Bookworm Bird | 18 March 2015 | Scarlett Spectre

At the end of the last book (Zom-B Family), we saw B being carted away by a hoard of chanting babies into the awaiting clutches of the crazy clown Mr.Dowling(never did I think that sentence would ever exist).

Things don’t look good, but things are not always what they seem.

Dowling for all his crazed efforts, is a misunderstood, demented man who, in his brilliance, has driven himself to insanity. Mr.Dowling has had plans in motion since the very beginning, most, if not all, including or revolving around B. And his next big play is to marry her, yeah right.

For a book entitled Zom-B Bride, the book heavily focuses on Mr. Dowling, his mutants, his babies and his past as well as his secrets. Up till this point, we’ve only ever seen Mr.Dowling as the crazed villain, the Devil to Oystein’s Angel as it were, but Darren Shan flips the coin.

He is given a voice, though admittedly provided via a painful/euphoric electricution between the brains in conversation, and he reveals a lot more than I expected.  We get a proper idea about what he envisioned, who he was before he became the crazed clown, though he reins in his former human life, letting slip only a few memories of his family, wife…children. For the first time in the series, we stop seeing Mr. Dowling as some fictional entity but as a human being who thought he was doing the right thing, and the best/worst part is, I sympathised with him,

Of course, a Shan book wouldn’t be a Shan book without a few gruesome revelations.

We see Dowling’s lair – not the circus area mentioned in the short book Zom-B Circus – and see the other side to some of his minions, including a teacher from B’s school, who teaches the babies – who strangely become likable in a weird and deranged way.

We have a more gruesome version of Oystein’s groove tubes and an insight into both Dowling’s obsession with B and her purpose in the grand scheme of things. There is a lot less action than previous books but despite that, Zom-B Bride pulls no punches.

In Zom-B Bride, we see the pieces of the puzzle slowly starting to form, the strings twisting their path to the ultimately insane, gruesome but thrilling climax

And not to forget, a nicely tied in cliffhanger to make us pull our hair out.

Final Thoughts:

Yet another perfect continuation of a strange and twisted tale, plot- driven and dramatic, the next installment will no doubt be a whopper!

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/ Writing From The Tub
Writing From The Tub | 11 March 2015 | Carly

So, the end of this grisly, fast-paced series is drawing to a close. Can you believe we’re already on book ten? I remember when I received a copy of the original Zom-B and my mind was blown by the twist. Since then we’ve seen B go from strength to strength…and then get picked apart piece by piece in Zom-B Family.

Zom-B Bride opens with B being carried through the London underground by the zombie babies, until they reach Mr Dowling’s horrifying lair. The descriptions of his underground hideout were every bit as creepy as I wanted them to be and would send a shiver down even the most hardened horror fan’s spine.

As Zom-B Bride unfolds, we learn more about Mr Dowling, how he came to be and what sort of person he is. It was pretty interesting to discover his backstory and it did make me look at him in a slightly different light…though it’s pretty clear he’s always going to be one of the most off the rails characters in this series!

As is always the case with the Zom-B books, I can’t talk too much about the plot as there are so many twists and surprises that I don’t want to spoil anything, but I can safely say that if you’re a fan of this series you won’t be disappointed. Zom-B Bride takes things further than it ever has before and truly sets the wheels in motion for what I’m sure is going to be an explosive finale.

There are only two books to go and I’m already sad that we have to say goodbye to this series so soon – it’s been one of the most unique stories that’s been released in years and the characters, particularly B, will be sorely missed.

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/ Empire Of Books
Empire Of Books | 10 March 2015 | Ryan


All good things come to an end and it is always a shame to see them start to wind down, and you would think by now, ten books in to a twelve book saga, most threads would of been tied together by now, but not with the Zom-B series, oh no! There is still life in the old gal and for now she is on full steam ahead, rattling towards what is sure to be a cataclysmic finale, and until that point there is still a lot of shocking to be done, and Zom-B Bride is most definitely full of shocks. Physically and metaphorically speaking too!


Things kick off pretty much where they left off with the last instalment, Zom-B Family. B has seemingly made a pact with the devil as it were to save the lives of the humans left in the power station and has somewhat willingly handed herself over to her enemies, and if anything she's glad of it.


We finally get to see the inner workings for Mr Dowling's operation. His plans, or sometimes lack thereof and of the life he led before the zombie apocalypse that has left the world so ravaged and broken. I particularly liked the scenes were Mr. Dowling let B into his head and the things that went on there, how he seemed like a normal man before the bloodlust and insanity took over. We also learn more about his origins and that I found particularly interesting. 


And of course as the title suggests, it wouldn't be a wedding without a blushing (well, can zombie's actually blush?) bride would it? I loved the scene where Mr. Dowling "fixed" B. Almost like DanDan's torture scene but in reverse. It provided the signature Darren Shan gore whilst still keeping things fun and keeping readers on their toes.


The writing, as ever, is impeccable and unquestionable. Mr. Shan is a master at what he does and with two final instalments to come, and a shattering conclusion at the end of Zom-B Bride leaving B in more danger than she has ever been in, I just do not know if my heart can take it. But I'll sure as hell enjoy finding out!
 

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/ Knizni Louka
Knizni Louka | 01 March 2015 |

THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF A CZECH REVIEW.

As I am sure some know, I lover of horror films and various sleaze. Although this is the case, so any book about zombies, I have not read (although for me the shelf for a year waiting for the first two volumes of The Walking Dead). I am glad to do (for me) new genre enters with my favorite writer.

The book begins in the Irish small town where all the residents going to sleep. Brian wakes up in the night noise, initially thinks neighbors organize a party, but as soon as he listens, he notices that this is not the shouts of glee, but the screams of sheer terror. Part the curtains and see a pile of zombies that eat the guts and brains fellow citizens. Comes down and sees his mother eats brains father. It's a chilling spectacle, but Brian will keep its cool and home runs. What you see on the street nobody would see even in the worst nightmare. Blood everywhere, guts, and undead dead. In all this strange man standing and tack. Brian hopes goes to the man and asks him to rescue. A man helps him somewhat unconventional way and many of the action takes place in only the prologue!

In the first chapter, the story turns to London, where the newspapers are full of zombie attack in Ireland. England is divided into two camps. People who believe that zombies are a serious threat to people who think that it is a well-considered advertising for a new film. Getting familiar with the heroine B, which also has a zombie without a hard life. Her father is a racist and a member of the community fighting for white Britain. In addition to not blow away, which tolerates B and her mother. B is, over time, influenced by the racist behavior of his father. Sometimes, the racist behavior, sometimes slapped, but otherwise it's in his head perfectly fine. I liked her humor, her nightmares and her courage to defy his father eventually.

Finally, it is found that the attack was a fake zombie and begins to fight for life, which is soon completed by the message "To be continued" that makes me incredibly dialed. Really need another piece. What's that supposed to be at the end? As usual, I have some theories about how it could continue throughout the series, but I'm often wrong, so I'll surprise you.

The book should not be missed in the library any fan Darren Shan ai zombie fans will be thrilled. I enjoyed the book, easy to read, yet the story was nerve-wracking. I definitely recommend.

Quote:
"But this is important," she urged mom. "Those living dead might attack here as well. We know what to do, Todd."
"B knows what to do, eh?" Dad said, and winked at me. And I was relieved that it was still in a state where it can banter.
"Sure," I grimaced. "Shove your head between your knees and put your ass goodbye kiss!"

This video spread across the Internet on Monday morning, but on television it first showed up in the evening. Another day of it was a scandal in the newspapers wrote that it did not broadcast because it unnecessarily scare the audience. When I saw it for the first time, I also had a horror of it. A dad too, although never admit it. Now have I got just kidding. Like when you look at the horror yet again - for the first time is scary, but the more times you see it, it seem awkward.

In his new, completely black sneakers, I felt great. When I pulled it out of the box, had some of the red and clear of them shone the manufacturer's logo, but I carefully painted over everything lihovkou. B Smith will not be anyone to advertise!

"You're not fucking scared?" I asked.
"And why like?" He frowned.
"Of those zombies."
"What about them?"
"My favorite exotics have a big brain."
Vinyl laughed sarcastically. "You know what I like best about you, B?"
"What?"
"That one day you die."
We laughed, slapped down and went to the park.

Later I returned home alone in the dark. And I was afraid of zombies? But fungi. I did B Smith, and this is my turf. That I'm the one who should be afraid of those zombies!

--------------------------------


Jak jistě někteří ví, tak jsem milovník hororů a všelijakých nechutností. Ač tomu tak je, tak žádnou knihu o zombie jsem ještě nečetla (i když na mě v poličce už rok čekají první dva díly knihy The Walking Dead). Jsem ráda, že do (pro mě) nového žánru vstupuji s mým nejoblíbenějším spisovatelem.
Kniha začíná v irském malém městečku, kde se všichni obyvatelé chystají ke spánku. Brian se v noci probudí hlukem, zpočátku si myslí, že sousedé pořádají nějakou párty, ale jakmile se zaposlouchá, všimne si, že nejde o výkřiky veselí, ale o výkřiky čiré hrůzy. Rozhrne závěsy a spatří hromadu zombie, které pojídají vnitřnosti a mozky spoluobčanů. Sejde dolů a vidí, že jeho maminka pojídá mozek otci. Je to mrazivá podívaná, ale Brian zachová chladnou hlavu a z domu uteče. To co vidí na ulici by si nikdo nepřál vidět ani v té nejhorší noční můře. Všude krev, vnitřnosti, nemrtví a mrtví. V tom všem stojí podivný muž a ani se nehne. Brian s nadějí jde k muži a poprosí ho o záchranu. Muž mu pomůže poněkud netradičním způsobem a tolik akce se odehraje v pouze v prologu!
V první kapitole se příběh stočí do Londýna, kde jsou noviny plné útoku zombie v Irsku. Anglie se rozdělí na dva tábory. Lidé, kteří věří, že zombie jsou vážná hrozba a na lidi, kteří si myslí, že jde o promyšlenou reklamu na nějaký nový film. Seznamujeme se s hrdinkou B, která i bez zombie má těžký život. Její otec je rasista a je členem komunity bojující za bílou Británii. Navíc pro ránu nejde daleko, což snáší B i její maminka. B je postupem času ovlivňována rasistickým chováním svého otce. Občas má rasistické chování, občas je na facku, ale jinak to má v hlavě naprosto v pořádku. Líbil se mi její humor, její noční můry a její odvaha se nakonec otci vzepřít. 
Nakonec se zjistí, že útok zombie nebyl podvrh a začíná boj o holý život, který je záhy ukončen hláškou “Pokračování příště”, která mě neskutečně vytočila. Doopravdy potřebuju další díl. Co to jako mělo být za ukončení? Jako obvykle mám nějaké teorie, jak by asi mohla pokračovat celé série, ale já se často mýlím, takže se nechám překvapit.
Kniha by neměla chybět v knihovně žádnému fanouškovi Darrena Shana a i fanoušci zombie budou nadšení. Kniha mě bavila, lehce se četla a přitom byl příběh nervy drásající. Určitě doporučuji. 

Citace:

"Ale tohle je důležité," naléhala máma. "Ti živí mrtví by mohli zaútočit i tady. Musíme vědět, co dělat, Todde."
"B ví, co dělat, viď?" řekl táta a mrkl na mě. A mně se ulevilo, že je pořád ještě ve stavu, kdy dokáže žertovat.
"No jasně," ušklíbla jsem se. "Strčit hlavu mezi kolena a dát svýmu zadku pusu na rozloučenou!"
To video se rozšířilo po internetu už v pondělí ráno, ale v televizi ho poprvé ukázali až večer. Další den z toho byla aféra a v novinách se psalo, že to neměli vysílat, protože tím diváky zbytečně vyděsili. Když jsem to viděla poprvé, taky jsem z toho měla hrůzu. A táta taky, i když to nikdy nepřiznal. Teď už z toho mám jenom legraci. Jako když se poněkolikáté díváte na horor - poprvé je děsivý, ale čím víckrát ho vidíte, tím trapnější se vám zdá.
Ve svých nových, úplně černých teniskách jsem se cítila skvěle. Když jsem je vytáhla z krabice, měly některé části červené a jasně z nich zářilo logo výrobce, ale já jsem všechno pečlivě přemalovala lihovkou. B Smithová nebude nikomu dělat reklamu!
"Nejseš podělanej strachy?" zeptala jsem se.
"A proč jako?" zamračil se.
"Z těch zombií."
"A co s nima?"
"Nejradši mají exoty s velkým mozkem." 
Vinyl se sarkasticky zasmál. "Víš, co mám na tobě nejradši, B?"
"Co?"
"Že jednou chcípneš."
Rozchechtali jsme se, plácli si a vydali se do parku.
Později jsem se potmě vracela sama domů. A bála jsem se zombií? Ale houby. Já jsem přece B Smithová a tohle je můj rajón. To já jsem ta, koho by se ty zombie měly bát!

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/ Nick’s World Of Books
Nick's World Of Books | 28 February 2015 | Nick

THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF A CZECH REVIEW.

Well done, maestro. Well done! or My immediate reaction after reading.
Darren Shan is really nothing to play nice. After all, he is not of those authors who would threw something. Zombies who crave every bit of the brain, it really took off in a big way.

If you are a reader with a bit sensitive stomach, you might use this book should be cautious in advance. Darren does let you swim in a good bloodbath full of claws, teeth and bits of brain in the very first chapter. While it is true that you then pulls out a while, but do not think you'll have peace of mind for long. It certainly will not.

ZOM-B is a book written in a very simple way, but not only combines horror theme, but also sharpens into racism, alcoholism and aggression, which I think is still the topic of the current total.
B Smith is a tough girl, right kick-ass heroine, who is the atmosphere of the book perfect. Never does not show weakness, but as an amazing readers take advantage of it, you know that B is also the man has a home with his father fairly large problems. I think this storyline with his father throughout the book gives something extra. You know, it just tell the zombies is not bad, plus Darren Shan knows how to write it so that you will enjoy it, but a touch harsh reality home ZOM-B makes even more remarkable and realistic.

Sure, zombies! I'm here I solve a real problem.
I admit that I never zombie theme so much tempted. It's not just something I sought out every day. But ZOM-B intrigued me at first sight for quite some time back. A second look? At second glance, you got me.

The fact that it is relatively thin book, is it actually happen quite a bit. And I must also confess that even though I love how Darren afraid to go into even the most detailed and the most disgusting and Totally sick descriptions of scenes and me out a few times a little tickled my stomach. But do not take this wrong, I have enjoyed it very paradoxically, even without a bucket to vomit.

Darren Shan made it up perfectly. Fact bomb. ZOM-B has an idea, drive, super heroine, really disgusting zombies and other special people whom the end you do not know what to think. And, of course, has an open ending that leaves you open-mouthed. That last sentence is the sentence for all the money. Just like the one you need for the next installment immediately and instantly.


Thank you so much for providing a database of books books to review!
My Reviews
9/10

-------------------------------


Všechno to začalo úplně nevině. Protože, kdo by věřil v zombie? Možná tak ve filmu, ale ve skutečnosti? Ne!
B Smithová si také myslí, že invaze zombie nebo jakýkoli výskyt zombie je blbost. Reklamní trik. Upoutávka na nový film se zombíky. Ani hrůzostrašná videa na internetu, i přes svou autenticitu, ji nevyvádí z rovnováhy. B má mnohem větší problém. Doma s otcem, který bije ji i její matku, je rasista a B má milion důvodů proč ho ze srdce nenávidět.
Samotnou ji děsí fakt, že je otci možná podobnější než by se jí líbilo a než by chtěla.
Ale všechno se změní na fotbalovém zápase, o kterém nikdo netuší, že bude asi úplně poslední.
Od té doby má B dvě možnosti. Buď nic nedělat a zemřít nebo vzít zatraceně nohy na ramena a přežít.

Well done, maestro. Well done! aneb Moje bezprostřední reakce po dočtení.
Darren Shan se opravdu s ničím nepáře. Ostatně on není z těch autorů, kteří by se s něčím zahazovali. Se zombíky, kteří dychtí po každém kousku mozku, to opravdu rozjel ve velkém.
Jestli jste čtenáři s trochu citlivějším žaludkem, možná byste s touto knihou měli být předem obezřetní. Darren vás totiž nechá vykoupat v pořádně krvavé lázni plné drápů, zubů a kousků mozku hned v úvodní kapitole. Pravda sice je, že vás potom na chvíli vytáhne, ale nemyslete si, že budete mít klid na dlouho. To rozhodně nebudete.
ZOM-B je kniha psána velmi jednoduchým stylem, spojuje však nejen hororové téma, ale také brousí i do problematiky rasismu, alkoholismu a agresivity, což je myslím stále téma celkem aktuální.
B Smithová je drsná holka, správná kick-ass hrdinka, která se k atmosféře knížky skvěle hodí. Nikdy nedává najevo slabost, ale jako úžasnou čtenářskou výhodu beru to, že víte, že B je zároveň také člověk a doma má se svým otcem poměrně dost velké problémy. Myslím, že tato dějová linka s otcem dává celé knize něco navíc. Víte, ono vyprávět jenom o zombících není špatné, navíc Darren Shan to umí napsat tak, že vás to bude bavit, ale dotek tvrdé reality z domova dělá ZOM-B ještě o něco pozoruhodnější a reálnější.

No jasně, zombie! Já tady řeším opravdový problém.

Přiznám se, že téma zombie mě nikdy až tolik nelákalo. Není to právě něco, co bych vyhledávala každý den. Ale ZOM-B mě zaujala na první pohled už nějaký ten čas zpátky. A na druhý pohled? Na druhý pohled si mě získala.
Na to, že je to poměrně tenká knížka, se toho odehraje vlastně docela dost. A musím se přiznat také k tomu, že i přesto, že zbožňuju, jak se Darren nebojí jít i do těch nejpodrobnějších a nejnechutnějších a nejmorbidnějších popisů scén, tak mě z toho párkrát maličko zašimralo v žaludku. Ale nechápejte to zle, já jsem si to paradoxně velmi užila, dokonce bez kbelíku na zvracení.
Darren Shan to vymyslel skvěle. Fakt bombově. ZOM-B má nápad, drive, super hlavní hrdinku, fakt nechutné zombíky a další zvláštní lidi, o kterých do konce nevíte, co si myslet. A samozřejmě má otevřený konec, který vás nechá s pusou dokořán. Ta poslední věta je věta za všechny prachy. Přesně taková, kvůli které potřebujete další díl hned a okamžitě.

Mnohokrát děkuji databázi knih za poskytnutí knihy k recenzi!
Moje Hodnocení
9/10

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/ Book Blog Bonanza
Book Blog Bonanza | 22 February 2015 | Matthew R Bell

Demon Thief was the very first book I ever read that was written by Darren Shan, and from then on I've been hooked to practically everything the author writes. Going through it again though, I realised something: Books 1, 2 and 4 are all separate stories that can be read in any order. Each focus on a key character in The Demonata's world, but none follow on from one another. I actually like that, that spice of variety where you can choose where to start off in the series. Of course, you really should read all three of them before continuing on. But, the little things count.

Kernel Fleck has saw the patches of light all his life, and he doesn't know why.
But when strange events catch up to him, and a demon races away with Kernel's brother in his arms, his life is for sure destined to change.
Kernel gives chase to the demon.
Into a realm of horror and pain.
With almost no hope of returning home alive...

One thing you'll notice about Demon Thief is the massive amount of world building it does for the series. Lord Loss gave us an exciting taste, but the second entry gives us a relished mouthful. We learn more about magic, how it works, the demons' universe and a glimpse at the bigger picture. It's a pulse-pounding ride of terror and delight. It just reinforces my favouritism of the series above all of the other ones I've ever read.

Demon Thief is also brimming with twists and surprises. Some are truly mind-blowing. First time round, when I was much younger, I cried and laughed and shouted when the truth came out. I was so blindsided I couldn't read another book for weeks. The shock is still there, even though I know what's coming, which is a fantastic testament to the author.

We also have a much more adventurous feel. Our fresh gang of demon fighters travel throughout the demons' universe, and each world they come to is written vividly and uniquely.

Demon Thief also has a new batch of characters to follow. There's a couple returning figures from Lord Loss, but I actually think this entry to the series takes place before the first book, chronologically at least. But it's not a negative. Kernel Fleck is a completely different - while just as likable - character compared to Grubbs. He has different powers, motivations. He's also thrust into the world of demons in a much different way from Grubbs. We also meet some major characters, like Beranabus, Shark, Sharmila; all lovably distinctive and written in a way where you have no choice but to want to read their stories.

If Lord Loss didn't completely sell you on the series, then Demon Thief will for sure.
 

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/ Book Blog Bonanza
Book Blog Bonanza | 22 February 2015 | Matthew R Bell

The Demonata series is my #1. Out of everything I've ever read it's my most favourite. Every year I make time to read it again, and it never fails to excite and fascinate me. Lord Loss, the first book, is an amazing entry into a world that is so well-developed it's infuriatingly fantastic; fast-paced, action-packed, lighting-quick writing with a beguiling story and a warm cast of characters. If you're looking for criticism, you won't find it here. These books never get old, and for sure are never boring, no matter how many times you read them.

Grubbs Grady lives a normal, happy life.
It's unremarkable, uninhibited.
It's perfect.
Until he walks in on demons massacring his family.
From then on his life will be changed.
And it might not be for the better...

Lord Loss's story is fresh and exciting. It flows along fantastically; the world's mythology perfectly explained here and there to keep you reading. It's a YA novel aimed at older teens, but reading it again I had absolutely no problems, so if you're not sure you should pick the series up because of its target audience, don't fret. Just get out there and pick it up. It's filled with magic, intrigue and suspense that forces you to turn the pages.

Mr Shan also does a great job of balancing the light and dark within the book. At times the story and characters can be hilarious, without ever crossing the line into 'cheesy'; while it can also be extremely graphic and horrifying, juggling serious themes expertly. One never overshadows the other, and it all fits nicely together.

The characters are all also done well. Each of them feels very grounded in reality and normal, even when the story takes startling turns. The development of characters is strong, and each of them are refreshing and unique. This isn't a YA story that has ten-year-old children speaking as if they're forty, everyone has a place, and they inhabit that place perfectly.

Our main for example, Grubbs, is very realistic and easy to connect with. Overall he's likable, but there's that negative streak that stops him from becoming sickeningly too goody-goody. He's a reluctant hero, and Lord Loss is his stage.

The relationships as well are very warm and genuine. From Grubbs to Dervish, to Dervish and Bill-E. In a short space of time Mr Shan creates a remarkable family with rich history and fascinating futures.

I know, I know, I'm sorry. I'm head-over-heels in love with this series.

And hopefully if you guys pick it up, you will be too.

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/ Dark Readers
Dark Readers | 19 February 2015 | Stephen Haskins

This was a strange one for me. In many ways it was a build up, a slow burn book, that was focused more on the information than the action (until in typical Shan style the final dramatic blow) that’s left me hungry (for books not brains) for more and wondering what is going to happen next, especially this close to the end of the series!
 
What I do like about the series is that each book has a core central theme that is explored throughout and as unsubtle as the cover (which is amazing, lets just get that out there) suggests here we have Loooooove. Just not the overtly soppy kind, made particularly apparent when, as I was reading this someone turned to me and said “you wouldn't want her as a bride” which made me laugh, yet I’m inclined to agree. Its more the kind of ideas of Love and what we would do for love. And that doesn't just mean love love, but love for your family and love for others. And I've written the L work far too many times so I’m going to move on now!


Normally I’m not great with a slow burner book, instead wanting to get caught up in the action of it all. However here it worked. For ages I’d wanted an insight into the strange workings of Mr Dowling and here he invited you in and sits you in his dentist chair and gave you some of the answers you'd been craving. We also go to see another side of him, dare I say softer side, which jarred with me because of the way in which he’s previously been that character of mystery and all is unknown. Having his history gave him a context and more of a reason, and on the one hand I’m not sure how I feel about that, yet on the other it brings the idea of humanity, and how we made and deal with the choices we’re given. This character development wasn't one I expected and that added a new dynamic to proceedings. B was her traditionally feisty self; and she’s a character I've really come to enjoy journeying with.   


I don’t know if this was intentional, but I loved all the slight nods to his other work, with the inclusion of chess from the Deomnata series, and in some ways the babies remind me of the Little People from way back in the Saga days, so it was cool to have those memories again.


If you've been a fan of the series, you’ll enjoy this book, and it will tidy you over until No.11 and if this is the first time you've read about the series, then you’re probably confused, there were a number of spoilers, and I recommend you go grab yourself a copy of Zom-B and immerse yourself in a whole new version of London.  
 

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/ The Thoughts And Ramblings Of An Overactive Mind
The Thoughts And Ramblings Of An Overactive Mind | 19 February 2015 | Rachel H

I’ve just finished reading ‘Zom-B Bride’, the tenth book in the Zom-B series. My mind is reeling and I’m left with conflicting emotions, leaving me confused and overly hyped. I feel compelled to throw together a review of the book, immediately. So here it goes.

‘Zom-b Bride’ is unlike any of the other books in the series we’ve read so far, and it manages to have completely different feel to all the others. The entire book takes place in one single location, giving us a look into the bizarre and twisted world of the infamous clown, Mr Dowling. B is cut off from the world, her friends, her allies and anything remotely sane. Mr Shan does a great job of creating a sense of isolation throughout the book, and I felt this alongside B who is, essentially, trapped. The pace of the book is slow and steady, yet thick with tension. I got the impression throughout, that this is the calm before the storm. By the time I got to the end, there was no doubt in my mind that there is a storm incoming!

I’ve never really been one to sit and speculate over future story twists or the fate of my favourite characters when reading a series. I like to enjoy the ride and prefer to be surprised. Despite this, it’s almost impossible to stop yourself from forming subconscious predictions and expectations of instalments to come.  ‘Zom-b Bride’ has made me rethink everything I thought I knew about this series, taking B’s journey in a whole new direction. I loved how ‘Bride’ gave us a completely new perspective, proving that not everyone is who they claim to be.

Book 10 in the ‘Zom-B’ series takes us ‘down the rabbit hole’, so to speak. It is a bonkers slice of genius, and I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a book as much as this. I can solemnly say that I will never see clowns in the same way ever again! ‘Zom-B Bride’ has to be one of my favourite books in the series and September cannot come fast enough. However, the master of horror always leaves his fans with a gut wrenching twist. With the book still fresh in my mind I’m left satisfied yet stunned, with this feeling of wordless frustration. Wordless, because I don’t know why I’m frustrated. Torn, because one book has changed my mind so much, that I don’t know what I feel any more!

To sum it all up, I decided to give ‘Zom-B Bride’ five ☆☆☆☆☆’s, just like ‘Zom-B Family’. The two are equally brilliant books in completely different ways. Highly recommended!

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/ The Fireside Table
The Fireside Table | 18 February 2015 |

This is the most claustrophobic installment yet of Shan’s undead apocalypse saga.  Set entirely in the underground lair of B’s nightmare clown nemesis Mr Dowling, there are no wide open spaces, and no natural light.  The stink of excrement and blood is everywhere.

As well as the usual lashings of gore, this book has the general ‘yuck’ factor turned up to maximum.  There are images to make you gag.  I won’t dwell here on the toilet hygiene habit of Dowling’s mutants.  Suffice it to say they don’t use Andrex.

When we last saw B Smith at the denouement of “Zom-B Family,” she was being carried off by the mutant babies to Dowling’s lair, having been rescued from the ‘Board’ and Dan Dan.

In this story, she learns of Dowling’s plans for her, and they are of a disturbing nuptial nature.  We learn of the origin of the mutant babies, and some of Dowling’s origins, but there is a lot to sketch in still, as with the Dowling/Owl Man/Oystein triumvirate.  There’s a suitably messy and violent final chapter and we can see the general direction the narrative will now take.  It’ll be a relief to get out in the open again.  That’s the main gripe I have with this book.  The atmosphere and general stink is oppressive, like being locked in a fetid public loo.  There is the usual wild Shan imagination at play, including some trippy scenes of B and Dowling’s mental bonding, and the story moves at its usual cracking pace.  It also develops the arc from book one in a satisfying way, with very early scenes revisited and shed light on.  This is not an arc which loses sight of its origins. It also prompts us to explore the motivations of its darkest characters.  Do we feel sympathy for the Devil?

This isn’t my favourite book of the series, but it is still a wildly entertaining page turner.  But if you are going to jump on to this ride there’s only one place to start, which is book one.

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/ Starburst
Starburst | 13 February 2015 | S Friday

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with everybody’s favourite annoying teenage zombie, B Smith (two books, but who’s counting?), but now she’s here again.

Darren Shan has never really been on for subtlety, and so it follows that this volume is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Which is a shame, as in a book that’s about 200 pages long you want a surprise every now and then. The only real surprise is how the end of the book develops, which sets things up nicely for the next book. But honestly, this series has felt from the beginning like it’s not really going anywhere; a spark of originality was clearly not enough to carry a whole 12-book series. The pieces are being put into place for some sort of epic confrontation, but we can pretty much guarantee it’s not going to live up to the build-up. But we’ll dwell more on this when the series is over.

For now, we can pretty much confirm what you’d expect: this is another run of the mill Darren Shan novel of the kind he’s been pumping out consistently for almost 10 years. It’s bloody, messy, filled with sassy wisecracks, and above all, very readable. For its target audience, it’ll be plenty. For people like us over the age of 20 who have been reading Shan’s work for near enough a decade, it’s not enough anymore. Honestly, if you’re over 18 or so, you’d be better off reading his adult novels instead.

The pictures are nice though.

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/ So Many Books, So Little Time
So Many Books, So Little Time | 06 February 2015 | Sophie

When I first picked up Zom-B I never expected to be devouring book ten as soon as it arrived through my letterbox, but I gobbled up Zom-B Bride in a matter of hours.


We left B as she made a deal with the devil (super creepy clown, Mr Dowling) in order to save the humans left at the power plant. Being carried across London by a hoarde of zombie babies is seriously creepy and a brilliant image, but I was more disturbed by B’s seeming ease with the babies! But once they arrived at Mr Dowling’s it suddenly made sense. In revealing his plan, Dowling shed some light on some of the stranger things he’s done to help B over the course of the series. It was a total surprise and I love the direction it took, even if it was slightly creepy.


As B spent more and more time with Mr Dowling, and communicating with him in surprising ways, I actually began to feel a little sorry for him. He was a man once and Zom-B Bride explored that wonderfully; his dissent into crazytown and how it has affected his judgement and morality was really interesting. I love how Darren Shan uses Mr Dowling to look at good and evil and how it can blur when you put the actual human being into the equation. Brilliant!


As always, I this instalment of the series and I can’t wait for the next. It does make me sad that there are only two left, though...
 

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/ Les Lectures Des Sanguines
Les Lectures Des Sanguines | 04 February 2015 |

THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

It's been a long time since I spotted this book by Darren Shan. I saw him for the first time in a video of Nine where she presented the VO. The story had me seemed so nice and I had put in my wish-list. One of the last times we went to Cultura, I found it and without thinking I embarked!

