June 02, 2015

Review: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Title: Zom-B
Author: Darren Shan
Series: Zom-B #1
Genre: Young adult, horror
Publication: October 15th, 2012

At first no one believes the images on YouTube are real: zombies devastating Ireland, leaving villages in ruins and mutilated corpses in their wake. Teenager "B Smith" is far more concerned with surviving high school and a volatile home life than an invasion of hungry zombies. But as the carnage spreads across the U.K., B must face a horrifying prospect. While a lucky few may outrun the zombies, many will fall... and some will be forced to join the army of the undead.

I wanted to love Zom-B. I mean, zombies. I love zombies, therefore I want to love everything that has to do with zombies. Unfortunately, this one just didn't do it for me.

My issue with this book lies solely in the main character. I could not stand B. I just couldn't find a single redeeming quality or any reason to feel sorry for this character. Not even B's terrible home life was able to muster up an sympathy from me. Racism exists all over the world, I understand that, and if it serves a purpose I can deal with it. But when the main character is a narrow minded bullying racist, and their father is even worse, how am I supposed to enjoy the story? I found myself asking myself if I was even supposed to enjoy it. I'm left to believe that it was meant to be rage inducing and even nauseating.

Maybe down the line, this means something. Maybe the author has a message, something he's trying to convey. I kept waiting for that in Zom-B, but it didn't deliver. Unfortunately, I am disgusted by this character enough to never find out if it means anything in the end.

Basically Zom-b can be summed up as: Racism, domestic violence, and a couple of zombies here and there. If you're looking for an A+ ZOMBIE story, this isn't it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry Zom-B didn't click with you. It's always difficult writing about racism. What I was trying to show (and it becomes more apparent from book 2) was that there is hope for everyone in this world, that everyone has the power to change, that we are defined by the choices we make. B comes from a racist family, and it's natural for children to mimic their parents. But we come to a point in our lives when we have to make our own choices, and sometimes that means taking a stand against the people we love most. B does this near the end of book 1, and the series from that point is about B's growth as a person and quest for redemption. It's a story about an individual's journey from a very dark moral place into the light -- but unfortunately that means we have to start with B in the darkness, which I know is an unpleasant, uncomfortable starting point.


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