The Bookbag | 04 October 2013 | Jill Murphy

WARNING! If you haven't read the first book in this series, STOP READING NOW! NOW! Spoilers ahoy!


Go on. Run along.


Gone? Good.


The story so far: B Smith is a survivor of a zombie apocalypse. When we say survivor, we only half mean it. B is a revitalised zombie - one of the living dead who can talk and walk and think, unlike the others. B has been taken in by Dr Oystein, who is on a mission from God to save the world and who is preparing his group of revitalised Angels to do battle against Mr Dowling and his mutants. Mr Dowling is on a mission from Satan, obviously. We don't like him. However, B isn't big on religion and is finding it difficult to fit in with the Angels. B has some soul-searching to do - if zombies actually have souls to search.


And then there's the baby. The baby who can control the undead. It's terrifying but what role will it play?


This is the fifth book in the ZOM-B series and it's a bit difficult to find new things to say about it to be brutally honest. However, I am a big fan of Darren Shan so I'm going to give it a go. I think the main things to note about ZOM-B Baby are as follows:


~ B is an original thinker. She's independent-minded and needs to make up her own mind about things. I like this in her!

~ Shan stands out as a writer for children who is not afraid to kill off sympathetic characters. I like this in him!

~ The series is gradually shifting from all-about-B to a showdown between good and evil. I like this direction!

~ Warren Pleece's illustrations are super-duper brilliant. I like them!


Everything else is exactly what we've come to expect from this series: B mouthing off, zombies chewing brains, fights, arguments and views of a post-apocalyptic London that is waiting (and hoping) to be reclaimed by the living. It's direct and immediate and gripping. I'm still slightly unsure about the number of books it is taking to tell this story but Darren argued his reasons very well last time I said this and his fans - including both my sons - don't seem to mind. So I'll concede defeat!


It's great. It's gory. It's unforgiving. It's Darren Shan, for heavens sake!


Read the first book in the series before this one! For another story told in short, shocking episodes, try the fantabulous Blade series by Tim Bowler.

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