When the first video of zombie attacks are posted on YouTube, no one can believe it. Yet we see many creatures devastate Ireland ... But for B, the most important is to survive in high school already and avoid meeting his father, an alcoholic with a heavy hand.
When zombies arrive in his high school, B will have to quickly find other survivors hope to stay alive! Corridors of his school into the empty streets of London, B will have to learn a new life for not joining the hordes of undead.

For starters, I love the cover of this book. Red recalls the blood that will flow (not a spoil, just read the summary ...) and in the background, a little green yuck, we recognize our friends the zombies! For cons, I was surprised by the size of the book because I was sure it was a great size although it is actually a semi pocket.

But turn to the content of the book is still the most interesting! I'm really hooked on this story. In addition, the pages include black and white drawings very cool that illustrate this a bit. We meet B, teen average but a little dunce and lazy on the edges, who lives in London with a mother and a tad cleared a violent and racist father (ué, both!). Everything is going pretty well in the B of life until the day when the TV broadcast images of a zombie attack ...

No one dares to believe, some wonder if this is not a publicity stunt for the launch of a new horror movie. And I must say that I find it very credible because we put in place of B, it must be all very hard to believe that this is it, the zombies are among us ... And they are even more they finally arrive in London and invade the high school B and his buddies.

It's very well written, it reads with surprising speed. It is best not to get too attached to the characters because, as in Game Thrones oh, the author does not hesitate to kill as some. I loved the end with very surprising revelation B. I must say that I read the sentence several times, wondering if the author was right or if there had been no shell for printing or translation ...!

Volume 2 has just been released in France and I'm not going to wait to get it. I really want to know what will happen to B and I'm dying to know the identity of this strange man with big eyes ...

A nice relaxing reading a real good time!

---------------------------

Ca faisait très longtemps que j'avais repéré ce bouquin de Darren Shan. Je l'avais vu pour la première fois dans une video de Nine où elle le présentait en VO. L'histoire m'avait alors paru sympa et je l'avais mis dans ma wish-list. Une des dernières fois où nous sommes allés à Cultura, je l'ai trouvé et sans plus réfléchir je l'ai embarqué !

Lorsque les premières vidéos d’attaques de zombies sont mises en ligne sur YouTube, personne ne peut y croire. Pourtant, on y voit bien des créatures dévaster l’Irlande … Mais pour B, le plus important est déjà de survivre au lycée et d’éviter de croiser son père, un alcoolique à la main lourde.
Quand les zombies débarquent dans son lycée, B va devoir trouver rapidement d’autres survivants pour espérer rester en vie ! Des couloirs de son école jusque dans les rues vides de Londres, B va devoir apprendre une nouvelle vie pour ne pas rejoindre les hordes de morts vivants.

Pour commencer, j'aime beaucoup la couverture de ce livre. Le rouge rappelle le sang qui va couler (pas un spoil, il suffit de lire le résumé ...) et à l'arrière plan, en vert un peu beurk, nous reconnaissons nos amis les zombies ! Par contre, j'ai été étonnée par la taille du livre parce que j'étais persuadée que c'était un grand format alors qu'il s'agit en fait d'un semi poche.

Mais passons au contenu du livre qui est tout de même le plus intéressant ! Moi, j'ai vraiment accroché à cette histoire. En plus, au fil des pages on retrouve des dessins en noir et blanc très chouettes qui permettent d'illustrer un peu tout ça. Nous faisons la connaissance de B, ado dans la moyenne mais un peu cancre et feignasse sur les bords, qui vit à Londres avec une mère un tantinet effacée et un père violent et raciste (ué, les deux !). Tout va plutôt bien dans la vie de B jusqu'à ce jour où la télé diffuse des images d'une attaque de zombies ...

Personne n'ose y croire, certains se demandent si ce n'est pas un coup de pub pour le lancement d'un nouveau film d'horreur. Et je dois dire que je trouve ça très crédible car, mettons nous à la place de B, il doit être tout très difficile de croire que, ça y est, les zombies sont parmi nous ... Et ils le sont d'autant plus qu'ils finissent par arriver à Londres et à envahir le lycée de B et ses potes.

C'est très bien écrit, ça se lit à une vitesse surprenante. Il vaut mieux ne pas trop s'attacher aux personnages puisque, comme dans Game oh Thrones, l'auteur n'hésite pas à en trucider certains. J'ai beaucoup aimé la fin avec la révélation très surprenante sur B. Je dois dire que j'ai relu la phrase plusieurs fois en me demandant si l'auteur ne s'était pas trompé ou si il n'y avait pas eu une coquille à l'impression ou à la traduction ...!

Le tome 2 vient de sortir en France et je ne vais pas trop attendre pour me le procurer. J'ai vraiment très envie de savoir ce qui va arriver à B et je meurs d'envie de connaitre l'identité de cet homme étrange aux grands yeux ...

Une chouette lecture détente, un vrai bon moment !

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/ Smore
Smore | 01 February 2015 | Margo Gerus

I chose this book because I like zombie apocalypse where you have to survive and twist that you don`t even expect. I started reading this series in January. So you have to start at book one. My favorite part is when B`s dad, Todd saved her from a landslide of bullets. I think someone else might read this book because maybe they like zombie apocalypse and twist. If you like Cirque du freak then you will like Zom-B.

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/ The Bookbag
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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/ Les Chroniques de Madoka
Les Chroniques de Madoka | 27 January 2015 |

THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

4 stars.

A second volume succeeded where the heroine, despite her condition becomes increasingly endearing ...

B Smith wakes up in a neutral room, unable to believe it! Indeed, his heart was torn and should be dead! Soon she is visited by a soldier and doctor that reveal the sad truth: it is revived that is to say, despite being a zombie, she kept his conscience and cognitive functions. One percent of addicts is part of this catégorier and B Smith will get to know the other kids his age who form a very strange team ...

Soon, the girl asks questions about its semi-existence and mission scientists want to give him and the army ... She questions after following his father's racism without protest, she now wants to buy and decides to make her own decisions even if they do not go in the direction of those who have the power ...

A very good second volume that allows us to discover our heroine in a new light!

Very dark, very violent, the story challenges many ideas and prejudices especially B Smith will take very courageous decisions!

The illustrations are really successful and give more to the story!

The end leaves us as the first, with a huge desire ... the question that B will become ...

---------------------------------

Un deuxième tome réussi où l’héroïne, malgré son état, devient de plus en plus attachante…

 

B Smith se réveille, dans une pièce neutre, sans pouvoir y croire ! En effet, son cœur a été arraché et elle devrait être morte ! Très vite, elle reçoit la visite de soldat et de médecin qui lui révèlent la triste vérité : elle est réanimée c’est-à-dire malgré qu’elle soit un zombie, elle a gardé sa conscience et ses fonctions cognitives. Un pour cent des mordus fait partie de cette catégorier et B Smith va faire la connaissance des autres jeunes de son âge qui forment une bien étrange équipe…

 

Très vite, la jeune fille se pose des questions sur sa semi-existence et la mission que veulent lui donner les scientifiques et l’armée… Elle se remet en question après avoir suivi le racisme de son père sans protester, elle veut maintenant se racheter et décide de prendre ses propres décisions même si celles-ci ne vont pas dans le sens de ceux qui ont le pouvoir…

 

Un très bon deuxième tome qui nous permet de découvrir notre héroïne sous un nouveau jour !

Très sombre, très violent, le récit remet en cause beaucoup d’idées et de préjugés surtout ceux de B Smith qui va prendre des décisions très courageuses !

 

Les illustrations sont vraiment réussies et donnent un plus au récit !

Le final nous laisse comme le premier, avec une énorme envie… celle de savoir ce que B va devenir…

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/ The Library Of The Seen
The Library Of The Seen | 27 January 2015 | Alyssa

These books are fairly short, quick reads with intriguing illustrations throughout the novels. Personally I feel like they are possibly a fourth grade reading level but maybe a 5th to 8th grade interest level. The series as a whole is a solid 3/5 star series. I didn't have much to say about either of these individually so I decided to combine my posts about these installments to the Zom-B series.

 

First of all the Zom-B series as a whole is pretty interesting. It is a great series for Middle Graders who are developing an interest in the horror genre. I should warn you though that some of the subject matter could be disturbing for some readers. So know yourself or the person you are purchasing the book for before picking this series up!

 

The Zom-B series does more than tell an intriguing zombie story, it also has ethics peppered throughout the series as well. B was raised by a hard core racist and adopted a lot of the same beliefs. Now that B is a mindful Zom-B (compared to the mindless zombies we are used to) we get to see the changes that B goes through in body and soul.The end of Mission even brings the clan into the mix as a new villain for B and the zomheads.

 

I appreciated the gladiator tale of Zom-B gladiator. Somehow I don't doubt that we would pit zombies that could think against zombies who couldn't in a fight to the death for our own entertainment in this day in age. I could see it becoming a hit new series on fox in the face of a zombie outbreak.

 

I really like how there are different forms of Zombies in Shan's novels. The intelligent, the mindless, the good, the evil. It brings a new perspective to a popular genre. You are also on your toes a lot throughout the novel, never quite sure who you should or shouldn't trust. Shan also addresses the spread of the virus very very well and how survivors would function in a zombie apocalypse world. He also does a fantastic job of putting everyday people under the microscope and showing that it although we think we can judge who are the monsters (zombies obviously right?) sometimes it is man himself that is the greatest monster of all.

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/ Tammie Painter
Tammie Painter | 24 January 2015 | Tammie Painter

The other day I found myself in a distressing situation: I had no books to listen to. I know! The horror! I had just finished listening to A Storm of Swords (aka Game of Thrones Book #3) and it would be weeks before A Feast for Crows would be available. As I’ve become a bit of an audiobook junkie, I had to have something to satisfy my aural craving.

I went browsing through my library’s Overdrive offerings for any audiobook that was available. A few things sounded so-so, but a certain cover image kept popping up and grabbing my attention (hence, why you need to have a book cover that looks amazing even when it is very tiny). The book was A Living Nightmare, the first in the Cirque du Freak series. I’d never heard of it, but it looked intriguing and it was available, so I punched in my account info and downloaded it.

Okay, maybe I should have looked a bit more into the book’s description because about 20 minutes into the story I realized it was intended for an audience I haven’t been a part of for a few decades. Still, I figured I’d already waited around for the download so I kept listening even though it was a kids book (ages about 10-13). It didn’t take long before I was hooked into the world of Darren Shan.

About the Book

A Living Nightmare starts out with a group of boys who find a flyer for a freak show that the adults in their lives say is horrible. This only makes the boys want to go more than they already do. When Steve risks getting in trouble to buy tickets for the show, he finds out he can only get two tickets. The boys agree Steve should get one ticket since he bought them. By a stroke of luck, Darren Shan gets the second ticket.

Steve and Darren sneak out to the freak show that is full of scary creatures, weird humans and strange happenings. When Darren overhears Steve speaking with one of the performers, he learns the truth of the Cirque du Freak and discovers something menacing about his best friend.

One of the acts in the Cirque du Freak is a trained spider. Darren, as he tells us at the opening of the book, is obsessed with spiders, so he sneaks back to the Cirque du Freak and steals the spider. Through a bit of trial and error he learns to control the venomous critter and seems to be quite good with his new pet until Steve gets bitten and ends up in a coma.

The only way to save Steve is for Darren to make a hard sacrifice…a sacrifice that will mean his own death. Darren must ask himself if the trouble-making Steve is worth his own life.

More Please!

So, this is a kids book and only took about two days to listen to. The moment I hit The End, I was jumping back on to my Overdrive account to get the second book in the series which was just as good as the first. Now I’m left waiting for the third book. Sigh.

The voice of Darren Shan is written perfectly. His thoughts, fears and worries are exactly what you would imagine might be going through the head of a young boy experiencing the events in the book – from the fascination at the Cirque du Freak’s show to the fear of getting caught with his spider. What makes the character compelling is he’s just completely ordinary and not at all heroic so you really feel for him as he confronts his troubles.

Although the explanation of the acts at the freak show does go on a bit long, the book overall does have an excellent pace. The parts that should feel exciting move quickly, the parts that should feel thoughtful slow down. It’s a great mix.

As for the age group. There are some very dark things going on in these books. Readers say the series is appropriate for kids as young as 9 or 10, but if you have kid that’s easily scared, I’d maybe keep this out of their hands. There is also plenty of bad things happening to animals in the books, so if you’ve got a budding animal lover in your home they may be disturbed by these books.

As for adults, if you want a quick and fun read, find this series and start reading!

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/ Zon En Maan
Zon En Maan | 24 January 2015 | Emmy

THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF A DUTCH REVIEW.

 

Darren Shan is one of my favorite writers, firm will no longer be a secret for you. Since my teenage years, I am completely addicted to every story that leaves his pen. First in Dutch and now forced in English, because it does not appear that this series will appear in Dutch. Too bad, because Darren Shan's books are ideally suited also to entertain the action rested on male reader.

I knew for a long time the existence of this third great series, but still I was just not ready to purchase this book; until I could adopt him for a nice price. After vampires and demons is the zombie's turn and said I was honest very curious how this would be!

It's not a thick book and you notice that sometimes the story. Somehow it feels more like a short story and at the end I was like 'hey, each book is now another main character? ". Fortunately, this is not so and will b Smiths also in the following parts of the star of the game. Little pity only that I was only towards the end realized that it's a girl! HOLY LORD. I seriously thought that B was a boy, because his way of doing things and talk feels very boyish.

Furthermore, the whole book is exactly what I'm used Shan: coarse, cruel, bloody and a little gross. But I love it! There are also subtle elements incorporated some nodes in society (except that the society slowly want to eat your brains).

Although it is quite a thin book, sit there illustrations (YES), which I really think adds to the whole. The main character never comes into the picture, so you really so self can form a picture. I'm always a great believer!

I really enjoyed this book and literally flew through it. Now the rest yet .. Because the weather is a long series and yes .. I have unfortunately only part 1 ... And Mr. Shan has once again done what he can as well: morrrrreeeeee boooooooks.

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Dat Darren Shan een van mijn favoriete schrijvers is, zal vast geen geheim meer voor jullie zijn. Al sinds mijn tienerjaren ben ik helemaal verzot op elk verhaal wat zijn pen verlaat. Eerst in het Nederlands en nu noodgedwongen in het Engels, omdat het er niet op lijkt dat deze serie in het Nederlands zal gaan verschijnen. Jammer, want Darren Shan’s boeken zijn bij uitstek geschikt om ook de op actie beruste mannelijke lezer te vermaken.

k wist al een hele tijd van het bestaan van deze derde grote serie af, maar toch kwam ik er maar niet aan toe dit boek aan te schaffen; tot ik hem voor een mooi prijsje kon adopteren. Na vampiers en demonen is nu de zombie aan de beurt en eerlijke gezegd was ik enorm benieuwd hoe dit zou zijn!

Het is geen dik boek en dat merk je ook wel aan het verhaal. Ergens voelt het meer een kort verhaal en aan het einde had ik zoiets van ‘he, krijgt elk boek nou een andere hoofdpersoon?’. Gelukkig is dit niet zo en zal B Smiths ook in de volgende delen de ster van het spel zijn. Beetje jammer alleen dat ik pas tegen het eind besefte dat het een meisje is! HOLY LORD. Ik dacht serieus dat B een jongen was, want zijn manier van doen en spreken voelt heel jongensachtig.

Verder is het hele boek precies wat ik van Shan gewend ben: grof, gruwelijk, bloederig en een tikkeltje goor. But I love it! Ook zitten er heel subtiel elementen in verwerkt wat knooppunten in de maatschappij zijn (behalve dan dat de maatschappij langzaam je hersens wilt opeten).

Hoewel het dus een vrij dun boekje is, zitten er wel illustraties in (YES), wat ik echt een toevoeging vind aan het geheel. De hoofdpersoon komt nooit in beeld, waardoor je dus echt zelf een plaatje kunt vormen. Daar ben ik altijd een groot voorstander van!

Ik heb erg genoten van dit boekje en vloog er letterlijk doorheen. Nu de rest nog.. Want het is weer een lange serie en tja.. Ik heb helaas enkel deel 1… En meneer Shan heeft weer eens gedaan wat hij zo goed kan: morrrrreeeeee boooooooks.

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/ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies
Beautiful Bookish Butterflies | 22 January 2015 | Stacie Ball

As you may or may not already know, I'm a huge Darren Shan fan, he's one of my all time favourite authors. And with this 10+ years of loyalty comes the assumption that anything that Darren writes will be nothing short of perfect. I will admit though, when I first heard all those years ago that he would be taking on zombies now I was a little bit cautious. We've seen him do vampires and demons, and maybe its just because on paper I've never really been the biggest fan of zombies (if you don't count The Walking Dead I'm not a fan of them at all.... they scare me! haha) but like I said, I just didn't know if Mr Shan would be able to pull off another brilliant 12 part series. When I first started the series, though I enjoyed it, I did feel like maybe he was out of his depth a little and that was upsetting, I've never disliked anything his written. Zom-B was slow to start, focusing more on B as a person than what was happening around her, Zom-B Underground and City were better, I felt like the storyline had really began to take shape and then I started Zom-B Angels and all my doubts washed way, I was finally hooked in the story and on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next.

Darren Shan is famous for a few things, long series but short books very rarely having more than 250 pages. I myself have in the past complained when a book is too short, because it lacks something, but thankfully that’s not something I've ever felt with he's work, he always manges to pack so much action and suspense into his stories and with the Zom-B series we are also graced with brilliant artwork to add to the image of blood, guts and gore.
 
So what happens in Zom-B Angels I hear you say? well as we know Becky Smith isn't your typical brain dead zombie, she like a lot of others called revitalised are different, on a healthy diet of brains they can function almost like any other living person (except they are dead of course). While there is a faction of people that get to keep their senses after turning the harsh reality is that the majority of people these days are the zombie's you know and are scared of. So the question is where do the revitalised go when the reviveds aren't the worst thing on the streets? B finds out once she crosses paths with Doctor Oystein. Doctor Oystein and a whole bunch of revitalised are all holed up in a building, learning, growing and training for a war that B isn't sure she wants to be apart of. Though she knows that sticking with her own is the probably the only chance she will get at a some what normal life, she's always had trouble being told what to do or believe, so when Doctor Oystein's long and tragic story is revealed, Becky Smith who's first instinct is to distrust everyone, is left with a very hard question at the end of the story, stay and fight going on blind faith or make it on her own?..

Like I've already said, I'm finally really starting to get into the story and really think that the characters development is really starting to form and it's wonderful to see. I never liked Becky in the first book, mainly because of her dad but she's started to warm to me I'm really enjoying the sarcasm and the wit that I've come to associate with her character. Zom-B Angels is what you expect from any of Darren's other books, he is never afraid to go the extra mile for the gore but doesn't put it in his books for the sake of it, it all has a purpose. Yet again, like almost all his others, this book ends on a cliffhanger. But you never have to wait too long between the books so it's not that bad.

Overall, the book was enjoying and a really easy read. It isn't for everyone, but I myself think that the storyline still has so much to give and you haven't seen the best of Becky yet, make no mistake about that.

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/ Paradise Bound
Paradise Bound | 20 January 2015 |

With apologies for the gruesome cover art, but I chose this image on purpose because - though marketed toward teen/YA audiences - Shan's Zom-B series has been quite mature in subject matter from book one.  Zom-B Baby is fifth in the bestselling series, and while still having its moments of violence and gore, overall this short novel takes a more introspective and spiritual tone, as "B" (the lead character) struggles with a tough decision - staying in London as a member of Dr. Oystein's "angels" and training to fight Mr. Dowling, his mutants and the Owl Man for the future of the human race ... or to believe the good doctor is really a madman after all; one who believes God has chosen him to lead, but in the end may just be a lunatic who gets them all annihilated.  B, already dead, still contends with issues of God, trying to see His hand in this new world of death and destruction and the rising of the undead, and remains in this novel a wonderful, complex lead character you can both root for and identify with.  And then there's the baby.  Holy crap, that baby.  ***1/2

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/ Mrs Jenny Reads
Mrs Jenny Reads | 18 January 2015 | Jenny Floyd

Pretty harrowing and brutal, this macabre fifth book in the running Cirque du Freak series continues in the vein of all those that came before it with a lot of action, a lot of blood, and a lot of fun. I liked this one better than the last, as I felt it got a little more involved. But, being a fan of the entire series, I have yet to be disappointed, at all. Shan delivered darkness with Trials by Death, and I would have expected nothing less.

Five Stars!

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/ La Folies Des Grandeurs
La Folies Des Grandeurs | 16 January 2015 | Florent R

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATE OF A FRENCH REVIEW

 

Before you begin, you should know that I do not like the French cover, I find it too reveals the plot of the novel!

 

This novel contains in my two parts: a long game before the main character meets a zombie and after. In the first part, we follow a teenager about normal, I liked it very much. The originality of this zombie book is a very strong subject is treated: Racism! B.'s father is a racist asshole! By against big negative, it is too introducer and too long. After a while you get bored!


But fortunately the second part arrives very quickly! It is great! I loved the action, In general I love zombie novels, they are creatures that I love, and in these novels, there is often a lot of action. And end !!!!! What it's like the end of fifou !!! it is extraordinary, end madness! Big positive of this novel design, each chapter is black on the front page, many photographs complement the text!


I have nothing else to say this novel !!!!


I'm sorry: 3/5 stars.

 

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Avant de commencer, sachez que je n'aime pas du tout la 4ème de couverture française, je trouve qu'elle dévoile trop l'intrigue du roman ! 
 Ce roman contient selon moi, deux parties : une partie assez longue avant que le personnage principal ne rencontre un zombie et après. Dans la première partie, on suit un adolescent à peu près normal, j'ai l'ai beaucoup aimé. 
L'originalité de ce livre de zombie est qu'un sujet très fort est traité : Le racisme ! Le père de B. est un connard de raciste ! 
Par contre gros point négatif, il est trop introducteur et trop long.
Au bout d'un moment on s'ennuie !
Mais heureusement que la deuxième partie arrive très vite !
Elle est extra ! j'ai adoré l'action, 
En général j'adore les romans de zombies, ce sont des créatures que j'aime beaucoup, et, dans ces romans, il y a souvent beaucoup d'action.
Et la fin !!!!! qu'est-ce que c'est que cette fin de fifou !!! elle est extraordinaire, une fin de folie ! 
Gros point positif de ce roman : le design, chaque chapitre est noir à la première page, de nombreuses images complètent le texte! 
Je n'ai rien d'autre à dire de ce roman !!!!
Je suis désolé :3
 

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/ More Delight
More Delight | 16 January 2015 | Femke

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATE OF A DUTCH REVIEW

 

All the characters Jeery and Capac Raimi come in part three of The City trilogy - 'City of snakes' Darren Shan together. In the first part of the trilogy, we learn about the history of Capac Raimi and how it went out in the City. In part two we met Al Jeery and his father Paucar Wami and in this part they come together. Capac and Al both need to make a decision that will affect the future of the City and that causes a lot of worry and tension.

 

Darren Shan does it in this part again, I had to come here in the story but when I was in it once, was also piqued my curiosity and I wanted to know what happened. The tension is well built and that makes you just want to keep reading. All individual pieces are about to read along and despite a heavy dose of violence, it has not repugnant and it just remains a typical Darren Shan books.


The trilogy The City is actually a kind Cirque du Freak for adults. Enough thrills and spills to want to keep reading and you also get more and more a bond with the city and you just hope it ends well. The end was perfect, it is still surprising off as you think and that's just Darren Shan.


8/10

 

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De personages Al Jeery en Capac Raimi komen in deel drie van The City trilogie – ‘Stad van slangen’ van Darren Shan samen. In het eerste deel van de trilogie hebben we de geschiedenis van Capac Raimi leren kennen en ook hoe het in de Stad eraan toe ging. In deel twee leerde we Al Jeery en zijn vader Paucar Wami kennen en in dit deel komen ze samen. Capac en Al moeten beiden een beslissing nemen die invloed hebben op de toekomst van de Stad en dat zorgt voor veel zorgen en spanning.

Darren Shan flikt het in dit deel weer, ik moest even in het verhaal komen maar toen ik er eenmaal inzat, was ook mijn nieuwsgierigheid gewekt en wilde ik graag weten hoe het afliep. De spanning wordt goed opgebouwd en dat zorgt ervoor dat je gewoon wilt blijven lezen. Alle losse stukjes komen in dit boek samen en ondanks een flinke dosis geweld, werd het niet weerzinwekkend en blijft het gewoon een typisch Darren Shan boek.

Eindoordeel

De The City trilogie is eigenlijk een soort Cirque du Freak voor volwassenen. Genoeg spanning en sensatie om te willen blijven lezen en je krijgt ook steeds meer een band met de Stad en je hoopt gewoon dat het goed afloopt. Het einde was perfect, het loopt toch verrassender af als je denkt en dat is gewoon Darren Shan.

8/10

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/ My Zombie Culture
My Zombie Culture | 14 January 2015 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW

 

September 10 came out the French translation of Volume 1 Zom-B, literary saga success of Darren Shan. We were so excited to begin this series of novels whose overseas fans number in the thousands. And even if the public primarily at teenagers, we had not been disappointed by this first volume. So we waited with some eagerness Panini Books via its Eclipse series publishes the second volume titled Zom-B Underground.

zom-b Volume 2 undergroundDans the first novel, we left our young heroine, Becky, as she fled her school invaded strange deadly undead customized. During his flight, his father, a violent xenophobic, prompted him to throw Taylor, a colored boy in the clutches of their pursuers to diversion. Becky, pushed by her racist education and fear of his father, was executed. But she immediately regretted his act, it was too much! She could not take it anymore and turning his back, literally and figuratively, to his father and his ridiculous precepts, she had returned to her high school infested with zombies. She had quickly found a terrible death when Taylor, zombified, she had made on a full heart biopsy without anesthesia. It is on this horrible death concluded that if the first novel in the saga.

In this new volume, we find "B" with a gaping hole in the chest, bones sticking out of fingers and strangely long teeth. No doubt, it has become a zombie. But she's still conscious! She discovers she is captive underground research facility, where the zombies are studied especially those like her who retain their conscience. They enjoy relative freedom compared to their brainless fellows. But scientists do however take any risks with these zombies that could kill in seconds if nature got the upper hand. Even if they are able to reason somewhere deep down the desire of a brain tartare is there. "B" while doing all it can to be a good guinea pig, while trying to find out what happened to her, to understand what scientists want him and get information on what is happening on the surface .

So it is with great pleasure that I found the adventures of "B". And even if we knew in advance that Becky was not really dead, Darren Shan still manages to amaze us with his vision of the conscious zombie. These "heads Zombs", as they like to call themselves, are disgusted by their appearance, their condition and their needs. The smart fan will appreciate to follow this story told from the perspective of the zombie, especially as its original release in English, this book could boast of being one of the few to offer such an approach. And nothing to spoil the author succeeds rather well to immerse ourselves in the skull of a zombie and let's face it, it's rather nice.

However, for Becky's not really a pleasure. It is plagued by violent questioned in addition to changes in tandem with its new "non-life". She so ardently rejected "difference" is found in the skin of the minority (although zombies are now the majority).

Moreover, as for the previous volume, Zom-B Underground reads very easily and that the action does not abound, you will find yourself engulfed the novel within hours. And this is after devouring its 230 pages, which is understandable why Zom-B sparked such enthusiasm. The author has indeed talent to create a kind of addiction in the reader with a style that does not suffer any length or frills this is a real treat, a candy for my brain accustomed to more complicated styles. The author also guard us and reveal everything in secrecy, in the end still leaves us hungry (is that transform us in spite of ourselves into a kind of zombie this author). Indeed, Darren Shan continues to excite our curiosity in this volume still presenting us new members of the army of zombies, a strange clown (ouhhh! I do not like these clowns) which we learn nothing but raising new questions about the ins and outs of this zombie epidemic.

After reading this second volume, so I understand the success of this saga abroad and think she will meet a similar in France. In fact, I have the same feeling of satisfaction when watching television series: a product that is consumed easily, with much suspense and led an explosive final bringing more questions. So it was with some excitement that I recommend this second volume of the Zom-B Saga of Darren Shan. You will find a thrilling entertainment to share with your parents or your children, you want to remain a prisoner to its conclusion expected in a dozen novels.
 

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Le 10 septembre dernier sortait la traduction française du tome 1 de Zom-B, la saga littéraire à succès de Darren Shan. Nous étions alors impatients de commencer cette série de romans dont les fans à l’étranger se comptent par milliers. Et, même si le public visé est principalement un public adolescent, nous n’avions pas été déçus par ce premier tome. Aussi, nous attendions avec un certain empressement que Panini Books via sa collection Eclipse publie le second volume intitulé Zom-B Underground.

[zom-b tome 2 underground] Dans le premier roman, nous avions quitté notre jeune héroïne, Becky, alors qu’elle fuyait son lycée envahi d’étranges morts-vivants mortellement customisés. Lors de sa fuite, son père, un xénophobe violent, l’avait incité à jeter Taylor, un garçon de couleur, dans les griffes de leurs poursuivants afin de faire diversion. Becky, poussée par son éducation raciste et la peur de son père, s’était exécutée. Mais elle avait immédiatement regretté son acte, c’en était trop ! Elle ne pouvait pas en supporter plus et, tournant le dos, au propre comme au figuré, à son père et à ses préceptes ridicules, elle était retournée dans son lycée infesté de zombies. Elle y avait très rapidement trouvé une mort terrible quand Taylor, zombifié, avait réalisé sur elle une biopsie complète du cœur sans anesthésie. C’est sur cette mort horrible que se concluait le premier roman de cette saga.

Dans ce nouveau tome, nous retrouvons « B » avec une ouverture béante dans le thorax, des os qui lui sortent des doigts et des dents étrangement longues. Pas de doute, elle est devenue un zombie. Mais elle est encore consciente ! Elle découvre alors qu’elle est captive d’un centre de recherche souterrain, où les zombies sont étudiés et plus particulièrement ceux comme elle qui conservent leur conscience. Ces derniers bénéficient d’une relative liberté comparé à leurs congénères décérébrés. Mais les scientifiques ne prennent cependant aucun risque avec ces zombies qui pourraient les tuer en quelques secondes si leur nature reprenait le dessus. En effet, même s’ils sont capables de raisonner quelque part au fond d’eux l’envie d’un tartare de cerveau est bien présente.  « B » fait alors tout ce qu’elle peut pour être un bon cobaye, tout en essayant de savoir ce qui lui est arrivé, de comprendre ce que les scientifiques lui veulent et d’obtenir des informations sur ce qui se passe à la surface.

C’est donc avec un véritable plaisir que j’ai retrouvé les aventures de « B ». Et, même si nous savions d’avance que Becky n’était pas vraiment morte, Darren Shan arrive tout de même à nous étonner par sa vision du zombie conscient. Ces “têtes de Zombs”, comme ils aiment à s’appeler, sont dégoûtés par leur apparence, par leur condition et par leur besoin. Le fan averti appréciera de suivre cette histoire racontée du point de vue du zombie, d’autant qu’à sa sortie originale en anglais, ce livre pouvait se targuer d’être un des rares à proposer une telle approche. Et pour ne rien gâcher, l’auteur réussit plutôt bien à nous immerger dans le crâne d’un zombie et avouons–le, c’est plutôt agréable.

