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Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As Darren says, "It's a big, sprawling, vicious tale...a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!"

217 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Darren Shan

271 books7,472 followers
Librarian's note: Also writes books for adults under the name Darren Dash. And in the past he has released books for adults under the names D.B. Shan and Darren O'Shaughnessy.

Darren Shan (born July 2, 1972 in London, England) is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak Series in the United States. He is the author of the series The Demonata, The Saga of Larten Crepsley, and Zom-B. He has also released the stand-alone novel, The Thin Executioner, and the stand-alone short novels, Koyasan, and Hagurosan. Plus, for adults, he released The City Trilogy (originally under the name of D.B. Shan), and Lady of the Shades..

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,248 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 10, 2020
The zombie apocalypse.

Mutants rampart in the streets.

Tempers are high and morality is low.

Thus begs the question...who's ready for a quasi-racist no-good punk hero ?

We follow B. Smith, the quasi-racist, along with a band of merry friends as they deal the initial fallout.

And what a fallout that is.

There's the societal collapse of the entire world and the meltdown of B's personal life. B's Dad is a racist, wife-beating monster and Mom's a compliant head-in-the-sand victim.

B is caught in the middle, refusing to be like her mother. However, in order to survive in her household, B has to try to blend in with her father. B consciously knows that racism is terrible, yet those thoughts that still creep in - in part because of how often B "faked" such behaviors to please the father.

Like the Cirque du Freak, Darren Shan has no qualms about showing blood, gore and many, many deaths in his teen fiction.

I liked how Shan doesn't shy away from the more awful aspects of B's character - including terrible moments (i.e. gorilla grunting at a black student). But to counter, Shan includes B's private thoughts - her doubt and gut-wrenching guilt.

The interplay between B's conscious and subconscious provides an intriguing moral dilemma during the Zombie Apocalypse. I really enjoyed this one - including the ending - and cannot wait for the next!!

Audiobook Comments
Read by Emma Gavin - and she did a really nice job with the reading.

Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews168k followers
October 18, 2014
For the most part I really enjoyed this book, but I think one of the main turn-offs for me was B's father. He's racist, abusive, manipulative, and an all around terrible human being. I felt like it took awhile to lead up to the massive break out zombie scenes and I wish we would have had more zombies in this book, because I was expecting more. It felt like we only got 20 pages of zombies and I WANT MORE ZOMBIES. xD I'm still looking forward to continuing on with this series, but I wasn't super impressed by this first book.
Profile Image for Jessi (Novel Heartbeat).
996 reviews611 followers
March 4, 2019
LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR. (Because I have had far too many derogatory comments on this review from too many people) This review is MY opinion and mine alone. Just because you looove this book and looove Darren Shan does not give you any right to come to my space and tell me that I am ignorant, or stupid, or wrong, or that I "just didn't understand the book." I despised this book, therefore I ranted about it. That is called MY HONEST OPINION. You're entitled to yours, are you not? Well so am I. And that doesn't make either of us wrong.

I find it positively disgusting that I have to consider taking this review down because people can't keep their rude ass comments to themselves. I almost did. But you know what? I shouldn't be ashamed for my opinion. But I am fucking SICK of getting snide comments on this review. People are demeaning me for rating this when I didn't read ALL of it - yet, I read 90% of it, including skimming and speed reading. The 10% I missed was the 10% that had the "big twist" in it. The other 90% was so awful and rage-inducing that I would have still ended up writing the same exact thing.

I like characters with flaws and maybe even a hint of darkness. I love antiheroes. But there is a HUGE difference between being flawed and being a complete fucking asshole. I find racism highly offensive, and I have no desire to read about it. Yes, I know it happens. I was engaged to a biracial man. But guess what? I can count the negative interactions we had in our two years of dating on one hand, because I surround myself with people who are just as open-minded as I am. I know racism is a problem. I had a few racist friends as a teenager. But see the key word there? HAD. There's a reason they're no longer my friends. I do not tolerate bullying and racism in real life, nor do I tolerate it in fiction. If something offends me, I have EVERY right to scream that opinion from the mountaintops and to cut that something out of my life. I do not want negativity in my life, real or otherwise. So if you cannot state your opinion in a polite manner, without slinging insults at me for having my own opinion, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. From here on out, I will be deleting any and all rude comments. That is all.


Let me just say: This synopsis is NOT the one I read. If I had read this one, I probably wouldn't have even bothered with this book. Despite it's short length, I didn't actually read all of it (like 90%). I made a valiant effort. Really, I did. But the lead character, B, was such a douchenozzle that I simply couldn't go on. I usually don't rate things I don't read all of, but I think I read enough that I can, in all fairness, rate this one star. It pissed me off THAT much.

There was absolutely NO redeeming quality in B. He didn't even have a sense of right and wrong, and his moral compass was nonexistent. Mainly because of his father, but still. He was cruel to anyone and everyone, and his attitude rubbed me the wrong way. He tried to buy beer (underage) from a gas station, then mouthed off and made fun of the Arabic guy manning the register when he denied the sale.
One of the teachers made a derogatory comment about B's dad (which was actually founded in truth), so B went and slashed the guy's tires and through a brick through his window. Um?

B pretended not to be racist, but he really was. He acted like he wasn't so he wouldn't be like his dad (who was an even bigger asshole than B).
B didn't like Tyler - not because he was black (so he claimed), but because B stole money from him and he told his dad - 'not keeping his mouth shut and putting up with the theft as any good victim should.' What. The. Eff. And he took a candy bar right out of a girl's hand, and thought she was wrong for getting upset about it. So not only was B a complete jackass, he was a bully, too. FABULOUS.

