Teenager Becky Smith, an undead activist fighting for the overthrow of the undead army that infected her and took over the planet, is back. This time she’s horribly alone, on the run from friend and foe alike. Have to be extremely careful of spoilers, as we are now in the end-game of this 12 book serial, in the penultimate episode. B is horribly mutilated, even for an active zombie. Tortured and twice badly disfigured, she must run from her ex-‘husband,’ the crazed clown Mr Dowling, keeping in existence (staying alive doesn’t seem appropriate) whilst uncovering the vast conspiracy that has wiped out most of the human race. For someone now used to shocking betrayals, there are even worse on the way.
The writing is brisk and the action fast paced. Teenagers will warm to B’s struggle with identity, whilst taking reassurance that appearance and body image are inferior to character, and what’s in the heart. In our media’s ever worsening obsession with imposed desirable body images and ‘norms’ of physicality, Shan’s stories can act as a welcome antidote. As such they join a rich horror tradition where the monsters are smarter and more noble than their human counterparts. A cracking story in its own right, a brutal shock and cliff-hanger set the scene nicely for the final episode.
Search my blog for ‘Darren Shan’ to read reviews of the rest of the series.