Fluttering Butterflies | 27 September 2012 | Clover

Zom-B by Darren Shan was a quick, surprising read for me. Based on the cover and my very limited knowledge of the horror books that Darren Shan writes for teenagers, I really expected one thing from this book. Really, several things: blood and gore and severed body parts. And while I may have thought there'd be more of that in this book, I think Shan did a nice job of spreading the horror out in this book. Giving us a good bit of gore at the beginning, several tantalising tastes of it in the middle and a great big whopping scene of zombies and death galore to round out the ending.

 

And while I do enjoy a good dose of horror, in between all of what accompanies a zombie apocalypse, we have a very interesting novel that made me think. I love how unexpected that is. This book could easily have been nothing but mindless entertainment as the reader watches the main character's world fall apart by the living undead. But there's more to this book than just that in the shape of B, our main character and narrator.

 

I found B to be hugely unlikeable at the start. I didn't like B's attitude, as B seems to be copying the thoughts and actions of B's very racist and abusive father. B is a bit of a bully and I wasn't thrilled at the start. But things begin to change. When the character finally starts questioning the thoughts of those around and also begins to think of B's father critically instead of that of a emotionally-needy child, I really begin to cheer. I love that Darren Shan included these thought-provoking topics on racism, bullying and people with power. I would have enjoyed this book without it with just the zombies and the gore, but with it, I found myself loving it.

 

The book I read from is an ARC version which didn't include the final illustrations included with the text and I'm quite curious now to see a finished copy to see how they work together with the text. I loved the short chapters and how the pace never drops. There was a dream sequence towards the beginning-middle which had me quite creeped out reading it in the dark at night! This book contains plenty of death, so be warned. There's also two very surprising twists that happen towards the end that make this a book you really need to check out! Zom-B is a really fun zombie book with some hidden depths, a book that I recommend.

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