LilyPad Library | 19 November 2013 | Georgia

B escaped from the underground complex and now has nowhere in particular to go. Will she come across any other Zom-heads or is she destined to wander alone?

 

The way that ‘Zom-B City’ is written, with the mix of mysterious characters and epically chosen locale appealed much more to my Shan-fan senses than the earlier books in this series.

 

It is interesting to see how Shan has turned the zombie genre on its head and allows the zombie race to have a voice (see my earlier review for ‘Warm Bodies’ and BBC 3’s ‘In the Flesh’.). B is horrified by the atrocities she committed as a zombie (much like Kieren the main character in ‘In the Flesh’ who is plagued by nightmares) and is determined to allow her body to be used for medical research to try and 'cure' other zombies. Her nature as a Zom-head allows her to view a zombie nation from the inside, rather than running from it, giving the reader an unusual perspective.

 

It is quite an unusual book in that B spends a lot of her time alone rather than running away from zombies and it is very post-apocalyptic in this sense as B shows us the devastated landscape and recognisable landmarks that have been altered or destroyed. For this reason, I did find the novel much more interesting than its two predecessors.

 

While B is meandering her way through the broken wreckage of London she meets a variety of odd characters who treat her with caution and occasionally assist her with her progress. She has decided to assist the humans and her ultimate goal in this novel is to be picked up by the army. However, as always, things don’t go to plan and B is left confused and horrified by what actually happens when the army do show up on a rescue mission.

 

Those Shan-fans out there who shunned this series might find that this book brings back what they know and love about Shan's work - a haunting sense of beasts and humanity as well as an ending that offers more questions than answers. The illustrations add to the graphic descriptions and the cover design is particularly eerie and colourful without cheapening Mr Dowling’s haunting presence.

 

I am eagerly looking forward to reading Shan's next novel (already waiting patiently on my book shelf) as I think he has picked up his pace with the series and I am really getting into it! I would encourage people to give this a go. It definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste as the books are getting more graphically gory but those who like a good apocalypse (!) or characters that can give you nightmares will enjoy this one.

 

4.5/5 -- Shan is back at his best.
 

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