Alluring Reads | 25 June 2013 | Jenni

Holy freaking cliffhanger, batman! I am actually mad at this book right now. But, beyond my anger at the shocking last page of this book I have to say that I had an absolute riot reading this novel. It definitely wasn’t what I had expected in that it actually reads a bit like an issue book for the first 75% but rest assured zombie lovers that the last 25% holds a heavy amount of the blood and the guts.


Opening with a scene labelled as “Then” we start out as an 11 year old boy named Brian who wakes up in the middle of the night to find that zombies have taken over his small Ireland town. Once that short scene is over we move into “Now” and we are B who is living in London with an abusive father and submissive mother. B is struggling growing up under the fathers hold. See, not only is he abusive but he is incredibly racist and expects the same to come from his child. We get to see B’s inner turmoil and the struggle that comes along with worrying about growing up just like the father. I was quite surprised to see just how heavily the novel delved into these issues. B’s turmoil really comes to a head on a trip to a war museum where the whole class gets to see a very real picture of the racism that took place in World War II. The viciousness of the racism in the novel could definitely be seen as cruel, unnecessary and shocking to some readers but I have to say that I enjoyed watching B struggle with identity.


There aren’t many characters to come to like in the novel, but I think here that is OK. I still found myself rooting for B once the shit hit the fan, which admittedly doesn’t happen for quite some time. The beginning of the novel is spent watching B run around town with his group of thugs and misbehaving at school. I think this was a good call because I felt like we came to know the relationships and characters really well before they started fighting for their lives. This also led to drawing out a more shocked feeling as to the twists and turns that come later in the novel. For the last 30 pages of the novel I was actually slack jawed by all the twists that came to light.


I think this is a solid beginning to a series that I am really going to like. Shan did such a great job of setting the scene and getting me sucked into B’s life. I really wish there was more that I could say about this one but so much could be seen as spoilers, I even had a really tough time writing what I have because it had to be worded very carefully. At a mere 217 pages this novel packs a unique punch and deals with much more than the blurb lets on. If you are looking for a zombie novel with substance, I think this is a great place to start.


4 stars.

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