The Bookbag | 31 January 2015 | Jill Murphy

A quick catch-up: revitalised zombie B Smith has only escaped from serial killer Dan-Dan's clutches by agreeing to a Faustian pact with Mr Dowling. In order to save the surviving humans inside Battersea Power Station, she's agreed to surrender herself to Mr Dowling, the crazy clown and mortal enemy of B's mentor, Doctor Oystein. In this zombie apocalypse, Mr Dowling and Doctor Oystein are in a kind of cold war stalemate, each possessing a formula that could wipe the other out.

So B heads off to join a man she considers to be the worst of the worst, borne aloft by the crazed mutant babies who insist on calling her Mummy. Once at his underground HQ, she's restored from her terrible injuries by a combination of blood baths and surgeries. But Mr Dowling's aesthetic eye is somewhat different to traditional standards of beauty...

... but what does the clown want with B? Well, the title of this instalment should give you some clue!

Just as you think things can't get any more twisted, up pops Darren Shan with some even more surreal developments in this zombie series. This is the tenth book and there are only two more to go, yet I don't have the tiniest clue how it's all going to end. I love the unexpected and the unexpected is what Shan always delivers.

And that's all you're getting! As ever, this is a short, sharp chapter in the unfolding story and, while it leaves you wanting more, it does present a slightl problem for the reviewer. Say too much and you'll have given it all away. Suffice it to say that ZOM-B Bride is chock full of blood, guts, twists, turns and surprises. As you'd expect it to be!

I have to say that ZOM-B Bride has my favourite cover yet from this series. B looks FIERCE! And it's about time that I gave a shout out to Warren Pleece, the DC Comics artist, who has been providing full-page, vivid images for the entire saga. His pictures of Shan's hellish zombified world have always matched the ones conjured up in my mind as I read. They're energetic and busy and nutty and, ironically, vital.

More deliciously gory undead series you might enjoy include The Enemy by Charlie Higson and Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

4 stars.

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