[zom-b underground vo]

En revanche, pour Becky ce n’est pas réellement un plaisir. Elle est en proie à de violentes remises en question en plus des changements allant de pair avec sa nouvelle « non-vie ». Elle qui rejetait si ardemment la “différence” se retrouve dans la peau de la minorité (bien que les zombies soient maintenant majoritaires).

De plus, comme pour le précédent volume, Zom-B Underground se lit très facilement et bien que l’action ne foisonne pas, vous vous surprendrez à engloutir ce roman en quelques heures. Et c’est après avoir dévoré ses 230 pages, que l’on comprend pourquoi Zom-B suscite un tel engouement. L’auteur a en effet le talent de créer une sorte d’addiction chez son lecteur grâce à un style qui ne souffre d’aucune longueur ni fioritures ce qui est un véritable régal, une confiserie pour mon cerveau habitué à des styles plus compliqués. L’auteur se garde également de tout nous révéler et cultive le secret, nous laissant au final encore sur notre faim (c’est qu’il nous transformerait bien malgré nous en une sorte de zombie cet auteur). En effet, Darren Shan continue de titiller notre curiosité dans ce tome en nous présentant encore de nouveaux membres de l’armée des zombies, comme un étrange clown (ouhhh ! que je ne les aime pas ces clowns) dont nous n’apprenons rien mais qui soulève de nouvelles questions sur les tenants et aboutissants de cette épidémie zombie.

Après avoir lu ce second tome, je comprends donc le succès de cette saga à l’étranger et pense qu’elle en rencontrera un similaire en France. En fait, j’éprouve la même sensation de satisfaction que lors du visionnage de certaines séries télévisées : un produit qui se consomme facilement, avec un suspens bien mené et un final explosif apportant plus de questions. C’est donc avec un certain enthousiasme que je vous conseille ce deuxième tome de la saga Zom-B de Darren Shan. Vous y trouverez une distraction haletante, à partager avec vos parents ou vos enfants, dont vous souhaiterez rester prisonnier jusqu’au dénouement final attendu dans une dizaine de romans.

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/ A Bit Of Laurentia
A Bit Of Laurentia | 13 January 2015 | Lauren

I recently finished my second read of The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan. I first read these books when I was about 10, so it was interesting to get a fresh perspective on the books 10 years later. The story follows the titular character, Darren Shan, who is forced to give up his life as a normal boy in order to become a half-vampire and assistant to the vampire Larten Crepsley. Naturally, Darren's life as a vampire doesn't run very smoothly and before he knows it, he's caught up in a war that will affect the future of the whole world. There's been a big boom in vampire fiction since Twilight, so much so that the genre has been given a bit of a bad reputation. But vampires in The Saga of Darren Shan aren't the pretty, glitter-in-the-sun type - they're fierce warriors that covet strength and honour above all. There is a small amount of romance but it's certainly not the driving force of the story.



There are a few other things that make this series unique (as far as I know, anyway). Most importantly, there are two types of vampire clan; vampires and vampaneze. Vampires don't kill humans when they drink their blood, instead they only take small amounts of blood - just enough to survive. Vampaneze, however, believe it is more honourable to drain their victims dry, killing them in the process. Another thing that sets it apart from typical vampire fiction is that other aspects of fantasy are incorporated into the story, making it an essential read for any fan of the fantasy genre.



In Cirque du Freak, Darren is blooded by Mr Crepsley and leaves his human life behind. The Vampire's Assistant follows Darren and Mr Crepsley as they join up with the Cirque du Freak. In Tunnels of Blood someone is on a murderous rampage in Mr Crepsley's hometown,



In Vampire Mountain, Darren and Mr Crepsley travel to the home of the vampire clan. Trials of Death sees Darren attempt to win the respect of his fellow vampires by taking the Trials of Initiation. In The Vampire Prince, Darren must risk death to stop a plot to end the vampire clan.



In Hunters of the Dusk, the hunt for the Lord of the Vampaneze begins. Allies of the Night sees Darren unexpectedly reacquainted with some old faces. In Killers of the Dawn, the hunters face the Lord of the Vampaneze for a second time.



In The Lake of Souls, Darren and Harkat must travel through a strange wasteland to discover Harkat's true identity. Lord of the Shadows has Darren travel back to his hometown. In Sons of Destiny, the outcome of the War of the Scars is about to be decided.

 

I could go on forever about the characters. Shan's done an amazing job at creating deep, realistic characters that will make you smile, laugh, cringe or even cry. Although there is at least one character who is arguably evil through and through, Shan has portrayed an important concept in any story - that people aren't purely evil or purely good. Those considered evil are still capable of doing good and redeeming themselves, just as the good can be driven to commit evil acts.


There are twelve books to the series but, as you can see, they're very short books so it's easy to fly through them. And you will fly through them. The word 'unputdownable' has never applied more. They are technically children's books but after reading them as a 20-year-old, I can honestly say I love them as much as I did when I was 10. The language is more childlike to begin with but becomes more mature as the story progresses, reflecting Darren's growth as a vampire.


I hope this post has convinced you to at least try the first book. I've read a lot of books - and there are even more that I've yet to read - but this series will always be one of my favourites.

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/ More Delight
More Delight | 12 January 2015 | Femke

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATE OF A DUTCH REVIEW

 

'Hell's horizon of Darren Shan is the second part in' The City 'trilogy. Part 1 was about Capac Raimi and in this part it is rare. That's just weird, because I felt like I had to start almost from scratch. But after a few pages, you're back in the story and the weather is as mysterious as part 1. Darren Shan has a pleasant way of writing, which I do not mind that it takes place in a world that does not exist. His descriptions are so good and clear that you can easily images. The investigation of the Incas, I found interesting and I'm looking forward to part three!


If you like a little mystery, are not averse to a world that does not exist and if you're a fan of Darren Shan, then this series is really a must. Darren Shan writes this series for adults and there is sometimes some horror, but yes, I have nothing else to expect from him.


8/10

 

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Mijn mening

‘Hell’s horizon’ van Darren Shan is het tweede deel in ‘The City’ trilogie. In deel 1 ging het over Capac Raimi en in dit deel komt hij nauwelijks voor. Dat is even raar, want ik had het gevoel alsof ik bijna helemaal opnieuw moest beginnen. Maar na een paar bladzijdes zit je weer in het verhaal en is het weer even mysterieus als deel 1. Darren Shan heeft een prettige manier van schrijven, waarbij ik het helemaal niet erg vind dat het in een wereld plaatsvindt die niet bestaat. Zijn beschrijvingen zijn zo goed en duidelijk dat je het gemakkelijk in kan beelden. Het onderzoek naar de Inca’s vond ik interessant en ik ben benieuwd naar deel drie!

Eindoordeel

Als je van een beetje mysterie houdt, niet vies bent van een wereld die niet bestaat en als je fan bent van Darren Shan, dan is deze serie echt een aanrader. Darren Shan schrijft deze serie voor volwassenen en er zit soms wel wat gruwel in, maar ja, ik ben niks anders van hem gewend.

8/10

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/ Arkham Reviews
Arkham Reviews | 11 January 2015 | Kim

The Demonata is the second horror series released by the ever popular Darren Shan. Its story focuses on the constant battles fought by magically gifted humans as they try to prevent monsters (the evil Demonata) from breaking through into our world. The series ran for ten novels – Lord Loss (2005), Demon Thief (2005), Slawter (2006), Bec (2006), Blood Beast (2007), Demon Apocalypse (2007), Death’s Shadow (2008), Wolf Island (2008), Dark Calling (2009) and Hell’s Heroes (2009) – but for the purpose of this review I’ll be looking at Slawter and Bec only.

The events of Slawter pick up around fourteen months after Lord Loss, as Grubbs and Dervish try to put their brush with the Demonata behind them. Although they both survived, Dervish has since been plagued with horrible nightmares and Grubbs still largely cares for him. When Dervish is approached by a famous director who wants to use his occultist knowledge to make her latest horror movie more realistic, it seems to be the perfect opportunity for the two of them to get away from the mansion to recover.

However, all is not as it seems. Isolated on a specially built set – the town of Slawter – Grubbs soon discovers that the movie is a front for something more sinister. The demons are too realistic to be costumes and members of the cast have begun to disappear. With Dervish unconvinced, it’s up to Grubbs and Bill-E to get to the root of what’s going on and put a stop to it once and for all.

Bec is set 1600 years before the events of Demon Thief and focuses on the title character – an apprentice priestess – as she helps protect her clan from worsening demon attacks. When a young boy with mysterious powers appears at the gates one day, Bec sets off with a band of warriors to discover where he has come from and offer help to any survivors that may be there.

On arriving at the boy’s home, they discover that it has been wiped out by demon attacks. The only survivor – a druid named Drust – advises that the creatures that attacked them were far more intelligent than the ones that Bec’s people have previously faced. Their appearance is due to the fact that a tunnel is being constructed between the human and demon realms and, when it’s complete, the demons will flood Ireland and kill everyone. Drust plans to close the portal and enlists Bec’s group to help him. Success for them is vital because, if they fail, all hope for mankind will be lost. 

Before I begin, I feel that I should give my usual disclaimer. I mentioned in my review of Lord Loss and Demon Thief that the stories are very much grounded in visceral horror rather than subtle scares. This has not changed. These books are very violent and contain some incredibly graphic descriptions of gore, aimed towards both adults and children. Although a lot of the brutality in Slawter is reserved for the climax, Bec contains scenes throughout that sensitive readers may find disturbing. Please bear this in mind before you pick up these novels.

Slawter returned the focus of the story to Grubbs Grady’s adventures in the present and therefore is a direct sequel to Lord Loss, rather than Demon Thief (which was set in the 1970s and followed a completely different protagonist). Because of this, I personally found it to be a refreshing return to form for Shan. As you may recall, I adore Lord Loss. I can honestly say that it’s the best young adult horror story that I have reviewed so far. While I won’t deny that it has some nagging flaws, I truly admire it for its originality, its decent plot twists and its very intense climax. While Slawter did not quite reach the brilliance of its prequel, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read in its own right.

After the endless action of Demon Thief, it was nice to see the pace slow again in order to give the protagonists a little more time to develop. Slawter was well paced on the whole, gradually ramping up the tension as the novel progressed right up until the incredibly violent finale. I also really enjoyed the setting as the novel uses it to make fun of bad horror movies – in particular the way that they become more enjoyable when they are obviously dreadful. My only real gripe with the plot as a whole was that it did not have a real twist. It’s pretty easy to deduce what’s really happening on the set from early in the story and the villain’s motivation is particularly shallow.

In Bec, the pacing unfortunately returned to the tempo of Demon Thief. The story virtually opens to a demon attack and the novel rarely slows down after this. While the Celtic setting is interestingly different (particularly for Shan), it unfortunately made this story feel a bit as though it belonged to a different series. Although it contains the same themes of the earlier novels, it applies them to a world that seems more fantastical – full of people who will willingly accept the existence of magic and elder gods because they know that it is true.

However, my biggest problem with the two books was that it felt as though they did not really advance the greater plot. One of the interesting things about Demon Thief was that it brought a lot of new things to the table: The structure of the Demonata, the way that they can be summoned into the human world, the function of the Disciples and the existence of the Kah-Gash. While none of this is ignored in Slawter or Bec (except for the Kah-Gash which doesn’t get a single mention), it isn’t really expanded on either.

The purpose of Slawter is to be more of a character study for Grubbs, showing that his magic has continued to grow and raising the possibility of him actually being a true magician. Bec’s purpose in the larger scheme of things was less to clear to me. While I don’t doubt that this will become more obvious in future books, it just does not seem to fit at present. It makes a little more of the dangers of a rogue magus summoning the Demonata (which is also seen in both Demon Thief and Slawter), it shows how the Grady family came by their curse and how Lord Loss came to be interested in chess. As most of these were at least alluded to in earlier novels, it made me wonder why exactly this novel is necessary. I suppose only time will tell if it has some greater importance for the remainder of the series but, for the time being, it just felt a little pointless.

In terms of characterisation, I also felt that Slawter did a little better than Bec. I think that this was because Shan was able to build upon characters that he had already introduced and so better flesh out their personalities. While the supporting cast was still a little weak at times, the primary cast of Grubbs, Dervish and Bill-E managed to get a lot of growth. Grubbs, in particular, managed to finally develop into a character that I could like. While his introduction in Lord Loss left me thinking that he was a little sociopath, his caring side comes out in this story through the way that he supports Dervish. He also shows a vulnerable side – showing that he will only fight when absolutely necessary as his fear of the Demonata runs very deep – which caused him to seem more like a real teenage boy and less of an action hero.

Bec’s cast was far weaker. Most of the members of her party are introduced so quickly and are so shallow that I did not really care if they lived or died. A good example of this is the twins – Ronan and Lorcan. All I can tell you about them is that they love killing demons – they really had no character beyond this. The only supporting character that I felt empathy for was Bran and this was largely because he was not self-aware enough to know what was happening around him.

I even found it quite hard to like Bec. This was not because of her attitude or personality (for a first attempt at writing a female protagonist, Shan actually didn’t do too badly with her) but more because she was a bit of a blank slate. Bec’s motivations are almost entirely governed by the expectations that her clan has placed on her, including the idea that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Because of this, she appears to be more of a paragon than either Grubbs or Kernal because she never behaves selfishly. She always acts with the interest of her friends in mind.

Sorry, this review is starting to get really long and so I’ll wrap up. While both Slawter and Bec are both enjoyable reads, they didn’t really advance the story as much as I would have liked. Both novels retread a lot of old ground and don’t seem as though they add much new to the mix. When thinking of the series as a whole, I would say that Slawter was the better of the two stories as it offered a lot more development for Grubbs. Bec, although a faster paced novel, was probably more on par with Demon Thief on the whole. However, I am curious to see how it will tie into later books as, despite the fact that it was set in the distant past, I’m pretty sure that this is not going to be end of the tale for Bec.

Read more...Return to reviews listing
/ Arkham Reviews
Arkham Reviews | 11 January 2015 | Kim

The Demonata is the second horror series released by the ever popular Darren Shan. Its story focuses on the constant battles fought by magically gifted humans as they try to prevent monsters (the evil Demonata) from breaking through into our world. The series ran for ten novels – Lord Loss (2005), Demon Thief (2005), Slawter (2006), Bec (2006), Blood Beast (2007), Demon Apocalypse (2007), Death’s Shadow (2008), Wolf Island (2008), Dark Calling (2009) and Hell’s Heroes (2009) – but for the purpose of this review I’ll be looking at Slawter and Bec only.

The events of Slawter pick up around fourteen months after Lord Loss, as Grubbs and Dervish try to put their brush with the Demonata behind them. Although they both survived, Dervish has since been plagued with horrible nightmares and Grubbs still largely cares for him. When Dervish is approached by a famous director who wants to use his occultist knowledge to make her latest horror movie more realistic, it seems to be the perfect opportunity for the two of them to get away from the mansion to recover.

However, all is not as it seems. Isolated on a specially built set – the town of Slawter – Grubbs soon discovers that the movie is a front for something more sinister. The demons are too realistic to be costumes and members of the cast have begun to disappear. With Dervish unconvinced, it’s up to Grubbs and Bill-E to get to the root of what’s going on and put a stop to it once and for all.

Bec is set 1600 years before the events of Demon Thief and focuses on the title character – an apprentice priestess – as she helps protect her clan from worsening demon attacks. When a young boy with mysterious powers appears at the gates one day, Bec sets off with a band of warriors to discover where he has come from and offer help to any survivors that may be there.

On arriving at the boy’s home, they discover that it has been wiped out by demon attacks. The only survivor – a druid named Drust – advises that the creatures that attacked them were far more intelligent than the ones that Bec’s people have previously faced. Their appearance is due to the fact that a tunnel is being constructed between the human and demon realms and, when it’s complete, the demons will flood Ireland and kill everyone. Drust plans to close the portal and enlists Bec’s group to help him. Success for them is vital because, if they fail, all hope for mankind will be lost. 

Before I begin, I feel that I should give my usual disclaimer. I mentioned in my review of Lord Loss and Demon Thief that the stories are very much grounded in visceral horror rather than subtle scares. This has not changed. These books are very violent and contain some incredibly graphic descriptions of gore, aimed towards both adults and children. Although a lot of the brutality in Slawter is reserved for the climax, Bec contains scenes throughout that sensitive readers may find disturbing. Please bear this in mind before you pick up these novels.

Slawter returned the focus of the story to Grubbs Grady’s adventures in the present and therefore is a direct sequel to Lord Loss, rather than Demon Thief (which was set in the 1970s and followed a completely different protagonist). Because of this, I personally found it to be a refreshing return to form for Shan. As you may recall, I adore Lord Loss. I can honestly say that it’s the best young adult horror story that I have reviewed so far. While I won’t deny that it has some nagging flaws, I truly admire it for its originality, its decent plot twists and its very intense climax. While Slawter did not quite reach the brilliance of its prequel, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read in its own right.

After the endless action of Demon Thief, it was nice to see the pace slow again in order to give the protagonists a little more time to develop. Slawter was well paced on the whole, gradually ramping up the tension as the novel progressed right up until the incredibly violent finale. I also really enjoyed the setting as the novel uses it to make fun of bad horror movies – in particular the way that they become more enjoyable when they are obviously dreadful. My only real gripe with the plot as a whole was that it did not have a real twist. It’s pretty easy to deduce what’s really happening on the set from early in the story and the villain’s motivation is particularly shallow.

In Bec, the pacing unfortunately returned to the tempo of Demon Thief. The story virtually opens to a demon attack and the novel rarely slows down after this. While the Celtic setting is interestingly different (particularly for Shan), it unfortunately made this story feel a bit as though it belonged to a different series. Although it contains the same themes of the earlier novels, it applies them to a world that seems more fantastical – full of people who will willingly accept the existence of magic and elder gods because they know that it is true.

However, my biggest problem with the two books was that it felt as though they did not really advance the greater plot. One of the interesting things about Demon Thief was that it brought a lot of new things to the table: The structure of the Demonata, the way that they can be summoned into the human world, the function of the Disciples and the existence of the Kah-Gash. While none of this is ignored in Slawter or Bec (except for the Kah-Gash which doesn’t get a single mention), it isn’t really expanded on either.

The purpose of Slawter is to be more of a character study for Grubbs, showing that his magic has continued to grow and raising the possibility of him actually being a true magician. Bec’s purpose in the larger scheme of things was less to clear to me. While I don’t doubt that this will become more obvious in future books, it just does not seem to fit at present. It makes a little more of the dangers of a rogue magus summoning the Demonata (which is also seen in both Demon Thief and Slawter), it shows how the Grady family came by their curse and how Lord Loss came to be interested in chess. As most of these were at least alluded to in earlier novels, it made me wonder why exactly this novel is necessary. I suppose only time will tell if it has some greater importance for the remainder of the series but, for the time being, it just felt a little pointless.

In terms of characterisation, I also felt that Slawter did a little better than Bec. I think that this was because Shan was able to build upon characters that he had already introduced and so better flesh out their personalities. While the supporting cast was still a little weak at times, the primary cast of Grubbs, Dervish and Bill-E managed to get a lot of growth. Grubbs, in particular, managed to finally develop into a character that I could like. While his introduction in Lord Loss left me thinking that he was a little sociopath, his caring side comes out in this story through the way that he supports Dervish. He also shows a vulnerable side – showing that he will only fight when absolutely necessary as his fear of the Demonata runs very deep – which caused him to seem more like a real teenage boy and less of an action hero.

Bec’s cast was far weaker. Most of the members of her party are introduced so quickly and are so shallow that I did not really care if they lived or died. A good example of this is the twins – Ronan and Lorcan. All I can tell you about them is that they love killing demons – they really had no character beyond this. The only supporting character that I felt empathy for was Bran and this was largely because he was not self-aware enough to know what was happening around him.

I even found it quite hard to like Bec. This was not because of her attitude or personality (for a first attempt at writing a female protagonist, Shan actually didn’t do too badly with her) but more because she was a bit of a blank slate. Bec’s motivations are almost entirely governed by the expectations that her clan has placed on her, including the idea that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Because of this, she appears to be more of a paragon than either Grubbs or Kernal because she never behaves selfishly. She always acts with the interest of her friends in mind.

Sorry, this review is starting to get really long and so I’ll wrap up. While both Slawter and Bec are both enjoyable reads, they didn’t really advance the story as much as I would have liked. Both novels retread a lot of old ground and don’t seem as though they add much new to the mix. When thinking of the series as a whole, I would say that Slawter was the better of the two stories as it offered a lot more development for Grubbs. Bec, although a faster paced novel, was probably more on par with Demon Thief on the whole. However, I am curious to see how it will tie into later books as, despite the fact that it was set in the distant past, I’m pretty sure that this is not going to be end of the tale for Bec.

Read more...Return to reviews listing
/ Book Blog Bonanza
Book Blog Bonanza | 06 January 2015 | Matthew R Bell

After finishing a series like Gone, I wasn't ready to start another one. And what better luck than to stumble on a Darren Shan standalone. Especially, one like The Thin Executioner. I've seen through various places that Young Adult Fantasy is speeding up the ranks in the book world, and in my humble opinion, Darren Shan's foray here is one of the best I've read. It's a solid standalone that actually had tears in my eyes by the end. Such a potent and powerful story with a clear message that warms your heart.


Wait.


What's that you're saying?


The Master of Horror warmed my heart?


Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying. And don't worry, the gory, thrilling story the author's known for is still there. But laced throughout The Thin Executioner is a well-crafted and attention stealing message that plucks at the strings of your heart.
Trust me.

SPOILER WARNING

We follow the character Jebel Rum, the son of Wadi's revered executioner. But Jebel walks in his family's shadow, unlike his peers, he's thin and weak, and he's shamed for it. Deliberately by his friends, and unintentionally by his family. But one day it's too much. Jebel faces public shame, unwittingly from his own father, and as consequence , it sows the seeds within Jebel that push him into his quest. He will travel to a faraway land and search for a mysterious god : Sabbah Eid. If successful, Jebel will be bestowed with powers beyond his grasp, allowing him to challenge the people who shame him.But Jebel is young, and everything he's raised with is called into question, including the type of person he believes himself to be.


I can't praise this book's plot enough. The mythology and history is so well-developed; the world is perfectly described and easily visualised with your mind's eye. It's a quick, encapsulating read that I promise you, if you haven't picked this up and read it, you are missing out big time. It's a standalone with a punch. I perused a few reviews and saw that a few people listed the lack of plot twists and overall predictability as a weakness, but they aren't. The novel follows a very deliberate path; it's not about shocking you, it's about teaching you. Then again, there are plot twists that kept the story fresh and exciting, and I found the book benefited from not being over-saturated. It's also not as predictable as you think. There are a few surprises in store that have you smiling or gasping with ravenous delight.


It's the characters that truly run this story. Mr Shan has crafted the perfect cast to go with an astounding world. Jebel was the unlikable hero, that transitions so well from hated to loved throughout the book. Along with his companion - slave - Tel Hesani, both main characters learn from one another, and I can't remember being so invested in two people in any series recently, not like this. The villains are incredible, unique; each terrifying in their own way. They all help drive forward the story, but coupled with it, they drive home the message with unnerving accuracy.


There are tons that contribute to the novel's message. Jebel was brought up a certain way, with certain beliefs scarred into his brain. He believes them so irrevocably, that nothing else matters. The law, his religion, his way of life; his ways are the only ways. It's his quest and his slave-turned-friend Tel Hesani that helps open his mind. Our main character develops from a narrow minded douche, to an accepting, wholly-good person. Jebel truly becomes a hero. I think that's awesome. I'm a firm believer in being open-minded, and being the best person you can be. Being nice doesn't mean you're weak, it's a strength far more useful than it ever gets credit for.


And the end... Damn. If you reach the end and don't have at least a lump in your throat, I must ask you to search for your heart.

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/ Le Sang Des Livres
Le Sang Des Livres | 28 December 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

 

It's not often that I read a book with zombies, I can be a real coward when I set, moreover impossible to watch The Walking Dead, zombies in it make me freak, they are well hypermarkets I think and I like to sleep at night ^^. Going back to the book, zombies, are the creatures with whom I have less affinity, not that I do not like, but hey, the flesh in decomposition, members less and so on this is not what there is more attractive. These are the creatures I fear most horrific potential is high, but strangely, in the books for the moment it goes very well and reading, even with unsavory details, it makes more bluntly that through screen. The "real" dimension is less present in a book. Sorry for what blablatage a little long, all that to say that Zom-B tried me, a, to broaden my zombie readings and two, because the book had drawings ^ _ ^. Very important drawings lol, but as what it has helped me to purchase. Note that apart from that, I do not know what to expect.


Before starting the story with our main character, we are treated to an introductory chapter, telling us the zombie invasion from the perspective of a little boy. From the first lines the author sets the tone and if the history is not ultra violent, with a lot of bloods, guts, the unsavory descriptions of the game. It is a book addressed to the youth so the author remained throughout this first volume quite soft, but it has not done in the Care Bears. I think he found a good balance to please young readers and those looking for a content not gory, but a little anyway. The first chapter has managed to surprise me, especially at the end, it's a shock.

Warren Pleece
Place then the story with the hero. The introduction is quite original, since the hero follows the news on TV with his family, they follow what we read in the first chapter and no one believes that zombies are among them. They think a hoax and I found it pretty funny. Then, for a while, we follow B, the main character in his life every day, a life not easy, with an abusive father and alcoholic racist to boot. B has to do with, with the reputation of his father being torn between him and his mother, who is very different. The student is not a choir boy, but that's part of the charm of the character.

I liked that zombies do not appear, finally do not form an integral part of the story from the beginning, that nobody believes and we follow the characters for a while in their daily lives. By cons when it farts, it farts. Once the zombies are coming, it's a parade of situations not pretty, pretty, which are linked to one after another. Injustices mark the route B, massacres and so on.

For a short story, the author offers a balanced story and more effective reserve surprises. Surprises which are not expected on the points of a story which we do not necessarily think at first. This first volume ends with a terrible cliff, not really nice for poor readers who will wait for the release of Volume 2.


Zom-B, first name is a pleasant surprise. I thought I found a story less complex than that I read, the more nice bright too. The story may well not be complicated, the author trimmed its history of several good ideas and good twists sent. No sweetening, details not very cool we are given and the trials that will meet the characters are not at all obvious. Adding illustrations is a very nice, I'm personally a fan of this kind of addition. This first volume, short, but intense and enjoyable to read.

 

5/5 stars.

 

--------------------------

 

La couverture est très belle. À travers les écritures vertes de Zom-B, nous apercevons un mort-vivant. Tout le reste de la couverture est rouge et fait ressortir comme il faut ce qui donne envie de lire ce roman.

De nombreux dessins de Warren Pleece ornent les textes de Darren Shan et c’est vraiment très joli à voir et nous plonge encore plus dans l’histoire.

La première partie de cette histoire nous mets tout de suite dans le vif du sujet et nous comprenons assez rapidement que nous allons avoir peur et que ce sera assez gore.
Dans la seconde partie de l’histoire, nous nous retrouvons auprès du héros et nous le suivons tout au long.
Bien que cette histoire soit axée sur l’invasion de zombies, il y a d’autres choses qui sont très bien décrites et qui font froid dans le dos. La manipulation mentale, la violence ainsi que l’alcoolisme sont des choses importantes dans cette histoire. Mais nous trouvons aussi, le racisme. Ces scènes sont tellement bien faites, que nous sommes très troublés de voir cette violence gratuite envers des personnes et cela nous remet dans la plus grande réalité de notre monde. Ça fait vraiment réfléchir et c’est très intéressant.
Les courses-poursuites dans le lycée de B. sont bien faites, nous avons vraiment l’impression de faire partie de ses élèves et de voir des gens se faire dévorer, déchiqueter, bref une véritable horreur. Nous ressentons toute la peur de ces personnes et nous avons l’impression que nous faisons un marathon car nous réalisons assez rapidement, (tellement le livre est prenant) que nous sommes à bout de souffle.
Nous sommes heureux de voir quelques rebondissements et nous sommes touchés de voir que la roue tourne pour certains.
Nous sentons notre personnage principal plus mature vers la fin de cette histoire et qu’il commence à tenir tête à d’autres.
Nous sommes assez déstabilisés à la fin de cette histoire quand nous commençons à comprendre certaines choses sur quelques personnages et nous sommes très surpris de nous être faits avoir comme ça.
Arrivés vers le point final de ce roman, nous sommes tellement dans le feu de l’action que nous n’arrivons pas à croire que les auteurs nous laissent dans cette situation.
Nous avons vraiment hâte de lire le second tome.

 

Est-ce que j’ai aimé ce livre ?



J’ai été plongée dans l’histoire du début au point final.
Le roman va à cent à l’heure et à aucun moment je ne me suis ennuyée. J’ai vraiment hâte de lire la suite et c’est un gros coup de cœur pour ma part.
Je vous le conseille fortement !

 

Une note ?



5/5

Read more...Return to reviews listing
/ Le Blog De Galleane
Le Blog De Galleane | 27 December 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

 

It's not often that I read a book with zombies, I can be a real coward when I set, moreover impossible to watch The Walking Dead, zombies in it make me freak, they are well hypermarkets I think and I like to sleep at night ^^. Going back to the book, zombies, are the creatures with whom I have less affinity, not that I do not like, but hey, the flesh in decomposition, members less and so on this is not what there is more attractive. These are the creatures I fear most horrific potential is high, but strangely, in the books for the moment it goes very well and reading, even with unsavory details, it makes more bluntly that through screen. The "real" dimension is less present in a book. Sorry for what blablatage a little long, all that to say that Zom-B tried me, a, to broaden my zombie readings and two, because the book had drawings ^ _ ^. Very important drawings lol, but as what it has helped me to purchase. Note that apart from that, I do not know what to expect.


Before starting the story with our main character, we are treated to an introductory chapter, telling us the zombie invasion from the perspective of a little boy. From the first lines the author sets the tone and if the history is not ultra violent, with a lot of bloods, guts, the unsavory descriptions of the game. It is a book addressed to the youth so the author remained throughout this first volume quite soft, but it has not done in the Care Bears. I think he found a good balance to please young readers and those looking for a content not gory, but a little anyway. The first chapter has managed to surprise me, especially at the end, it's a shock.

Warren Pleece
Place then the story with the hero. The introduction is quite original, since the hero follows the news on TV with his family, they follow what we read in the first chapter and no one believes that zombies are among them. They think a hoax and I found it pretty funny. Then, for a while, we follow B, the main character in his life every day, a life not easy, with an abusive father and alcoholic racist to boot. B has to do with, with the reputation of his father being torn between him and his mother, who is very different. The student is not a choir boy, but that's part of the charm of the character.

