A review of Darren Shan’s “ZOM-B City”

Warning!  If you have not read previous Zom-B instalments read no further, as will contain an epic spoiler!

Escaping an underground research centre, B finds herself in a desolate city-scape full of monsters and the lost, both human and dead.

She encounters a group of survivalist humans who have turned the apocalypse into a zombie hunting game, a deranged painter working on undead and dead still life, and an alien worshipping cult.  Hearing that the army is staging a rescue, she heads to the landing point, where even further, horrors await.

Mr Dowling, Kinslow, Owl-Man and the mutant hoodie horde reappear, but as yet we don’t learn anything about exactly what they are or their role in the zombie uprising, only that they have control of the un-dead.  It’s this deepening mystery that hooks you in for further instalments, as well as the fast paced, engaging writing.  Long standing horror fans will have fun spotting the genre references (Daren Shan makes some of these explicit in his afterword), which here focus on a ruined, post-apocalyptic city-scape.

There’s a continuing tension as to which side of her nature B will follow, human or monster, as she faces different characters, provocations and situations.  B is compelled, in her hunt for redemption, to be, as a monster, a better human than she used to be. But Shan does not always allow this side to win out.  And the monsters frequently win, slaughtering the innocent, brutally dispatching the rescuer.  It’s this unpredictability that largely accounts for these stories page-turning quality.

There’s a neat bonus short story at the end of this edition as well.



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