Kirkus | 15 September 2012 |

Shan’s baaa-aaaack.

 

For B Smith, school is a bore and home is a battlefield, with a racist and abusive father around whom to navigate. The years of hate have taken their toll, with B provoking fights against nonwhite students to earn parental approval and hiding friendships that would incur parental wrath. When zombies begin massacring B's fellow students, it turns into a survival challenge, and B must cooperate with a diverse set of survivors to flee the barricaded school. Shan brings back his tried-and-true shock and gore narratives, with gruesome brain scooping and death-defying action sequences. Troubled by divided loyalty between father and friends, B's character is well-drawn though occasionally naïve; B often elects not to make any choice in difficult situations, and Shan doesn't fully explore the consequences of those moments of inaction. The English slang may cause momentary trouble, but tension over immigration crosses the pond easily enough. Shan packs in the bites, and he rips out enough entrails for even the most jaded zombie fan; the cliffhanger ending, now expected by his fans, closes on just the right note to leave the audience gnawing for more.

 

A series opener to sink your teeth into. (Horror. 12-18)

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