Portal To The Pages | 02 December 2012 | Leanne Douglas

Zom-B is the first book of a twelve book series by Irish author Darren Shan. Shan is famous for writing Young Adult Horror novels, most notably The Saga of Darren Shan and The Demonata. The books are set to be released about 3 months apart, with Zom-B Underground hitting shelves in January followed by Zom-B City in March.

 

Straight away we are told of a very gruesome Zombie invasion happening in the small town of Pallaskenry, Ireland. Women are eating the brains of their husbands; kids are running screaming from what used to be their parents. And looking on is a man with owl-like eyes. Ah, classic Shan. But the community, in which we find our main character, B, is convinced it’s a publicity stunt for an upcoming movie.

 

B follows the lead of an unbelievably racist and abusive father, in order to look out for the family. But B’s father has started pushing his opinions onto his child and it’s possible that he’s getting through. The main bulk of the story focuses on B’s inner turmoil. How can you love a person whose views are so wrong and backwards? Why do you want his respect so much and why are you willing to behave like him to get it? Are you simply becoming a monster too? You spend the whole book hoping B will see sense, but before anything else can happen, the zombies roll into town, and an apocalypse is well and truly underway.

 

The most striking thing about this book is that there are no likeable characters. You’re curious and you obviously to want to know more about them, but you’re not really rooting for anyone, not even B. The big zombie show down is gripping to say the least, with the same kind of gore we see at the beginning of the book. I was horrified, but at the same time I couldn’t stop reading. And there’s a twist that I certainly didn’t see coming! Everything moves along so quickly and the story ends on major cliff-hanger.

 

It’s hard to give an opinion on such a short book. But Darren Shan manages to pack a good plotline AND some very graphic and vivid scenes into just under 200 pages. We’re given a good idea of things to come. I found it to be one of those books that leave you wondering what to do with your life until the next one is released. The book also includes illustrations by Warren Pleece, which are a really nice touch and something that Darren Shan hasn’t done in any of his books before.

 

The book itself is quick and easy to read, which I expected, being the first in a series and a book aimed at young adults. I’m definitely looking forward to the next instalment as I’m dying to find out what happens next. As a long-time lover of Darren Shan’s work, I was not disappointed! I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read with lots of action and an intense story.

 

I went to the launch of Zom-B andhad the opportunity to meet the man himself. I kind of let my excitement take over and told him that his books were my childhood… Whoops! He read a few passages from the book and it sent shivers up my spine!

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