There was this scene where he was cruel and racist on purpose to piss of a black girl that stood up for Tyler, causing her to lose her temper and attack him. So what does B do? He punches her in the face. Wow, does that make you feel like a man? Hitting a female? Real f*cking classy, dude. Then he says, 'I feel smug, because I know Dad would be proud if he could see me now, bringing an interfering black girl down a peg or two.'

That scene was the last straw for me, I couldn't stand any more. I skimmed to page 100, hoping that there would be some sort change in him, and landed right in yet another scene where B was picking a fight with Tyler. Nope, still an asshole. So I skimmed through the last 50 pages.

Sadly, I didn't find anything better. Quite the contrary - it got worse. Whaaa? That's even possible? Yep.
I spot a couple of teachers inside, chewing on the remains of their colleagues.
"They won't be failing you again," Dad says and we both laugh.

What the hell, man. Cuz it's totally hilarious WHEN PEOPLE ARE F*CKING DYING. D-Y-I-N-G. Argh!! I wanted to throw the book at a wall.
Then - THEN - the zombies are overtaking their group, so B's dad tells him to 'Throw the bloody chimney sweep' to the zombies to save themselves. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A F*CKING PERSON HERE. And B actually did it! Seriously?! Then he blames it on his dad. Nevermind that it was HIS actions. 'He turned me into a killer. He made me throw [said person] to the zombies.' He didn't make him do anything! All he did was tell B to do it, and B did it. B's dad could have told him to jump off a cliff and he'd have done it with a smile on his face.

The realization that he was wrong did come, but only in the last several pages when it was too late. The ending was alright, I guess. He finally got what he deserved.

I felt as if this story was pointless. There was barely any zombies in the first half of the book. It was mostly high school crap, and B hanging out with his friends. There were way too many characters; they were all a giant blur of ridiculous nicknames and didn't have their own personalities, so there was no chance for attachment to any of them. I couldn't bring myself to give two shits about this story (probably mostly because I despised the main character).
This was my first Darren Shan story. Would I read anything else by him? Highly doubtful.

Favorite quote:
"Trust no one. Always question what you're told. Don't believe the lies that people feed you, even if they're your teachers or parents. At the end of the day you have to work out for yourself what's right or wrong."
This is probably the only meaningful sentence in the entire book...and no it didn't come from B (in case you were wondering). He wasn't that deep.

Plot: 1/5
Writing style: 2/5
Originality: 1/5
Characters: 0/5
Pace: 2/5
Cover: 3/5
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 24, 2019
Zom-B (Zom-B #1), Darren Shan
Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As Darren says, "It's a big, sprawling, vicious tale...a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!"

عنوانها: زام‌بی؛ سرآغاز؛ نویسنده: دارن شان ؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و چهارم ماه مارس سال 2019 میلادی
عنوان: زام‌بی؛ نویسنده: دارن شان ؛ مترجم: کژوان آبهشت؛ ویرستار: آهو مدیحی؛ تهران: ویدا‏‫، 1397؛ در 210 ص، مصور؛ فروست: مجموعه زامبی جلد یک: دبیر مجموعه: نیما کهندانی؛ شابک: 9786002912640؛ 9786002912596؛ موضوع: داستانها نوجوانان از نویسندگان ایرلندی - سده 21 م
عنوان: سرآغاز؛ نویسنده: دارن شان؛ مترجم: رضا کیا محمدی؛ ویراستار: حاجیه اسحق‌بیگی‌حسینی؛ تهران: نشر موج‏‫، ‏‫1397؛ در 258 ص؛ شابک: 9789645834959؛
زامبی جلد نخست اثر دارن شان، داستان حمله زامبیها به انسانها ست. زامبی (آدم خوارها) انسان هستند اما از گوشت انسانها نیز تغذیه میکنند. راوی این رمان ترسناک یکی از بازمانده های حمله ی زامبیهاست. در جلد نخست داستان پدری نژادپرست تاثیری منفی روی پسر خویش میگذارد. در بخشی دیگر زامبیها به دهکده ای در ایرلند حمله میکنند و ...؛ نقل از متن داستان: «یه پسر در حالیکه میلنگه، وارد سالن میشه. داره ازش خون میاد، ترسیده. ناله میکنه. میوفته و میبینم که یه قسمت از پشت گردنش کنده شده، نه، گاز گرفته شده! از زخم خون میزنه بیرون. حین اینکه با دهن باز خیره شدیم، بچه های بیشتری وارد سالن میشن. همه دارن جیغ میکشن. از بعضیاشون خون میاد. همشون بهت زدن. میخوام شوخی باشه. میخوام کار یه کله خری باشه که میخواد اذیتمون کنه. اگه قصدشون این بود خیلی خوشحال میشدم. ولی خون، وحشت، مردگان، جیغ ها�� همشون واقعین. و زامبی ها... امروز شاهد اتفاقات وحشتناکی بودم، ولی هیچ کدومشون با این قابل مقایسه نیست. مرگ تایلر از همه ی کسانیکه تیکه تیکه شدن، بدتر نبود. موقعیکه بوی تایلر بقیه ی زامبیا رو جذب میکنه �� اونا هم نزدیکتر میشن، بابا درو باز میکنه و از خوشحالی نعره میکشه.» پایا نقل. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Maureen.
507 reviews4,200 followers
July 3, 2015
This book had a lot of potential to be REALLY AMAZING but it wasn't that amazing. The book mostly focused on B's life and hearing about the zombie attacks elsewhere, as well as her home life and relationship with her dad. Her dad is a terrible person, and you can have a terrible person be a good character, but this was not the case. He was SUPER racist and abusive, and his racism fed into B's life in many ways.
There was also less zombies than I was expecting and I was disappointed by that. They didn't really come into play until the last third of the book, and I think if the book had focused more on that [like the name implied] it would've been a lot better. I also felt like the book could've been longer to add more of that.
The one thing I did really enjoy was the illustrations. It added a lot to the book and this book probably would've been a 1/1.5 without the ending it had [which was SO GOOD] and the illustrations.
Will I read the second book? Maybe. If I'm bored enough. But I don't have a strong desire to at the moment.
Update: B is a girl. Which I was unsure of even though her dad said daughter at the end. BUT NOW I KNOW THANKS TO A COMMENT and changes have been made.
Profile Image for Braiden.
359 reviews205 followers
September 21, 2012
After seeing the cover and liking it, I was quite enthused to read it – to read a book about zombies, Darren Shan-style, from “the master of horror.” I haven’t read any of Darren Shan’s previous works; this was my first. But I do know many, including Amber, devour and love anything he writes so I was expecting something spectacular and horrific from Zom-B. I haven’t read many zombie-centric books lately, so Zom-B was the first for a while (Andrew Fukuda’s The Hunt could count though but that’s different). I had expectations for Zom-B because of others’ reactions like Amber’s; I expected a bit too much, I guess. After 200 pages – I’ll admit Zom-B is a fast read with few illustrations to add to the graphicness of it – I left with nothing, besides memories of zombies shoving brains down their throats and of a boy who became just like the father he loathes . The zombies shoving brains down their throats was the only good thing.