I liked that zombies do not appear, finally do not form an integral part of the story from the beginning, that nobody believes and we follow the characters for a while in their daily lives. By cons when it farts, it farts. Once the zombies are coming, it's a parade of situations not pretty, pretty, which are linked to one after another. Injustices mark the route B, massacres and so on.

For a short story, the author offers a balanced story and more effective reserve surprises. Surprises which are not expected on the points of a story which we do not necessarily think at first. This first volume ends with a terrible cliff, not really nice for poor readers who will wait for the release of Volume 2.


Zom-B, first name is a pleasant surprise. I thought I found a story less complex than that I read, the more nice bright too. The story may well not be complicated, the author trimmed its history of several good ideas and good twists sent. No sweetening, details not very cool we are given and the trials that will meet the characters are not at all obvious. Adding illustrations is a very nice, I'm personally a fan of this kind of addition. This first volume, short, but intense and enjoyable to read.

 

---------------------------

 

Ce n'est pas souvent que je lis un livre avec des zombies, je peux être une vraie trouillarde quand je m'y mets, d'ailleurs impossible de regarder The Walking Dead, les zombies dedans me font flipper, ils sont hypers bien fait je trouve et j'aime dormir la nuit ^^. Pour en revenir au livre, les zombies, ce sont les créatures avec lesquelles j'ai le moins d'affinités, non pas que je ne les aime pas, mais bon, des chairs en décompositions, des membres en moins et j'en passe, ce n'est pas ce qu'il y a de plus attrayant. Ce sont les créatures que je crains le plus, leur potentiel horrifique est élevé, mais bizarrement, dans les livres pour le moment ça passe très bien et en lisant, même avec des détails peu ragoutants, ça le fait carrément plus qu'au travers de l'écran. La dimension « réelle » est moins présente dans un livre. Désolée pour ce blablatage un peu long, tout ça pour dire que Zom-B m'a tenté, d'une, pour élargir mes lectures zombiesques et de deux, parce que le livre avait des dessins ^_^. Très important les dessins lol, mais comme quoi ça a contribué pour moi à l'achat. Notez qu'en dehors de ça, je ne savais pas à quoi m'attendre.

Avant de commencer l'histoire avec notre personnage principal, on a droit à un chapitre introductif, nous narrant l'invasion zombie du point de vue d'un petit garçon. Dès les premières lignes l'auteur donne le ton et si toute l'histoire n'est pas ultra violente, à grand renfort de sangs, tripes et boyaux, les descriptions peu ragoutantes sont de la partie. C'est un ouvrage adressé à la jeunesse donc l'auteur est resté tout au long de ce premier tome assez soft, mais il n'a pas non plus fait dans le bisounours. Je trouve qu'il a trouvé un bon équilibre pour contenter les jeunes lecteurs et ceux qui recherchent un contenu pas très gore, mais un peu quand même. Le premier chapitre a réussi à me surprendre, surtout à la fin, ça fait un choc.

@Warren Pleece

Place ensuite à l'histoire avec le héros. L'entrée en matière est assez originale, puisque le héros suit les informations à la télé avec sa famille, ils suivent ce qu'on a lu dans le premier chapitre et personne ne croit que les zombies sont parmi eux. Ils pensent à un canular et j'ai trouvé ça plutôt marrant. Ensuite, pendant un moment, on suit B, le personnage principal, dans sa vie de tous les jours, une vie pas facile, avec un père violent, raciste et alcoolique de surcroît. B doit faire avec, avec la réputation de son père en étant tiraillé entre ce dernier et sa mère, qui est bien différente. L'élève n'est pas en un enfant de chœur, mais ça fait partie du charme du personnage.
J'ai bien aimé que les zombies n'apparaissent pas, enfin ne fassent pas partie intégrante du récit dès le début, que personne n'y croit et qu'on suive pendant un certain temps les personnages dans leur vie quotidienne. Par contre quand ça pète, ça pète. Une fois que les zombies débarquent, c'est un défilé de situations pas jolies, jolies, qui s'enchaînent les unes à la suite des autres. Les injustices marquent le parcours de B, les massacres et j'en passe.
Pour un récit court, l'auteur offre un récit équilibré et réserve plusieurs surprises efficaces. Des surprises auxquelles on ne s'attend pas, concernant des points d'un récit auquel on ne pense pas forcément de prime abord. Ce premier tome se termine sur un cliff terrible, pas franchement sympa pour les pauvres lecteurs qui devront attendre la sortie du tome 2.

Zom-B, premier du nom est une bonne surprise. Je pensais retrouver une histoire moins complexe que celle que j'ai lue, plus gentillette aussi. Le récit a beau ne pas être compliqué, l'auteur garni son histoire de plusieurs bonnes idées et de twists bien envoyés. Pas d'édulcorations, des détails pas très cool nous sont donnés et les épreuves que vont rencontrer les personnages ne sont pas du tout évidentes. L'ajout d'illustrations est un plus très sympa, je suis personnellement fan de ce genre d'ajout. Voilà un premier tome, court, mais intense et des plus agréables à lire.

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/ Crazy Madness Books
Crazy Madness Books | 19 December 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

 

First of all, I wanted to say that this book is the first volume of a series written longuuuuue by Darren Shan (which is also still not over, and Volume 10 released early 2015) and for readers do not read English, know that the first book was translated into French by Panini Books, and the second volume has also come out in French.

    In this short book of less than 200 pages, it follows B Smith, the child could be described as "normal" in the family and at school. Writing is narrated in the first person singular, so we hope to find him throughout the series.
    B Smith is an only child and lives with his father and mother. His father is part of one of the main topics of the books. It is racist, alcoholic, and beats his wife and son. B, wanting to be just like his father and did not disappoint, so will also imitate, being racist, even though deep down he knows it's wrong. But by pretending it does not we he transforms?
    The novel is not only about the history of B and his father. You might have guessed by the title: it is a zombie book. Although they arrive too late for my taste, there.

    In the first part of the novel, sets the scene, okay, it's nice Darren Shan, but we are bored as hell ... Yes, that bed alone, yes, there are tricks happening ... but there is that stuff like B who types a black in his class and he is calling but his father is happy ... Anyway, luckily it's a series, and that there will be no need to replant the scene a second time in the other volumes. But fortunately he catches up on the second part, the zombies arrive about half the book, then it gets more interesting. There are chases in the hallway, you have to hide ...
   This book is primarily a reflection on racism, B-will he open your eyes?
    The reactions of her father are just unacceptable! We want to type it, but not too hard either because it is super violent.
    The writing style is simple and enjoyable. It is cradled by the pen, which makes them a little long pass quickly passes.
    The character of B is neither endearing nor répulsant despite a penchant for the second proposal ... It is so naive .. But after all, can be understood with a monster as a father, what would we do?

    The end of this book, we must say: Hyper commercial. It's easy, and commercial to be bought later with to really break you down, the first pages of Volume 2 ... The author could we find something a little more original, I think. .. After that, it is true that it works, and we want to know what happened. I also ordered the Christmas Volume 2: D.

    This book is not bad, but it's a little disappointment, I expected more zombies on the one hand, and more originality for this first novel when I think he's going do practically nothing.

A good series that I think of the potential, and we will forget the first volume, eh? ;)


MY NOTE: 2/5

 

---------------------------------

 

Tout d'abord, je tenais à préciser que ce livre est le premier tome d'une longuuuuue série écrite par Darren Shan (qui n'est d'ailleurs toujours pas finie, et le tome 10 sortira début 2015) et pour les lecteurs qui ne lisent pas en anglais, sachez que le premier tome a été traduit chez Panini Books en français, et que le deuxième tome vient de sortir également en français.
   Dans ce court livre de moins de 200 pages, on suit B Smith, enfant que l'on pourrait qualifier de "normal", dans sa famille et au lycée. L'écriture est narrée à la première personne du singulier, on a donc à espérer le retrouver tout au long de la série.
   B Smith est un enfant unique, et vit avec son père et sa mère. Son père fait parti d'un des principaux sujets du livres. Il est raciste, alcoolique, et bat sa femme et son fils. B, voulant être à l'image de son père et ne pas le décevoir, va alors lui aussi l'imiter, en étant raciste, même si au fond de lui, il sait que c'est mal. Mais à force de faire semblant, cela ne nous transforme-t-il pas ?
   Le roman n'est pas seulement sujet de l'histoire de B et de son père. Vous l'aurez sûrement deviné grâce au titre: c'est un livre de zombies. Bien qu'ils arrivent trop tard à mon goût, il y en a. 
   Dans la première partie du roman, on plante le décor, d'accord, il est bien gentil Darren Shan, mais on s'ennuie comme pas possible... Oui, ça ce lit tout seul, oui, il y a des petits trucs qui se passent...Mais il y a que des trucs du genre B qui tape un noir dans sa classe puis il se fait convoquer mais son père est content... Enfin bref, heureusement que c'est une série, et qu'il n'y aura pas besoin de replanter le décor une deuxième fois dans les autres tomes. Mais heureusement qu'il se rattrape sur la deuxième partie, les zombies n'arrivent qu'environ à la moitié du livre, puis ça devient plus intéressant. Il y a des courses poursuites dans les couloirs du lycée, il faut se cacher...
  Ce livres est avant tout une réflexion sur le racisme, B va-t-il ouvrir les yeux ? 
   Les réactions de son père sont juste inadmissibles ! On a envie de le taper, mais pas trop fort non plus car il est super violent.
   Le style d'écriture est simple et agréable. On est bercé par la plume, se qui rend les passages un peu long vite passés.
   Le personnage de B n'est ni attachant, ni répulsant, malgré un penchant pour la deuxième proposition... Il est tellement naïf.. Mais après tout, on peut le comprendre avec un monstre comme père, que ferions-nous ?
   La fin de ce livre est, il faut se le dire: hyper commerciale. Elle est facile, et commerciale pour qu'on achète la suite, avec, pour vraiment nous faire craquer, les premières pages du tome 2... L'auteur aurait pu nous trouver quelque chose d'un peu plus original, je pense... Après, c'est vrai que ça marche, et qu'on a envie de connaître la suite. J'ai d'ailleurs commandé le tome 2 pour Noël :D. 
   Ce livre n'est pas raté, mais c'est une petite déception, je m'attendais à plus de zombies, d'une part, et plus d'originalité pour ce premier roman: quand j'y repense, il ne se passe pratiquement rien. 
Une bonne série qui je pense à du potentiel, et on va oublier le premier tome, hein ? ;)
 

MA NOTE: 2/5

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/ Book Blog Bonanza
Book Blog Bonanza | 13 December 2014 | Matthew R Bell

So I guess after my review of Zom-B Circus, I don't need to tell you my excitement when I woke up this morning, the next two in the series packages making their slow way to my door. I was gutted when I had to go out, but ecstatic, because I knew when I got back, I could dive into Zom-B Clans. A couple hours later and her I am, just containing my desperation to move on, and writing this review. I had no problems with Clans, not even a tiny niggle. The good level of intrigue and action keep the novel moving forward briskly, while the stories of our characters do a great job of keeping everything tempered and paced. I have to marvel at the way Mr Shan can balance everything. Answering enough questions throughout each entry to Zom-B to keep everything fresh, while still leaving questions for us to hunger after.

Initially I was gonna keep the review SPOILER free, but that cliffhanger guys. That cliffhanger.

SPOILER WARNING.

We pick up directly after Zom-B Mission, with B and her army of Angels defending the settlement they had made their way to. It's bloody, and while B's fighting, she can't help but wonder what the hell is going on. Owl Man teamed up with the KKK?

Before she has time to worry though, a terrifying new question hits her like a truck. The Owl Man speaks, and B obeys. She has no choice, her body betraying her to her enemy, and she has no idea how. Factor in the fact Owl Man is getting away with her best friend, and tides are turning quickly.

There are choices in the coming future, choices that will determine where each of the players on the board stand.

But will B survive long enough to take her place?

Zom-B Clans is well paced. There's tons of action, but the story and themes of the novel help counterbalance the speed. We learn more in Clans about the past events that lead to the zombie outbreak, and more terrifying scenarios are revealed to the Angels. It's book eight in the Zom-B series, and all I can tell you is that the quality hasn't slipped an inch. Each entry to the series has been just as engaging as the last, and while some pull out slightly ahead of the others, there are no fillers. No books meant to bridge the gap to the new big thing. Just a succession of stories that are addictive and fun to read.
And that's not even adding in the magnificent mythology. Mr Shan creates such enthralling events, with perilous pasts and hauntingly futile futures. Nothing is stable in the world, and every fight could be the last.

And the characters? Brilliant. I love B's progression, her kick-ass attitude and her stronger, more prominent streak of humanity. The mystery and secrets surrounding Dr Oystein keep your brain churning, and the history of the Owl Man is touched on enough to give us a glimpse inside his creepy shell. The Owl Man fascinates me. He seems to have an obsession with B, but it's tempered with admiration, and almost, almost, some sort of love. I've loved B and Rage's standoffish relationship as allies as well, one time they're gonna get into it with one another, and I hope B kicks his behind in. Overall, the characters are awesome. They're distinctive enough to keep each of them separate, with some more worked on than others.

We take a swing back to the sort of racism theme I loved about the first entry to the series. Only now B is such a different character, and it's nice to see her acting completely different than before. I also get the feeling of choice and humanity throughout the novel, with Jakob and Biddy Barry's strong speeches being the most obvious. I got serious chills during that part of the book. Well written and perfect for those characters.

It's the cliffhanger that had be shaking with excitement. Part of me keeps cursing myself. How could I have not seen it coming? I mean, the theme shifted back to racism, the KKK were involved, and I still didn't connect the dots? Well, imagine my surprise when B's FATHER turns back up, alive and well! Holy crap!! Crapola! Unable to breath, brain on overdrive.

Must.

Continue.

On. 

5/5 stars

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/ Book Blog Bonanza
Book Blog Bonanza | 13 December 2014 | Matthew R Bell

You have to hand it to the author, Mr Darren Shan. He is a master of successfully expanding a story to accommodate a large series, without any dip in quality, and Zom-B Family is no exception. Family definitely ramps up the pace a little - something I wasn't sure was possible - and I can almost taste the end on the horizon. Everything's falling into place perfectly, the story is moving at a good pace and the characters have become ones that I feel so close to. I was addicted before, but with Family being the latest release, I'm already suffering the first symptoms of withdrawal. Now, more than ever before, I need to know what happens.

If you haven't already, I seriously urge you to grab this series and get on the ride. That's nine books into what I think is a twelve book series, so you have lots to devour.

SPOILER WARNING.

B has been captured. Most of her enemies have banded together, and they all want a piece of B for the troubles she's caused them. In the front is child-killing Dan-Dan, and in the hierarchy, he wins. But B's racist and abusive father is again her unlikely saviour. At first shocked, B realises it isn't a surprise that her father would side with the KKK, and use the zombie outbreak to usher in a 'new world'.

She's given one shot to conform, to help the enemy with their plans, to switch side.

But B isn't who she used to be, she's no longer her father's pawn, and she refuses to relinquish her new moral high ground.

Only her passion is short lived.

Dan-Dan hoped she would refuse, and it comes down to one thing.
How much pain can one person endure?

Zom-B Family breaks my heart, it lift my spirits, it's a whole whirlwind of emotions set out perfectly. It was intense. The story within Family is paced similarly to the other books in the series, but there is a definite speed to the plot that lets you in on just how close to the end we are. It's well written, well plotted, with a cast of characters that are unforgettable, and superbly crafted. I feel I get repetitive when describing a Darren Shan work, but that's only because his YA books are such high quality storytelling, and the only way to explain them is to be repetitive.

B has become one of my most favourite main characters ever. Her growth has been a joy to watch, but it isn't until Family I really got the sense she stepped fully into the person she wanted to be. It's due in most part to the return of her father, and even more shockingly, her zombie mother. It's here that B finally confronts her past, where she at last tackles everything that has held her back, the doubt, the guilt. I adored and cheered when B stood up to her father. It was so well done, and had been a scene I'd been avidly waiting for. It's at the end that she, in essence, is set free from her past, when her major source of pain, her mother and father, become one of the truly dead.

The Owl Man remains the most intriguing of all the characters. I just cannot get a read on him, and it fascinates me. He goes about doing his utmost to help B. It's no secret that she's special, but it's this special that has my mind bent on finding answers.

Let's take a moment to marvel over how heartbreaking B and Vinyl's scene was. The latter, in such a short time, became a truly remarkable person.

One thing I was flabbergasted at, in a sort of stunned couldn't-peel-my-eyes-away moment, was Dan-Dan's torture of B. It pushed at the boundaries of what I'd come to expect in a YA novel, even a Darren Shan one, and it works. It had been a long time coming and the character of Dan-Dan will strike fear into anyone. He truly was a horrific but extremely intelligent villain, but that only made it sweeter when our heroine got her oh so sweet revenge.

Family is true to its name. It deal with B's uncertainty over her own flesh and blood, and reinforces to both her and the reader that, while you might love those related to you by blood, that isn't the only family you have. It's pounded into our heads by B's scenes with Vinyl. It's shown to us over and over again throughout the series by her close connection to the Angels. And it's a powerful, and hopeful message to readers.

Book 10 is out in February 2015.

And I can't wait! 

5/5 stars.

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/ Book Blog Bonanza
Book Blog Bonanza | 12 December 2014 | Matthew R Bell

So, I've not long completed The Maze Runner series, and my first thought as usual after finishing a set of books was a scary one : what the hell do I read next? And yes, panic ensued. I feared for my sanity. I didn't want to start another series from the start, I didn't have a clue what stand-alone novel I wanted to pick up. I was lost. The terror of falling into a slump started to crawl over me in waves.

And then I caught sight of my beautiful line of Darren Shan novels, and it sparked. Ever since Zom-B Mission I've been desperate to continue the series, but alas, life came round to spoil that, and it slipped from my mind. Until now. I realised with delight that I knew where to go next, I had the money and some time, and what better early Christmas present could I gift myself but books?

And Zom-B Circus is free right now on Amazon you say?

I was definitely there faster than a zombie could have been for fresh brains. Not only that, but I also took the liberty of purchasing the next two in the series for myself, the two - that come - tomorrow!

SPOILER WARNING. - Not too spoilery, but just in case.

So Zom-B Circus isn't a story that focuses on our series' main protagonist B, even though she does make a brief cameo. Our story focuses on Cat. A strong, steel-willed teacher, who finds herself, along with everyone else, thrown into a zombie apocalypse. But Cat is no weak human, no sir. With some questionable actions and instincts to rival the best, she survives, and even prospers.
But for people like her, is there any way to stay safe, or will the universe reach round to tap her on the shoulder when she least expects it?

I finished Circus within the hour. It is only over a hundred pages, and along with my insatiable need to continue the series, I flew through it. But its length doesn't stop it from packing one helluva punch. The story is fascinating. A true look into the mind of someone who will do anything to survive, and a harsh glimpse at the force we humans have called karma. It's a thrilling tale, that not only does wonders for the world building and giving a better look at the enemies of the novels, but it also does a great job of reinforcing B's growth. B Smith isn't in Circus for long, just a fleeting scene, something that would normally be just a fun cameo. In this case, it's anything but. It's B before the apocalypse, the rash, rude and racist delinquent we follow in the very first entry to Zom-B. My point, you ask? Seeing B as she was, like I said, reinforces her character growth we come to see later in the time line. It's brilliant.

Moving along from B, and on to our main viewpoint, we go to Cat Ward. She's a ruthless woman who will stop at nothing to survive, even throwing helpless students, some of whom she teaches, to the arms of the hungry undead, just to buy her time to get away. It's shocking, I actually gasped. I mean, I knew she had a dislike for some of them - I would have too, god, I hope I wasn't like that in school - but for her to do it without feeling a thing was gruesome. But it fit perfectly with her character. And following Cat on her journey, right to the bitter end, was intriguing to say the least.

The story has a strong undercurrent of karma. When you forsake your humanity to survive, making the choices that turn you into a monster, when will that inevitable time come when you pay for your crimes? When empty regret will do nothing for you? It's a question Cat faces, and you'll love how it turns out, in a sort of sad, twisted way.

And last but not least, let's not forget Mr Dowling. He scares the crap out of me. I didn't have a problem with clowns before...... And the circus part of Circus? *Shivers* It furthers my resolve though, I want to know what he is, and what he's up to. Pronto.


So, I am happy to report, no reading slump for me. In fact I cannot wait for the post to come tomorrow - really today, but it's 1AM so - so I can dive right forward again.

It's gonna be one helluva ride. Pick these novels up. 

5/5 stars

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/ Babelio
Babelio | 10 December 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATE OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

A big thank you to Goodreads and the Eclipse Editions Panini for allowing me to discover this first volume De Zom-B.

I enjoyed reading this, a little surprised by the first part that addresses a completely different theme than I expected.

I thought indeed that the attack of the Zombies was the only subject of this book, well no!

The history of B leads us to reflect on a topic that remains relevant: racism.

The author therefore addresses anti-Semitism with great courage because the issue is sensitive, it also reflects the attitude of the immediate family of a racist person. How children should behave they face the hate speech of one of their parents, should we go and argue against his ideas, or follow the opinion of a father or mother must be the model example? How far a child is ready to go for the love of his parents?

An abusive father, a mother who suffers, B seeks his way and connects errors.

Youth reading I found smart, brings young readers to reflection while being full of action.

I recommend, I loved, I want to know more ...

5 stars,

 

----------

 

Un grand merci à Babelio ainsi qu'aux Éditions Éclipse Panini pour m'avoir permis de découvrir ce premier tome De Zom-B.

J'ai beaucoup aimé cette lecture, un peu étonnée par la première partie qui aborde un tout autre thème que celui auquel je m'attendais.

Je pensai en effet que l'attaque des Zombies était le seul et unique sujet de ce livre, et bien non!

L'histoire de B nous amène à réfléchir sur un sujet qui reste d'actualité: le racisme.

L'histoire de B nous amène à réfléchir sur un sujet qui reste d'actualité: le racisme.

L'auteur aborde donc l'antisémitisme avec beaucoup de courage, car le sujet est délicat, il réfléchit également à l' attitude de la famille proche d'une personne raciste. Comment les enfants doivent ils se comporter face aux propos haineux de l'un de leur parent, faut-il aller contre et faire valoir ses idées, ou suivre l'opinion d'un père ou d'une mère qui doit être le modèle et l'exemple? Jusqu’où un enfant est-il prêt à aller pour l'amour de ses parents? 

Un père violent, une mère qui subit, B cherche son chemin et enchaîne les erreurs.

Une lecture jeunesse que j'ai trouvé intelligente, qui amène le jeune lecteur à une réflexion tout en étant pleine d'action.

Je recommande, j'ai aimé, j'ai envie de connaître la suite...  

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/ L’ile aux Livres
L'ile aux Livres | 09 December 2014 | Jeanne Lire

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATE OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

 

This book is my first zombie book. I had never dared to get into the genre ... With this book, I do not, however, totally entry in the genre, even if the zombies are present in the story and play a very important role, they are a pretext for denouncing racism and tightness that can be felt between love and reason.


Early in the novel, no one really believes in this zombie attack all think is a travesty. Then you can imagine, they do appear and begin to do damage.


In parallel, B lives with her parents a very complicated life: her racist father (and assumes) hits his mother when contradicted or simply when he drank too much. B tries to defend himself, but not always achieved ...


The father is part of a group of racist and claims his hatred towards foreigners and those who are different every headland. It 'taught' to B what he thinks is the truth. Character B pretended to agree and now can no longer discern its share of obedience to his father and what he really thinks: Is this person a racist?


I enjoyed this reading with one caveat: the excessive length (and a bit monotonous) of the passage of the chase in the college. It takes too much space for my taste and becomes productive against.

I can not say more to let you discover the history together reading, but know that at the end of the book a shocking revelation takes place !! It disturbed me a lot and everything seems then to review (that intrigues you is not it ?!).

A good point: the book is interspersed with illustrations of Warren Pleece that really enrich the reading. Generally I find that images serve more than serve the story but then their share is fair and fairly simple designs.

I enjoyed my reading although some passages dragged on ... I still would emphasize the author's stroke of genius in the final unveiling ...

When the sky falls on your head, or you expect to be squashed, or you try to run for shelter. Pages 180-181

17/20

 

----------

 

Ce livre est mon premier livre de zombie. Je n'avais jamais osé me lancer dans ce genre littéraire...  Avec ce livre, je ne suis cependant pas totalement entrée dans le genre, même si les zombies sont présents dans l'histoire et jouent un rôle assez important, ils ne sont que prétexte à la dénonciation du racisme et du tiraillement que l'on peut ressentir entre l'amour et la raison.
  Au début du roman, personne ne croit réellement à cette attaque de zombies que tous pensent être une mascarade. Puis, vous vous en doutez, ils apparaissent vraiment et commencent à faire des dégâts.
  En parallèle, B vit avec ses parents une vie très compliquée: son père raciste (et qui l'assume) frappe sa mère lorsqu'elle le contredit ou simplement quand il a peu trop bu. B essaie de la défendre, mais n'y parvient pas toujours...
  Le père fait partie d'un groupe de racistes et revendique sa haine envers les étrangers et ceux qui sont différents à tous bouts de champs. Il ''enseigne'' à B ce qu'il pense être la vérité. Le personnage B feint d'être d'accord et par moment n'arrive plus à discerner  sa part d'obéissance à son père et ce qu'il pense vraiment: ce personnage est-il raciste?
  J'ai apprécié cette lecture avec un bémol : la longueur excessive (et un peu monotone) du passage de la course-poursuite dans le collège. Il prend trop de place à mon goût et en devient contre productif.
  Je ne peux en dire plus pour vous laisser découvrir l'histoire en même temps que votre lecture, mais sachez qu'à la fin du livre une révélation bouleversante a lieu!! Elle m'a beaucoup perturbée et tout semble alors à revoir (ça vous intrigue n'est-ce pas?!).
   Un bon point: le livre est parsemé des illustrations de Warren Pleece qui enrichissent réellement la lecture. Généralement je trouve que les images desservent plus que servent l'histoire mais là leur proportion est juste et les dessins assez simples.

J'ai apprécié ma lecture même si certains passages se traînaient en longueur... Je soulignerais tout de même le coup de génie de l'auteur dans le dévoilement final...


                       Quand le ciel vous tombe sur la tête, soit vous attendez d'être écrabouillé,                                                 soit vous courez pour essayer de vous mettre à l'abri.  Pages 180-181


                                                               17/20

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/ The Fireside Table
The Fireside Table | 06 December 2014 | Adam Brooks

Don’t read any further if you are new to Shan’s ZOM-B saga, as this review will be chock full of spoilers….

 

Beginning with the brutal betrayal at the close of ZOM-B clans, the ninth book in Darren Shan’s ZOM-B series sees B Smith taken prisoner by the vile Dan- Dan into a fortress at Battersea Power-Station.  There she finds an unholy alliance between surviving members of the Board, the Klan, the army, Owl-Man, and her Father.  Here at this base B must endure her most harrowing ordeal yet, one that will call on every ounce of her undead strength and living spirit.

 

B faces the emotional torture of facing up to her father and what he is, by showing him what has she become, a repudiation of all he stands for.  B also discovers the fate of her mother, in one of the books many unsettling and shocking scenes.

 

B refuses to join this “axis of evil,” to borrow a phrase, and is so given into the clutches of Dan-Dan. There then follows an extended scene of torture which is pretty audacious for a young adult title.  I kept expecting an imminent rescue or reprieve, but B finds no short-cuts from this.  It’s not a literal crucifixion but follows the slow torture of this execution, without the reprieve of death.  I would caution more sensitive readers (although those most easily offended won’t have made it this far in the series)!  However, the scene is not salacious, or cheap, in any way.  The focus is on B’s mental, emotional and spiritual endurance, and her repudiation of Dan-Dan’s evil.

 

Following this, there are more scenes of gladiatorial combat, more wrenching loss, and at the denouement, a siege which for B means out of the frying pan, into the fire…

 

This is probably the toughest and most unrelenting book of the series yet, but a gripping little page turner that once again shows how Shan is adept at switching from fast paced gore and action to pretty weighty moral content.  It’s the latter that is so refreshing.  Shan’s treatment of racism in particular, and the theme of the battle of the individual’s moral choices, is utterly refreshing, and timely, in today’s particularly xenophobic, other-hating political landscape.

 

Roll on” ZOM-B Bride.”

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/ The Fireside Table
The Fireside Table | 30 November 2014 | Adam Brooks

ZOM-B Clans, the eighth in this epic saga of what will be twelve books, does two things very well:  it develops the origins backstory of the zombie epidemic including some details on the malevolent Mr Dowling and sinister  ‘Owl-man,’ whilst raising the stakes and accelerating the pace as the series progresses towards its denouement.

 

The book begins with the closing moves of the battle at New Kirkham, a survivor settlement in the country.  Shan is good at the theme of difficult moral choices, and B here must decide how to fight for Owl man’s remaining prisoners, and how to deal with the prisoner he and her friends take, the loathsome Dan-Dan.  His repellent human villain makes a satisfying return and one of the joys of this series is wondering who, from previous instalments, will pop up next, and how.  There is also a tense scene where the New Kirkham survivors debate on the fate of those who have remained ‘neutral’ in Kirkham’s fight with human and non-human monsters.  Again, the best moral choice is not the easiest, and as with our most serious choices we have to sweat blood to get there.

 

Back at County Hall Dr Oystein has more revelations on this war with Mr Dowling and the undead, and some exposition on its origins.  Events move to the prisoner exchange at Battersea power station, where a brutal act of treachery and another massive shock for B propels us on to pick up the next book.

 

As usual the writing is clear and the narrative is fast paced, whilst managing successfully to tackle some weighty moral themes.

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/ Suz’s Space
Suz's Space | 26 November 2014 | Suz

Finished this yesterday morning and a good thing too as it was due back to the library this week. It’s three books in one and only took me less than a week as it’s fairly compelling reading.

 

A synopsis of this book could be: teenager sneaks in where he’s not allowed, pinches spider, makes deal with vampire and has to die, then the story begins…

 

Darren Shan is the pseudonym of Darren O’Shaughnessy and in this book he talks about taking on this name to protect the innocent. An interesting and intriguing start to the book.

 

Shan is a competent author, these books are well put together and I found myself falling into believing the whole idea very quickly. In the book Shan is a 12 year old who loves spiders and horror. He manages to get a ticket to a freak show, Cirque du Freak, where he sees the best spider he’s seen or heard of and decides he must have her. He sneaks back some time later and pinches her, figures out how to feed herand train her to do tricks. Then his best friend finds out and he has to teach his friend how to do the tricks, something goes wrong and the spider bites. In order to save the friend he goes back to the owner of the spider, a vampire and bargains…a life for a life.

 

During the three books we discuss a large amount of vampire myth and are told what is true about the vampires in this world. We see them in action and we find out why they are so reviled.

 

We also see Cirque du Freak some more as Shan and the vampire spend time travelling with it. Shan makes friends with Evra who is a snake boy having some characteristics similar to that of a snake.

