Darren Shan,
Zom-B #2: Zom-B Underground
(Little Brown, 2013)

As I've said in my review of the first book in the Zom-B series, I love zombies and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic literature, movies and games. I can't get enough of them, even when they are like the monsters: brain-dead. That is kind of what this book is like; it isn't especially unique, but it still interests me. If you like zombies, then it will probably interest you, too.

Zom-B Underground picks up a couple of months after the events of Zom-B, when Becky Smith (aka B) killed a black student because her racist father ordered her to. Realizing that she's become a monster, B flees her father, but she ends up being killed by that same boy, who tears out and eats her heart. Fast forward to Zom-B Underground, and B is still a heartless zombie, but she is conscious of things happening around her. She is in a military compound dedicated to housing the revived (brain-dead zombies) and the revitalized (conscious zombies). She and some of the other revitalized -- or, as they like to be called, Zom-heads -- are being trained militarily by being forced to kill brain-dead zombies. B, however, is a changed person, and bigotry of any kind no longer bides well with her, even bigotry against the undead.

Zom-B Underground is a vast improvement over the first book. In the first book, the characters were all dull, cliched and worst of all ANNOYING. However, in this novel, Becky has not only changed into a zombie, she has also changed into a kinder person. Whether that is coincidental is up to you. Throughout the book she tries her best to cast out the racism of her past. There is also more action and better writing.

When I picked up this novel, I was thinking that I probably wouldn't like it and would stop reading the series, however it has only revitalized my interest in continuing. My next trip to the bookstore will include a purchase of the third book, now that I am actually interested to find out what happens to Becky Smith.

book review by
Vlady Kozubnyak

10 January 2015

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