I was pulled into Zom-B by the… uh… prologue you could say – the “Then…” – as we were introduced to a character that seems to be important later on down the track and we see zombies and a young boy, Brian, struggling with what he is seeing. Then we get to B's story. For the first chapter I liked B – we learn about his parents and see zombies on the news and witness a debate between his parents whether what they’re seeing is real or CGI or something else. I liked B for the fact that towards the end of that chapter he prepares to protect his mother from his father, showing a strong trait in our protagonist. And then the book continued and his character went downhill for me – I liked him less and less, consequently putting distance between myself and the book. I felt nothing worthwhile came from it because of that.

A few incidents occur in the book which made me label B as a bully, and with this bullying came racist comments and slurs and loads of bigotry. Although racism is realistic in our world and occurs in those ages too, I thought it was not needed and Darren Shan could have written those scenes differently. (I have nothing against it; I just thought it was stupid.) I suppose, however, that it showed us what influence poor role models and parents can play on children’s behaviours and attitudes – B got it all from his father. But then again you go back to the beginning where B has a disliking for his dad. And then at the end B listens to his dad and does such a terrible act – oh no! – and becomes his dad, and then spends some time brooding what he has done. I found B’s character inconsistent and there was a decline in the character's likability and maturity. Others would call it a flaw; to me, it’s a flaw that’s too major to seem minor. However, there is a moment past halfway that the aforementioned trait came out again; would’ve liked that to come forward at the end, too.

Darren Shan’s writing voice and “plot” may have deepened the ravine and furthered the distance between myself and the book. If anything, Zom-B is for the lower ages of Young Adult, more to the point where it’s called high Middle Grade. It felt juvenile for what I was expecting from a YA zombie book, especially when the cover has “the master of horror” on the front. I found the story in this book was nothing spectacular, but it is the first of a twelve-book series so Zom-B was an introduction if anything. Nothing surprised me and I won’t be returning for the next eleven books. I may just retreat to Charlie Higson’s The Enemy books or Jonathan Maberry’s Benny Imura series – now they’re fantastic (even if I have yet to read them, hence why I say “retreat”) YA zombie books, with much more to them than just zombies or flesh-eating beings. …Going back to Zom-B and disregarding the “Then…” beginning, the zombies don’t really appear until over halfway through the book.

I guess it all comes down to expectations. I will still keep Zom-B on my shelf even if the only reason to is for the awesome cover.
Profile Image for Kimberley doruyter.
813 reviews92 followers
January 4, 2020
this book is bone chilling horror.
apart for the downright scary moments it makes you think about what anyone would do when the world goes to shit.
Profile Image for Amber (Books of Amber).
580 reviews682 followers
September 15, 2012
Full disclosure: I'm a HUGE Darren Shan fan (and a poet, apparently). I've been a fan ever since the final book in The Saga of Darren Shan book was published and I read them all in one go. That's twelve books, people. So my review may be SLIGHTLY biased, because I love all his books.

Also, I'm not going to write an 'in-depth' review, because it'll be hard not to spoil the mind blowing twist that happens towards the end. And Darren included a note and asked people not to mention that the main character is actually in a coma and he's dreaming the whole thing. Wait... what?

Haha, just kidding, but my previous statement still stands. I'm not going into too much detail with this review.

I think before reading this book, you should be aware that there's a lot of racism and parental abuse. B's father is extremely racist, and he's raised B to be just like him. B is slightly conflicted, but for the most part B's racist as well. It's all very uncomfortable, and I think some people will be put off by it, and understandably so. Nevertheless, it is a character flaw and it's important, so don't worry about it being there just for the sake of it.

It's VERY hard to like B. However, I do hope that as the series progresses we'll see B grow as a person.

There are two twists in this novel, the one towards the end being the most shocking. The twist/outcome of the novel at the very end wasn't expected either, and it really makes you wonder what's going to happen next because there are eleven more books to go and... yeah. But the first twist - the extremely shocking one - makes you rethink everything you've just read. I sat there blinking at the page for at least ten minutes, trying to figure out what had just been said.

Overall, this is a fantastic book. It's action packed and awesome, although there aren't as many zombies as I would have hoped. But the ending was AMAZING.

Note: Please be VERY careful when reading reviews for this book on Goodreads, as I've noticed that some people have spoiled one of the twists. Probably without meaning to, but still.

