Friday, November 16, 2012

Darren Shan

So, I have a hard time reading series. I know, I know--most people love series and want to continue with the characters and all that. And bizarrely enough, I love manga series. But a novel series has to be really good for me to want to continue it. I think that's the reluctant reader in me. I'm just reluctant in a different way than other so-called "reluctant readers". So getting to the point, and yes, I have a point. Darren Shan's teen books (the Demonata series and the new book Zom-B) are exceptions for me. Pause now and re-read our posts on the first book in the Demonata series, Lord Loss.

You're back? Good! Shan's new series has the first book out now: Zom-B. Set in London, B watches on the news as reports of zombie outbreaks in Ireland hit. B laughs it because B's dad does. B's family follows his lead for everything--otherwise, you might get smacked around a bit. Following his lead means pretending to be a racist, but B struggles with the issue of when pretending becomes reality. Keeping focused on the day to day battles within the school and home, zombies are just a thing in the back of B's mind; that is until they invade the school. Then it becomes a fight for survival.

As I stated in my Goodreads review:
The ARC of book starts with a letter to the reader asking to please not give the twists away. I appreciated it. First, it prepared me to be shocked. Second, my anticipation grew as the ending got closer.

The novel starts off with a horrific bang. I'd put it on the level of Lord Loss in terms of gore. The prologue was so hardhitting and good zombie entertainment that I was disappointed that the middle section of the book was steeped in the horror of real life instead of zombies. But now I liked how Shan talked about racism and children being raised in a bigotry filled abusive life. It was uncomfortable in places and god knows you don't LIKE B the protagonist, but still it was well done in the endeavor. I wanted the action to get started though and Boy, when it got started; it really got started.

The only thing I will say about the twists is that they were great and shocking. I didn't see one coming at all. AT ALL. When it happened, I gasped and said "no way!" and promptly looked around since I read this at the car dealership waiting on the service department. When I finished the book, I also spoke aloud about wanting the next book NOW.

I can't wait to give this to my zombie lovin' teen who comes to the library. He'll love it. Kearsten--go pick it up. It's a great Shan horror novel--and it's got ZOMBIES!

Thanks to Victoria at Little Brown for my copy!!

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