Warning: may contain spoilers.
The first book in Darren Shan’s Zom-B series was an explosive book that introduced us to Darren’s zombie horde. Like many of Darren’s fans I’ve been eagerly awaiting the second book in the series to find out what happened after the cliff-hanger ending of book one. Zom-B Underground certainly doesn’t disappoint and takes you deeper inside Darren’s zombie-infested world.
Can you hold on to your humanity when you’re a monster?
How do you face the present if you’re haunted by the past?
Where can you turn when you’re trapped in a living nightmare?
For B Smith, death is not the end!
One of the things I like the most about Darren Shan’s writing is that he doesn’t waste time. After a quick recap (which I always find really helpful) we’re thrown right back into the action, with B surrounded by chaos and not knowing where she is. There are zombies everywhere and what seem to be soldiers with various weapons, including flame-throwers. Darren’s writing is fast-paced and he certainly keeps you on your toes with lots of twists and turns.
While not as gory as the first book, there is still plenty of skull-cracking and brain-gobbling to make readers cringe. Not since Wobblebottom in Barry Hutchison’s Doc Mortis has a clown freaked me out so much as Mr Dowling. Darren’s description of this sadistic clown is absolutely terrifying! He seems to appear out of nowhere and shows up at the worst possible times in the story. A lot of mystery surrounds Mr Dowling and it’s clear that he plays an important part in the overall story of the series. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last we’ll see of him as he seems to grace the cover of book three, Zom-B City.
The thing that really stood out for me in Zom-B Underground is the way Darren portrays life as a zombie. There are so many intricacies of zombie life that I’d never thought about before, like issues with eating and sleeping, and even zombie privates.
Once again Darren leaves you on a cliff-hanger so that you can’t wait to rip your claws and teeth into the next book. Luckily, we only have to wait a couple of months, as Zom-B City is released in March (with 2 more books coming after this in 2013).
4 out of 5