This pretty much sums up how I feel after reading this book:


I'll write a proper review once I've pulled myself together, because aFROLAUJTIWYHUTOW£UILH%N"£<%HTWSIOFXHVN
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
February 20, 2019
Super quick audio guys. I think it was three hours long?

Now I’ve seen so many people read this book/series and yet I never even tried to dive into it. So when I saw that audible was having an awesome sale on audios, I caved and got it. Mostly because it was a short audio but I also secretly wanted to know what people liked about it.

Zom-B was an interesting zombified book since it was so short I was kind of confused on how the zombies first showed up in this school. Maybe I skipped over it because of all the running, screaming and dying happening. I was also a bit shocked with the kkk reference and how racist the mc’s dad was. However, the most shocking part was how she knew that her dad was racist and instead of getting in trouble or abused by him - she just lets it go. Heck, the whole thing with Tyler was so freaking sad. At least I think his name is Tyler? Can’t double check right now since I’m typing up this thing from my phone. So Tyler it is.

The ending was pretty good. I love the whole revenge because honestly she deserved to have her heart ripped out and eaten. She was a bitch and selfish. So there’s that and now I’m kind of hooked and want to see how the rest of the series goes. I hope her dad dies.
Profile Image for Karleigh.
278 reviews12 followers
March 20, 2015
What the crap.. I'm so lost, made it about 60-70% through the book, there was like one chapter on zombies and that was it. All I got from this is racism.. and abuse.
Profile Image for Adeeb.
671 reviews33 followers
October 31, 2012
I will not review this. It is impossible not to give anything away.

This book is amazing, nail-biting, UNBELIEVABLE!

Read it ASAP


I'm reading other people's thoughts about this book and I'm looking at negative reviews. I'm just shocked at the 1 stars! Not because I loved this book, but because of the reason they rated it so low!

Everyone hates this book because B is racist! WHAT? That's the point, Darren Shan creates a story where you're supposed to HATE the "protagonist". Someone please explain the hate to me!
Profile Image for Eric Townsend.
188 reviews18 followers
January 19, 2013
This is not the zombie book you are looking for. A bad Star Wars pun aside, Zom-B is just not a book I would recommend reading, even for the zombie lovers among us. The book deals with racism but not in a way that is informative or that teaches us any lessons. It’s just one slam after another on a variety of different races and with seemingly no purpose in doing so except for setting up an ending that was painfully obvious from the get go. It isn’t tackling issues, it’s putting them up on display. The parallels of coming together as one group, as humans, to take on a force that is trying to kill us didn’t even come through which may have redeemed Zom-B.

The main character, B, is to be honest an ass. She takes the racism of her father and uses it occasionally but always backpeddling saying she was just doing it as an act, a way to impress him or that deep down she really didn’t feel that way. If you say or do some of the things she does in the book then I’m sorry but you are just as guilty and a coward for being unable to admit it. Ugh. She’s whiny, and while she has to deal with a lot of crap in her life to be sure it doesn’t make the character any more endearing. I’m not saying you have to like all MCs to consider a book good, but this one just didn’t have redeeming qualities.

The plot was obvious and simplistic. There wasn’t really any build up either, just one minute “oh there are zombies elsewhere, probably a hoax” and the next zombies all over the freaking place. It didn’t feel like a smooth transition and regardless of whatever they reveal in the next book I can’t imagine it justifying how this one was carried out. The pacing was erratic and at times frantic as well without giving depth to much of anything.

The writing was fine I guess in and of itself, but nothing was saving this book for me. I really was disappointed as I love me a good zombie book (The Infects by Sean Beaudoin was one of my top 5 books in 2012) and sadly this fell short to say the least. It’s a pass for me.

Rating 1/5
Profile Image for Alexxy.
379 reviews60 followers
May 22, 2021
"Trust no one. Always question what you're told. Don't believe the lies that people feed you, even if they're your teachers or parents. At the end of the day you have to work out for yourself what's right or wrong."

"B" is a jerk. A racist jerk. Although she constantly tries to tell you otherwise.

Zom-B is not simply a horror book that deals with zombies and cannibalism. I applaud Darren Shan for trying to also include topics such as 'abuse' and 'racism' in his books that are clearly meant for children. What I particularly didn't like about this book is how the problems were handled.

So, B lives with an abusive father. Okay. Although having an abusive parent does not mean that you should be a bully to others, I'll say that I kind of get this one. Her father is also racist. Super racist. He hates blacks, Indians, Muslims, and also any sort of immigrant. Simply, in his opinion, you should go and die if you're not white. B tries to convince you that she's not like her father from the very first chapter. She does everything that she does to satisfy her father. She's not really what she shows to be. In her opinion she's just 'neutral'.

She constantly mocks and bullies, not only just people of color but everyone! Then she gives tons of ridiculous reasons to prove that it was not because of her racism or anything else. For example, she hates Tyler, who is black, because she stole something from him and he told his dad about it. Never mind what kind of ruckus B's that started when he heard about it. Sometimes, she doesn't even try to define her actions. She just does the wrongest thing possible and thinks that she was right. Like when she went into a store to by beer, and when the owner, who is an Arab, didn't sell it to her because she was underage, she started throwing insults and making fun of the poor guy. She also stole something -a candy? I don't remember- while she was int he shop.

Also, she throws a black kid to the zombies to save herself. Her reason? My father forced me to throw him at Zombies. He's racist and abusing. I had no choice. I couldn't say no.

Well, I couldn't stop my middle finger from rising either.

And again, I wouldn't have minded so much if the problems got solved. If B understood that she's being an asshole and righted her wrongs. But the whole book is just a big mental debate on the situation without anything happening.

I'm guessing B's change of morals happens in the next book, so I will continue the series to see what happens. I hope I'm not disappointed.

