Friday, July 11, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: ZOM-B by Darren Shan

Darren Shan
Little, Brown
192 pp.
Ages 12 -17

When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B's racist father thinks it's a joke-- but even if it isn't, he figures, it's ok to lose a few Irish.

B doesn't fully buy into Dad's racism, but figures it's easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. And when dodging his fists doesn't work, B doesn't hesitate to take the piss out of kids at school with a few slaps or cruel remarks.

That is, until zombies attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers.


Shan's Zom-B was a fun gore-filled romp! Only the 2nd zombie book I've ever read, I actually enjoyed it immensely. Shan's unembellished writing style and straight-to-the-point narration made for a fast-paced ride. Some elements I particularly enjoyed was the shocking revelation at the end of who the protagonist "B" really is.  Also, the themes of racism, domestic violence and personal integrity give this story depth. But the best part is just the guts and gore, zombies eating people's brains and eating them alive. The descriptions are not overly disgusting, but you get enough of the picture to image the zombie-infested school and "B"'s desperate race to escape. Zom-B is short, too, just 192 pages with pretty large type and plenty of pen and ink sketches, perfect for the otherwise reluctant reader. And yes, the ending came as a shock. Hee hee.


Profanity:  Moderate (mostly British)
Sexuality:  None
Violence:  High

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