 

And with a bit of help from Mr Google I find there’s a movie. And it has Josh Hutcherson in the role of Steve, Shan’s best friend who’s a little unstable. As I’ve only ever seen him in positive roles it’d be interesting to see him as something less positive. He’s Peeta in The Hunger Games and Jess in Bridge to Terabithia. I’m sure he’s the upcoming young star of his generation but I’ll have to see this movie to be sure. A good actor should be able to turn their skills to any role, take Cate Blanchett for instance, she’s been fabulous in a wide variety of roles.

 

Despite the blood, gore and scariness I do recommend this book. I put it down wanting more, thank goodness this is the beginning of a whole series. There’s another nine books in the series and four books about the vampire, Larten Crepsley. If you (or your young person) read all of these you should get a good background into the whole world and how it runs with vampires and the other ‘freaks’ he’s written into it.

 

You can buy this whole trilogy at Booktopia. It would make a great Christmas present for a teen horror fan.

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/ The Fireside Table
The Fireside Table | 22 November 2014 | Adam Brooks

ZOM-B Mission is the seventh instalment in this series about the teenage B Smith, a “Revitalised,” an undead-human hybrid that mixes human intelligence with heightened abilities that being a zombie can bring, such as super strength, speed, agility and extended life (these aren’t Romero’s geriatric shufflers!), battling with her fellow revitalised “Angels” to restore order and goodness after an apocalypse of the undead.  The “Angels” are under the tutelage of a Dr Oystein, himself a Revitalised scientist from World War Two, and their overall mission is to confront the mysterious evil that seems to be orchestrating the zombie plague, whose figureheads are a gory and grotesque clown figure called Mr Dowling, and a pot- bellied silver-haired tall man in pin-stripes and overlarge eyes called “Owl Man.”

 

B must also battle her own inner demons; a racist and abusive father has left her a terrible legacy, and following her father she has committed an atrocity for which she now seeks redemption.

 

‘Mission’ has a pretty big shock early on, and I won’t spoil it, but it is very well done, and involves the demise of one of the series good guys.  The story then moves to a mission B and her fellow Angels undertake, to escort a band of human survivors to a human compound in the country, New Kirkham.  The compound, although well run, has some deep shadows of unease.  B is shocked to find her old demon Racism alive and well and finding a terrible new strength, and aligning with some old foes…

 

Shan is pretty adept and underwriting his fast paced and gory zombie stories, primarily for young adult readers but enjoyed by a much wider and older readership (including me), with some serious themes on human corruption and evil.  It was ever thus with this particular genre (as with Romero’s satirical swipes), but Shan is good and illustrating the insidiousness and creeping nature of such ills as racism, and how passivity is just as destructive as complicity.  Here that point is very well made, and we see humanity at its worst, passive in the face of evil or actively engaged in it, and heroically defiant.

 

I also enjoy the referencing to other zombie fare in these books.  So we have a reverent nod to one of the most chilling scenes in Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later,” transmission of infection by a drop of zombie blood that falls from a bird, and the shadowy nature of human compounds of survivors that feature repeatedly in “The Walking Dead” franchise.  But this is different from being derivative.  Shan’s series, his mysterious demonic foes and zombie-human hybrids are very much his own.

 

A cracking read, then, and it’s good to see the series both develop its themes with this instalment, and take it in intense new directions.

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/ Fiction Fascination
Fiction Fascination | 18 November 2014 | Carly

I cracked open Zom-B Family with the highest of expectations and I was not disappointed! Mr Shan never lets me down – this was yet again another kick-ass instalment that gripped me from beginning to end!

 

This particular instalment was filled with blood, gore and all means of twisted games. Things got a whole lot darker and a whole lot bloodier. I expected nothing less with the wicked Dan Dan firmly back in play. I loved each disturbingly bloody scene – Shan’s descriptors are totally ace!

 

There were a lot of shockers throughout this story and I was never too sure which direction things would go. I sat on the very edge of my seat, excited to see what decisions other characters would make. As usual, B, was her snarky self – her super smart one-liners are just brilliant. I really enjoyed seeing her dysfunctional fatherly bond in play.

 

The ending!? Grrrr!

 

Zom-B Family is an excellent 9th book in a highly addictive series. Personally I think Darren Shan is an evil genius and I have absolutely no idea where he’s going with the series…but I know I’m going to be shocked. Bring on Zom-B Bride already!!

 

4/5 Stars!

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/ Zombie Parade
Zombie Parade | 13 November 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW

 

Remember the title of this cross. I'm laughing all alone and I'm the only rapper to understand my humor of the early 90s ... short.
 

B. Our "hero" London is the archetype of the evil teenager in his skin and trying to exist by violence and mistrust of authorities. While the family context B. is not necessarily healthier, strange video began to spread on the net and evoke an epidemic of madness affecting Irish neighbors.
 

The media are trying to hide the facts, but more and more stories and testimonies, videos which come gradually to the ears of B. and his band. The word "zombie" is released by the media and some confusion takes hold of the inhabitants of London ...
 

But this "media" concern is that the younger worries B. who must face a lunatic father, angry, racist and violent. The father, B. likes yet, is the last of bastards who beat up his wife and a reign domestic tyranny. B. constantly rebellion appearance is interposed between shots over his father's and his mother's face.
 

B. hate this life though, is his daily bread. Racism lower forehead (national), insults and denigration of difference as to transpire through acts of B. who is looking for a scapegoat to escape a little time is routine in this hell.
 

The opportunity will be given when the zombies will land in London and push the protagonists to acts of bravery drugs but also pathetic acts of cowardice.
 

The zombies when them, are ultra violent. Hard to imagine that in the literature for "young". But without going into the gory details, Darren Shan did not hesitate to speak of bloody guts and describe scenes that are a real butcher.
 

Besides the fact that a zombie bite is enough to turn you relatively quickly, one of their own, they have the distinction of being controlled by beings endowed with dirty mouth but a sadistic conscience. But where do they come from? What do they want?
 

We'll know with Fred and Jamie in the next episode scheduled for 14 January 2015.


So to Zom-B or not-B?


For my part, I'm hooked to the style of Darren Shan. Some situations are, to my taste, a little "borderline" for a very young audience, but perfectly balanced teens, and awake stranded find it devilishly funny.
 

Moreover, apart from violence related to our friends the zombies, the matters discussed by Darren Shan through the behavior of B. is quite remarkable, despite the slippery slope that is denouncing racism and domestic violence an audience to be young. It is difficult at this age (at least it was for me to understand the subtleties of language) recognize and discern what the author wants to evoke, and the idea that he has without give a moral lesson with two balls. I think he is doing pretty well.
 

Zom-B is a series that promises good with a body control and a wanton violence and a frantic pace and interspersed with serious moments. And then, with that end almost unexpectedly, after all, I am looking forward to read more.

 

Rating: 8/10

************

Oubliez le titre de cet inter. Je me fais rire tout seul et je suis le seul à comprendre mon humour de rappeur du début des années 90… Bref.

B., notre « héros » londonien, est l’archétype même de l’adolescent mal dans sa peau et qui tente d’exister par la violence et le défiance des autorités. Alors que le contexte familiale de B. n’est pas forcément des plus sains, d’étranges vidéo commencent à se répandre sur le net et évoquent une épidémie de folie touchant les voisins irlandais.

Les médias tentent de camoufler les faits, mais de plus en plus d’histoires et de témoignages, dont vidéos, viennent peu à peu aux oreilles de B. et de sa bande. Le mot « zombies » est lâché par les médias et une certaine confusion s’empare alors des habitants de Londres…

Mais, cette inquiétude « médiatique » n’est que le cadet des soucis de B. qui doit affronter un père lunatique, colérique, raciste et violent. Ce père, que B. aime pourtant, est le dernier des enfoirés qui tabasse sa femme et fait régner une tyrannie domestique. B. en constante rebellion d’apparence ne s’interpose plus entre les coups de son père et le visage de sa mère.

Cette vie que B. déteste pourtant, est son pain quotidien. Racisme bas du front (national), insultes et dénigrement de la différence transpirent aussi aux travers des actes de B. qui se cherche un souffre douleur pour s’échapper un temps soit peu à cet enfer routinier.

L’occasion lui en sera donné quand les zombies vont débarquer dans Londres et pousser les protagonistes à des actes de bravoures stupéfiants mais aussi des actes minables de lâcheté.

Les zombies quand à eux, sont ultra violents. Difficile d’imaginer cela dans la littérature pour « jeune ». Mais sans rentrer dans du détails sordides, Darren Shan n’hésite pas à parler de tripes sanguinolentes et nous décrire des scènes qui sont une véritable boucherie.

Outre le fait qu’une morsure de zombie suffise à vous transformer, relativement rapidement, en l’un des leurs, ces derniers ont la particularité d’être contrôlés par des êtres à sale gueule mais doués d’une conscience sadique. Mais d’où viennent-ils ? Que veulent-ils ?

Nous le saurons avec Fred et Jamie dans le prochain épisode prévue le 14 janvier 2015.

Alors, Zom-B or not Zom-B ?

Pour ma part, j’ai bien accroché au style de Darren Shan. Certaines situations sont, à mon goût, un peu « border line » pour un public très jeune, mais des ados parfaitement équilibrés, et un brin éveillés, trouveront ça diaboliquement drôle.

De plus, outre la violence liée à nos amis les zombies, les sujets abordés par Darren Shan à travers le comportement de B. est tout à fait remarquable, et ce, malgré la pente glissante qu’est la dénonciation du racisme et des violences domestiques à un lectorat destiné à être jeune. Il est difficile à cet âge (du moins cela l’était pour moi, de comprendre les subtilités du langage) de prendre conscience et de discerner ce que veut évoquer l’auteur, et l’idée qu’il en a, sans pour autant donner une leçon de moral à deux balles. Je trouve qu’il s’en tire plutôt bien.

Zom-B est une série qui promet du bon, avec une morale maîtrisée et une violence dévergondée et un rythme effréné et entrecoupé de moments graves. Et puis, avec cette fin quasi inattendue, tout compte fait, j’ai hâte de lire la suite.

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/ Reviewer’s Digest
Reviewer's Digest | 07 November 2014 |

How does Shan do it? Releasing a book every three months must put some strain on you, even if you have the entire series already written out, surely? And to also continue to produce exciting, thrilling books as well! How does he do it?

 

Following directly on from the last book’s thrilling cliff hanger, B is thrown into a world of trouble and torment, as yet unseen in this terrifying new world. But this time it comes in the form of humans, the true monsters through and through. And as these books have now taken up the habit, this one ends in another nail-bitingly aggravating cliff hanger.

 

The story continues to be highly interesting, never once dropping the ball as we get closer to the finale of this apocalyptic and, let’s face it, slightly confusing world. That confusion continues to be generated by more questions being raised, even as others are answered.

 

It’s a fast paced piece of work, the action never stopping, and those shock moments never ceasing; whether that be big plot twists (which there is enough of to cause cardiac arrest) or just Shan going to new heights in his gore-splattered writing, heights we never even considered in such an already messed up world.

 

That’s right. As well as the usual bout of gore, which is to be expected in a zombie infested saga, Shan ups the ante as he revels in the shredding apart of helpless victims as things slide slowly out of hand for B. And then there’s the torture on B herself. But when y [images] ou’re torturing something that doesn’t feel too much pain (aka a zombie) you have to think up new ways of inflicting pain… and Shan certainly does just that. For those with a nervous disposition… perhaps you’d be better off reading about puppies, rainbows and unicorns.

 

The best quotes from this book are:

 

‘…stick your head up your arse and eat yourself from the inside out.’

‘You’re nuttier than a squirrel’s stocking on Christmas Day.’

‘Time to put you out of my misery…’

 

Definitely one of the best of the series to date, Family is a fast-paced, torture fest of gore and misery with a nice slab of humour that fans of the books will know accompanies the character of B. You can see Shan is setting up those oversized dominoes, ready to be pushed over in a destructive wave of gore, shock and thrills as the finale finally hits us. Roll on the next book.

 

An 8.5 out of 10.

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/ Bubblews
Bubblews | 06 November 2014 |

Zom-B by Darren Shan is the first book in the Zom-B series. Most of the book is narrated from the point of view of the protagonist, B Smith, but at the very beginning there's a description of a zombie outbreak in a village in Ireland.

 

B Smith is a teenager, and not a very likeable person, being a shaven headed thug at best. This is largely down to the effect of B's dad, who is an even worse person, a racist, wife and child beater. B is not trying to be racist, but going along with Dad - who B loves, despite all his faults - for years has rubbed off, and now B is worried that they are actually becoming racist.

 

The earlier part of the book introduces B and B's friends. The zombie attack in Ireland has gone viral on the internet, but no-one truly believes it's true, even as more clips turn up. After all, you can do a lot with CGI these days.

 

Then, B's school is attacked by zombies with a penchant for brains, and B and friends are running for their lives as their classmates are being eaten and turned.

 

Not the most likeable principal character ever, but that possibly makes B more interesting. A few surprises at the end of the book too.

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/ Bubblews
Bubblews | 06 November 2014 |

Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan is the second book in the Zom-B series and the sequel to the titular book, Zom-B (http://www.bubblews.com/news/9298652 ).

 

Zom-B finished with a couple of surprises. The first was that B's real name was Becky, and that the shaven headed thug was a teenage girl. The second was that, after finally defying her father and rejecting his racism - after getting another kid killed at his request - B herself also died, at the hands of that same kid.

 

B is now a zombie. Several months after the attacks in London, though, she regains consciousness - although she's still dead. It seems that some zombies regain their intellect and she, and some others who have, are being experimented on in a, presumably underground, facility.

 

B has to try and work out what is happening. Which isn't easy, as her captors regard her as a monster, albeit an intelligent one, and are deliberately withholding information.

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/ Lesedelfin
Lesedelfin | 05 November 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A GERMAN REVIEW.

"Welcome to the world of the Vampires" is volume one of the Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. It comprises a total of three story about the half-vampire Darren Shan, who writes in his prologue that history is it really happening and for security reasons he would have changed names and places. He can remember well because he kept a diary of the story. The idea was not bad and this was some idea that somehow read "real" ...;)

I've heard a few years ago these books because a friend has read. At that time I was a little surprised that the so-called author is also the main character from whose point of view the book was written, but that was the latest when read quickly irrelevant, because the story grabbed me and would not let me go!

It all starts with a forbidden leaflet, which illegally lands in the hands of a good friend of the main character Darren Shan. There advertises a circus for its performance. But it is not just any circus, but a freak show. When the teacher friends see the leaflet, he tells a little about the poor creatures were dressed long ago against their will and under gruesome conditions to Keep the fun of others. For this reason, freak shows were also forbidden!
Darren and his friends Steve, Alan and Tommy is clear that they want to go there, but unfortunately they only get two cards. You fiddle with Steve from who should get the second card, since he has finally worried and so wins Darren.
Excited, she eventually make their way to the Cirque du Freak and experience an exciting, scary evening they will never forget.
Darren is particularly impressed by the spider Madame Octa. He loves spiders about everything. Steve is during the appearance of Madame Octa and her master Mr. Crepsley but quite distracted. He is afraid and sends Darren home alone, because he still takes what bring in experience. But Darren and remains sealed his fate indirectly, for in the evening, he learns that there really are vampires, and he has a right under his nose.

The figure of Darren Shan is sixteen years old and what is his penchant for spinning regards quite exotic. His thoughts during the presentation of the Cirque du Freak were alternately anxious and extremely inspiring. All the freaks who happily deliver their show, attended with me for goose bumps moments and me came not it the other way as Darren and Steve. On the one hand thoughts like "That can not be. That's impossible! Inhuman!" and then "Oh my God, how worn!"
There are extreme many curiosities to discover and I wondered automatically what is real and what is just for show, but the more we learn about the history, it was all the more trippy.
As the main story began to roll and Darren comes in Berühung with the creatures of the night was clear to me that the back story was cobbled together pretty good about these vampires. Here are a few myths true, since a few untruths and plenty of surprises. For me as a fan of vampire novels, of course, the purest experience.

In the first story is palpated before slowly. First, you only see the freak show, but once everything is real, you can experience the read again from scratch. The first impressions of the "freaks" were pretty awesome, but what then everything gets in front of his eyes when Darren is a part of this world, nor is freaky! I enjoyed the read really fun because the author conveys through his narrative style feel everything is real. As a reader to be a part of it thus was not difficult and the sides slipped me the only way through his fingers.

I think the story in the prologue that everything would be based on a true story, a large part has been identified. It has influence on how the story is told. I was really excited.

The pacing everything was ok. A few days or weeks have been packed into a few sentences, but the author was at the exciting scenes lot of time. Something to read but happy, or not? ;)

The only complaint I had about the book was a tiny part of the translation. There was then an example that is not "I want to be a vampire." but "I want to be a vampire." I was somehow so wrong before that I'm often stumbled upon it.

There are a total of twelve stories that were packed into three blocks in four books.

Darren Shan was a great find for me. The books have been around for so long and I can not believe I've been spurned. As Vampirfan they had some new things to offer, but also the other "creatures" have done it to me properly. It was a freaky, creepy reading experience that could inspire me. Nearly five hundred pages are flown and the protagonists I have now all come to love.
"Midnight Circus - Welcome to the world of the Vampires" is a youth fantasy book I can only highly recommend any Vampirfan. But who is on creepy figures else will have its bright enjoy this great book.

     Favorite Quote:
     "The best I like people who see a lot of horror movies and read horror stories. For they believe everything they read and hear, and then come up with ridiculous stuff like crosses and holy water fitted to, rather than with weapons such as machine guns and hand grenades that really could cause harm. "
     ~ Mr. Crepsley

Five stars.

**************************

"Willkommen in der Welt der Vampire" ist Band eins der Mitternachtszirkus Reihe von Darren Shan. Es umfasst insgesamt drei Geschichte über den Halbvampir Darren Shan, der in seinem Prolog schreibt die Geschichte sei ihm wirklich passiert und aus Sicherheitsgründen hätte er Namen und Orte geändert. An die Geschichte kann er sich gut erinnern, da er ein Tagebuch geführt hat. Die Idee war nicht schlecht und durch diese gewisse Vorstellung wurde das gelesene irgendwie "realer"... ;)

Ich habe vor ein paar Jahren von diesen Büchern gehört, da eine Freundin sie gelesen hat. Damals war ich etwas erstaunt, dass der sogenannte Autor auch die Hauptperson ist, aus deren Sicht das Buch geschrieben wurde, aber das war dann spätestens beim lesen schnell nebensächlich, denn die Geschichte packte mich und ließ mich nicht mehr los!

Alles beginnt mit einem verbotenen Flugblatt, was verbotenerweise in den Händen eines guten Freundes der Hauptperson Darren Shan landet. Dort wirbt ein Zirkus für seine Vorstellung. Doch es ist nicht irgendein Zirkus, sondern eine Freakshow. Als der Lehrer der Freunde das Flugblatt sieht, erzählt er ein wenig über die armen Kreaturen, die vor langer Zeit gegen ihren Willen und unter grausigen Bedingungen zur Bespaßung anderer abgerichtet wurden. Aus diesem Grund seien Freakshows auch verboten worden!
Für Darren und seine Freunde Steve, Alan und Tommy ist klar, dass sie dort hinwollen, doch leider bekommen sie nur zwei Karten. Sie tüfteln aus wer neben Steve die zweite Karte bekommen soll, da er sie schließlich besorgt hat und so gewinnt Darren.
Aufgeregt machen sie sich schließlich auf den Weg zum Cirque du Freak und erleben einen aufregenden, schaurigen Abend, den sie nie vergessen werden.
Besonders angetan ist Darren von der Spinne Madame Octa. Er liebt Spinnen über alles. Steve ist während dem Auftritt von Madame Octa und ihrem Meister Mr. Crepsley aber ziemlich abgelenkt. Er hat Angst und schickt Darren alleine nach Hause, weil er noch was in Erfahrung bringen müsste. Doch Darren bleibt und besiegelt indirekt sein Schicksal, denn an dem Abend erfährt er, dass es wirklich Vampire gibt und das er direkt einen vor seiner Nase hat.

Die Figur des Darren Shan ist sechzehn Jahre alt und was seine Vorliebe für Spinnen angeht ziemlich exotisch. Seine Gedanken während der Vorstellung im Cirque du Freak waren abwechselnd ängstlich und extrem begeisternd. Die ganzen Freaks, die freudestrahlend ihre Show abliefern, sorgten bei mir für richtige Gänsehautmomente und mir erging es nicht anders wie Darren und Steve. Einerseits Gedanken wie "Das kann nicht sein. Das ist unmöglich! Unmenschlich!" und dann wieder "Oh mein Gott, wie abgefahren!" 
Es gibt extreme viele Kuriositäten zu entdecken und ich fragte mich automatisch was echt ist und was nur Show, aber je mehr man von der Geschichte erfährt, umso abgefahren wurde es.
Als die Hauptgeschichte ins Rollen kam und Darren mit den Kreaturen der Nacht in Berühung kommt, war mir klar, dass die Hintergrundgeschichte über diese Vampire ziemlich gut zusammengeschustert wurde. Hier ein paar wahre Mythen, da ein paar Unwahrheiten und jede Menge Überraschungen. Für mich als Fan von Vampirromanen natürlich das reinste Erlebnis.

In der ersten Geschichte tastet man sich langsam vor. Zunächst sieht man nur die Freakshow, aber sobald alles realer wird, erlebt man das gelesene nochmal ganz neu. Die ersten Eindrücke von den "Freaks" waren ziemlich krass, aber was man dann alles vor die Augen bekommt, als Darren ein Teil dieser Welt wird, ist noch abgefahrener! Mir hat das lesen richtig Spaß gemacht, weil der Autor durch seinen Erzählstil das Gefühl vermittelt alles sei real. Als Leser ein Teil davon zu werden fiel mir somit nicht schwer und die Seiten glitten mir nur so durch die Finger.

Ich glaube die Erzählung im Prolog, dass alles auf einer wahren Geschichte beruhen würde, hat auch einen großen Teil ausgemacht. Es hat Einfluss darauf wie die Geschichte erzählt wird. Ich war wirklich begeistert.

Vom Tempo her war alles ok. Ein paar Tage oder Wochen wurden in ein paar Sätze gepackt, dafür ließ sich der Autor bei den spannenden Szenen viel Zeit. Sowas liest man doch gerne, oder nicht? ;)

Das einzige, was ich an diesem Buch auszusetzen habe, war ein winzigkleiner Teil der Übersetzung. Es hieß dann als Beispiel nämlich nicht "Ich will ein Vampir sein." sondern "Ich will Vampir sein." Mir kam das irgendwie so falsch vor, dass ich öfters darüber gestolpert bin. 

Es gibt insgesamt zwölf Geschichten die zu dreier Blöcken in je vier Bücher gepackt wurden.

Darren Shan war für mich eine großartige Entdeckung. Die Bücher gibt es schon so lange und ich kann nicht glauben, dass ich sie bisher verschmäht habe. Als Vampirfan hatten sie einige neue Dinge zu bieten, aber auch die anderen "Kreaturen" haben es mir richtig angetan. Es war wirklich ein freakiges, gruseliges Leseerlebnis, was mich begeistern konnte. Fast fünfhundert Seiten sind wie im Flug vergangen und die Protagonisten habe ich jetzt schon allesamt lieben gelernt.
"Mitternachtszirkus - Willkommen in der Welt der Vampire" ist ein Jugend-Fantasybuch, was ich jedem Vampirfan nur wärmstens empfehlen kann. Aber auch wer sonst auf gruselige Gestalten steht wird seine helle Freude an diesem tollen Buch haben.
 

Lieblingszitat:
"Am besten gefallen mir Menschen, die jede Menge Horrorfilme sehen und Horrorgeschichten lesen. Denn sie glauben alles, was sie lesen und hören, und kommen dann mit lächerlichem Zeug wie Kreuzen und Weihwasser ausgerüstet an, statt mit Waffen wie Maschinenpistolen und Handgranaten, die wirklich Schaden anrichten könnten."
~ Mr. Crepsley

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/ Bookworm Birds
Bookworm Birds | 03 November 2014 | Scarlett Spectre

Well, well, well. The master of horror is certainly back with a second helping of entrails in this explosive addition to the Zom-B series. Horrors truly begin to unfold from every corner of life, from family, friends and foes.

 

Towards the end of Zom-B Clans we saw B betrayed by a fellow Angel outside Battersea Power Station and taken captive, but not before the shocking sudden re-appearance of B’s Father as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Shortly after, Shan takes it up a few notches, bringing us one of the most brutal scenes in the series yet. We see up close, the twisted mentality of the despicable Dan-Dan and the lengths he will go to draw out B’s suffering for his own sick enjoyment. The torture scene is a gory mess of body parts, blood and maiming, all enacted in the presence of Dan-Dan’s little darlings, whom he forces to watch against their will.


Even after this crippling session with Dan-Dan, B is reunited with the foul members of the Board, who do what they do best, and pit B against her mindless not so alive foes. The stakes raised against her already after a gruesome battering by Dan-Dan she is once again forced to fight for those she loves and in the end, heartbreakingly ends it herself.


It’s clear in the beginning of the book that B is at her wits end. She just wants the heartbreak, the danger, the gore, the endless struggle to survive to be over. But as we near the end, even after her emotional and physical torture, I think we see the fire inside re-emerge in true B fashion. She kicks ass and then some, cuts loose and even cherishes a moment with her daddy dearest.


And then Shan brings it back to the realm of the weird as B is carried off by a horde of zombie babies towards the hordes of mutants and flesh eaters swarming outside led by none other than Mr. Dowling…

 

And that is why these books are awesome.

 

Bring on the next addition to the series!

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/ The Picky Pages Project
The Picky Pages Project | 03 November 2014 |

I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I saw the movie when it came out, and I can’t wait to see where this story will take me in the rest of the series. A funny thing happened once I read the book though. I now really dislike the movie. That very rarely happens. Usually I find things about each that I enjoy and have a great respect for each art form, no matter how different.

 

They’ve taken out characters, which is fine. They added characters, which is great. I really just cant believe how much they changed the main character. The main character!!

 

Leaving the movie out of it, the book was great! It was funny, full of action, and really different! It was also surprisingly thought provoking and at times emotional (don’t let this scare you away, it’s not a sob story…I promise). The characters are interesting, and I just want to know more about them. I need to know what happens next!

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/ Zombie Diaries
Zombie Diaries | 03 November 2014 |

Again lots of filler in the beginning but I enjoyed the excitement at the end and it got a bit mushy too. *AWE*

 

So B is back at the safe haven with Dr. O. still doing some training with the group now out on the streets. They meet a young lady and her child and while off collecting some items for them, B is captured by someone she knows. Le gasp!
Barnes takes her to some messed up royalty family on a boat and is forced to fight other zombies. The more senseless ones. Her incentive to fight: some idiot child killer will kill the 15 or so kids he has locked up for his play things. Wtf? I know. What a bunch of psychos!


Soon B becomes...the gladiator. The whole Dan Dan, border line mentally challenged child killer in a 3 times too small sailor outfit is an ingredient for nightmare fuel. And killing for sports? That's some white privileged crap right there hard at work. So what's next for Becky Smith? Well not everyone was captured at the end so I'm sure run ins with some royals or even owl man and the clown are in the future.


3 out of 5 monkey heads


I keep on reading this series and there are still 6 more according to Goodreads. I'll be leaving this series alone for a little while.

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/ David’s Bookshelf
David's Bookshelf | 02 November 2014 | David B

In the world of constant social pressures and unresolved inner demons called being a teenager, B Smith thought zombies were the last the thing to be concerned about.

 

Where will you be when the zombie apocalypse strikes? What will you do? Most people have never seriously considered these questions, but in ZOM-B by Darren Shan the protagonist, known as B Smith, starts thinking about them after seeing news reports of zombie attacks in Ireland. Taking place in London, England, ZOM-B follows B’s complex, stressful life that has no need of zombies; what with having to deal with an abusive, racist father who is a respected public activist, in addition to keeping up the tough-kid appearance at school by joking about killing zombies on the weekend and beating up anyone who B happens to dislike that day, friend or not.

 

Not to mention the recurring nightmares of claustrophobia and demonic babies that sap sleep, or the nagging feeling that the racist persona used to stay on daddy’s good side may actually be taking over who B is inside. Featuring stark black and white illustrations throughout the book of battles of morals and ethics as well as the living against the undead, watch what happens when zombies attack B’s school and other questions must be asked: Who am I really? Can my choices define who I am? And who really knows about what is going on in the world?

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/ De Livres et d’Epice
De Livres we d'Epice | 31 October 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW.

 

From London, B. attends the Zombie Apocalypse Ireland. Except that nobody believes, everyone thinks it's a fake. I must say that B. has other fish to fry, covered with a drink and quick to pass on his nerves family racist father. And then the unthinkable happens and B will have something else to survive the blows of his father.

 

Very difficult to get into this novel, which in the first two thirds, deals more hard racism and assumed that zombies. B. is a miserable character, torn between his desire to be loved by his father in some of the price and conscience. Except that his conscience does not weigh very heavy and B. revels in violence and racist insult want you here. I struggled with the character, no empathy course, and I was wondering when would end in B. meals for zombies ... The malaise facing the character reaches its peak at the beginning of the invasion, before B. changes a little tack.
Besides that, the horrific record is well managed by the author, Zombie Apocalypse itself takes little by little body and the author immerses the reader in a bloody carnage of a sudden. The writing is fluid and easy for the audience (from 12 years) but the ideas developed in a somewhat ambiguous and hemoglobin are, in my view, it is important to identify children who given this book.

 

The novel ends with a revelation that puts everything in perspective and the novel, so I was a little dubious as to read more, I am now very curious!

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Depuis Londres, B. assiste à l’apocalypse zombie en Irlande. Sauf que personne n’y croit, tout le monde pense qu’il s’agit d’un fake. Il faut dire que B. a d’autres chats à fouetter, avec un père raciste porté sur la boisson et prompt à passer ses nerfs sur sa famille. Et puis, l’inimaginable arrive et B. va devoir survivre à autre chose que les coups de son géniteur.

Très difficile de rentrer dans ce roman qui, dans les deux premiers tiers, traite davantage du racisme dur et assumé que de zombies. B. est un personnage exécrable, tiraillé entre son désir d’être aimé de son père quelque en soit le prix et sa conscience. Sauf que sa conscience ne pèse pas bien lourd et B. se complait dans la violence et l’insulte racistes en veux-tu en voilà. J’ai eu beaucoup de mal avec le personnage, aucune empathie bien entendu, et je me demandais quand B. allait finir en repas pour zombies… Le malaise ressenti face au personnage atteint son paroxysme au début de l’invasion, avant que B. change un peu son fusil d’épaule.
À côté de ça, le rendu horrifique est bien géré par l’auteur, l’apocalypse zombie en elle-même prend corps petit à petit et l’auteur plonge le lecteur dans un carnage sanglant d’un seul coup. L’écriture est fluide, facile pour le public visé (à partir de 12 ans) mais les idées développées de façon un peu ambiguë et l’hémoglobine font, qu’à mon sens, qu’il faut bien cerner l’enfant à qui on donne ce livre.

