Book Plunge for Fun: Odd Billy Todd

What do I think of N.C. Reed’s work published by Creative Texts Publishers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A friend told me about this book and I heard a bit of it in audio format and the story I could just not get out of my mind. I kept pondering it over and over. The situation is that Billy is a sort of country boy who might be slow in some ways, but for understanding how to live and how to survive, he’s right on top. He lives in a world where humanity was struck with a plague and within an incredibly short time, most everyone was dead. At the start, as far as Billy knows, he’s the only one left alive.

Billy has a journal that was left behind by his parents and he had noted much of the wisdom of his parents. He tries to make it in this strange world that he finds himself in. Without spoiling too much, I will say it becomes apparent that there are some other survivors here and there and the story is all about the survival of Billy and those he meets that he allies with.

What do you do when everyone is dead? Normally, we would discourage stealing, but is it really stealing to go into town to take what you need if the people who had it are dead and you need to survive? Billy tries everything he can to be a man of morality and virtue as well in this world that he’s in. The book is set in Tennessee, where I happen to live now, and one can easily see the traditional kind of southern values we talk about down here.

No. The book is not explicitly Christian or anything like that, but while religion is not regularly mentioned, if anything is a worldview of the good guys in the book, it is mostly Christianity. While Billy does get weaponry to prepare himself in case of raiders, not knowing who is out there, there is no hint that he really wants anything to do with violence. If he has to engage in it to protect himself or someone he cares about, he will, but he knows it leaves a mark on a man.

Billy doesn’t have much book sense, but he does have common sense and sense of the way the world works. His real training is as a mechanic, but he does know how to run a farm and has an uncanny ability for telling time just by looking at the sky. As his journey continues, he also rises up as a leader.

As I was going through this, I was thinking it would be great if some indy developer was to make a video game out of this. You could have driving stages, farming states, stages involving shooting, and even Sims style relational stages where you learn to relate to others.

As I reached the end of the book, I was honestly saddened. I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, but I was wanting more. I would be pleased to see another book rise up that is a sequel to this. What happens to this world? What happens to all of these people that I have come to know?

If I had any criticism besides that, it would be that there are some grammatical errors in the book such that I wish an editor had done a better job. While that was annoying, it wasn’t enough to detract from the story. I read a chapter a day for 80 days and found it to be a treasure to go through. If you want to read a kind of apocalyptic book of this sort, give it a try. I am sure you’ll like it too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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