Also, another big applause for Daren Shan for the biggest surprise of my life -kind of. I, like anybody else I suppose, thought that B was a boy until 90% into the story. That's how tricky he is, this Mr. Shan.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amin.
Author 12 books144 followers
June 19, 2020
مشکل نقش بازی کردن این است که آدم سخت می‌فهمد کی نقشش تمام شده و دیگر باید به خود واقعی‌اش برگردد.

هرکس من رو بشناسه می‌دونه که چقدر دارن شان و کارهاش رو دوست دارم. ولی از اونجایی که به داستان‌های با تم زامبی علاقه‌ای ندارم، توی تموم این سال‌ها با این وجود که هم ترجمه‌ی فارسی و هم نسخه‌ی انگلیسی مجموعه در دسترس بود، سراغش نرفتم. اما خب هر چیزی پایانی داره و نخودن این مجموعه هم بالاخره تموم شد.چند نکته در مورد کتاب وجود داره که سعی می‌کنم یک به یک مرورشون کنم.

اول: موضوع داستان. خب از اسم مجموعه مشخصه که تم اصلی داستان‌ها چیه، اما دارن توی این کتاب روی مسئله‌ی نژادپرستی تمرکز ویژه‌ای کرده. در اکثر صفحات این کتاب بحث راجع به نژادپرستی به چشم می‌خوره. «بی» پدر نژادپرست به‌شدت مزخرفی داره که روحیاتش روی دخترش هم تأثیر خیلی زیادی داشته. راستش شاید برای جامعه‌ی ما که به اندازه‌ی جوامع دیگه مهاجرپذیر نیست، درک رفتار شخصیت‌ها و فضای داستان کمی سخت باشه، اما معتقدم جوّی که دارن توی این کتاب به تصویر کشیده خیلی واقعیه. راستش به نظرم واقعی‌ترین داستانِ تخیلی دارنه. خب گرچه شاید این سیاهی آزاردهنده باشه، اما من تحسینش می‌کنم. به نظرم میخواد حرف‌های مهم و خوبی رو توی داستان بزنه که امیدوارم در ادامه‌ی مجموعه پخته‌تر هم بشه.

دوم: شخصیت‌پردازی‌های داستان. کتاب پر از شخصیت‌های دوست‌نداشتنیه. شاید «بی» دوست‌نداشتنی‌ترین شخصیت اصلی داستان‌هایی باشه که از دارن شان خوندم. «بی» به‌شدت تحت تأثیر پدرش، دوست‌هاش و رفتارهاشونه و بدجوری روی اعصابه. اصلا نمی‌شه «بی» رو دوست داشت و این باعث می‌شه یه مقدار همذات‌پنداری با شخصیت اصلی کمتر بشه. این موضوع شاید در ادامه‌ی مجموعه و با توجه به تصمیمی که «بی» در اواخر داستان گرفت (که روی اون هم بحث دارم و به نظرم خیلی ناگهانی بود و خوب از آب در نیومده بود)، بهتر بشه. به احتمال زیاد شاهد سیر تحول شخصیت در ادامه‌ی داستان باشیم (هرچند باید جلد بعد رو بخونم و ببینم با اون شکلی که این کتاب تموم شد، چطور می‌خواد داستان رو ادامه بده!). بقیه‌ی شخصیت‌ها هم دست کمی از «بی» ندارن. دوست‌های بی، پدرش و حتی مدیر مدرسه‌شون هم آدم‌های جالبی نیستن. این موضوع نه اینکه قابل درک نباشه و یا مثلا سیاه‌نمایی باشه، اما کمی توی ذوق می‌زنه. به‌خصوص که به نظرم توی روایت‌های اول شخص باید خواننده تا حدودی با شخصیت اصلی داستان احساس نزدیکی کنه.

سوم: شروع و پایان داستان. یکی از ویژگی‌های دارن شان شروع و پایان کوبنده‌ی کتاب‌هاشه. یادتون میاد شروع مجموعه دموناتا چقدر هولناک بود؟ یا فصل اول حماسه‌ی دارن شان که چقدر جذاب بود؟ یا حتی فصل اول حماسه‌ی لارتن کرپسلی چقدر خشن و خونسردانه بود؟ پایان‌ها هم همین‌طور. مثل پایان جلد نهم حماسه‌ی دارن شان. دارن توی این کتاب هم سعی کرده بود شروع کوبنده‌ای داشته باشه، اما به نظرم اون‌قدرها موفق نبود، اما پایان کتاب الحق که تکون‌دهنده بود. به نظرم دارن شان کلیف هنگر نویس قهاریه.

چهارم: روند داستان. راستش ریتم داستان به نظرم کنده و جاهایی حوصله سربر می‌شه. برای توصیف شخصیت‌ها وقت زیادی صرف می‌شه که اگه کشته شدند در خواننده احساسی ایجاد کنه، اما خب چون هنوز شخصیت‌ها عمق پیدا نکردن (شاید هم به خاطر اخلاق‌های دوست‌نداشتنی‌شون) مرگ��ها اون‌قدرها هم تأثیرگذار نیست.

جمع‌بندی نهایی: کتاب به جذابیتی که از دارن شان انتظار داشتم نبود. یک علتش دوست‌نداشتنی بودن شخصیت اصلی داستان بود و علت دیگه‌اش اینکه واقعا از زامبی‌ها بدم میاد. اما همون پایان کتاب کفایت می‌کنه که با اشتیاق جلد بعدی رو هم بخونم. امیدوارم در ادامه بهتر و بهتر بشه. به هر حال مجموعه طولانیه و نمی‌شه با خوندن یک جلد با این حجم کم، نظر کلی داد.

