Tag Archives: zombies

Fur-ightfully Funny Adventures from Beyond the Grave

When Joe Edmunds makes a wish on an Egyptian amulet, little does he know that he has volunteered to guide and defend the undead pet inhabitants of his town…

If you know a young reader who likes adventure stories that are a bit spooky and really funny, then I’ve got a new series for you!  Undead Pets by Sam Hay is an awesome new series for 7+ featuring zombie animals and ‘pets with one last thing to do before they pass to the other side.’  As well as a great story (that boys especially will love) the books are illustrated throughout by Simon Cooper.  I especially like the cartoons that describe how each of the pets die.  I reckon the covers are terrific and are sure to jump off the shelves.  Young readers will get hooked on Undead Pets and they’ll gobble them up in no time.  They’re stand alone adventures so kids can start with any of the books.

Read all about the different books in the series below and watch the cool book trailer.

Return of the Hungry Hamster

Dumpling the hamster came to a dusty end inside a vacuum cleaner … but he suspects that his owner Oliver’s parents never admitted to their son that they were to blame for Dumpling’s demise. Now the hamster needs Joe’s help to reveal the truth – but there’s a furry surprise awaiting them at Oliver’s house…

Revenge of the Phantom Furball

Disaster strikes when Bonsai the pug chases Pickle the cat into the street, where she is flattened by a car. But the fact that Pickle has (almost) shuffled off her mortal coil isn’t her biggest concern; she is worried that Bonsai will pursue her sister Pebble into an early grave too, unless she and Joe teach the dog a lesson…

Night of the Howling Hound

Joe is off on a school trip to an adventure camp, and he can’t wait to put Uncle Charlie’s survival tips into practice! But it’s not long before he’s visited by Dexter, a scruffy-looking dog, with a howling tale of woe. Dexter doesn’t want his owner feeling guilty for his death, but it’ll be hard for Joe to intervene this time – it turns out that the owner is Joe’s headmaster, the dreaded Mr Hill!

Goldfish from Beyond the Grave

Just when Joe thought things couldn’t get any stranger, he is visited by Fizz, a zombie goldfish. Fizz was flushed down the toilet by his owner Danny’s little sister, who doesn’t realize that she’s sent the fish to a watery grave. Fizz needs to ensure the truth is revealed before his fellow fish meet a similar fate. But how do you get a goldfish to rest in peace?

Rise of the Zombie Rabbit

Fluffy’s owner, Olivia, lost a necklace in her back garden and she’s going to get in big trouble if it isn’t found. Fluffy can’t bear to see her owner in distress and she demands that Joe finds the necklace – now! Can Joe do what Fluffy wants or will the undead pet be hopping around forever?

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Win Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan

Zom-B Underground is the 2nd gore-filled Zom-B series and it takes you deeper inside Darren Shan’s zombie-infested world.  If you know any Darren Shan fans, or anyone who likes zombies or horror in general, the Zom-B series is fantastic.  You can read my review here on the blog (Warning: may contain spoilers).

I’ve got a copy of Zom-B Underground to give away to one lucky reader.  All you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below.  Entries close Wednesday 23 January (NZ only).

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Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan

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

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Darren Shan reads Zom-B Underground

The second book in Darren Shan’s creepy Zom-B series, Zom-B Underground is out now in NZ.  The first book was gory, super-creepy and absolutely fantastic.  I’m excited, but slightly scared, to find out what happens in this next book.  Zom-B Underground is the first of 4 Zom-B books to be released in 2013 so there are plenty more Shan zombies coming our way this year.

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Win Zom-B by Darren Shan

Zom-B is one of the most horrific, gruesome, twisted stories for teens I’ve ever read, and I loved every minute of it!  It’s the first book in Darren Shan’s new 12-book series and Zom-B left me hungry for more.  It’s out now in Australia and New Zealand.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  This competition is now closed.

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Zom-B by Darren Shan

Darren Shan is the master of horror stories for children and teens.  His vampire series, The Saga of Darren Shan, and the Demonata series have been hugely popular.  Now Darren has turned to another staple of the horror genre, zombies.  You may think that this has been done many times before, but Darren has created a fresh and original zombie tale, with plenty of bone-crunching and brain-chomping.

When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B Smith’s racist father thinks it’s a joke– but even if it isn’t, he figures, it’s ok to lose a few Irish. B doesn’t fully buy into Dad’s racism, but figures it’s easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. But when zombies attack B’s school, B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors, making allegiances with anyone with enough guts to fight off their pursuers.

Zom-B is one of the most horrific, gruesome, twisted stories for teens I’ve ever read, and I loved every minute of it!  Darren leaves nothing to the imagination, vividly describing the way the zombies crack open skulls with their claw-like hands and devour their victim’s brains.  It’s one of the only books that has made me cringe at the actions of the characters, and I couldn’t read it before bed, for fear that zombies would invade my dreams. 

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a main character who makes me hate them before either.  B’s father is an incredibly racist man, who is part of different groups who want a ‘white’ Britain, so B is brought up with these views.  He is a vicious man, who beats his wife and shares his racist views freely.  Every time he opened his mouth I cringed and I didn’t really want to hear anything he had to say.  Just when you think he might have had a change of heart, he shocks you again.  B struggles with these views, but they often take over and B ends up beating up black kids or Indian kids at school.  This is the first book in a 12 book series so we will have to wait and see if their views change.

