Monster Librarian | 12 July 2013 |

Zom-B is the first title in a new series of the same name, by teen horror master Darren Shan. B is a teen in England, with a troubled life, with an abusive, racist father. When a small town in Ireland is decimated by zombies, B’s father dismisses the reported attacks as a ploy by the media. Soon B discovers that that zombie attack in Ireland was not an isolated incident, and that B’s world is about to change for the worse.

 

 

It is fascinating to see the specter of racism brought forward in a zombie book. Daniel Waters’ Generation Dead series approaches it with the racism of the living against the relatively innocent reanimated. In Zom-B the zombies are ruthless killing machines looking to devour the living; it is the naked racism of B’s father against immigrants, the Irish, and anyone who has a different skin color that is made real, and that impacts B and how B reacts to people. It should be noted that B is not presented as an angel, committing minor crimes here and there, struggling internally with racism that permeated B’s household.

 

 

Shan doesn’t hold anything back in describing the bloody and gory zombie attacks. Zom-B is a testament to Shan’s remarkable skill as a writer, as he challenges the reader’s preconceptions of everything, including B. While providing necessary back story, Shan keeps the pace up, and then the action explodes at the end.Highly recommended for middle and high school libraries and YA collections. Future books in the series is Zom-B Underground and Zom-B: City to be released in 2013.

 

 

Contains: Gore, violence, racism

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