Confessions of a Book Addict | 19 January 2013 |

Zom-B by Darren Shan is not the kind of book I anticipated it to be. In fact, it deals more with the cruel reality of racism, abuse, and dysfunctional youth, than zombies. I personally love a good zombie novel now and again, but this one left me wondering when the zombie snacking would begin. One cool aspect, however, was Shan’s ability to make the protagonist an androgynous character and keep it a mystery until the very end.


For a long time I wanted SOMETHING to happen. I kept expecting the zombies to barge into the storyline, teeth chomping away at the characters and stomachs growling for a slice of brain, but when does this happen? About three quarters of the way into the novel. And okay, the prologue and pictures were pretty awesome, but the story just fell a little short for me.


Granted, Zom-B is the first book in a series, so I can sort of understand Shan’s careful pace for his zombie series.


The writing, despite the pacing, was good. It gave me an insight into B’s world and how s/he interacts with everything around him/her. It was fun catching a glimpse of the dialect and his/her way of life. Shan’s talent at making the reader feel like s/he is beside B was what made his book interesting. He is also has the odd talent of making the most mundane things (like babies) appear absolutely terrifying.


Basically, Shan’s book is wonderfully written and a disturbingly honest representation of racism and abuse in countries that appear to be accepting more and more multiculturalism, but it is slow going and may make the reader a teeny bit impatient—especially if s/he is a zombie enthusiast.


I would recommend Zom-B to readers of horror fiction that have tough protagonists and unexpected conclusions. I would advice, however, to be patient. I, for one, am hoping that the second installment makes up for Zom-B’s lackluster premise.


By the way, when the zombie action picks up it really picks up. The gore that the previous chapters missed out on are splattered on the last few chapters for the reader’s twisted enjoyment.


I give Darren Shan’s Zom-B: 3/5 stars.

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