Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Darren Shan
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
“B" watches zombie attacks on TV and online but isn’t sure what to make of them. Friends and family argue that it must be a hoax or even an amazing marketing gimmick for a new film. B hopes they are a huge joke. Meanwhile B must deal with things closer to home. Avoiding parents fighting. Playing the politics of school with friends and enemies. Trying to figure out if it makes sense to act up to impress your parents when you know inside some of what they believe is wrong. Hardest of all are the times B tries to figure out which things are acting, just playing head games with people, and which things are who you really are? And then the zombies show up.
Zom-B is a fast read with some serious twists and turns along the way. This is a book for young adults, preferably from ages sixteen and up. It has lots of violence, and not just zombies eating people’s brains. It also deals with social issues in a strong, in-your-face way. Darren Shan has written a lot of popular books, Cirque-du Freak for example, and he doesn’t hold back when it comes to facing tough issues. Reading Zom-B it is clear that the author has issues in mind that he wants the reader to face. Family, friendship, racism, and respect for others are all tied together in this story. The main character faces a lot of choices and tough situations and is forced to grow, while some of the minor characters only serve to help convey ideas. That is not a fault, it is simply a way to move the story forward given a limited number of pages. Zom-B was written to be part of a series, but the story also works as a stand lone novel.