Google+ Reading Teen: Quick-Fire Review: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Quick-Fire Review: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 16, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031621440X
ISBN-13: 978-0316214407

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.


At a Glance:
Ever since I realized that zombies were didn't actually exist, they've been among my favorite of mythical creatures. And since there is a serious lack of good books about dragons and unicorns right now, zombie books are currently some of my favorite. So, when I see a book titled Zom-B with some pretty cover art, I am naturally attracted.

Besides the very beginning and the very end of the book, there is a surprisingly small amount of action in this book. However, what action there is, is all very well-written and very violent. Hidden in the pages of this small book is some of the most gruesome, gory, and completely disgusting violence I have ever read. I mean, I can't really expect anything else since the basic plot of this book is centered on a zombie outbreak, but there were still times at which I'd feel a bit queasy, reading very detailed descriptions of the undead feasting upon the brains of the living.  

There is no time in Zom-B in which romance is a factor.

I'm don't think that I've ever read a book where I hated the main character quite as much as I did in Zom-B.
  B is a terrible protagonist, and is certainly no hero. Raised by a father who often abuses B and his mother, B is one messed-up individual. He's a bully to anyone smaller than him; he never stands up to his father despite the fact that he knows all of his old man's teachings are wrong; and on top of all of that, he's a racist. Well, he's racist because his dad has forced own beliefs on his son. But it's still pretty bad. There's a part where B saves a baby boy from getting kidnapped, only to later regret it because the baby was Indian. So, simply put, I really hated B as a character.

Favorite Supporting Character:
I can only think of one character in the book who seemed like a legitimately good person, despite being a very minor role, and that was B's teacher Mr. Burke. He gave B sound advice on understanding his father's racism, which B completely ignored. Otherwise, this book is full of teens who are almost as equally messed up as B is.

Something I loved:
I liked the somewhat unique take on zombies explained in this book. A trait that makes them stand out among zombies in other fiction is their lack of fingernails and toenails. In the place of their nails, long, sharp bones protrude which they use to cut open the living's skulls and scoop out their brains. Violent, but cool.

Something I hated:
There were entirely too many characters in this book. All given stupid nicknames, coupled with the fact that there was very little character development, made it nearly impossible to discern one of B's friends from another.

Would I recommend it?
I would recommend this book anybody who likes a violent zombie story. There is no doubt that it is a well-written book, though I nearly stopped reading it over how much I disliked the characters.



  1. Great review! I actually gave up on this one. I tried listening to the audiobook of it and it was a female reader so I kept thinking of the MC as female since he is just called B. Even with how short of an audiobook it is, I think I gave up about an hour and a half into it. The beginning was awesome, and the nightmares were creepy, but besides that I found myself quite bored with it all.

  2. I love zombie novels and I really enjoyed Zom-B. I hated B too (but I think it would be weird if you didn't have B) but I liked the issues Darren Shan explored with this character. Very excited to read the next book


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