Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan
|Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Satisfying follow-up to the first book in Shan's new series. It fills out the zombie world only hinted at in book one and sets us up nicely for book three. Typically gory and nihilistic, expect the bodies to continue to pile up.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: January 2013|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster|
|External links: Author's website|
Ok. Before we begin. If you haven't read the first book in this series, DON'T read this review. It contains spoilers. Read my review of the first book, read the first book itself, then come back. If you don't, you'll be sorry...
Jus' fillin' a bit of space in case your eyes, like mine, scroll down a page before you even start reading it...
A bit more...
And a bit more...
Hopefully, that's enough...
I bet you read Zom-B right up until the reveal before you realised B was girl. Didn't you? How could someone so aggressive, so bolshy, so bitter and so racist be, shock horror, a girl. These are not feminine qualities, even in a post-feminist age, are they? I bet you also thought B was going to be a zombie-hunter par excellence. Didn't you? And she actually ended up as one of the undead. Well, wise up. Things aren't always as they seem and this important realisation is shaping up to be the theme of Shan's latest series. It took a while to get there, but - as I predicted - it was worth it in the end. B is a girl. And thanks to an horrendous family background, she is also prone to anger and violence and has racist tendencies. She is also a zombie. So she won't be a lone, heroic survivor. She'll be a central character with flesh-eating tendencies.
Nice. But interesting! Nothing in this series is what first meets the eye. Shan's zombies aren't like other zombies. Well, not all of them. Some regain human consciousness and suffer the awful realisation of what they've become. The zombie apocalypse in this world has not occurred by means of a mutated virus or lab accident. Oh no. These zombies were created. Deliberately. And that is a truly terrifying thought, is it not?
In this second instalment, B revitalises - she's herself despite the hole in her chest where her heart was ripped out, and despite the fangs and claws she has grown. She can't cry any more - no tears, you see - but she wants to. Wouldn't you? She awakes to find herself held captive in a mysterious research lab. And there are other young revitaliseds around, too. I'm not sure how many of them will make it through to the end of the series - this is Darren Shan, after all - but they all have interesting back stories.
There's plenty of gore and it all goes along at a rattling pace and I loved it. It'll be interesting to see what comes next. I'll give you a word of advice: don't trust anything you read. At all. Every assumption you make will be wrong. Because this series is all about not making assumptions. And that ain't easy!
If the idea of getting inside the head of a zombie - rather than following round after people murderising lots of zombies - appeals to you, then you might enjoy The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. No zombies there, but you do see inside the heads of witches, werewolves and all sorts of other supernatural character types.
You can read more book reviews or buy Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan at Amazon.com.
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