Easier Than Speech | 06 May 2014 |

Well I was stacking shelves at work when an interesting book cover caught my attention. ‘Ooh, Zombies… Oooh, Darren Shan.’ So at the end of my shift I bought the book, returned home and discovered it was the second in the series. Being a fan of the author (though I’ve fallen well behind with his works) I immediately went online and ordered the first one.


The book was what I expected from Shan, fast paced, enjoyable, gruesome and exciting, but it seemed a little deeper than his other works with the dealings of racism and such things, though it did still seem to be for the same aged audience which I would definitely say was younger than me (I’d say young teenagers), but that didn’t stop me from really enjoying this book and getting through it extremely quickly and it could well be that his other works also deal with similar topics but that I had just never noticed (racks brain but comes up with nothing).


At first I couldn’t stand the main character. They just seemed like one of those fake hard people that I find pathetic, and they seemed to be willing to do anything to fit in. To be honest, there was a moment when I felt like abandoning the book, but the writing kept me entertained and I wondered whether the only reason I didn’t like the character was because I didn’t ‘get’ them, after all, I’ve grown up in a completely different environment than B. So I continued, and as the book went on and I saw more of B’s life, I started to understand the character more, and why they were like they were. As soon as that started happening I started to like the main character.


A character that I still didn’t think much of, was the Headteacher and I really did not find the scene with her in believable and didn’t think that it brought much to the story, just annoyance. Of course, I didn’t like B’s father either, but I didn’t like him in the good way, not liking him for his personality rather than not being a very good character.


I thought that the relationship between the protagonist and their father was very interesting and especially what it resulted in. B would do anything for their father’s approval. Then the situation with Tyler reminded me a lot of Milgram’s study of obedience where it was basically shown that people would go as far to kill another, through the obedience of an authority figure, even though they knew what they were doing was wrong and wanted to stop. In this case, B’s father was the authority figure and on top of that, B wanted to do ‘right’ by him to try and win his affection and approval like many kids do (like going into a career that their parents want not what they want).


There was another thing that I didn’t like in ways of characters. And that was the shear amount of them, I just kept getting confused as to who was who. But then again, at school there are a lot of people and B was popular so it makes sense for there to be a lot of characters.


The scene when they were at the Holocaust exhibit I really enjoyed, partly because of B’s emotions and thoughts being very similar to mine when I went, and because it helped B grow as a character. Oh, and it can link to the scene with Tyler and B’s obedience as once again, the results of Milgram’s study can offer an explanation as to why so many people were able to help create the Holocaust.


YES! ZOMBIE BABIES! All the way through The Walking Dead I have been saying that I really want to see zombie babies and here they are. All right it’s only in dreams but it’s still there. Talking of dreams, this dream definitely seems important, as does the scar. But we’ll have to wait to find that out.


Some of the pictures amused me, like when there’s a teacher being eaten by zombies next to a poster about eating your five a day.


You know what I really didn’t get? How B ran back into the building after they had escaped. I know that it was in defiance to what B had done and their father, but surely just run in a completely different direction. Though I suppose that B might not have been in the best state of mind at the time, so was bound to act bizarrely. But still? Then it takes it to a cliff hanger ending. Dududu, well at least I have the next book.


Overall I really enjoyed this book and it took me a little while to decide whether I would give it four or five stars. If you look above you can see what I gave it in the end. As I already have the second book in this series I am looking forwards to seeing what happens next.


*Looking back at this review I now understand why B went back into the building. In fact, it’s the sort of thing that I would do myself if angry or upset with someone or if I wanted to prove some sort of point.

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