Monday, October 22, 2012

Zom-B ~ Darren Shan review

Zom-B (Zom-B #1)
Cliff Nielsen, Illustrator
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
October 16, 2012
174 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

London's news coverage is filled with reports of zombie attacks in Ireland. People there are being murdered and eaten by zombies that fill the streets at night. B's mother is, of course, terrified by the apparent zombie outbreak and what it could soon mean for London - and her family.

B, though has other worries. Growing up with a father who hates, whose fists drive his point home, B's learned it's easier to go along with his hatred of blacks, Muslims, anyone different than to speak up - than to think anything different. It even gets B in fights at school for having some of the same beliefs, of seeming to.

Things all change when zombies do show up in London, at the school even and B's forced to work with anyone - regardless of skin color or ancestry - able to keep it together enough to stay alive.

Zom-B may not have been what I was expecting. The first half to maybe even two thirds of this, yes, short, novel are a zombie novel in the same way that This Is Not a Test was a zombie book: You know they're coming, you know they're out there, you know something bad will eventually happen but it's all but a contemporary. But, rest assured, there are zombies - and as this is a series, I'm guessing there will be only more to come.

The beginning, almost contemporary part of this book deals a lot with B's father's racism and B's struggle with that. Does going along with your father to avoid his wrath, even agreeing with and/or rationalizing his beliefs mean you really agree with him?

This is a great debate for a character to have (internal or otherwise) and I actually quite liked how condensed, how sparse it was. It felt like we got to see just enough of the relationship between B and B's father to understand B's turmoil. It didn't make B an entirely sympathetic character, nor did it make B an entirely unsympathetic character.

There's a great twist close to the end that I loved and cast most of the rest of the story (earlier parts included) in a different light. I love how it was done - and that it was.

This is the first book in the Zom-B series and it seems to get things set up well for the subsequent books in the series. The ending isn't as frustrating as those of the Larten Crepsley series, by the same author, but it definitely leaves you hanging and curious for Book 2 - Zom-B: Underground out in January.

Rating: 8/10


thank you to LBYR for my copy of the book to review


  1. This is really interesting. I really enjoyed This Is Not A Test, so I think I'll put this one on my TBR. Thanks for the review!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    1. I don't think I knew there would be so much 'story' outside of the zombies in this. It may just have been set-up for the rest of the series . . . but it was interesting knowing that the zombies were coming at some point, just not when.

      Thanks for the comment :)


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