Zom-B by Darren Shan
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Number of Pages: 192
Publisher: Little Brown books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from BEA
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.
Was I the only one disappointed by this book? I was expecting a book a lot more about zombies, but I got this mix of anti-racism book with some zombies. I mean, the book starts with Zombies. Then, after maybe 10 pages, we go to the main character’s life, which is a country where the zombies have yet to attain. No, the story is set in England, and the zombies start in Ireland. It takes about half the book for us to see zombies in the first plan again. Before that, we only hear about them in the news.
The father, Todd, was simply horrible. He’s a racist violent bully. I felt so strongly against him, I haven’t hated any character that much for a while. There’s something repulsive about his personality. I find it really difficult not to see the impact his words and actions have on B, but I couldn’t stop myself being disgusted by B too at some points. B doesn’t want to be like the father, but B is becoming like him at first. I saw some kind of growth in B at some point, but I felt like it wasn’t enough to make up for the feeling I had that I was reading two half of two different books, put together.
I think that the biggest problem I had expected a zombie novel, and nothing more. Yet, we’re presented a novel that mixes both the racism problem, through B’s father Todd and B’s own actions, and the zombies. I felt a little cheated because of that, because I was really in the mood for some good zombie horror. I think it felt strange to me to mix those two subjects; maybe that’s why I couldn’t easily connect with the story. Maybe if I had been aware of all of that when I first started this novel, it would have been easier. Overall, it was still an interesting (and quite quick) read. I’m really curious to see where Darren Shan will be taken us next, as the story is still to be continued.