BuyZombie | 08 April 2013 | Theresa Derwin

Darren Shan, successful children’s horror author, has just released Zom-B: City, part three of his 12 part zombie series for kids (and discerning adults). The time for avoiding spoilers is over, so beware! Here they come.


In the first novel, we met young B, who at he end of the novel has been turned into a zombie and we learn that she is a girl, which comes as a surprise given the way in which it was written.


In Zom-B Underground, we read about the teenager’s first encounter with the strange Mr Dowling. At the beginning B is trapped in an underground military facility, part of a series of experiments on the zombies. But B is not like your normal everyday zombie, because B Smith can think and feel and reason. She is a complex character, reminiscent of the likes if Danny McCoyne from David Moody’s Hater series; flawed, yet likable. At the beginning of Zom-B: City, B has escaped the underground bunker but will only survive the city if she can find human brains, and she can only retain her thoughts and humanity if she feeds on these brains. The cruncher is however, that B has a finite time limit on her continued existence. No matter how many brains she consumes, B will die within 18 months. So, B decides to use her time wisely. She is searching the city for a government presence, looking for scientists who can use her blood to find a cure. But along the way, she has to survive against all odds.


The end in particular, like its two predecessors, ends with a cliff-hanger. The great thing about this series is that the books are released frequently enough so the reader doesn’t lose track of what’s happening, the price is affordable, and if you do forget what happened in the previous books, Shan provides a two page summary reminder titled ‘Then’.


Visually, the three books in the series are strong as well, boasting fine interior artwork to illustrate key passages.


There is so much more to these books than I expected there to be. With a couple of neat twists, some age appropriate visceral horror and laugh out loud humour, Shan again proves he is a top notch children’s writer.


I look forward to the next installment.


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