Prepare To Be Bloggled | 19 December 2012 | Jonny Naylor

Seeing as my previous review was a Darren Shan book, I do not need to describe my feelings towards him, I’ll merely summarise them: They are of a loving nature…but manly love, obviously. So when I heard that he was writing a new series for children, I was excited. When he said the series would be about zombies, I became less excited because, and I’m not afraid to admit it, zombies scare the living, and undead, shit out of me. See what I did there? I made a pun. Go me.


But don’t be fooled by him saying his books are for children. Shan’s books for children are like the equivalent of Saw for, well, children. They’re gruesome. However, the first 140 pages, were rather gore-free, except the first paragraph, as is Shan’s style. Like Lady of the Shades, we have an incredibly high tempo at the beginning which is then slowed right down for the next twenty-or-so chapters. The problem is, Zom-B has twenty-seven chapters. The amount of zombie action is a relatively small in relation the book itself, with most of the story being taken up by the main character’s conflict with their racist dad. Another reason why this book is not as suitable for children as first thought. The racism expressed by the father gets rather intense, and violent; epitomised by the sacrificing of a boy to the zombie’s because he is black.


The zombies did eventually appear, and it is very sudden, there are hundreds of zombies rampaging around your school. It is literally in a split second that hell becomes apparent. Which I liked. I was growing tired of waiting for zombies, I wanted someone to get eaten, and when they finally did, it didn’t stop. There is probably more action in the latter half of the book than there is in the whole of X-Men 3, which is saying something. That film just doesn’t know when to stop.


Anyway, what was I talking about… ah yes the book, some of the illustrations (something I originally loved) gave away something that hadn’t actually happened yet, ruining a bit of the story. You’d turn the page and on one side would be a picture of a zombie killing a character. JUST BECAUSE IT’S ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE DOES NOT MEAN I WILL READ THE WORDS ON THE LEFT BEFORE LOOKING AT THE PICTURE! COMMONSENSE! Although they did look cool. Pretty awesomely cool actually.


Zom-B is a slow starter, there’s no denying that. But you can’t look at it as one book, it is the beginning of a rather large series. So when we put it into context, it is an introduction to the series, and therefore the amount of action involved is actually rather high, in context.


Oh, and it has the best twist ever. It is the simplest of twists, and I found myself shocked that I had been so stupidly played by a masterful writer. On this twist alone, I recommend it…highly.

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