Audiobook Heaven | 04 March 2013 | Steven Brandt

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: During the last year or so, Zombie fiction has become a booming genre, as if you hadn’t already noticed that. Zombies seem to be invading our culture from every quarter: movies, literature, television, you name it. I’m not a huge fan of Zombies personally, but I do enjoy tales of the post-apocalyptic variety. Since the two commonly go hand-in-hand I thought I would really enjoy Zom-B. Unfortunately, this one didn’t really grab me.

 

For one thing, Zom-B is not a post-apocalyptic story as I had hoped. In fact it’s not even apocalyptic. If anything you might say it’s pre-apocalypse. The majority of the story is just background information introducing us to the main characters and giving us a feel for why they do and say the things that they do and say. I believe in strong character development; Stephen King always takes his time introducing characters and does a fine job of it, but if the character development becomes the whole story, there’s a problem. The zombies didn’t show up until the very end of the audiobook and they were not very impressive. I know this is only the first book of a series but really there just isn’t enough here to whet my appetite.

 

Secondly, I had a hard time getting behind main character B. B’s father is a flaming racist, hating every human being who was not born and raised in England, and he also likes to beat his wife and daughter. I suppose B’s upbringing was meant to make us sympathize with her but it didn’t work out that way. Throughout the story B insists, mostly to herself, that she is not a racist like her father but her actions betray her. She is prejudiced against other races and sometimes goes out of her way to pick fights with them, making her no better than her father. B is courageous and I like that, and she did show signs of possibly overcoming her racist tendencies during the climax of the story, but in the end I found myself not really caring if B lived or died.

 

The one thing Zom-B had going for it was the narration. During the last year or so I have had the great pleasure of listening to three or four Emma Galvin narrations and she is simply great. This is the first time, however, that I’ve heard her read with any kind of accent at all. In the very beginning there was a short scene with some Irish characters and her accent was very convincing. The rest of the book was done in a British accent, which was not as good, but it’s still Emma Galvin and I still enjoy listening to her. If it hadn’t been for the strong narration I probably would have given up on this audiobook halfway through.

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