Le roman s’achève sur une révélation qui remet tout le roman en perspective et, si j’étais un peu dubitative quant à lire la suite, je suis maintenant très curieuse !

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/ Dark Readers
Dark Readers | 31 October 2014 | Stephen Haskins

As I'm typing this review I keep looking at the book cover, and every time I do I find myself stopping stopping typing and being transfixed by those eyes, those creepy, staring eyes, and so I'm thinking I might have to continue typing this with my eyes closed and hope my touch typing has improved!

 

Here we have the next piece of the puzzle, or as i'm starting to think of it the next TV episode in the Zom-B series, because that's what the series feels like to me, short bursts of action that gives so much but at the same time leaves you hanging for more.

 

With a lot of Shan's book, the gruesome and gory is focused on the fantasy elements of the characters, whether they be vampires, demons, and in this case zombies, but with this book there was a more humane nature to the plot, and true to its title it explored different meanings of family. But this isn't you're regular normal family issues, Oh no no no, this is Darren Shan we're talking about, and family here has a dark twist. But that created some beautiful moments, between B and those around her, from her father, to Vinyl and even to some extent with the babies! Yes I said it...they're sort of like the aliens from Toy Story, and them chanting 'mummy' is weird but also fascinating!

 

This book was a bit of a heavy read at times due to the nature of the violence implicated, so may not be for the feint hearted. Dan Dan gets to exhibit his full colours here, and he makes your spine crawl even more! Karma is a b...well karma comes back around sometimes and no one is really safe in this world of zombies!

 

The setting of Battersea Power station was a nice touch, because it was so visual in my mind, and kept the action nicely in one place. And action was the word, because so much happened in this short space of book. I found I was flying though the book as quickly as I was flying across the world ( I read the book on my 11 hour flight) and it built up to a fantastic end that's left me guessing and wondering at the treats Zom-B bride is going to bring! Will our B really be getting hitched! Is Mr Dowling the gallant Groom.

 

I feel like the notches are starting to turn up very quickly at this point in the series and looking back at how far we've come this was a very enjoyable snapshot of the whole picture, that when you look back at everything has a lot packed into it, and I'm excited for what is to come!

 

This will be the perfect Halloween read!

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/ Story Eater TaleS
Story Eater Tales | 28 October 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF AN INDONESIAN REVIEW.

 

Honestly, Vampire Mountain is the book of the Cirque du Freak series that most makes me bored. Have fun, suspense, kehororannya, is reduced. It was not until drastic, but, well, I just feel something is missing. But even so, this book is probably the third most important than prekuelnya.

Why? Because for the first time, an explanation will be the vampire world far more than the previous books. And start giving small details of how this story will continue and, coupled with a friend who had read the story until the last book, guess how this story will end.

For those who have read all three books beginning Darren, would have been familiar with his Mr. Small People Tiny Desmont, right? Well, when in the role of the three book prequel Little People was just a little, then here his role is pretty much. In fact, he did something simple that makes all the characters involved with it unnerved. And for the first time described where they (he and his friends) are formed or derived which provide clues why the owner is so feared.

Overall, Vampire Mountain is like a prefix of a major conflict to come. The design of the world of good. And discussed in the book is thick enough that. Of the system of government, population census system dead-but-still-can-way (?), The rules they make, to their way of life for centuries. The division of a vampire (I actually sorta-kinda forgot I read this part in the Tunnels of Blood or Vampire Mountain, but certainly sharing it) reminds me of the fairy kind of division in the novel that I made a few years ago, which I had published by self -publishing: Cinderella's Fairy. When found, of course I was shocked, and anxiety, fear of being accused of plagiarism. Yet swear, this is the first time I read the Vampire Mountain (and Tunnels of Blood). Even when I finished writing Cinderella's Fairy I've started reading The Saga of Darren Shan!

For those who are waiting for action, it is synonymous with the series, the action really quiet there. Not much but okay.

Oh yes, this time I found the Darren Shan saga novels have a page slightly, and ever so slightly so the writer whose name is deliberately confused with the name of the main character, often repeating a few important things that happened in the previous books-just like other good writers . Which makes me curious, rather than a lot of repetition, which I try to emulate in writing "sececap" above, why not contrived in three-four books together in one book?

And the ending. Ending, for me, will make my annoyance. By the time I began to focus on the story at all, eh, the words "To Be Continued ..." appears under the last paragraph. Well, hates smokers.

Or not. At least annoyed but without the word very. But simply reducing keiinginanku read the sequel, although I have had it.

Well, even so Vampire Mountain readings are quite fun, almost okay. Thinness is also suitable for reading on the way home from school or the office.

------------------------

Hahah, oke, lupakan kalimat terakhir sececap di atas :))

Jujur, Vampire Mountain adalah buku dari serial Cirque du Freak yang paling bikin aku bosan. Keseruannya, ketegangannya, kehororannya, berkurang. Tidak sampai drastis, tapi, yah, aku merasa ada yang hilang saja. Tapi meski begitu, mungkin buku ini adalah yang terpenting dibanding ketiga prekuelnya.

Kenapa? Karena untuk pertama kalinya, penjelasan akan dunia vampirnya jauh lebih banyak dibanding buku-buku sebelumnya. Dan mulai memberi detail-detail kecil bagaimana kisah ini akan berlanjut dan, ditambah dengan cerita temen yang sudah baca hingga buku terakhir, tebakan bagaimana kisah ini akan diakhiri.

Bagi yang sudah baca ketiga buku awal Darren, pasti sudah familiar dengan Orang Kecil-nya Mr. Desmont Tiny, kan? Nah, bila di tiga buku prekuel peran Orang Kecil itu hanya sedikit, maka di sini perannya cukup banyak. Bahkan dia melakukan sesuatu yang sederhana yang bikin semua tokoh yang terlibat dengannya terkesima. Dan untuk pertama kalinya dijelaskan darimana mereka (dia dan temannya) terbentuk atau berasal yang memberi petunjuk kenapa pemiliknya begitu ditakuti.

Secara keseluruhan, Vampire Mountain ini seperti awalan dari konflik besar yang akan datang. Rancang bangun dunianya lumayan. Dan yang dibicarakan di buku cukup tebal ini adalah hal itu. Dari sistem pemerintahannya, sistem sensus penduduk mati-tapi-masih-bisa-jalan (?), peraturan yang mereka buat, hingga cara hidup mereka selama berabad-abad. Pembagian jenis vampirnya (aku agak-agak lupa sebenarnya aku membaca part ini di Tunnels of Blood atau Vampire Mountain ini, tapi yang pasti pembagian itu) mengingatkanku pada pembagian jenis peri di novel yang aku buat beberapa tahun yang lalu, yang sempat aku publikasikan secara self-publishing: Cinderella's Fairy. Saat menemukannya tentu saja aku kaget, dan cemas, takut dituduh plagiat. Padahal berani sumpah, ini pertama kalinya aku membaca Vampire Mountain (dan Tunnels of Blood). Bahkan saat aku kelar nulis Cinderella's Fairy aku belum mulai baca The Saga of Darren Shan!

Bagi yang menunggu-nunggu aksi, hal yang identik dengan serial ini, tenang ada aksinya kok. Tidak banyak tapi lumayanlah.

Oh ya, selama ini aku mendapati novel Darren Shan saga ini memiliki halaman yang sedikit, dan meski tipis gitu si penulis yang namanya sengaja disamakan dengan nama sang tokoh utama, sering mengulangi beberapa hal penting yang terjadi di buku-buku sebelumnya—layaknya penulis baik lainnya. Yang bikin aku penasaran, daripada terjadi pengulangan banyak, yang coba aku tiru dalam menulis "sececap" di atas, kenapa tidak dibikin dalam tiga-empat buku disatukan dalam satu buku saja?

Dan endingnya. Endingnya, bagiku, malah bikin jengkel. Pada saat aku mulai fokus sekali pada kisahnya, eh, tulisan "To be Continued..." muncul di bawah paragraf terakhir. Ya sudah, sebal deh.

Atau tidak. Setidaknya sebal tapi tanpa kata sangat. Tapi cukup mengurangi keiinginanku baca sekuelnya, walau aku telah memilikinya.

Well, walau begitu Vampire Mountain bacaan yang cukup fun, nyaris oke. Ketipisannya juga cocok untuk bacaan dalam perjalanan pulang dari sekolah atau kantor.

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/ Story Eater Tales
Story Eater Tales | 27 October 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF AN INDONESIAN REVIEW. THE REVIEW IN ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE IS INCLUDED FURTHER DOWN.

 

As far as I read this series, new in this third book I find romance. After the first and second books were treated to the scent of love of family and friendship, the third book entitled The Tunnels of Blood gives a new smell. It might be adjusted to the age of Darren.

But still (for romance-haters), not to "weigh" YA or adult novel really. Love-ala-ala cintaannya still puppy love or puppy love. And quite funny because Darren is ... Fairly new in the affairs involving the liver.

After all, romance is a sure thing there and it takes everyone, including the half-vampire Darren, who for his family his body was thought to have been the inhabitants of the land of the funeral, which was to keep a distance from humans.

Essentially, do not blame Darren for desired love.

But, even so, the existence of this romance so memudahkanku guess how this story will end. Mr Shan, the author, several attempts to bring the round, but the rotation does not work on me. I still can guess how the climax and ending of the book The Tunnels of Blood.

So, overall, Tunnels of Blood hefty book. Entertaining and some "argued-denial" between Darren and Mr. Crepsley is very interesting to observe. Attitude shyly at the girl he met Darren also quite funny and will probably remind ourselves when we first had a crush on someone, hahah.

Oh, you wonder why titled Tunnels of Blood or in Indonesian; Tunnels of Blood? Of course, because in this story involving the tunnel. But why the bloody tunnel? Is the tunnel to experience a monthly cycle? #eh #ditimpukensiklopedia be definite location is bloody tunnel.

And that's all I can say about the main theme.

For an explanation of the vampire world, in this book there are a few extras. Kayak such as, how to distinguish between a vampire and a vampaneze (blood-sucking vampire victim until exhausted or kill their victims) and why vampires only suck a little blood victims.

Oh yes, every time I read the Darren Shan novels, somehow, I sometimes cringe own. Though there is no detail that makes the horror or the scene that facilitates the emergence of spooky creatures. Those who also read the Darren Shan series, do you also feel the same way?

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Sejauh aku membaca serial ini, baru di buku ketiga ini aku menemukan kisah romansa. Setelah di buku pertama dan kedua disuguhi aroma cinta keluarga dan persahabatannya, buku ketiga yang diberi judul Tunnels of Blood memberi bau yang baru. Mungkin disesuaikan dengan umur Darren.

Tapi tenang (bagi romance-haters), tidak sampai "seberat" novel YA atau dewasa kok. Cinta-cintaannya masih ala-ala puppy love atau cinta monyet. Dan cukup lucu karena Darren masih... Cukup baru dalam urusan yang melibatkan hati ini.

Lagipula, romansa adalah hal yang pasti ada dan dibutuhkan semua orang, termasuk Darren yang setengah vampir, yang bagi keluarganya jasadnya dianggap telah menjadi penghuni tanah permakaman, yang mesti menjaga jarak dengan manusia.

Intinya, jangan salahkan Darren karena haus akan kasih sayang.

Tapi, walau begitu, keberadaan romansanya ini jadi memudahkanku menebak bagaimana kisah ini bakal berakhir. Mr. Shan, sang penulis, beberapa kali mencoba menghadirkan putaran, tapi putarannya tak berhasil pada diriku. Aku masih tetap bisa menebak bagaimana klimaks dan ending dari buku Tunnels of Blood ini.

Jadi, secara keseluruhan, Tunnels of Blood buku yang lumayan. Menghibur dan beberapa "bantah-bantahan" antara Darren dan Mr. Crepsley sangat menarik untuk disimak. Sikap malu-malu Darren pada gadis yang ditemuinya juga cukup mengundang tawa, dan mungkin bakal mengingatkan pada diri kita saat kita pertama kali naksir seseorang, hahah.

Oh, kalian penasaran kenapa diberi judul Tunnels of Blood atau dalam bahasa Indonesia; Terowongan Darah? Tentu saja karena dalam cerita ini melibatkan terowongan. Tapi kenapa terowongan itu berdarah? Apakah terowongan itu mengalami siklus bulanan? #eh #ditimpukensiklopedia yang pasti yang menjadi lokasi berdarah adalah terowongan.

Dan hanya itu yang bisa aku katakan mengenai tema utamanya.

Untuk penjelasan dunia vampirnya, di buku ini ada beberapa tambahan. Kayak semisal, bagaimana cara membedakan vampir dan vampaneze (vampir penghisap darah korbannya hingga habis atau membunuh korbannya) dan kenapa vampir hanya menghisap sedikit darah korbannya.

Oh ya, tiap kali membaca novel-novel Darren Shan, entah kenapa, aku kadang merasa ngeri sendiri. Padahal tak ada detail yang bikin ngeri atau adegan yang memfasilitasi kemunculan makhluk-makhluk seram. Buat yang juga baca serial Darren Shan, apa kalian juga merasakan hal yang sama?

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/ More Delight
More Delight | 20 October 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A DUTCH REVIEW. THE REVIEW IN ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE IS INCLUDED FURTHER DOWN.

 

Capac Raimi arrives in 'The City' and knows that he wants to his uncle Frank because he wants to be gangster. His uncle Frank is also Capac and wants to learn everything from him.

 

The city is ruled by someone called The Cardinal. You just not against him, because if you do, you're dead. When Frank was murdered Capac's eyes and he is brought to the office of The Cardinal, Capac know that he will not get out alive. But then turns his world all about, because The Cardinal wants Capac Raimi, train him as his successor. Capac begins as an insurance salesman and must so work up to the top, so he knows about all matters and may thus be the best sequel to The Cardinal.

 

Strange things are happening in The City, where to find Capac and basically none of the residents answer. Where is his best friend stayed and why nobody knows he exists? Why Capac not know where he comes from and his first memory he arrives in The City? If Capac goes after the truth, he brings his own life, but also of his fellow citizens at risk.

 

I really love the books by Darren Shan. It all began with Cirque du Freak, the books about vampire boy Darren Shan. There's even a (terrible) film of. Darren Shan has since written a number of books, including the Demonata series and recently the Zom-B series. The latter I have not yet begun (WHY NOT ???? I LOVE zombies), but the Demonata series was actually brilliant.

 

Well, now this trilogy because "Procession of the Dead" by Darren Shan is the first volume in The City trilogy. I bought at the Book Festival Part 3 (grr, why?) In Dutch. At home I found out that it was part 3 in the series, so I ordered. The first two books in English I was in the beginning of this book disappointed. What was this stupid world and why this is a Darren Shan book. But, I was after a number of pages in the book sucked and I found the brilliant Darren Shan back.

 

If you like bizarre science fiction combined with a little gore scenes and Young Adult books, then this really is the book for you. Or well, the trilogy for you. Because of course it ends with a "WHAT THE FUCK?" Moment and you have to read the other two books. Read especially the Cirque du Freak books, because I myself still find it fun. And do I need to reread again once. Ever.

 

Verdict: 8/10

 

-----------------------------

 

Capac Raimi komt aan in ‘The City’ en weet dat hij naar zijn oom Frank wil omdat hij gangster wil worden. Zijn oom Frank is dat ook en Capac wil alles van hem leren.

De stad wordt geregeerd door iemand die The Cardinal heet. Je gaat gewoon niet tegen hem in, want als je dat doet, dan ben je dood. Als Frank wordt vermoord voor Capac’s ogen en hij naar het kantoor van The Cardinal wordt gebracht, weet Capac dat hij er niet levend uit zal komen. Maar dan draait zijn wereld helemaal om, want The Cardinal wil hem, Capac Raimi, opleiden als zijn opvolger. Capac begint als verkoper van verzekeringen en moet zich zo naar de top opwerken, zodat hij van alle zaken af weet en zo de beste opvolger van The Cardinal kan worden.

Er gebeuren wat rare dingen in The City, waar Capac en eigenlijk geen van de inwoners antwoord op weten. Waar is zijn beste vriend gebleven en waarom weet niemand meer van zijn bestaan af? Waarom weet Capac niet meer waar hij vandaan komt en is zijn allereerste herinnering dat hij in The City aankomt? Als Capac de waarheid achterna gaat, brengt hij zijn eigen leven, maar ook van zijn stadsgenoten in gevaar.

Ik ben echt gek op de boeken van Darren Shan. Het begon allemaal met Cirque du Freak, de boeken over vampierenjongen Darren Shan. Er is daar zelfs een (hele slechte) verfilming van. Daarna heeft Darren Shan nog een aantal boeken geschreven, waaronder de Demonata serie en recentelijk de Zom-B serie. De laatste ben ik nog niet in begonnen (WAAROM NIET???? Ik HOU van zombies), maar de Demonata serie was ook echt briljant.

Goed, nu over deze trilogie, want ‘Procession of the dead’ van Darren Shan is het eerste deel in de The City trilogie. Ik kocht op het Boekenfestijn deel 3 (grr, waarom?) in het Nederlands. Thuis kwam ik erachter dat het deel 3 in de serie was, dus heb ik de eerste twee boeken in het Engels besteld. In het begin van dit boek was ik teleurgesteld. Wat was dit voor achterlijke wereld en waarom is dit een Darren Shan boek. Maar, na een aantal pagina’s werd ik het boek in gezogen en vond ik de briljante Darren Shan terug.

Als je houdt van bizarre science fiction gecombineerd met een beetje gore scenes en Young Adult boeken, dan is dit echt het boek voor jou. Of nou ja, de trilogie voor jou. Want het eindigt natuurlijk met een ‘WHAT THE FUCK?’ moment en moet je de andere twee boeken wel lezen. Lees vooral ook de Cirque du Freak boeken, want die vind ik zelf nog steeds het leukste. En moet ik eigenlijk weer eens een keer herlezen. Ooit.

Eindoordeel: 8/10

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/ Zombie Diaries
Zombie Diaries | 20 October 2014 |

After following some 'z' arrows, B makes her way to Dr. Oystein and his facility of "angels". Dr. O is some 200 year old zom head dedicating his infinite time to helping revitalized zombies and repairing them and to train them....for a war against humans and zombies. B is repaired by being naked in a tube of special slime for weeks. When she comes out she sees a few familiar faces and one that she wants to kill since he was a dick and killed all her friends at the underground facility. B has to learn to get along with others, train, and learn about Dr. O and his Nazi horror past. Dr. O is a wacko in my opinion who believes "god" had him come back to finish his work since Dr. O believes a reckoning is upon them. That is why he has his Angels. But there are also evil things, like a maniac clown zombie....

 

So...I guess there are less random things happening and more explaining done as to why there are zombies and how B is how she is with other teenage zombies. I was shaking my head at the whole "god" idea of Dr. O's and even the characters were. I feel this was more of a filler book than one that was jam packed with action. I did learn these revitalized zom heads can't feel sexual needs so good to know no romance will happen. This also brings up a lot of questions I have....

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/ ads40
ads40 | 18 October 2014 |

B Smith is recuperating with Dr Oystein and the group of thinking, talking undead named the ‘Angels,’ that she can’t quite bring herself to call her friends, for fear of the violent loss she keeps experiencing.

 

Then, on a routine scavenging mission, it all goes wrong, and she is captured by “The Board,” perhaps the biggest monsters yet of the series by virtue of being human and consciously, deliberately evil. They are the Bullingdon Club of the apocalypse, a collection of the rich and privileged who plan to become the worlds’ masters again, and who seek entertainment through Gladiatorial combat between the living and dead; news of the thinking, talking, ‘Revitaliseds’ has reached them and they want one for their sport, hence B’s capture. Their numbers include a hideous child killer with undersized sailor outfit, and protruding belly, an evil grotesque like Mr Dowling and Owl Man, but again made worse by virtue of being human and having chosen the sickest path imaginable.

 

The writer is good at linking these instalments into a coherent hall, and there’s fun to be had as characters and locations from previous books return here in a new perspective. So we meet again here human hunters Barnes and Coley, and we find out why there was so much shooting from the HMS Belfry in ZOM-B City.

 

B’s journey and development makes a satisfying path here as she learns to live with the tension between friendship and fear of loss. It’s the combination between a fast paced narrative and enjoyable, well rounded characters, monsters and humanity, which makes this such an addictive series. I continue to recommend it.

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/ The Book Owl Extraordinaire
The Book Own Extraordinaire | 17 October 2014 |

This was a creepy short novella in the Zom-B series by Darren Shan. There is no B Smith in this book except at the very beginning. This story focuses on one of the teachers in the school, Cat Ward. The story starts out with her teaching a class and we get a bit of background on her. Then the story moves into how Cat escaped from the school the day the zombies attacked and how she survived all those weeks. Then she gets lured by Mr. Dowling and his mutants to his circus tent where the story gets more gory and gruesome.

 

Cat is a horrible person. To escape the zombies she throws her students to the zombies so she can run away. Not only that but she also knocks a few down to daze them so the zombies will eat them and she can stay ahead of the zombies. She also did this when she was out in the world. Whenever she met someone and zombies attacked she threw other people to the zombies so she can escape. She was brutal and ruthless. I get that people want to do anything to survive but come on. And the worst part was that she wasn't sorry and she didn't feel guilty for killing those people. She basically felt like those people should die if they aren't quick on their feet to throw someone else in front of them. She said she also gave false directions/information to other groups of people to lead them to zombie infested areas of London. A full zombie is one less she has to worry about. I hate her and had no sympathy for her. I was wishing her death throughout the whole story.

 

The mutants were nasty as usual and Mr. Dowling was so creepy. That clown really creeps me out whenever he makes appearances in the books. His description is the stuff of nightmares.

 

This story doesn't have any real ties to the series except to show Mr.Dowling's interest in B. But it was still and entertaining read.

 

Rating: A

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/ Truebloodaddict
Truebloodaddict | 17 October 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW. ORIGINAL FRENCH-LANGUAGE REVIEW IS INCLUDED AT THE END.

 

The story traces the history of B., a London teenager's alcoholic father, racist or violent, and whose mother is submissive to her husband.

One evening while watching television, a report passes over a so-called zombie attack in Ireland. He does not believe for a second and then think of a hoax or an advertisement for a new movie, until a student enters the gym with a piece of flesh torn off.

Darren Shan's style is crisp, punchy and very visual, the gory scenes are particularly successful. The pace is a little slow at first, because the focus during the three quarters of the novel that leads to the existence B .. We discover the influence that his father, part of a small group that advocates for local stem the tide of immigration and to retain a white Britain.

Fortunately, everything speeds up towards the end when the invasion of stiffs street begins.

However, you never get bored.

Regarding the script, it is simple and effective, but it manages to surprise us. The author addresses a sensitive issue without concessions which is that of racism, and this may shock many. This is a book thought-provoking despite the entertaining side of zombies.

Regarding the latter, they actually appear at the end of a sustained and brutal way. Do not fear the blood and guts.

In addition, throughout our reading, the text is illustrative decorated in black and white.

In terms of players, we can not say that they are really friendly, especially our hero. However, B. to ask questions that will lead to a certain awareness to the outcome. I can not wait to see how it evolves.

On the other hand, they are weak, and many die. However, some are very intriguing.

To conclude:

"Zom-B" is an unusual novel that deals with a heavy topic intolerance, hatred, conditioning by mixing the entertaining side of zombies. Anyway, I feel this album more like an introduction, a foretaste of what will happen in Darren Shan.

I confess to being intrigued enough knowing that the journey is just beginning B.!

Note that the saga consists of 13 volumes.

 

---------------------------------

 

Le récit retrace l’histoire de B., un adolescent londonien au père alcoolique, raciste voire violent, et dont la mère est soumise à son mari.

Un soir, alors qu’il regarde la télévision, un reportage passe sur une soit-disant attaque de zombie en Irlande. Il n’y croit pas une seconde et pense alors à un canular ou une publicité pour un nouveau film, jusqu’au jour où un élève rentre dans le gymnase avec un morceau de chair arraché.

Le style de Darren Shan est vif, percutant et très visuel, les scènes gores sont particulièrement bien réussies. Le rythme est un peu lent au départ, car on se concentre pendant les trois quarts du roman sur l’existence que mène B.. On découvre l’influence qu’à son paternel, qui fait partie d’un groupuscule local qui milite pour stopper la vague d’immigration et pour conserver une Grande-Bretagne blanche.

Heureusement, tout s’accélère vers la fin quand l’invasion des macchabées ambulants commence.

Toutefois, on ne s’ennuie jamais.

En ce qui concerne le scénario, il est simple et efficace, mais il arrive à nous surprendre. L’auteur aborde sans concessions un thème sensible qui est celui du racisme, et cela peut en choquer plus d’un. C’est un livre qui pousse à la réflexion malgré le côté divertissant des zombies.

Pour ce qui est de ces derniers, ils n’apparaissent réellement qu’à la fin, d’une façon soutenue et brutale. Il ne faut pas craindre le sang et les tripes.

De plus, tout au long de notre lecture, le texte est agrémenté d’illustration en noir et blanc.

Pour ce qui est des protagonistes, on ne peut pas dire qu’ils soient réellement sympathiques, notamment notre héros. Toutefois, B. se posera des questions qui le mèneront à une certaine prise de conscience vers le dénouement. J’ai hâte de voir comment il évoluera.

D’autre part, ils sont peu développés, et beaucoup meurent. Néanmoins, certains sont très intrigants.

Pour conclure:

« Zom-B » est un roman singulier qui traite d’un sujet lourd sur l’intolérance, la haine, le conditionnement en le mélangeant au côté divertissant des zombies. En tout cas, je ressens cet opus plus comme une introduction, un avant-goût de ce que nous réserve Darren Shan.

J’avoue être assez intriguée sachant que le périple de B. ne fait que commencer!

À noter que la saga comprend 13 tomes.

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/ Book Blogger
Book Blogger | 16 October 2014 | Samantha

Darren Shan, Darren Shan!!! What am I going to do with this new author I have placed in my FAVORITES list??? For years I tried to read all these books but always had something come up but when I finally did read them all...all I could do was scream at the books and then sit back and laugh because I got the ending in the last book like "oh wow he based the books on him like a fictional character!"

 

The books:

 

Cirque-Du-Freak series is about a young boy named Darren who goes to a secret illegal freak show one night with his best friend, while their he falls in love with a magical deadly spider who follows commands by a flute, when Darren's friend realizes that the owner of the spider is a Vampire he demands to be turned into one but is rejected and when he gets bit by the spider Darren steals, Darren has to agree to be the vampires assistant and become a half vampire in order to save his friend....

 

The other books are based on Darren learning how to be a vampire, then going on a journey to kill his best friend who is the dark prince before he kills all man kind and destroys the world.

 

These are quick reads but you will get hooked on them before you know what you are doing. I wouldn't pass up reading them or following the author for his other tales. I love these vampire books because they are so different from other classical vampire stories.

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/ ads40
ads40 | 09 October 2014 |

B Smith has found a home; a leader with a mission from God; A mentor to teach her kick-ass fighting skills. And allies just like her, revitaliseds, zombies with a mind and conscience.

 

Or has she? If the ZOM-B saga has an over-arching message, it is, find your own way. Do the math. Do the spade-work. Get your hands dirty. In other words, don’t accept answers, or a world-view, on a plate. Test-out. Think. Work it out. If you arrive at a philosophy or faith or political side or world view by your own thinking, by your own testing with mind and heart, well then, you have been true to yourself, and your beliefs should serve you well. Accept on face value the sales patter of another, however, and then you risk integrity, and more.

 

This message started with the principled teacher Burke in ZOM-B as he challenges B’s racism. It is developed further here, as B wonders whether Doctor Oystein is madman or Prophet. He claims to know the origin of the zombie plague and be on a mission from God to help eradicate it, against the satanic incarnation of the Hellish clown Mr Dowling and his hoodie mutants. B would like to believe him, but Burke’s words, and lessons from her own past, make her leave the Doctor’s safe refuge and strike out again across Zombie infested London. Can she trust what she has been told? B needs to see more of what is out there, and test it out. She will meet old friends; meet new ones, and the titular un-dead baby, who does not in fact make an appearance until the closing chapters of the book.

 

In this instalment there’s a big focus on religion, or faith. Doctor Oystein has it. Timothy the mad artist has it. B is not sure. She listens, but needs to think it out for herself, test it out in the crucible of a Hellish apocalypse. No answers are served for us in a plate. There’s an ambiguity to it all that keeps you hooked, and is in keeping with the theme of thinking it out for yourself.

 

As usual the writing is brisk and effective. There are some great set pieces. A race up the London eye, the appearance of the ZOM-B Baby, an attack on an art gallery; these are held in a swell paced narrative that uses its 12 book story arc to maximum effect. You can slowly deepen some mysteries whilst rapidly progressing others.

 

I don’t know which side the writer will land. I hope he doesn’t, and manages to sustain this tension. This is good, intelligent stuff, all the better for not flying a particular flag. Shan resists the temptation to go all Dawkins or all St Paul on us. His end message, conveyed so well to us by his be-clawed and be-fanged un-dead is, do your own homework.

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/ Empire Of Books
Empire Of Books | 08 October 2014 | Ryan

I literally do not know where to begin with this one. I truly don't. I even tweeted as much and Darren even quoted that on his Facebook page! I'm not even kidding. I am stumped. I don't really know how to tackle this one! It goes without saying that I cannot simply review this book without talking about things that have happened previously in the series. As it states at the beginning of this post, Zom-B Family is the ninth book in the twelve book saga, so we are now three quarters of the way through and so much has happened that it'll be hard to even begin to express my thoughts...

 

The book opens with the fallout of the treacherous act at the end of Clans, book eight. Rage has betrayed B and the Angels and has joined Dan Dan and his cronies. But even they are wary of him. He is a zombie after all, one scratch is all it would take to bring down the entire complex that has made itself at home in what used to be Battersea Power Station. B is screwed and she knows it. She is briefly reunited with her father, but even the end of the world cannot change his ways and he is as deep as he can get with the Ku Klux clan who see the zombie apocalypse as a way to clense the world racially and bring about their new world of purity, as they see it. B is disgusted and choses not to side with them, and rightfully so, but this puts her at the mercy of Dan Dan and he finally gets his hands on her, after taunting and threatening to destroy her over the past few books.

 

Now if you've read a Darren Shan book before, you know it gets a little gory every now and again... Well Family has gone above and beyond the level of gore previously seen in any of Shan's work. It's gory and in sections downright sickening. I could actually feel a lump in my throat as my gorge rose reading some of the scenes. I don't want to go into too much detail for fear of reawaking that feeling I had whilst reading, but Dan Dan finally gets to torture B as he has been planning. But with B being a zombie, she does't feel pain or suffer like a human. To get a reaction, Dan Dan has to do things that a living, breathing human would never be able to withstand even for a short time. It is horrific and described in such detail that I had images burnt into my brain and I just could not get them to go away for a while. Even now nearly a week after finishing the book I am still struggling... I don't have to re-read the passages. I can remember...

