Monday, April 15, 2013

REVIEW: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Can you love a bullying racist thug if he's your father? How do you react when confronted with your darkest inner demons? What do you do when zombies attack? B Smith is about to find out...

Now as you might know, I'm a HUGE fan of Darren Shan. Like, he and J.K. Rowling tie in my favourite author ever spot. Yes. He's THAT good. So I was freaking ECSTATIC when I heard about his new 12 book series late last year. I was a bit put off when I heard the topic was zombies (zombies bore me as bad guys :/), but since I was such a big fan I was still really excited. And although I liked Zom-B, I was honestly very disappointed.  It wasn't really bad, but it's by far my least favourite Darren's books.

There were a few things I didn't like. Firstly, the characters. B was an incredibly terrible character. I didn't like B. He was mean, hypocritical, bullying, and racist. He was clearly not a nice person, and he actively bullies other people. I mean, what he did at the end was just awful! And then, he turns around and complains about what a bully his father is. What is that about?! He was a very inconsistent character. I know he was supposed to be flawed, as any good character is, but he was just really unpleasant, and I didn't connect with him at all. This was really a shame because I've loved and connected with the protagonists in all of Darren's other books from the very first page, and the good main characters are always a strong point in Darren's other books (for me anyway) So all in all B was a very unsatisfying main character. 

The supporting characters were also quite weak. B's dad was horrible and I hated him, but he was a well-though out character at least, and was a good bad character, if you what I mean! B's mother was, I thought, a terrible person. She let her own child take beatings instead of her? No way, didn't like her at all. B had too many friends (all with mad nicknames) to keep track of, and they weren't really developed at all, so they can't be commented on.Vinyl was about the only one who had a personality. I liked him though, and I hope he's in future books! 

I actually flew through Zom-B, it was short and easy to read, but not a huge amount  happened, apart from towards the end. I think that's why I read it so fast! I still did enjoy reading it though (despite the characters), and I am keeping in mind that this is just an introduction to the series. I'm looking forward to future books, hopefully they will be more eventful! There was a few things left undealt with in Zom-B, like the hoodie people, and B's killer baby dreams, so I can't wait to see how they pan out!

Another thing I wasn't really mad on were the two twists at the end. Admittedly I didn't see them coming, but I didn't think they were good plot twists. The first, was honestly just totally irrelevant and random. I mean, why not just start off the book with that? I just didn't understand it. It was shocking, but it had no relevance to the plot, and the way people has been talking about the first big twist at the end, I had been really excited. I was just disappointed.
I just found it a bit pointless Not really satisfying for me I'm afraid! The second twist was surprising, but I wasn't in the slightest shocked or horrified, and it wasn't really a cliffhanger ending for me. I'm sure it's one that will be sorted easily enough, although I look forward to seeing how.

There was one thing I noticed that was quite similar to Shan's 'Saga of Darren Shan' (this isn't a complaint, merely an observation!). The strange, super tall, big eyed man was quite like Mr. Desmond Tiny. I was quite intrigued by him, I hope he turns out to be as interesting a character as Mr. Tiny!

I know this review makes it seem like I really didn't like Zom-B, but I did. It just had a few big faults, and it just wasn't as good as Shan's other books, but I still liked it, honestly, I did! ;) Don't expect to be blown away by the characters, and you would probably be better off starting off with perhaps a better Shan book (I recommend Cirque Du Freak or Lord Loss) but do give this a go if you get the chance - I can see the series does have potential, as long as B is sorted out - hopefully sooner rather than later!


Source: Bought
Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 240
Age group: 12+
Official Publication Date: 27th September 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

P.S. I've done up the blog a bit - let me know what you think in the comments or vote on the poll on the left :) Thanks!