Saturday, 10 November 2012

Zom-B, Darren Shan

Hello, people of Earth. I know, I promised you this review last week, but I've been busy with school and stuff (unfortunately not NaNoWriMo), so I've only been able to post it today. Actually, I think I might just give up on NaNo, since I'm like 10,000 words behind. Ugh. School sucks.

I know a lot of you guys are probably apprehensive about reading a book about zombies, but fear not, this one is worth reading. I was weirded out by that too, but because I'm a die-hard Darren Shan fan, I soldiered on and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Well played, shanster, well played. Well, before I keep going, I think you might want to get a better idea of what it's about, so here goes:

Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As Darren says, "It's a big, sprawling, vicious tale...a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!"

Darren Shan is a freaking genius. the Demonata series and the Darren Shan saga were already so awesome, I thought he was all tapped out of talent. I was wrong. It's completely different than the other two, but in a good way.

The story is brutal, and the brutality of it is enhanced by the shortness of it. It's under 200 pages long, and it feels like even less than that. And the twists. THE TWISTS, PEOPLE. After the first one, I completely flipped. I didn't know what the hell was happening, and lots of heavy breathing ensued. this book isn't for the faint hearted, if you're easily scared or grossed-out run far, far away from this book.

The writing is incredible. Basically, this book is about people getting killed and stuff, so you don't want the author to go slow, you want him to create a constantly action-packed scenario, and that's exactly what he does. No over-description, no character development (apart from the protagonist's), which is good, because everyone keeps dying, which eliminates the need for character depth in anyone but the one the story revolves around.

Shan creates a protagonist that is incredibly hard to like. I, for one, actually despise B, and it's quite refreshing to have an anti-hero in YA fiction at last. The thing is, B's dad is a bigot and a racist, which rubs off on her, making her pick on black kids at her school. There reaches a point where B's dad actually says that he doesn't care if the zombies kill the foreigners, which disgusts me, but it's incredibly effective for the author's purposes, which is tackling these issues.

All in all, I thought this story was really good and an incredible start to what will be a 12-book series, and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books. I'm not actually reading anything now, but I will find something as soon as I can and will post a review when I can! By next week, I'll have posted something random (I dunno, a list or something). Yup that's pretty much it. Keep reading, people.

Happy reading,



  1. Great review! I agree with you mostly, but I think B became more likable towards the end. Dunno, just my opinion!

    1. Hmm, well, fair enough, but I still think that Shan's intention is to keep us disliking the character until later on in the series... Thanks for the compliment, by they way! :)

  2. Great review! I felt the same way about B as you. And the twists totally blindsided me.

    If you like antiheroes, you might like I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga too. MC is a serial killer's son, very Dexter. :)

  3. Those twist were insanely unpredictable... My jaw hit the floor at the end.

    Hm... I'll definitely have to check out your recommendation, it sounds pretty cool! Hopefully I'll review it some time soon. Feel free to send me any more suggestions or opinions or whatever on twitter or by email! :)