 

But it isn't long before trouble really begins and B is forced to fight, her body riddled with holes, her guts held in only by some bandages and her ears cut off, to save her friend Vinyl. I really liked how this shows that those in power aren't changing at all. They have no regard for the lives of anyone but themselves.

 

I also loved seeing Dan Dan finally, FINALLY, getting his comeuppance. I think he's one of the most disgusting, revolting and yet enticing characters Shan has ever made but seeing him go wasn't a sad moment at all. I like it when the bad guys bite the dust and whilst I felt the way Dan Dan demised was a little rushed and unexpected (I REALLY WANTED IT TO BE B!!!) it felt right and satisfying!

 

And then the clown returns. Mr. Dowling. Although he is perhaps the scariest character I think Shan has ever created, after he first turned up in Underground and City I actually had nightmares, I have really missed him over the last few book. He's always been sort of an omnipresence in the series. Mentioned here and there, spoken about at length by Dr Oystein but only appearing rarely, so getting to see him again was great. I feel he's going to be a lot more prominent from this point on until the end of the series.

 

This book is honestly the darkest I think I've ever seen Shan and you know what? I loved it. It is a great addition to the series and the ending sets up the next book, Zom-B Bride, very well. I cannot wait to see what is going to happen next. I want to see where those babies are taking B and I really want to know what the connection is between them. It's creepy and it's something that has been hinted at all the way through the series, and with just three books left, I sense that things are about to start wrapping up and we are finally going to start getting some answers. I hope so! I cannot wait!

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/ Between Screens
Between Screens | 07 October 2014 | Alice

I expected to like this book much more than I did. I’d wanted to read it for ages because it’s so popular with my students, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I’d also read an interview with Darren Shan that made it seem interesting. However, I come away from reading this book a little bit confused and more than a bit disappointed.

 

Perhaps the sequels will be better now the premise is set up. It is a very short novel, and it goes three-quarters of the way through before the actual zombies turn up, and as such I imagine it functions as an introduction to the series as it didn’t feel like a complete book.

 

The protagonist of the story is a character called B. Although I liked the twist on our expectations that Shan pulls towards the end of the book, I otherwise found B a bit of a confusing mess and that is the reason I struggled so much with it. B is not a nice person. B is a racist and violent bully, who picks on the weak and makes some questionable choices. Ok B is the product of a racist and abusive home life; father is a white supremest bigot who does not react well to having his disgusting beliefs challenged. Shan makes some effort for B to explain that those views aren’t shared, but then a few pages later B will beat up a black kid and make gorilla noises. No matter how bad B might feel about that (not that bad I though, not bad enough) it is still something B did! I didn’t find the relationship with the father very eloquently explored or explained, and the things B did were mean-spirited at times that I could never warm to the character.

 

The shock ending I hope is leading to something much cooler for the next book. And I’m intrigued by the guy with the owl eyes. In fact the strongest part of the whole novel is the very creepy prologue.. I’d more happily have stuck with that.

 

I am about thirteen-years out of the target age group for this novel, and perhaps I wanted something too sophisticated.. but I think absolutely it is achievable to produce a more thoughtful book tackling difficult issues for the 13 year old age group. Other authors manage it. Still, I’m not saying it is BAD. It’s very popular and anything that gets boys reading is a winner in my book. Just as a 26 year old woman (with an English degree) I’m not very impressed!

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/ Roy’s Radical Blog
Roy's Radical Blog | 07 October 2014 | Roy

The title of the book I read was ZOM-B. The author was Darren Shan. The genre of my book is horror and action. In the book a girl live a normal life until the horrible day that zombies come to her school and pandemonium erupts in her school. Her and her friends must try to survive in the school with a huge number of zombies and all the doors are locked. In the end the unexpected happened but I won't ruin the ending.

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/ So Many Books, So Little Time
So Many Books, So Little Time | 07 October 2014 | Sophie

It’s no secret that I love this series, but I still kind of expected my enthusiasm to wane after nine books. Nope. Zom-B Family is perhaps the best so far.

 

At the end of Zom-B Clans, B’s dad makes a surprise appearance; more a surprise because it was assumed he was dead, even by B herself. There wasn’t a lot of direct interaction between B and her dad before she was turned and the rest of the series continued so it was really interesting, especially as it allowed me to see what he was really like after everything B had shared. Watching her struggle with her love for her dad and her hatred for his racist, bigoted beliefs and subsequent actions was wonderfully done. It was some of the most emotion we’ve had from B in the entire series and really showed how far she had come. It’s not often that becoming a zombie improves a person, but that’s what it did for B.

 

But being reunited with her dear old dad meant something horrible for B: held hostage in the power plant under the control of Dan-Dan. He’s an evil, sadistic human being, but until Zom-B Family how true that is wasn’t quite realised... Dan-Dan had long promised that B’s end in his hands would be slow and painful and he really wasn’t joking. The things that he inflicted on her at first made me squirm and then I felt physically sick. Never has a book given me such a visceral reaction like that. As I tweeted while reading it: Master of Horror, indeed. Zom-B Family is by far the goriest book of the series.

 

As well as some scary beliefs from B’s dad and horrific torture, the ninth book in the Zom-B series also delivered a few answers. We finally figured out the true events leading up to the zombie apocalypse and exactly how it occurred (which by the way is a terrifying idea as it could very easily happen in our world with no one knowing...), the allegiances of Owl Man and further light on his partnership with Dr Oystein and there were also hints that in the next book, Zom-B Bride, we might even discover what the creepy as hell Mr Dowling is up to. Well, I hope so anyway.

 

As always, I finished Zom-B Family eager to dive into the next book so I’m very glad I don’t have too long to wait. All series should come out in quarterly instalments; it really is an excellent way to read.

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/ ads40
ads40 | 04 October 2014 |

Becky Smith finds herself with a group of “Revitaliseds,” speaking, thinking undead creatures like her. We first met Revitaliseds in “ZOM-B Underground.” They are all teenagers (the reason for which we learn later, and it isn’t because the target demographic for these books is young adults!) under the tutelage of a Dr Oystein, a dapper, cultured adult Revitalised who seems to be on the side of the angels (indeed he calls his group of undead teens “Angels”). He is accompanied by characters from previous books in the series, mainly “Underground;” Reilly the bunker guard, Mr Burke the teacher, and Rage, who B loathes and distrusts after he killed a scientist and left his Revitalised compatriots for dead in “Underground.”

 

Together they are on a mission shaped and defined by Dr Oystein, and as B trains as an Angel in how to conduct gathering, scouting and rescue missions in London, and in martial arts under the determined Master Zhang, she begins to learn some of the origins to her condition and that of the apocalypse that has ravage the world.

 

This has less gore and action set pieces than its counterparts (although it has its moments), and concentrates on filling holes in the back story, bringing established characters together, and introducing us to pivotal new ones. Instead of a huge gory show down, the closing chapters relate the horror of the origins of the apocalypse. We finally learn the origin of this plague, the mutants and Mr Dowling (although only on the word of the Dr Oysetin), and it’s a satisfying piece of exposition. How far you buy into it will depend on how much you have invested in the series so far.

 

It’s a good and gripping read and really propels the story arc forward. As yet we do not know the origins of “Owl-man” but I have my guesses. I am definitely hooked and will carry on with this inventive and fun take on the undead.

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/ Ellie Jay Books
Ellie Jay Books | 03 October 2014 |

So this is it. The series dramatic conclusion. There were still lots of questions to answer, and even more questions were created. But man, it ends well.

 

Book 10 - The Lake of Souls follows Darren and Harkat as they go on a journey to find out who Harkat was before he became a Little Person. And they did not expect to find what they did...

 

Book 11 - Lord of the Shadows - back on the hunt for the Vampaneze Lord Steve Leonard, Darren ends up in the one place he'd thought he'd left behind forever. He is going Home.

 

Book 12 - The Sons of Destiny - The epic conclusion, all questions answered. Who will win the War of Scars and become the Lord of Shadows - destroying man kind in the process?

 

OH MY GOD THESE BOOKS. Darren Shan really knows how to conclude a series!

 

The Lake of Souls started a bit slow for me, as some of the others did, but the end of it made up for everything. I cannot believe I did not see it coming - both who Harkat was when he was alive and where they were. Now everyone knows what is to come when the Lord of the Shadows reigns - and it's not a pretty sight!

 

I was expecting to go back to Darren's home town at some point since the very first book but by the time I got to Lord of Shadows I'd forgotten all about his family and hometown. I loved seeing Annie again all grown up. And with a kid! And for those of you who've read the books already, my cynical mind guessed that part straight away. I thought it was great seeing the Cirque again - Evra and his family are some of my favourite characters in the series. The end of this book really upset me. Killing Mr Tall was one thing (and his big secret totally shocked me!) but the other death was awful.

 

The last book picks up right where Lord of Shadows left off and all the secrets and plots are revealed, and it has a truly fantastic ending. I'm not going to say anymore about it aside from read it.

 

The only thing that annoyed me about these books was, again, Debbie. I don't know why she annoys me so much. She is pretty much there just to be a damsel in distress and distract Darren. Alice I think is awesome. But Debbie just deeply irritates me.

 

I really, really enjoyed this series. I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it and I'm hoping The Saga of Larten Crepsley will entertain me just as much!

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/ Rachel Verna’s Weirdness
Rachel Verna's Weirdness | 01 October 2014 | Rachel Verna

Oh, that baby is adorable. In comparison of other monster babies.

 

B has spent the last few months bunking with the Angels, a group of teens dedicated to eradicating the evil dead from the face of the earth, beginning with the undead roaming the abandoned wreckage that was once London. But the Angels' mission is a bit more complicated than that, and B takes to the streets of a very changed London to decide: is it a mission really to be believed? But instead of answers, B finds a horror beyond imagining.

 

This is the 5th book in the Zom-B series and I only promise to be spoiler free for this book.

 

This book was disturbing mainly because I think Rage might have flirted with B. B was her typically aggravating self. It like she has no self-preservation sometimes. Yes, you're dead but that comes with own problem of no healing power at all.

 

This was mostly character study really. So little happen in terms of plot and you probably guess by the title what that was. It all happens near the end of the book.

 

I said this was character development stuff but don't feel as reader we got much. I guess there was relationship building that's probably relventat to the series overall plot. I know these books are short but I want to more within those 250 pages. The pictures are pretty. Though, I do doubt many people say that about illustrations of zombies.

 

Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars for zombies on skates. I like this series but I just wish there was more plot in the books.

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/ Ellie Jay Books
Ellie Jay Books | 01 October 2014 |

I've now completed the series but due to my laptop being poorly I haven't been able to post in weeks! Anywho - the next three Darren Shan books. My friend told me after I read the first couple that they just keep getting better and better - and I didn't believe him in the slightest. But boy - they go from readable, to enjoyable to OH MY GOD I CAN'T PUT THIS BOOK DOWN very quickly! Again, sorry for the spoilers but it is getting increasingly difficult! I'm hoping most of you guys have read them though, or at least plan to ASAP!

 

Book 7 - Hunters of the Dusk - Now that the Vampaneze Lord has been found, Mr Tiny informs the Vampire Princes that there are 3 hunters with the power to defeat him. Darren and Mr Crepsley must travel together to find the third hunter and band together to defeat the Vampaneze Lord before it is too late...

 

Book 8 - Allies of the Night - After one failed attempt Darren and co. find themselves back in Mr Crepsleys hometown - and some familiar faces make a return.

 

Book 9 - Killers of the Dawn - On the run from the police our hunters have to find a way to face off with the Vampaneze Lord for the third and final time - but what must be sacrificed?

 

Again I found the first of these as more of a scene setter. It had good moments but the book overall felt like it moved quite slowly. We did however, get to meet Evanna (who most definitely is not a witch!). I think she is an absolutely fabulous character - and I love the reason behind Mr Crepsley's scar!

 

Allies of the Night and Killers of the Dawn were two parts of the same story and I do not envy people who read these as they came out - as soon as I finished one I had to pick the next straight away!
The return of some friendly (and some not-so-friendly) didn't surprise me overly. I knew we would see Debbie and Steve again, but I didn't imagine seeing R.V.! Loved the hands though. Debbie's return was too convinent for my taste and the sort-of rekindling of her's and Darren's romance was weird. I know technically they're the same age or near enough, but Debbie is in her late twenties while Darren still looks 15. But that may just be my cynical cold heart. And we did need someone to be a damsel in distress.

 

Steve - I totally expected everything that happened. I said it from the first moment I read about the Vampaneze Lord (not that my friend would give any spoilers!). But the end of Killers of the Dawn upset me. Especially the way you're given amazing hope and it is snatched from you in one little sentence. My face went from gobsmacked, to a big cheesy grin to utter devastation. I was not happy with Darren Shan for writing it. I was even more upset with my friend for making me read a series that seemed intent to tear my soul into little pieces (which it did).

 

So yeah. 3 more to go. Not gonna lie, I didn't want the series to end! But the end is so worth it!

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/ It’s All Relative
It's All Relative | 01 October 2014 |

n this second installment of the Zom-B series, B wakes alone in a small room inside an underground military complex with no memory of the events that unfolded since the attack on the school. During this book B learns more about the Zombies and those working inside the complex, scientists and soldiers, B begins to question what is now reality and the motives of the people in the complex.

SPOILER!!!!!


The revelation that B is a girl really surprised me, kudos to Darren Shan for keeping a complete book gender neutral.


In this book you really delve into B as a person, her feelings about becoming a Zombie and her views on her personality flaws and the steps she feels she needs to make to improve them.


More characters are introduced in this book, expanding the story dynamic. The reader learns more about what has become of the UK and about Zombies as a species.


This book also introduces a new villain, Mr Dowling, a creeping sadistic clown, I feel is going to be the real antagonist of the story series.


Once again another gorey story from Darren, mixed with terror and sadness, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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/ Ellie Jay Books
Ellie Jay Books | 30 September 2014 |

Time for the next 3 books! It's taking me far longer than I would've liked to get through these considering how short they are but oh well. Again there will be plot spoilers. I'm sorry but doing it this way it's really hard to avoid...
Book Four - Vampire Mountain - Darren, Mr Krepsley have to make the dangerous trek up Vampire Mountain so that Darren can be introduced to the Vampire Princes...

 

Book Five - Trials of Death follows Darren as he is put through his paces to prove himself worthy of joining the vampire ranks.

 

Book Six - The Vampire Prince sees Darren after uncovering a plot to destroy the clan, and what he has to do to stop it, even if it means his death.

 

The books really started getting interesting from this point. I loved finding out more about how Vampire politics worked, and thought the Princes and generals were brilliant. The array of characters really built up the world and kept it interesting. It was also easier to read as Darren was older (though not in appearance).

 

Vampire Mountain though, was a bit of a slow book. Very little happened, it seems its just there to set the scene for the future books. We meet a lot of new characters, Gavner Purl and Arra Sails being my favourites. The little fight between Arra and Darren was a highlight for me. I also really liked Harkat Mulds, our Little Person who finds his voice. Though the ellipses when he speaks did get on my nerves.

 

I found the Trials of Death interesting and really well thought out, each of them you can potentially survive but they are dangerous enough to stop just anyone from trying their hand at them. And the ending. Most of it I'd guessed at (though my friend refused to give any hints which was really annoying!). I was not happy with the death. Not in the slightest. And has anyone else noticed their is some form of death in every book?

 

The Vampire Prince - well! I LOVE THE WOLVES. They're just so darn cute! Darren really started to grow up in this book and accept the consequences of his actions. Again the death in this book gutted me. I was not happy. But the ending more than made up for it - I was literally sat reading with my jaw hanging open (so attractive!) while my friend cackled in the background. I did not see that coming - and it was the first of many surprises this series had in store for me.

 

Would love to hear some of your opinions on these books!
 

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/ It’s All Relative
It's All Relative | 26 September 2014 |

The story is set in modern London and follows the character of B Smith, a young teenager coping with a racist father, hooligan friends and boring school. If life wasn't hard enough already, news begins to surface of a zombie outbreak in Ireland. Unsure of whether its fact or faked, B chooses to go on with life regardless...until Zombies over run the school.

 

This is another Darren Shan book filled with gore, horror and mayhem. It follows the same thread as many of his other book series, a protagonist main character and a demonic adversary. If you are already a Darren Shan fan you will not be disappointed with this book, if not then after reading this book you will become one. It is plainly written but well executed, it allows the reader to flow through the story without any great difficulty.


Throughout the book there are illustrated pictures depicting scenes and characters, I feel these add to the overall story being told, helping the reader to immerse themselves into the story and characters.


If the reader is squeamish then be wary of this book as it is particularly gorey.

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/ The Bookbag
The Bookbag | 24 September 2014 | Jill Murphy

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

 

Go on. Run along.

 

Gone? Good.

 

Just making sure...

 

Ok. Let's catch you up. B Smith is a zombie. But she's not an ordinary zombie. Innoculated as a child by Doctor Oystein, she retains a sense of self. Zombies like B are known as revitalised and many of them work as Angels for Doctor Oystein, who is engaged in a battle for the future of humanity with the scary Mr Dowling. Betrayed by fellow Angel Rage, we last saw B when she was taken hostage by child-killer Dan-Dan and his wicked associates, whose number includes her Dad, a KKK racist B despises.

 

It's not looking good for B. Dan-Dan has a score to settle and a penchant for torture. The Owl Man has his own agenda and won't help B unless she betrays Doctor Oystein, something she would never do. And B's father has no power to save her either. There really is no way out.

 

Blimey, blimey and blimey again. We know that Darren Shan doesn't shy away from violence, blood and guts in his books, but ZOM-B Family really takes the cake for gore. There are fights to the death, torture, maimings and, well, it's carnage, really, from the first to the last page. How much can B take before she gives up the fight? Will her father ever step up to the paternal plate? Will she ever see Vinyl again? Is there any chance, no matter how slim, at all?

 

Underneath all that, there is a reckoning between B and her racist father that has been a long time coming. It felt that the series needed some resolution for this personal struggle of its heroine. So much of the way B has behaved all along has its roots in being brought up by a racist, by facing and rejecting those values and the conflict it creates for the love which every child feels for its parents, no matter their faults.

 

The denouement - no spoilers though! - has an inevitable feel. We kinda always knew that B would end up where she ends up. What we don't know is how it will all turn out. Roll on, book ten!

 

If the Zom-B series seems right up your alley, you'll also enjoy The Enemy by Charlie Higson, in which zombiesm only affects the grown-ups, leaving a Lord of the Flies style environment for the kids. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry is a super-duper post-apocalyptic zombie novel in the style of a revenge Western. And Generation Dead by Daniel Waters takes an entirely different approach to zombies - integrating its living dead teens into daily life and by this exploring prejudice.

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/ ads40
ads40 | 24 September 2014 |

Escaping an underground research centre, B finds herself in a desolate city-scape full of monsters and the lost, both human and dead.

 

She encounters a group of survivalist humans who have turned the apocalypse into a zombie hunting game, a deranged painter working on undead and dead still life, and an alien worshipping cult. Hearing that the army is staging a rescue, she heads to the landing point, where even further, horrors await.

 

Mr Dowling, Kinslow, Owl-Man and the mutant hoodie horde reappear, but as yet we don’t learn anything about exactly what they are or their role in the zombie uprising, only that they have control of the un-dead. It’s this deepening mystery that hooks you in for further instalments, as well as the fast paced, engaging writing. Long standing horror fans will have fun spotting the genre references (Daren Shan makes some of these explicit in his afterword), which here focus on a ruined, post-apocalyptic city-scape.

 

There’s a continuing tension as to which side of her nature B will follow, human or monster, as she faces different characters, provocations and situations. B is compelled, in her hunt for redemption, to be, as a monster, a better human than she used to be. But Shan does not always allow this side to win out. And the monsters frequently win, slaughtering the innocent, brutally dispatching the rescuer. It’s this unpredictability that largely accounts for these stories page-turning quality.

 

There’s a neat bonus short story at the end of this edition as well.

 

Enjoy!

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/ Rachel Verna’s Weirdness
Rachel Verna's Weirdness | 24 September 2014 | Rachel Verna

This is probably not going to be the best review as I can't for the life of me remember how this ended from the top of my head. Probably some cliff-hanger like the rest of the books in the series. This is the fourth book in the series so if you haven't read any of them why not go check out my reviews of them: Zom-B, Zom-B: Undergound and Zom-B: City.

 

We get more explanations here and I'm not at all impressed with them. I did go "really" a lot and laughed at once at the absurdity of it all. I know this written for kids younger than me, but they do have brains (the zombies haven't got to them yet). I guess most won't realise what a staple in horror the explanation turns out to be. Probably just think of Call of Duty, but there is literally films out there about this from at least the 60s.

 

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars for Nazi Zombies. I'm just not loving this series at the moment. I've got the next book in the series to read which I'm going straight on to now. It's not at the point where I would stop reading but if it gets any worse. Maybe.

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/ Jegz Loves Tea
Jegz Loves Tea | 19 September 2014 | Rachael

Aimed at a younger audience, you could say that Darren Shan is the James Herbert of the teenage fiction world. Zom-B Circus is a short story that doesn't follow B Smith in the Zom-B books. If you're looking for something new to read and you've not yet read any of the Zom-B series, I highly recommend you start with this and you will definitely be intrigued!

 

Darren Shan isn't your average run of the mill kind of story teller, so if you're expecting a typical story about a zombie apocalypse and the survival of humans against monster, you'll be pleasantly surprised, because let's face it, the zombie thing has been done to death these days.

 

Cat Ward is a teacher in a high school when it is over taken by zombies, she's ruthless and will do anything to survive, including throwing school kids to the zombies. Callously, she continues to sacrifice humans in order to save herself, which came as a surprise to me as normally Shan's characters are pretty damn loveable!

 

Taken into consideration his younger readers, Shan incorporates a nasty lesson for Cat which is presented as an excellent plot twist at the end!

 

For fans of the Zom-B series, this is a great little additional story which doesn't effect the series, but keeps some other characters fresh in our minds, such as the creepy babies, Kinslow and of course Mr Dowling himself!

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/ Vulcan Fiction Writer
Vulcan Fiction Writer | 16 September 2014 |

B’s taken into another facility. This one is run with far more morality to it and it is the one being run by a man who is a revitalized zombie. Explanations are finally given out and a purpose is given to the revitalized/zom heads. The answers do inspire more questions to pop up though. Origins of characters and the zom heads are explained with a clarity that is simply beautiful. The question presented again is about religion. Is this the work of God as the painter and now Dr. Oystein believe? Is it actually science? Is this what humanity has wrought upon itself only die out from it or can salvation be found? There is one thing that any and every reader would agree on; Dr. Oystein proves that meaning can be found in death as well as in life.

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/ Vulcan Fiction Writer
Vulcan Fiction Writer | 15 September 2014 |

B’s escaped the facility she was in only to find herself in the open. She goes back to her old streets and stays for a few days. She realizes that nothing can really be done there. She thinks that her mother’s dead and her father still out there somewhere. She gets a change of clothes and prowls the streets heading from the East End to London. She meets a group of soldiers and then a painter on her way. He is convinced that God has saved him, so that he may leave behind his paintings of the devastation going on at the time. A relic for humanity to focus on. She meets a woman and party from a new religious group who are determined to prove that they are the correct religion by making it through the day of the London streets with only their prayers. Then she comes across Mr. Dowling, the clown. He is there to attack when the government sends in helicopters to pick up civilians who are not infected. He creates chaos and it ends with her name being called out.

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/ ads40
ads40 | 13 September 2014 |

WARNING: This review provides a big spoiler to the first book in the sires, ZOM-B. If you are new to the series, and want to get a buzz from a great rug-pull moment, please read no further

 

ZOM-B Underground continues the saga of B Smith, stripped of her humanity in more ways than one. In battling inhuman forces of the un-dead, Becky Smith succumbs to an inhuman force within, after the promptings of her vile racist father lead her to commit an atrocity against the living. In another neat double meaning, Becky loses her heart twice over: morally, and physically, as she has it ripped from her chest in act of sick justice, by the reanimated monster of the boy she murdered.

 

Now Becky must find some kind of redemption, whilst coming to terms with the shocking truth that she is a walking, talking, thinking member of the un-dead.

 

‘Underground’ starts with a feeling of disorientation as Becky finds herself in an underground complex, full of scientists and soldiers engaged in researching the cause of the recent zombie attacks. The humans have discovered a strain of zombie that has consciousness and higher cognitive functions. Becky is one of these. The humans also conduct their research by pitting the thinking zombies (Revitaliseds) against the more brain dead counterparts (Reviveds) to see how they will react whilst being attacked. In one of the books most striking scenes, the Revitaliseds, decked in leather (to protect from bites) and helmets, are set on the Reviveds with flamethrowers and chainsaws. It’s got the visceral intensity of Romero at his best, as do a lot of scenes in the book.

 

Becky gets to know the Revitaliseds as a group of teenagers who have personalities largely intact, and are apparently able to play along with the scientists in exchange for a comfy hang- out room and food (don’t ask).

 

Becky’s desperately tries to hang onto her humanity and indeed improve it, whilst being in the shell of a monster. Will she play along with the human’s bizarre zombie culling experiments? Will she protect humanity when opportunities arise, or will she give in to hunger and instead, feast? This is the meat of the drama, and the brains behind the plot.

 

As usual with Shan, you’ll be hard pressed to turn the pages fast enough in this tightly written, speedy and economic narrative. The action is told with gusto and gore that won’t disappoint the most voracious zombie addicts. He does not cop out from letting some situations play out to their awful logical conclusion, rather than springing a miraculous way out. Good characters do die horribly, but there is usually a horrible, satisfying act of justice as a consequence. The writer deepens the back-story behind his zombie outbreak and provides plenty of hooks to pull you into the next instalment. Who’s the sinister horror clown Mr Dowling? Who and what are the mutants? Who or what is responsible for the out-break? It’s straight on to ZOM-B City to find out more.

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/ Les Chroniques De Madoka
Les Chroniques De Madoka | 10 September 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW. THE ORIGINAL FRENCH VERSION CAN BE FOUND BENEATH.

 

A first surprising volume that evokes quite hard topics like racism and violence in addition to the zombie invasion happens later in the story ...

 

 

B. Smith is a student at a college in London. His father, a violent and obtuse man, did everything he could for her child to be an inveterate racist! To avoid slapping and other humiliations, B. pretended to agree with her father but some germs still managed to take root ...

 

At school, he is a student a little violent with others and even his band of friends sometimes takes full head! But after a sporting event, this is the first zombie land and decision time arrives for B.! Between saving his skin and that of a friend of darker skin, what will be his choice?

 

 

I liked the fast pace of the story! Although initially the zombies remain a rather vague danger, the discovery of the universe of B. is quite exciting for this to pass in the background.

 

Racist and abusive father, a mother and who resigned be beaten, a district favoring violence, friends not always questionable ...

 

The final reserve a big surprise!

 

 

Special mention for the illustrations are really beautiful and reminiscent of the comics of the 50s! They give a definite plus to the story ...

 

 

In short, a first exciting tome and teens can find since it is relatively less violent than others and topics aimed particularly this age.

 

But adults will surely enjoy as much and for my part, I am eager to see the rest!

 

4 STARS.

 

---------------------------------------

 

Un premier tome étonnant qui évoque des thèmes assez durs comme le racisme et la violence en plus de l’invasion de zombies qui se produit un peu plus tard dans le récit…

 

B. Smith est élève dans un collège à Londres. Son père, un homme violent et obtus, a fait tout ce qu’il pouvait pour que son enfant soit un raciste invétéré ! Pour éviter les gifles et autres humiliations, B. a fait semblant d’être d’accord avec son père mais quelques germes ont malgré tout su prendre racine…

A l’école, c’est un élève un peu violent avec les autres et même sa bande d’amis s’en prend parfois plein la tête !

Mais après une soirée sportive, voici que les premiers zombies débarquent et l’heure du choix arrive pour B. ! Entre sauver sa peau et celle d’un copain à la peau plus sombre, quel sera son choix ?

 

J’ai bien aimé le rythme très soutenu du récit !

Même si au départ les zombies restent un danger assez flou, la découverte de l’univers de B. est assez passionnante pour que cela passe en arrière-plan.

Un père raciste et violent, une mère résignée et qui se laisse battre, un quartier favorisant la violence, des amis pas toujours recommandables…

Le final réserve une surprise de taille !

 

Mention spéciale pour les illustrations qui sont vraiment magnifiques et qui rappellent les comics des années 50 ! Elles donnent un plus indéniable à l’histoire…

 

Bref un premier tome passionnant et que les adolescents peuvent découvrir puisqu’il est relativement moins violent que d’autres et les sujets abordés visent particulièrement cet âge.

Mais les adultes apprécieront certainement tout autant et pour ma part, j’ai hâte de découvrir la suite !

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/ My Zombie Culture
My Zombie Culture | 10 September 2014 |

THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION OF A FRENCH REVIEW. THE ORIGINAL FRENCH VERSION CAN BE FOUND BENEATH.

 

In recent years, zombies are everywhere so today although they affect all age groups, the fiftieth anniversary of missing toddler hugging tenderly to thrill his plush zombie course including teenagers. In the case of the latter, the adaptation of literary genres in the way they consume is also not synonymous with low quality. Take for example the Harry Potter and Hunger Games sagas, when created, were clearly aimed at teenagers and pre-teen but have hit a much wider range than that in which they seemed to have to confine readers. So it is with this hope that we discover today the first volume of Zom-B Youth zombie novels Darren Shan series.

 

The author is not at his first attempt and has already completed several sagas also youth whose Demonata and The Vampire's Assistant category. Zom-B is a series of 12 books, including the English publication began in 2012 and should be completed in 2015 It is once again the publishing house Panini Books and Eclipse collection offering us to discover the version French in this saga.

 

The plot takes place mainly in London, where people learn but mostly stunned disbelief that Ireland is hit by an epidemic that is described as "zombie" by the media and government. It is on this basis that we find a teenager nicknamed B. portrait of the typical teen problem. His family dominated by an alcoholic father, violent, xenophobic, racist and actively for a small group that would be ashamed of the most active elements of the 3rd Reich; a family where the mother beaten and can only rely on her to protect her child. B. can not get out of this straitjacket. Torn between love and hatred for his father, the inability to protect his mother and the daily fear of receiving a further correction, B. expresses his frustrations by abusing his high school classmates, applying racist precepts of his father by not addressing only those he considers foreign. B. hates his own behavior but his Manichean questions seem very trivial to him when the zombie epidemic explodes in his high school. There is only one solution to flee as far as possible before it is too late.

 

From the first pages of this little book has only 220, the zombies are not slow to appear. This is an opportunity for the author to ask the basis of its vision of the zombie and pick the player in its history. Like the feature film The Return of the Undead, Zombies Darren Shan gorge themselves obstinately brain of their victims. Where the author shows originality is that the zombies mysteriously select their prey, devouring some individuals are turning and the other by conventional bites to swell the ranks of the horde. The transformation is rapid and violent, the victims saw their teeth and bones grow their fingers down until their break nails.