Darren Shan’s zombies are not your average zombie.  When you turn into a zombie, your teeth thicken and become very sharp, and claws grow out of your fingers and toes, making them perfect for digging into skulls to get to the brains.  It’s not known where the zombies came from, but there is a sinister figure in the book that I’m sure has something to do with it.  No doubt Darren will drip feed us details over the course of the series.

There are several shocking twists in the story that blew me away, especially the ending.  At one stage I had to reread what I’d just read several times to make sure I hadn’t imagined it.  Darren leaves you hungry for more (story not brains) and I can’t wait to get my hands on book two!

5 out of 5 stars

NB: This is not a book for a primary school library.  It’s perfect for fans of Darren Shan and anyone who likes horror, including adults.

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Zom-B book trailer

Zom-B is the first book in a new 12-book series from the master of horror, Darren Shan.  It’s classic Darren Shan – totally creepy, with lots of blood and guts.  Look out next week for my review and your chance to win a copy.

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Invisible Fiends: The Beast by Barry Hutchison

Barry Hutchison’s Invisible Fiends is a series that just keeps getting better and better.  Each of the books in the series has quite a different tone and level of creepiness.  The last book, Doc Mortis was the creepiest, most sadistic book in the series and found Kyle trapped in the Darkest Corners with the demented Doc Mortis.  Barry’s latest book in the series, The Beast, takes the creepiness factor down a notch, but throws in a good dose of humour, some real heart, and answers some of our burning questions.

Kyle and Ameena are on the run after being accused of murdering his mum’s cousin, Marion, and attacking his mum.  They end up at the Keller house, the old house across the road where Kyle fought Mr Mumbles.  After noticing some suspicious behaviour in Kyle’s house they go to check it out, only to find Kyle’s grandmother missing and a dead policewoman.  As they search the streets for Kyle’s grandmother they realise that the neighbourhood is suspiciously quiet, and that’s when their trouble really begins.  Kyle’s neighbours have turned into black-eyed, flesh-eating zombies, which they name screechers because of the horrible screeching sound they make before they attack.   If they didn’t already have enough on their plate, there’s also a huge beast loose on the streets ,with razor-sharp spikes covering its body.  It’s up to Kyle to save the ones he loves, but if he uses his powers he’ll set the hideous monsters from the Darkest Corners loose into his world.  He’ll just have to do it the old-fashioned way.

The Beast is probably my favourite book of the series so far.  Many of my burning questions were answered, especially about Joseph, Ameena and Kyle’s dad.  I’d had my theories but I was wrong about most of them, so it’s good to know Barry can still blind-side me.  One of the things I liked most about this book was that Barry’s humour really shined through.  He can have you laughing out loud one minute and squirming the next.  There is some hilarious banter between Kyle and Ameena, especially in the first half of the book.  This has to be my favourite quote from this book, if not the whole series,

‘I take it she’s not normally like that?’

‘What, foaming at the mouth and battering her face against the window?’ I said.  ‘No, that’s new.’

My favourite part, which had me cackling away, was when Kyle and Ameena were being attacked by the zombie policewoman in the street.  As well as the humour though, there is also some real heart in the story, as it focuses on Kyle’s relationships with his parents, Ameena and Joseph.

Barry ends The Beast with a bang and leaves us waiting with bated breath for the final book in the series, The Darkest Corners (coming later in 2012).  I just know that the final book is going to be horrific, shocking and awful, but totally amazing.

5 out of 5 stars

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Far Rockaway by Charlie Fletcher

If you were to meet the characters from your favourite books who would they be?  Would you want to meet Harry Potter, Matilda, or Percy Jackson? You certainly wouldn’t want to bump into Count Olaf, Captain Hook, or Voldemort.  In Far Rockaway by Charlie Fletcher, Cat finds herself face to face with some of the heroes and villains of classic adventure stories.

Cat and her grandfather, Victor made a pact that one day, just for fun of it, they’d take the subway and stay on it until the very end of the line, at a place called Far Rockaway.  They never get to make this trip together because, while crossing the street in Manhattan, Cat and Victor are knocked down by a speeding fire truck.  Cat wakes up in a world made from all the books her grandfather used to read to her, and filled with the most memorable characters from classic adventure stories, including The Last of the Mohicans and Treasure Island.  Cat needs their help to find the mythic castle of Far Rockaway, and get herself and her grandfather home alive.

Far Rockaway is part fantasy, part adventure and full of pirates, indians, and zombies.  I really like the way that Charlie Fletcher has weaved Cat’s story in with three completely different stories.  If you know the characters from the classic adventure stories you’ll see what a fantastic job Charlie has done of transferring them to another story.  There were a couple of characters I didn’t know but this has made me want to go and read those stories and discover who they were.  Cat is a great character, who’s brave, loyal and kicks butt when she needs to.  I like what she says about girls in stories,

“Why do the guys get to do all the rescuing? I mean I loved all the stories you gave me and read me, but one thing: where were the real girls? Half the books, they weren’t there at all, and the other half they’re wimped-out girly-girls getting all weepy and falling in love with the mysterious complicated dude or waiting for the right guy to save them.”

If you want a swash-buckling adventure story about the magic of stories then join Cat on the journey of a lifetime in Far Rockaway.

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