Freeman to survive an onslaught of zombies with the aid of a protector, Heap, whom Freeman has never seen without an elaborate exoskeleton. Freeman knows little about his world or its immediate past, when beings known as the Masters enslaved humanity. The resolution isn't the author's strongest, and the escaping the undead scenes get a bit repetitive.