پ.ن: همزمانی خوندن این کتاب با جنبش‌های ضد نژادپرستی که سراسر دنیا راه افتاده و البته همه‌گیری کرونا، جالب بود. واکنش شخصیت‌های داستان در ابتدای خبر پخش شدن زامبی‌ها هم خیلی شبیه واکنش مردم در ابتدای ظهور کرونا بود؛ انکار و بافتن تئوری‌های توطئه.

به هیچ‌کس اعتماد نکنین. همیشه به هر چیزی که می‌شنوین، شک کنین. دروغ‌هایی رو که مردم به خوردتون می‌دن، باور نکنین. حتی اگه اون مردم معلم یا والدین‌تون باشن. همیشه آخر ماجرا خودتون باشین که تصمیم می‌گیرین چی درسته و چی غلط.

Profile Image for Leo Robertson.
Author 38 books435 followers
April 4, 2020
Found this on sale at Outland! (That was like January 2019 lol I still haven't read the full haul of stuff I bought then and have I slowed down buying new books? NOOOOOOOOOO) ZOMG found so many cool things on sale there—great chance to try out new authors. Plus who can resist that cover?

I know lots of people are bored by the notion of new zombie fiction—I've seen a lot of zombie films but haven't actually read a lot of zombie fiction. I read Keene's The Rising and quite enjoyed it. I... think that's it :)

So I guess I've read as much as a young adult has, making me a reasonably good audience for this, haha. It was 3* for me up until the end, then there were like three twists and it kinda made me wanna read the whole series, which I thought was only three but there are LOADS of them!

A bit heavy-handed and simplistic in the politics and not terribly descriptive, as YA fiction tends not to be. "We ran away from the zombie horde." Lol, how much imaginative legwork am I supposed to do here? Didn't I pay YOU for this?! Hahaha. Deals with a post-9/11 and 7/7 world of heightened racism—maybe even more relevant now, with the added context that, simplistic narratives about that racism may well have fuelled tensions. However, the intention is great, as is the execution, and it goes darker than I had expected. If I were a young kid discovering this series, it might have been my favourite series ever. For me it will be a not-so-guilty pleasure I think :D
Profile Image for Paul.
563 reviews151 followers
July 12, 2017
Chosen for an easier read after a few longer books. Fit the bill and an interesting enough book for all that.
Definitely at the level of its age target but still manages to balance a bit of action and nastiness with a bit of a moral message and character set up.
Profile Image for Odette Brethouwer.
1,396 reviews234 followers
June 13, 2020

It is another brilliant book. Very relevant in this time again. It is exactly why I love Darren.. it is written genius, the story swept me right into it from the start.

And I don't like horror stories, usually. Unless Darren wrote it, then I love it. Same with this, again!

The twist at the end was spoiled for me, but it made it also fun to read towards it, to be looking for hints or things you could have missed when you are not paying attention to it. But no. it is done brilliantly.

This book is about so much important stuff (racism, family situations, assumptions people make) without the book really being about it. It is a action packed rollercoaster to read. I enjoyed every page of it and I really cannot wait to read the rest of the series BECAUSE THAT ENDING OMG WHAT. Thank God I bought the whole series at once, I will be binging this!

I also really enjoyed the illustrations. They really added some value and some edge to the story.
Profile Image for Sam Pysklywec.
2 reviews22 followers
October 22, 2019
The book Zom-B written by Darren Shan is one of the worst novels I have ever read. It starts with a captivating first 5 pages. However, after that, it all went downhill. The story followed a character named B, but it is never said if they are a boy or a girl or anything else. B’s father is racist and abusive. The book, however, doesn’t teach us a lesson about these serious issues, if anything it almost seemed to encourage it. As a reader we never got a good description of any of the characters, making it hard to get a good image in our head. The author failed to do the one job he had, which was to get the reader to feel like they are in the book.
There was great potential for this to be a great story, however, the author failed to deliver. It was very boring to read. The author was not creative when writing about zombies, or describing anything. Word choices were poor, there was a lot of basic, boring words, where there was the opportunity to express parts with good descriptive words, but he came up short. It was hard to distinguish whether it was a horror book, comedy book, or just a biography of B’s life. Furthermore, it was very predictable and was not original. To further support my opinion, the author would say something confusing and then never explain what had happened.
For it being a book about zombies it was very unrealistic, and hard to imagine being one of those characters. This book is confusing, dull, unrealistic and poorly written. I would not recommend this book unless you are looking for a book to put you to sleep. If I could rate it half a star, I would. DO NOT READ!
Profile Image for Liz.
250 reviews1,975 followers
July 2, 2013
Can we talk about how misleading the prologue is? Man, I thought this book was going to be chock FULL of zombie beheadings. Double tap! But no, it was more about this teenage boy, B, and his own metaphorical zombie life. Okay, later on in the book, there are REAL zombies, and throughout the book, there are more and more news stories about the zombie plague making its way around the world.

B is a bully raised by a bully. I don’t think that it is right that he bullies others, nor do I wish to justify it. He’s got this insane, racist dad who puts these ideas in his head, ideas he doesn’t agree with, and at the worst possible times, B spits them out on others. He knows they’re wrong. He doesn’t know how truly wrong they are until he finds out that there are more and more people like his dad, who are looking for a new wave of Crazy People Ruling the Earth and Killing All the Others. You know, the people who should’ve been thrown into evil baby orphanages.

