REVIEW: Zom-B #1: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Horror/ Young Adult/ Zombies, Pages: 192, Level: Easy

Description from Barnes & Noble:

When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B’s racist father thinks it’s a joke— but even if it isn’t, he figures, it’s ok to lose a few Irish.

B doesn’t fully buy into Dad’s racism, but figures it’s easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. And when dodging his fists doesn’t work, B doesn’t hesitate to take the piss out of kids at school with a few slaps or cruel remarks.

That is, until zombies attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers.

B is a troubled high school student- disrespectful, shoplifts, gets into fights and basically writes off school. But all that is the least of B’s problems. B has a horribly racist and abusive father, who physically abuses both B and his own wife. While B does not share the father’s racist views, it is easier to fake them than deal with the father’s fist. But when does faking stop and become a true characteristic of a person? Reports of zombie attacks elsewhere have been aired on television and most believed them to be a hoax, but when the school is attacked, B and a group of students have to fight their way to safety.

Zom-B is a young adult book, but don’t think that means Shan pulls any punches. You would expect a book about zombies to be violent, bloody and gory, and Shan absolutely delivers. Nothing is sacred, not even babies, so be warned.

The father is truly horrible. Both B and the mother are always on guard for fear of waking the father’s wrath and subsequent fist; there is a scene when the father beats the mother. In addition, the father is a racist. This racism is a major theme of the book and turns out to have some really horrifying consequences.

With all that said, while it is not the best zombie book I have ever read, it is actually a very good book. The zombie attack doesn’t start until about the last quarter of the book, but the buildup is interesting. And prepare yourself for a couple of complete surprises and a really good cliff hanger. In fact, one of the surprises was so good that I went back and scanned parts of the book to make sure I had read and understood it correctly, and then to try and figure out if there had been clues that I had missed. I honestly thought I was confused and read incorrectly.

There are a few details that promise to make this a very different and interesting 12 book series. I absolutely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys the zombie sub-genre.

Reviewed by Christina

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Zom-B #1: Zom-B by Darren Shan

  1. Pingback: REVIEW: Zom-B #3: Angels by Darren Shan | Book Expectations

  2. Pingback: REVIEW: Zom-B #3: City by Darren Shan | Book Expectations

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