I’m going to start by saying I love zombie books, in fact, not just books but also movies and TV series’. Darren Shan is well known for his Cirque Du Freak series and ZOM B seems to be exploding onto the scene with books from the series showing up everywhere. It’s because of this and a little loose change to spend that I was enticed into picking up the book and giving it a go. The subject matter and eye catching cover made it stand out from the crowd and my wanting to delve into a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested world, ZOM B was an obvious selection.
Firstly, let me say this is a great spin on the Zombie story and isn’t just a zombie hack and slash. To begin with the book sets the scene with a small village being overrun and violently attacked by the undead, after this action packed and shocking beginning Shan introduces the main protagonist B. B is a racist, and is not ashamed to hide it. It’s hard to like B for this reason but as the book progresses and develops so does B’s character who you learn comes from a violent home, B’s father is a violent and racist thug. It’s a slow build up, yet it is required in order to build the suspense and also help the reader fully understand the character. Snippets of news stories and discussions regarding conspiracy theories had me gripped, expecting the outbreak to happen from one page to the next. The book also explores some moral and thought provoking themes, B’s internal confrontation regarding B’s own actions and the actions of B’s father are interesting and add more depth to the character.
When the zombie action does commence it’s in such a gore filled, relentlessly violent way that at times it had me reading mouth agape. The violence is graphic and gruesome, more than expected for what I first figured was a YA. There are twists in this book which caught me completely of guard, these twists also had me reconsidering my initial thoughts about the book. It’s a book that doesn’t follow the normal formula for zombie fiction and is quite unique in that sense, it also explores some important and sensitive topics throughout. The twists at the end and the cliff-hanger ending will definitely have me reading the next books in the series to see how B develops and also the story.
If you’re after a hack and slash zombie book, this book probably isn’t for you. I must admit that was the reason I initially bought the book but I was pleasantly surprised and the book grew on me as did the main character. For that reason I would recommend this book to anyone after a zombie story that also makes you think.