Worcester News | 20 October 2012 | Olly Jones

CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK

 

From the prologue of Darren Shan's Zom-B - a gruesomely described zombie attack in an Irish village - one senses that the first book in the Irish-based writer's teenage horror series will not be for the faint-hearted. From these bloodthirsty beginnings we move to London, and follow a young, troubled teenager known simply as "B". Despite news reports of flesh-eating goings-on in Ireland, Londoners remain sceptical, no one more so than B's father. But when a bleeding, terrified boy enters B's school gym, it seems reports of the living-dead are no hoax.

 

What engages most in Zom-B is the B-father relationship at the heart of the novel. Mr Smith is a racist, violent bully, and B must grapple with issues of family loyalty and morality, ultimately deciding who the real monsters are. Uncomfortable at times, but always gripping, Zom-B is a slice of superior teenage horror with at least one gasp-inducing twist to keep readers hooked.

 

7/10

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