Matthewrbell | 12 July 2014 | Matthew R Bell

I will happily admit to being an ardent fan of anything written by Darren Shan. Not only is he one of my most favourite authors - his books, along with J.K. Rowling's, being two of the major reasons I'm such an obsessive book devourer - but he also deserves his title as 'The Master of Horror', especially within the YA genre. What I'm trying to say, is that even while I'm biased, Mr Shan always upholds high quality work, and with this thrilling introduction to a new series, I am gagging for more. Plus it fills that hole left by the absence of The Walking Dead, which I miss immensely...... *sniffles*. On another note I'd like to warn you in advance that this review will contain SPOILERS.

 

Welcome to B Smith's life, her father's not only physically abusive, but also a raging racist. But B claims to be nothing like her dear old dad, and is horrified when she finds herself falling into the same disgusting ways her father has raised her under. Throw in a complicated zombie infestation, where there's a surprise twist to their mythology, and I think it's safe - or not so safe - to say they have the foundations for a twisted and terrifying party.


What I love most about Zom-B, is the spotlight it puts on racism in the modern world, and the message it spells out for you. Racism is NEVER, alright. There will never be a situation where racism is rational or justified, never. I'm really glad the book tackles this subject head on, it's uncomfortable sometimes, but worth it for its intended outcome. Especially when racism is making a comeback, especially here in the UK. It asks a stunning question too. We know you aren't born racist, so are people being raised that way? With limited minded people conditioning them with hate, whether the 'student' believes in it or not?


God I hope not...


But, even though this novel is aimed at the younger generation, I implore you to pick it up and give it a try. It's a chilling and thought provoking read.


There are far too many characters though, and only some are actually described for us. B herself isn't much likeable, coming across as a bully. However, I am hooked to her development. Funny thing too, sorry for being segued, is that for the majority of the book we're led to believe B is a boy, when she is in fact a girl. It was a little twist, but I truly never saw it coming.


I finished the novel in around five hours, because it's a truly engaging, fast-paced story, but there was one thing that left me a little cross, and this is where the main SPOILER part comes in, and it has to do with B's murder of a black kid on the say so of her father. It really pi**ed me off, and felt really shocking. We spend the majority of the book with B fighting her father's nurturing, and when she gets to this crossroad, I didn't much like the road taken. I see why it was done, but it kept me from giving the full 5 stars.

4.5/5 stars

Definitely worth the read, an absolute pleasure, one I highly recommend.

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