 

For my part, if these changes and these zombies are somewhat saddened me at first, I eventually get used to the idea that after all it was possible to have fun with unconventional zombies. Even wake the dead that they have to face! As such, the author does not stop there and we offers a complete mythology in which a mysterious caste undead turns control the swarming mass of zombies. The presence of this organization, if it is relatively underdeveloped in this volume, remains still a point that interested me and we exchange the usual stories. I hope to learn more in the next volume.

 

But what pleased me most in Zom-B is ultimately the racist side of our hero, although I do not endorse in any way archaic thoughts. But Darren Shan, treats this sensitive subject very convincingly, describing very precisely the genesis of xenophobia B. and doubts that drive. B. personality is so well built and rather oscillates between the reader feelings of disgust and pity against him while his relationship with his father tremendously cements all.

 

Finally, it's really on the side of the style that we realize that this is a youth book. Indeed, the writing is not encumbered details and with a style far from being convoluted, the author proposes a fluid although sometimes somewhat bland reading. Nevertheless, even the most seasoned and / or older readers will be surprised to gobble up the chapters in a few hours a good sign.

 

Not belonging to the main target of the novel, I would have a hard time saying that I loved this first volume but, because of its style and its electrifying expeditious history, no wonder he has been so successful with younger in the original. However, I must say Zom-B clearly worth a look, if only for the unusual personality of the hero. So, I expect to find him in the next book, entitled Zom-B Underground, which I hope matures.

 

-----------------------------------------

 

Depuis quelques années, les zombies sont partout si bien qu’ils touchent aujourd’hui toutes les tranches d’âge, du cinquantenaire en manque de frisson jusqu’au bambin serrant tendrement sa peluche zombie en passant bien sûr par les adolescents. Dans le cas de ces derniers, l’adaptation de genres littéraires à leur façon de consommer n’est d’ailleurs pas synonyme de moindre qualité. Prenons par exemple les sagas Harry Potter et Hunger Games qui, lors de leur création, furent clairement destinées à un public adolescent et pré-adolescent mais qui ont touché un panel de lecteurs bien plus large que celui où elles semblaient devoir se cantonner. C’est donc avec cet espoir que nous découvrons aujourd’hui le premier tome de Zom-B, la série jeunesse de romans zombies de Darren Shan.

zom-b tome 1

L’auteur n’en est pas à son coup d’essai et il a déjà à son actif plusieurs sagas également en catégorie jeunesse dont Demonata et L’assistant du vampire. Zom-B est une série de 12 livres dont la publication anglaise a commencé en 2012 et devrait s’achever en 2015. C’est une fois de plus la maison d’édition Panini Books et sa collection Eclipse qui nous proposent de découvrir la version française de cette saga.

L’intrigue se déroule principalement à Londres, où les habitants apprennent stupéfaits mais surtout incrédules que l’Irlande est touchée par une épidémie qui est qualifiée de « zombie » par les médias et le gouvernement. C’est sur cette base que nous découvrons un adolescent surnommé B., portrait typique de l’ado à problèmes. Sa famille est dominée par un père alcoolique, violent, xénophobe, raciste et militant actif d’un groupuscule qui ferait rougir de honte les éléments les plus actifs du 3ème Reich ; une famille où la mère battue et soumise ne peut compter que sur son enfant pour la protéger. B. ne peut s’extraire de ce carcan. Déchiré entre amour et haine pour son père, l’impuissance à protéger sa mère et la peur quotidienne de recevoir une nouvelle correction, B. exprime ses frustrations en maltraitant ses camarades de lycée, appliquant les préceptes racistes de son père en ne s’attaquant qu’à ceux qu’il considère comme étrangers. B. hait son propre comportement mais ses interrogations manichéennes lui paraissent bien futiles lorsque l’épidémie zombie explose dans son lycée. Il ne reste qu’une solution fuir le plus loin possible avant qu’il ne soit trop tard.

Dès les premières pages de ce petit livre qui n’en compte que 220, les zombies ne tardent pas à faire leur apparition. C’est l’occasion pour l’auteur de nous poser les bases de sa vision du zombie et d’embarquer le lecteur dans son histoire. À l’instar du long métrage Le Retour des Mort-vivants, les zombies de Darren Shan se repaissent avec obstination du cerveau de leurs victimes. Là où l’auteur fait preuve d’originalité, c’est que les zombies sélectionnent mystérieusement leurs proies, ne dévorant que certains individus et transformant les autres, par de conventionnelles morsures, afin de grossir le rang de la horde. La transformation est rapide et violente, les victimes voyant leurs dents grandir et les os de leurs doigts s’allonger jusqu’à leurs éclater les ongles.

zom-b darren shan

Pour ma part, si ces transformations et ces zombies m’ont quelque peu chagriné au départ, j’ai fini par me faire à l’idée qu’après tout il était possible de s’amuser avec des zombies non conventionnels. Quitte à réveiller les morts autant qu’ils aient de la gueule ! À ce titre, l’auteur ne s’arrête pas là et nous propose une mythologie complète où une mystérieuse caste de morts-vivants s’avère contrôler la masse grouillante de zombies. La présence de cette organisation, si elle est assez peu développée dans ce tome, reste malgré tout un point qui m’a intéressé et nous change des histoires habituelles. J’espère donc en apprendre davantage dans le prochain tome.

Mais ce qui m’a le plus plu dans Zom-B est finalement le côté raciste de notre héros, bien que je ne cautionne d’aucune façon ses pensées archaïques. Mais, Darren Shan, traite ce sujet sensible de manière très convaincante, en décrivant très justement la genèse de la xénophobie de B. et les doutes qui l’animent. La personnalité de B. est ainsi plutôt bien construite et fait osciller le lecteur entre sentiments de dégoût et de pitié à son encontre tandis que sa relation avec son père cimente formidablement l’ensemble.

Enfin, c’est vraiment du côté du style que nous nous rendons compte qu’il s’agit d’un ouvrage jeunesse. En effet, l’écriture ne s’encombre pas de détails et, avec un style loin d’être alambiqué, l’auteur propose une lecture fluide bien que parfois quelque peu insipide. Néanmoins, même les lecteurs les plus aguerris et/ou plus âgés, se surprendront à engloutir les chapitres en quelques heures : un bon signe.

N’appartenant pas à la cible principale du roman, j’aurais beaucoup de mal à dire que j’ai adoré ce premier tome mais, de par son style expéditif et son histoire survoltée, pas étonnant qu’il ait rencontré un tel succès auprès des plus jeunes en version originale. Néanmoins, je dois dire que Zom-B mérite clairement le détour, ne serait-ce que pour la personnalité atypique du héros. J’attends donc à présent de le retrouver dans le prochain tome, intitulé Zom-B Underground, qui, je l’espère, gagnera en maturité.

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/ Purple Booky
Purple Booky | 08 September 2014 |

Zom-B Gladiator is the 6th book in Darren Shan’s Zom-B series. Before I start about this book I would like to thank the author for writing this amazing series. Dam I have to wait until I get my hands on the next book! This book is my favorite one in this series so far. Zom-B and gladiator is a nice combination, as the title suggests it is very interesting read.

 

B is training and into rescue missions with her teammates, she is one of Dr. Oystein’s angels now. But one day she is kidnapped by few people whom she crossed paths with earlier and gets into a place where some sick individuals are killing zombies for fun. Like a gladiator game between walking dead and helpless people. What will B do when she is stuck with this twisted people? Who will rescue her? Will she be able to get away from that hell?

 

My rating: 4 out of 5. I am eager to read the next books in the series as soon as possible. B is really cool and composed in all situations, she is a true kick ass heroine.

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/ ads40
ads40 | 07 September 2014 |

Fans of the series will snap up with relish this biting little short in the Zom- B series.

 

Written with Shan’s vivid and fast paced prose, the strong gore that would give horror maestro’s like James Herbert a run for the money, and shocking comeuppances for some of the protagonists that show a bleak, pitiless, remorselessly logical justice, this works if you are new to the series or Shan or already a fan. I hadn’t read Shan before, but on the strength of this I went on to read ‘Zom-B.’

 

So as a new Shan reader I must admit to being rug-pulled. At first I thought he was just going to be really tiresome in saying the same thing; that in extreme situations such as an un-dead apocalypse, you may have to throw your usual moral code out of the window. The protagonist, Kat, throws some terrified school girls into the path of some zombies to escape. Because that’s how you survive. We are told this repeatedly, and Kat does this repeatedly. But Kat is taught a terrible lesson. The zombies, and their mutant masters, are a few steps ahead of her…

 

Shan does have a responsibility to younger readers, and there is a moral logic display here, but it is deftly woven into the fabric of the story and presented as a twist.

 

The zombies with their bone talons and extended teeth are effective creations, as are their mysterious mutant masters. As a newbie to the series, I look forward to finding out more about them. The ring master mutant is a wonderfully grotesque creation, and the football stadium circus is a gleeful, nightmarish setting.

 

All in all this is what a short like this should do; tell a punchy story well, and make you want to delve further into the series. This it certainly did for me.

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/ ads40
ads40 | 06 September 2014 |

Darren Shan is well known for his horror stories for the teenage /young adult reader. Zom-B is the first of a series; a story arc that Shan himself estimates in an Author’s Note will weigh in at 10-15 books.


There was nothing like this when I was at school. As a 4th / 5th former I used to hunt down the novels of adult horror writers such as James Herbert. Shan delivers gore and shocks that would put many of these more ‘grown-up’ books to shame. This is nothing like the ‘Goose-bump’ series. Shan’s books are stronger and darker fare.


The story starts with a pretty tough set of scenes in an Irish village, where a boy sees his Mum turned into a Zombie, devouring his Dad’s brains. He runs out to find the Streets full of carnage, and a tall grotesque stranger seemingly standing aloof and in control…


Cut to London teenager B-Smith. Dad’s a racist and a bully and gives crash courses in domestic violence. B is an angry bitter kid who in turn bullies and lashes out, and mimics Dad’s racist attitudes. School is a battleground, but B is strong enough to be pretty much leader of a gang there.


Internally B finds battle-grounds as well; haunted by terrifying dreams,


a teacher and a black friend are able to find cracks in the armour. B and friends hear reports of the Irish Zombie attack and presume it’s a hoax, and it’s distant enough not to seem too real. But then B encounters sinister mutant ‘hoodies’ in the London streets, and finds a tall, grotesque stranger (see above) visiting Dad, and then the Zombies attack…


Shan knows how to build a story, how to structure it and keep it moving. There’s vividness to his writing, and the Zombie action is as satisfying and full on as you would find in a Romero film. And like Romero, Shan uses the un-dead to hold a mirror to our society in all its greedy, predatory hate filled splendour. His zombie creatures with their grotesque whistle blowing masters, and their bone-talons, are effective creations. His story follows a remorseless logic and bleak morality. Here consequences to bad actions bite, in more ways than one…


Although writing for younger readers, there is no patronising or talking down to here. No palming the young reader off with very mild scares. Shan knows that his readers will have seen enough of the world to be puzzled, repelled, and sometimes attracted to evil and dark things. He has responsibilities writing to a younger crowd, but he does not do this by finger-wagging, but by context, and consequence.


Part of the fun of this series will be seeing how some of the threads will be picked up and played out later. Who are the mutants? Who is the ‘tall man?’ I can’t wait to find out.

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/ Vulcan Fiction Writer
Vulcan Fiction Writer | 05 September 2014 |

B’s become a zombie and is now in a strange facility with a guy throwing a bunch of flames at the other mindless zombies surrounding her. She lashes out at him and is pulled from the group when they realize that she has her mind back and is not like the others. The people throwing flames at her were like herself. They were zombies with their minds and memories still. They call themselves zom heads. She becomes a part of the group and finds out about the strange stuff that they are being fed (duh, brains). She refused to eat them even though she knows she will become a mindless zombie from the decision. Her cell is wrenched open one day to reveal a clown that she never wanted to meet in the first place. She tries to escape with the other zom heads who start to go mindless themselves. One of the soldiers let her out and only her while throwing flames at the other zom heads.

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/ Fiction Fascination
Fiction Fascination | 05 September 2014 | Carly

As always I love to sink my teeth into Darren Shan's fantastic Zom-B books- they really are my guilty pleasure! This instalment was truly wicked and brought out the twists and turns like never before...


In this story we see B and her friends deal with the aftermath of the capture of so many people. B, can't let her buddy go and puts every effort into getting him back. Things don't run smoothly though and with the return of a villainous familiar face...things turn nasty!


B, must put her trust in someone she really doesn't trust at all. She also finds out some really big shockers that add a whole new level of complexity to the overall story. The revelations had a bit of a Resident Evil feel...another guilty pleasure of mine - so yay!


God damn it - that ending!! Mr Shan you big tease you! ;)


Zom-B Clans is a fantastic seventh instalment in a kick-ass series. Just when you think there is nothing else that could possibly be pulled out of the hat...Shan goes and pulls the rug out from under your feet all over again! Things just got a whole lot more serious in the deadly war and I just can't wait to see where I'll be trailed next!!


4 / 5 Stars!

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/ Ellie Jay Books
Ellie Jay Books | 03 September 2014 |

As these are such short books I'm going to review them 3 at a time. I've been meaning to read these for a while (one of my friends has been pestering me for years) and I've now been made to borrow them. Apologies for any plot spoilers. It's kinda hard not to give away some.


Book One - Cirque Du Freak follows Darren as he visits a travelling freak show with his friend Steve, makes some shocking discoveries and makes decisions that will change his life forever.

 

Book Two - The Vampire's Assistant follows Darren as he learns more about his new life as Mr Crepsley's assistant, his struggle against drinking human blood, reuniting with the Cirque and making new friends with devastating consequences.

 

Book Three - Tunnels of Blood follows Darren, Evra and Mr Crepsley to a city where someone is draining humans of blood, and Darren thinks it may be someone close to him...

 

So far, I've really enjoyed these books. At first I found it hard to connect with Darren, as he starts off quite young in the series (me and my friend reckon he's around 10) and lets face it, I really couldn't care less about the footie games etc. that young boys are obsessed with. The more the series progresses the more I've enjoyed it. So far Tunnels of Blood has been my favourite, mainly due to the twist at the end (which is predictable but enjoyable all the same).

 

I find all the characters interesting - my favourite acts are Evra and Truska. Both are good friends for Darren and are just nice characters. I'm very intregued by Mr Desmond Tiny and his Little People. I want to find out more about them but at the same time I really don't. I also can't wait for Steve's epic return after his threat at the end of the first book...

 

So yeah. I can't wait for Darren to get a little bit older just because it'll be easier to relate to him and I really need to thank my friend for making me read these...

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/ Children’s Books Ireland
Children's Books Ireland | 01 September 2014 | Cethan Leahy

Spoilers! – A lot has happened to Becky Smith since London was overrun by Zombies – including encounters with mutants and killer clowns, gladiatorial fights, even zombification, but this could be her greatest test: a trip to London’s suburbs!

 

This is the seventh book in a 12-part series, so not great for new readers (although it does helpfully contain a ‘Previously On’ section), but for fans, it is a worthy episode containing the return of a significant character.

 

The author’s prose is crisp and creepy as usual, finding sinister twists on familiar sights: Children playing in trees and friendly sheepdogs. Shan has built up a stable of interesting characters over the series and they play off each other in entertaining and dramatic ways. The illustrations by Warren Pleece add a pulpy comic book feel to proceedings.

 

As in keeping with the rest of series, there is some thoughtful commentary among the crushed skulls and pools of blood. Racism remains a major theme as Becky discovers herself on the receiving end of prejudice and the latter half of the book explores how easily fascist groups can take advantage of disenfranchised groups.

 

But like the ever decomposing undead, this entry has a few weak points. The actual mission itself is relatively unexciting and the book occasionally feels like its setting up pieces for future installments. That said, it ends on a whopper of a cliffhanger and will leave readers craving for more.

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/ Vulcan Fiction Writer
Vulcan Fiction Writer | 01 September 2014 |

The opening starts with a sense of mystery, horror, and adventure. The story then turns to the story of another character’s, B, home and school life. All B wants to do is please her racist father. This fact starts to slowly change her into a racist herself. She says it the best herself when she calls her father the monster at the end and not the zombies. The zombies don’t understand what they’re doing and can’t control themselves, but her father can. He chooses to manipulate and persecute others based off of who they are and not what they do. He is the very personification of prejudice. He represents the true menace of the first book. Humanity is the real monster when it goes unchecked.

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/ The Author’s Apprentice
The Author's Apprentice | 30 August 2014 | Patrick Mahon

‘Zom-B City’ is the third in Irish author Darren Shan’s new twelve book series of zombie novels for young adults. Shan shot to fame over a decade ago with a series of vampire stories for teenagers. Since then he has written several other horror novels for children and adults. The ‘Zom-B’ series is his first foray into the well-trodden zombie arena though. Does he have something fresh to say?

 

To bring you up to date the first book, ‘Zom-B’, introduced us to Becky Smith. B, as she’s known, is a troubled teen-ager whose father is a violent racist thug, happy to beat up his wife and child at the slightest provocation. B has a fierce temper and gets into a lot of trouble at school including over racial issues, where her father’s bigoted views tend to colour her own even though she knows racism is wrong. Her ordinary world of teen-age angst goes by the wayside though when zombies invade the school and start killing everyone. B almost escapes but is ultimately caught and killed by the zombies, who rip her heart out. Surprisingly, that’s not the end of B.
 

At the start of the second book, ‘Zom-B Underground’, B wakes up in an underground military complex several months later. She has become a zombie but not an ordinary one. B is a ‘revitalised’, a rare type of zombie that retains its memories and its ability to think and reason. The military have gathered a group of the revitalised together and are training them to become their shock troops as normal zombies don’t instantly attack revitaliseds, seemingly confused by their similarity to the ordinary undead. B decides that she doesn’t want to become a contract killer for the Army so they stop her meals. She is only rescued from starvation, which would lead to the loss of her ability to think and reason, when the complex is invaded by zombies. This time B is the only one who manages to escape to the world outside.

 

In this third book, ‘Zom-B City’, B finds herself outside the underground complex, which turns out to be in the East End of London. She decides to head for her old family home on the Essex border. On the way, she is attacked by trophy hunters out to bag themselves a few zombie kills in the lawless chaos. When she pleads with them for her life, they are clearly shaken up by the realisation that not all zombies are mindless, so they let her go. When she does get home, her parents are nowhere to be seen. When she tries to work out what’s going on in the wider world, she finds that the TV is useless but there are several radio channels still transmitting. From them, B learns the truth about the zombie outbreak. It was global, was well-organised and has led to the deaths of some four to five billion people, perhaps three quarters of the world’s population. In the UK, what’s left of the Army is busy killing zombies, setting up safe zones and rescuing the uninfected from sites across the country. When just such a rescue mission is announced on the radio, to pick people up from central London in three days’ time, B decides to head over there. Her plan is to announce herself to the Army and see if they can use her blood to find a cure for the zombie condition. The question is will the Army listen or will they shoot first and ask questions later?

 

‘Zom-B City’ is a quest story. Having escaped from captivity, B wants to find out what has happened to her parents, to her city and to the rest of the world since the day the zombies came. To her credit, she wants to help the remaining humans fight back against the zombie apocalypse even though she is now a part of it. Her problem, which becomes the reader’s problem, too, is that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing. B spends half the book moving aimlessly from one encounter with a hostile group of humans or zombies to the next. As a result, the book includes a lot of action-packed incidents but the storyline remains unclear until the final few chapters. This made it an entertaining but frustrating read for me, in particular because the first two books in the series did not suffer from this lack of a clear direction.

 

On the plus side, Shan retains his trademark ability to invent gruesome characters and show them doing horrific things to each other. Fans of his previous books are likely to find all the ingredients they’ve come to expect from him here.

 

‘Zom-B City’ is an enjoyable YA horror story that includes several exciting set pieces but spends too much time meandering between them. It does however neatly set up the next book in the series. I expect I’ll seek out book four as soon as it is published in June to see what happens next.

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/ Tulleruska’s World
Tulleruska's World | 20 August 2014 |

TRANSLATED FROM NORWEGIAN

 

B continues her journey as a revitalized zombie. She fights for humanity, but old prejudices and hatred are still alive among the people.

 

This book is as good as the previous (and hangs together as one long story broken up into several parts). Keep it new surprises and you become better acquainted with some other characters. Some of the good, others bad. I look forward to the next book. Have to bring with me the sequel!

 

ORIGINAL NORWEGAIN REVIEW

 

Mens Englene gjør sitt ytterste for å redde New Kirkham fra KKK, raser B etter noen lastebiler med uskyldige fanger om bord. B treffer på Owl Man som har uante evner. B og Rage tar en motbydelig kjenning til fange i håp om å bytte han mot fangene. Ting går ikke etter planen og flere overraskelser er i vente…

 

B fortsetter sin ferd revitalisert zombier. Hun kjemper for menneskeheten, men gamle fordommer og hat er fortsatt levende blant menneskene.

 

Denne boka er like god som de foregående (og de henger jo sammen som en lang historie delt opp i flere deler). Stadig kommer det nye overraskelser og man blir litt bedre kjent med enkelte andre karakterer. Noen på godt, andre på vondt. Jeg gleder meg til neste bok. Må jo få med meg fortsettelsen!

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/ Nyx Book Reviews
Nyx Book Reviews | 18 August 2014 | Celine Nyx

Original review (30/7/2010)

I love Darren Shan. I loved his vampire series (although I read the last page first, and when I saw the ending spoiled I didn’t dare to finish the book). Lord Loss is the first book in a new series about the Demonata. And I’m proud of Darren, because this is a completely new series. It doesn’t feel like Cirque du Freak at all. The only similarity is the first person narration.

 

This book follows Grubbitsch Grady, who likes to be called Grubbs. I immediately fell in love with the name Grubbs. Been thinking about calling my kids like that. Anyway, Grubbs’s family bears a secret. Grubbs notices his parents and sister acting weird. He knows there is something going on, and when he is shipped off to aunt Kate, he walks back home to find out what is going on. At home, he is the witness of something terrible. His dad, head chopped off. His mom, in a pool of blood. His sister, used as a puppet by a demon. Like a miracle, Grubbs escapes the slaughter. And that’s only the beginning.

 

This book has a warning on the back, and for the first time I really thing the book deserves the warning. This book is scary. It’s disturbing and gross. It’s amazing. This book is not childish at all. The writing style is short and simple in places, to pick up some speed, and descriptive and extensive in other places, to set the scene.

 

This is a quick, surprisingly dark read.


Looking back (18/8/2014)

Over the course of four years, I’ve read seven out of the ten books this series has. Although I’ve been slowly outgrowing the age category Shan writes for (which is a horror-loving upper middle grade), these books are still pretty great. I don’t know which series I like better – Demonata or Cirque du Freak; Cirque has more lovable characters, but the Demonata ones are a lot darker which I enjoy as well. I can’t wait to read the last three books in this series.

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/ Fiction State Of Mind
Fiction State Of Mind | 12 August 2014 |

Another great entry into the Zom-B series. Shan is doing some very important work by incorporating social issues with nail biting horror! In this volume especially because B meets a group of Klan members. This group is not letting the zombie infested world stop them from continuing with racial hatred and killings.

 

 

B’s reaction to the Klan and her struggle to stop them shows how far she has come. All that was threatened when in she encounters a person from him past among the Klansmen.

 

 

I really love this series. Shan seems to ramp up the horror every volume. As if the weird Zombie babies and Owlman weren't bad enough we now have zombie dogs!

 

 

I’m counting the days between the release of new volumes. The next book will actually be an interlude between books 7 and 8. Cant wait!

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/ Horrormi
Horrormi | 11 August 2014 |

This was the first ever book i read of Darren Shan’s. I knew that I’d love it because of the title, and the image. As a zombie lover, I think Darren Shan did right to change the typical appearance and movement of the zombies. Not many zombie novels make zombies burn in sunlight, which results in them only coming out at night. I thought that was an amazing idea.

 

Continuing to the story itself, Zom-B is about a teenage girl (B Smith) who isn’t the stereotypical teenager. She is different from others who has to put up with a racist father, but soon has to put up with a zombie apocalypse. Through the struggles and fights against the infected, comes twists and eventually a cliffhanger that will make you want to know what happens next. The story is very well written and will always keep you hooked in the entire time, until you reach the end.

 

In my opinion, this Zom-b series has got to be one of the best set of zombie novels there is going. My favourite character is B Smith because she’s not your everyday teenager, and she’s like me in some ways. All the characters felt real because, they’re all unique in different ways which makes them stand out from the story. I love that in stories, because you get a better understanding of the character.

 

The story kept me guessing, especially B because she’s unpredictable. You never know what the B-ster will do next. Some parts of the story are high in tension so even the story is unpredictable. For me, when the tension was high in the story, the faster I read to know what happened next.

 

Everything was written well, but i thought when the zombies attacked, and the description of the zombies was amazingly written. It gave a clear image of what was happening in the book, and what the zombies looked like.

 

When i finished the book, I didn’t want to wait, I wanted to go buy the series, so far, to know what happened next. If you decide to read this book, it will leave you wanting more at the end.

 

I loved this book, and I will never get bored of it. I would suggest that, if you’re a zombie lover, you need to read all the zom-b books in the series.

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/ Liberty Falls Down
Liberty Falls Down | 01 August 2014 | Liberty Gilmore

I don’t think I’m the best person to review this. I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t get on with Darren Shan’s writing. It obviously works for some people because he’s massively popular and successful, but every time I’ve read one of his books, I’ve been left feeling a little disappointed. This one features a character I hated, rattled on at a pace that left me a little disoriented, and even the lure of zombies wasn’t enough to push it over a two star read.

2/5

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/ Matthewrbell
Matthewrbell | 28 July 2014 | Matthew R Bell

By far I have to say that Zom-B Mission's cover is my favourite to date. It's all crazy kinds of creepy and absolutely mesmerising. While Zom-B Baby still takes the crown of absolutely-nightmare-inducing-terror, Mission has a beautiful elegance about it, a sort of disarming calm. Along with its jaw-dropping cover, Mission is true to what was expected. It pushed the series forward a little with action, and while there are still plenty of questions - and more en counting - we are reaching the latter half of the series, and hopefully, those questions that have plagued us since the first book will be answered.

 

It's B's first sanctioned mission along with her friends the Angels, and not only is she ecstatic about the break from the monotony of her undead life, she can't wait to finally be able to do something good. Their mission, in terms of explanation, is quite simple: escort and protect a group of humans to a settlement outside of London. But the Angel's leader sums up the danger perfectly, zombies may have ignored them before, but with fresh meat in the mix, danger is for sure, but it's the living that they have to worry about. Not only are they trigger happy fiends, but even if they knew about the Angel's special condition as part of the undead, it's unlikely that they'll care.


How do you protect the people that will inevitably turn on you?


Mission takes our protagonists out of the rut that they'd fallen into. That rut being the seemingly innocent jaunter outside that ends with B being kidnapped and put through a horrible ordeal only to end up back with the Angels. This time we're follow our characters on a journey we've only been hearing about: an angel mission. It ramps the series up a little. While the series has been action-packed, Mission has a sort of feeling that all that action pales in comparison to what's to come. The storyline is marching along, and it looks ready to break into a jog.


There's more world building within Mission as well. We are told about human settlements early on in the series, but we've never actually laid eyes or seen the inner workings of one before. It was a pleasure to take that journey with our cast of characters, to travel through the countryside of London, being witness to the devastation and also laying our eyes on the hope humanity has erected to keep them safe. It's a nice way of showing us that humanity haven't taken a passive position in the war against the dead, as we've really only seen then scurrying to hide while B and friends take on the battles.


One thing I was surprised to see, was the Klu Klux Klan entering the series. For a second, reading it, I was taken aback, but after my initial shock and wonder, I realised it fit. There's always been the subtext concerning the issue of racism throughout the series, with the first novel, Zom-B, being the entry to focus on it heavily. With the addition of this group though, it looks like we're set to see how racism has changed with the Apocalypse. I mean, with zombies and humans pitted against one another, and our non-zombie zombies the Angels, there is already an undercurrent of hate in the world, you'd think that old habits such as race would no longer matter.


The cast of characters are also coming along nicely. While I've always enjoyed them in previous book, the novels are short, and it's sometimes hard to connect fully. Mission didn't have that problem. Along with the usual cast, new and old characters make an appearance, and with the story unfolding the way it is, I'm heavily invested on the outcome.

 

As a side-note, for those that have finished Mission, that dog creeped the crap out of me. I will never look at another stray dog the same again.........

 

5/5 stars

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/ Empire Of Books
Empire Of Books | 26 July 2014 | Ryan

I simply cannot begin to explain the frustration and pain that I am going through reading these books! They end on such epic cliffhangers that I am left gasping for the next instalment like a fish plucked from water. Three months is a very long time when you're so excited so when I finally got my copy of Zom-B Clans it was like all my Christmas's had come at once and you could not contain me. I ran straight for my bedroom and shut myself away...

 

Fast forward a few hours, a lot of OMG-moments, and I was faced yet again with another cliffhanger, this one in a league all of its own, so monumental and exciting for the way in which it could take the rest of the series that I practically threw my copy across the room! NO! It couldn't end this way! I needed there to be more. Another page? Another twenty pages? How am I supposed to wait until September to see what happens next? I can't do it. I cannot survive!

 

Lord almighty, Darren Shan, what do you do to me?! You turn me into a quivering wreck with every instalment, making my hunger to know what happens next even more ravenous and uncontrollable!

 

One of the goriest instalments yet, Clans has to be my favourite so far! This one, as Darren himself has said, is full of twists that I know I for one didn't see coming in a month of Sundays. Literally! Not at all. I was screaming! Actually screaming. NO! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!! This book is one of the most exciting of the series and it leaves me very excited to see how the events that take place in this book are going to play out in the rest of the series! There is so much to talk about that takes place in such a short, break-neck speed, book and yet because it is the eighth book in the series I cannot possibly say anything because for those of you out there who live under a rock and haven't read the books yet, then you'll be spoiled! Just know that this series gets better and better every time and only has you aching to see what happens next.

 

I have to say with the way the series is going I cannot possibly imagine how it's all going to wrap up in what is sure to be an epic finale due towards the end of next year! Yikes! Keep 'em coming, Darren! Thank you very much!

 

My thanks to Simon and Schuster for my review copy (which came a few days after I'd already purchased it on my Kindle and in Waterstones, ha!).

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/ B. A. Wilson Writes
B. A. Wilson Writes | 26 July 2014 | B. A. Wilson

Holy unexpected twist! I threw the book down at page 154, said a curse word, and laughed like a maniac. This was a very interesting story overall. I appreciated the insights on racism and abuse from the inside out, and the zombie part of the story was gory, terrifying, fast-paced, and disturbing. . . exactly as it should have been! This is a quick read and well worth it. But seriously. Page 154, people (and don't cheat! You have to read the other 153 first, in order for 154 to have a full impact)!

 

4/5 stars

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