Bookworm Bird | 18 March 2015 | Scarlett Spectre

At the end of the last book (Zom-B Family), we saw B being carted away by a hoard of chanting babies into the awaiting clutches of the crazy clown Mr.Dowling(never did I think that sentence would ever exist).

Things don’t look good, but things are not always what they seem.

Dowling for all his crazed efforts, is a misunderstood, demented man who, in his brilliance, has driven himself to insanity. Mr.Dowling has had plans in motion since the very beginning, most, if not all, including or revolving around B. And his next big play is to marry her, yeah right.

For a book entitled Zom-B Bride, the book heavily focuses on Mr. Dowling, his mutants, his babies and his past as well as his secrets. Up till this point, we’ve only ever seen Mr.Dowling as the crazed villain, the Devil to Oystein’s Angel as it were, but Darren Shan flips the coin.

He is given a voice, though admittedly provided via a painful/euphoric electricution between the brains in conversation, and he reveals a lot more than I expected.  We get a proper idea about what he envisioned, who he was before he became the crazed clown, though he reins in his former human life, letting slip only a few memories of his family, wife…children. For the first time in the series, we stop seeing Mr. Dowling as some fictional entity but as a human being who thought he was doing the right thing, and the best/worst part is, I sympathised with him,

Of course, a Shan book wouldn’t be a Shan book without a few gruesome revelations.

We see Dowling’s lair – not the circus area mentioned in the short book Zom-B Circus – and see the other side to some of his minions, including a teacher from B’s school, who teaches the babies – who strangely become likable in a weird and deranged way.

We have a more gruesome version of Oystein’s groove tubes and an insight into both Dowling’s obsession with B and her purpose in the grand scheme of things. There is a lot less action than previous books but despite that, Zom-B Bride pulls no punches.

In Zom-B Bride, we see the pieces of the puzzle slowly starting to form, the strings twisting their path to the ultimately insane, gruesome but thrilling climax

And not to forget, a nicely tied in cliffhanger to make us pull our hair out.

Final Thoughts:

Yet another perfect continuation of a strange and twisted tale, plot- driven and dramatic, the next installment will no doubt be a whopper!

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