Zom-B by Darren Shan Book Review


I’ve not read much Darren Shan. As a 22 year old woman, I’m hardly his target market. I actually bought this for my boyfriend (who is also not in Shan’s target market, but a fan nonetheless) because he’s read other of Shan’s books and I thought he might like this one.

In my naivety, I seem to think that everyone else would like books for their birthday as much as I would. I was wrong and onto the book shelf it went waiting for me to eventually make my way round to it one day.

I’d been in the mood for some zombie action and it was only about 200 pages so it would have satisfied my craving quickly. It took me in total about four or five hours spread over the course of two days.

The blurb reads:

Can you love a bullying, racist thug if he’s your father?

How do you react when confronted with your darkest demons?

What do you do when the zombies attack?

B Smith is about to find out!

When I read that I wasn’t sure I really wanted to know about B’s home life and battling with their abusive and racist father. Why is that at the top of the blurb if the book is called Zom-B? What place does the issue of racism in a book about a zombie apocalypse?

In the author notes for the book on DarrenShan.com, he explains that similarly to The Thin Executioner Shan wanted to write a book in a post 9/11 world. On his travels he found that people are much the same world over, ‘decent, honest folk who care about family and friends, who welcome strangers, and who only want the good things from life‘. Parts of our society and media paint this picture of Us against Them and tars certain religions or races with the same brush.

‘I felt I had to do what I could to get young readers questioning the ways of their elders, to decide for themselves what is right or wrong, to look for the truth behind the cloud of lies. The main message I wanted to impart was — QUESTION EVERYTHING!’

In the beginning, there’s an attack in a small Irish town called Pallaskenry. When people in England hear about it, not many believe the reports even when there’s video evidence played on the news. If there ever was a breakout, there would probably be people who didn’t believe it and those who had already gone underground in their purpose built apocalypse shacks.

Despite reading and watching zombie media, it’s one of my worst fears. Just the thought of being surrounded by zombies with no way out is one that keeps me up at night.

Then I see this…

I know this is a hoax. But this is how it started, with a news report everyone thought was fake and no one took any notice of it. All I’m saying is I’ll be spending some time reinforcing my doors and windows and stocking up on the tinned food. Just in case.

I do always enjoy Darren Shan’s work and this was no exception. He’s not afraid to show you the guts and the gore of horror. I like this book because it was short and it satisfied my need for action, just like how brains satisfy zombie hunger.

Despite zombies being my number one fear, get me in a book shop and I turn into one; wandering through the shelves moaning ‘Boooooooooooooooks.’

Would I read it again? Probably not. Would I read the rest in the series? Yes.

You can tell it’s part of a much larger story. There’s so much set up and so many questions I need answering. Who are the mutants in the hoodies controlling the zombies? Who’s the old skinny man with the pot belly? Good thing there’s 11 more books for me to read!


Featured image – Attack of the Undead! – By Leonard Ho for Bricks of Horrors


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