Zom-B TL;DR – This book is very very different from the prologue. Very different. There’s a bit of conspiracy theory, racist characters, awesome characters, and some terrifying zombies.
Profile Image for Ehsan Mohammadzadeh.
241 reviews29 followers
July 15, 2016
اشاره‌ای که به آشویتس و وضعیت دخترک بی‌خبر از همه‌جایی که امروز نقاشی می‌کنه و فردا می‌برنش به اردوگاه مرگ قرابت جالبی با فضای زامبی‌زده‌ی پیش رو داشت و البته با نژادپرستی که یکی از تم‌های داستانه. البته نگم که ایده‌ی بکریه ولی به دل من نشست. در کل پیشرفت داستان خیلییییی کنده. کتاب اول کمی منو بی‌حوصله کرد. شاید جلد‌های بعدی بهتر بشه.
Profile Image for Ms. Nikki.
1,054 reviews285 followers
November 30, 2014
This read referenced racism a little too much and, in all honesty, I don't know if I'd want my kid to read it.

The main character's parents were (overstating, but not by much) subscribers to the KKK's mailing list and were really bad influences for any child. The mother was abused talked to like an idiot. The father was an abuser and all-around asshat. I just didn't see the light in any of them. The MC even questions his own view on anyone who isn't white. He's also a thief and is not ashamed to admit it nor does he seem to think it's a bad thing.

This is all I remember of the book. A touchy subject like this should have been weaved throughout this type of story instead of it being so in-your-face.

It was just too much for me to even begin to like the story and I don't think it's okay for a person to be hateful in this regard until someone gets hurt. This is not sending a good message.

Crazy, I actually liked and read the Cirque Du Freak Series.

This read was a big NO for me.
Profile Image for Nichole.
53 reviews7 followers
December 31, 2020
Definitely wasn't sure if this was young adult/teen fiction, but it has those leanings. Zom-B brought me back to my pre-teen voracity for Darren Shan's horror. He's one of my favorite modern writers and he really is a master of horror. Plus, the huge twist a few chapters from the end! I didn't see it coming and that takes skill since I'm also a writer. Loved the graphic novel feel of the illustrations.

Is B a likable character? Most of the time, no. But she is aware of how she's acting, constantly analyzing her mirroring the racist behavior of her father. Is the ending a sacrifice to punish her father and herself? Probably, but that doesn't mean you can't learn about how not to tolerate racism and how it can be normalized and recognize that behavior.

I highly recommend this for any Shan fan or 12-15-year-olds. It addresses racism, gender stereotypes, violence, xenophobia, and of course zombies! Since it was written before Trump was elected, it's scary and prophetic how the British politics addressed mirrors the xenophobic climate under Trump.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Faseeh Ilahi a.k.a Sunny.
66 reviews28 followers
March 8, 2019
So I just finished Zom-B by Darren Shah.
Rating 3/5 🌟
It is the 1st book in the Zom-B series. It is a zombie apocalyptic series.
This book is basically a zombie apocalyptic survival story.

This book follows Brian Barry who is just a child and has an abusive father. Her father is really shorttempered and beats her and her mother, whenever he gets angry. Plus that he's a freaking racist. Her mother on the other hand is a really polite and caring lady.

When Ireland was invaded by zombies, she and her father didn't believed in it. Although her mother is really worried about this situation. But she and her father thinks that it is just a publicity stunt for an upcoming movie. But the news turnout to be true and as Brian hometown is invaded by zombies, everything changes.

Some trigger warning: abuse, domestic violence, cursing, racism. Plus that it's really gruesome, and I wanted to puke because of those details.
Profile Image for Cameron Mitchell.
199 reviews33 followers
November 18, 2012
After finishing, the Demonata, his second long-running series back in 2009, Darren Shan seems to have been in a bit of a rut for the past couple of years. The Saga of Larten Crepsley seemed, in my opinion, to be a rehash of old stories, entertaining enough but nothing original: an unnecessary addition to a bygone era. I was similarly disappointed with the thin executioner, though for different reasons. Zom-B, however, seems to represent Darren Shan's return to form.

I approached this book with trepidation. I had high hopes for it but was at the same time greatly afraid of a let-down. The cover and title seemed somewhat cheesy, giving me the impression the book would end up being rather juvenile. When I heard the book had pictures in it too, I thought all hope was lost.

Then I heard that Darren was attempting to tackle issues such as racism and my interest was again piqued. I was curious to see how he would handle this. It was a few years ago that I read the Demonata and the first Saga, so I don't really remember if those books were at all message-laden, though I think not. Certainly not to the extent that Zom-B is.

Though my trepidation remained (I still feared this would be too juvenile for my liking) I was interested and hopeful enough to go ahead and buy the book.

Zom-B is an easy read, as are most of Darren Shan's books. I got through it in a single evening, and was pleasantly surprised. It was fast paced, fun, and, in true Shan fashion, gory. Darren handled the themes of racism well, posing a lot of moral questions. Most decent people would think that the answers to these questions are obvious, yet Darren portrays some appalling characters who defy reason in their beliefs. It is sad to think that there really are people in the world who think as B's dad does. As well as racism, Darren also brings family dynamics into the mix, questioning when it is appropriate to follow one's parents or when one should stand up for their own beliefs. It actually quite impressed me how much Darren managed to pack into a book that only took me only three hours to complete. His writing in Zom-B is much more mature than I've seen in the past.

B Smith is one of the best characters Shan's written. B is a character who managed to provoke a lot of emotions from me, most of which were polar opposites. I could go from loving B on one page to hating him the next; go from admiring him to being appalled by him; go from pitying him to resenting him. B also managed to surprise me at a few points(wait until you find out what 'B' stands for!), though I think most shocking is one scene in particular where B does something that brings to a head the moral struggles he's been experiencing. You'll know what I'm talking about when you read it.

Another character I found interesting, one who only appeared twice in the book, was Owl Man. His identity is never truly explained (we can assume that will come in later books) but it seems likely that he is to be the central villain in this series. Darren Shan has a history of writing intriguing and creepy villains, Lord Loss and Mr. Tiny being two of his best, and Owl Man looks like he has potential for greatness. I look forward to learning about the nature of his identity, as well as seeing his true motives.

