Starburst | 14 February 2013 | Scott Varnham

When considering the ‘statute of limitations’ on book spoilers, we came to the conclusion that at least a year should pass before such spoilers can be talked about with impunity. So, we were about to divulge certain spoilers from the first book when we recalled that the first book is not even one year old, and yet our attention has already been turned to the third book thanks to the ambitious release schedule that Shan has planned.


So how’s the story faring so far? Well, the protagonist, B, has come across a way into the city of the title (London) and has set about exploring it to see how devastating the apocalypse was.


Faithful readers may remember from our interview with the author (Issue 384) that Shan described the Zom-B series as an attempt to “go back to the days of Charles Dickens, when novels were serialised and released in chunks.” A noble aim, but a little misguided in this day and age. The main problem with it is that it leaves the reader feeling very unsatisfied rather than hungry for more. We powered through this one in about two hours.


Disregarding length for the moment, this book shows that he’s still very capable of writing an engrossing story filled with fascinating concepts and creatures. It brings some new concepts to the fore, such as the idea of a zombie artist (that is, an artist who paints watercolours of zombies, not a guy who does body painting for zombies), and slightly expands on previous ones such as the mutants from the first book.


We guess that fans will find a lot to like here (as indeed we did), but feel that the format itself is the main shortcoming of the book (and indeed, the series in general). That said, it is good that we’ve got nine books left to experience, as we’re in no hurry to leave the world that Shan has created here, which should tell you all that you need to know.



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