One thing Darren Shan does well is taking an old idea and putting a new spin on it. In the Saga of Darren Shan, the author took vampires, creatures that have appeared in countless books and films throughout the years, most of the time sticking to the Dracula archetype, and completely reinvented them (without making them sparkle, I might add...). He did the same with demons, in the Demonata, taking these beaten-to-death ideas and reinventing them with originality. I initially treated Darren's approach to zombies with cautious interest, much as I did the book as a whole. Zombies, of course, are not a new idea. But then again, neither were vampires or demons so I was fairly optimistic. For the most part it seems as though Darren has done a good job, and though we'll have to wait for later books to know for sure, it looks like he's done well to add some new originality to an old idea.

The biggest problem I had with this book--pretty much the only one--were the illustrations. As I said, I was wary about them from the start, and it seems my concerns were warranted. In my opinion, illustrations, particularly the black and white comic-book kind we find in Zom-B, are best left for children's books, not ones aimed at teenagers. With books for young kids, pictures serve as a way to keep children focused on the book in their hands and assist with bringing the book to life. Older kids and teenagers, however, are usually at a reading level where they don't need pictures to visualize. They can manage that on their own. I didn't think a book such as Zom-B warranted the illustrations it was given. This is just my personal preference. I know a lot of people loved the illustrations. But I felt they were unnecessary and interrupted what was otherwise a fast-paced page turner.

All in all, Zom-B is definitely the best book Darran Shan has released since Hell's Heroes, and the start of what I hope will be another great series. Zom-B reinforced my opinion that Shan is better at writing long-running series, rather than the shorter ones and one-offs he's been coming out with lately. Despite a cheesy looking title and cover and some misplaced illustrations, Darren has provided an entertaining read that manages to pack some intriguing characters and tough moral questions into just two-hundred pages. Well worth reading for both old fans of Darren Shan, as well as anyone new to the author.
Profile Image for Redfox5.
1,561 reviews55 followers
January 30, 2021
While I enjoyed this book, it did take a while for the Zombies to show up again after their first appearance. I wasn't expecting the racism, especially from the main character, though I think Darren Shan does give us a lot of background about why the character is like that, mainly to do with they're dad who is a nasty piece of work!

I was also shocked that B was for Becky! I assumed B was a boy, I actually thought when B's dad was shouting about his daughter that Darren had messed up and it had been missed by the editors. But that was a nice twist.

When the zombies finally arrive and B's dad comes to get her and the true horror of B's dad is revealed, when he makes Becky use Tyler as a distraction. Becky finally decides to stand up for to her dad after she's sent poor Tyler to his death (doing it before might have been helpful) , I couldn't help but feel that wasn't the time. Sure, her dad needs to be stood up to, big time but I would have made sure I was away from the zombies before doing that, I certainly wouldn't have gone back...as that didn't end well at all.

Reading this while living through a pandemic is strange as things that get said about the Zombies is similar to what people are saying at the moment, especially what the conspiracy nuts are saying "The government would love that. Het everyone one off the streets, terrify us into holding up like rats. It'd leave them free to do whatever they wanted at night" .

Overall I liked this book but would have preferred zombies sooner, however this is the first of a series and I'm sure there will be more zombies to come! Also interested to see what happens to Becky as I belive she is still in the other books.
Profile Image for Holly Frabizio.
23 reviews1 follower
October 17, 2012
Zom-B is a new series from author Darren Shan. I have been a big fan of Shan's work since his Cirque Du Freak Series (The Vampire's Assisstant) and so far Zom-B does not disappoint. At first I though that the story was going to be all about the zombie apocalypse but it turned out that it is also about the real horrors that we face in the everyday world. The protagonist is a teenager named B who lives in London. B likes hanging out with friends, listening to music and getting into trouble. The zombie attacks begin in Ireland and everyone thinks that there are some sort of publicity stunt created by the media. Besides, B has other thinks to be concerned about. B's father is a racist and an abusive drunk who beats on his family when they disagree with his opinions. B has found that life is easier if you just don't argue with you father. B often despises the actions of the man who is the head of the family but still can't help but love and defend him when teachers and friends challenge his behavior. Can B stand up to a racist father or will B begin to turn into an abusive racist? Get ready for some truly shocking twists and turns as the story progresses. Will B save the community or fall victim to the army of the undead that are threatening the land? This book will appeal to male readers because of the subject matter but it should appeal to anyone who is looking for a heart-pounding good read! Read Zom-B by Darren Shan. I couldn't put it down and I am now eager to devour the next installment.
Profile Image for Denysia Yu.
34 reviews13 followers
February 20, 2013
This book was a freaking whirlwind of insane zombie activity. Now I have to admit the beginning of the book got me really started. But then it got kind of boring. The life and story of B, a week before the zombie attacks actually occur in London. Is it weird, that I think that this book is refreshing in the sense that it's different from other zombie books, because of the racism? I mean, you don't get that many people who like writing about racism like this. If you haven't read Warm Bodies please read that before reading this book. I think that book is more for a girl than this gore-feast book. Even though I felt like the details weren't all there, unlike Ashes, by Ilsa Bick, which is going to remain on the top of my favorite zombie books of all time.

And the weird thing? It ends up that B isn't a boy all that. (Even though I'm starting to think that B is just a short letter for butch. Yeah, a butch girl who shaves her head). I'm not sure if I'm going to read any more of this series, because honestly, this one was such a disappointment. Like what the heck is going on when B gets a sex change from a boy to a girl? I don't get it. *Shakes my head.* Well I guess I have other books on my list to read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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