This book was awesome. It had all the gore at the right time and unexpectedly it dealt with some rather serious issues.
The opening of the book was action packed diving right into the gore, which is usually Darren Shan's style. He is such a great author. As seen from the synopsis, the first chapter is about the zombie attack in Ireland. I have to say that the zombie attack on B's school is pretty late in the book, near then end. I wasn't expecting to wait that long for more zombie antics. but when it does all hell breaks loose. And its fun to read. The attack on the school is planned and all the doors are locked to keep the kids inside.
I gotta say, I don't like B. I don't know if Shan mean for the character to be disliked but I didn't like her. Yes shocker, B's a girl. I so did not see that one coming especially the way she looks and acts. Anyway I guess B is a product of her environment. Her dad is a abusive racist. He hits her mother and threatens to kill her if she disagrees with his racist views. B jumps in to protect her mother and she gets beat by her father too. B makes excuses for her dad's racism and abuse by saying "if only I did this..." or "If mum would kept quiet" or "he's just trying to protect us". B pretends that she agrees with her dad's racism to make him happy but deep down you can see she's racist too. She gets into a fight with a black girl after making a comment about how rude "their kind" was and making gorilla noises at her. I was amazed she didn't get ganged beaten. I can't believe her dad's reaction when she saves the baby from a zombie mutant (B's words). Instead of being proud he is upset because she saved an Indian baby. Get real man. Her father needs to get his ass kicked. I hated him even more than B and hoped that the Zombies would kill him slowing and painfully. He very cruel and vicious to non whites (see next paragraph). B's mom is stupid and pathetic. Right after her father chokes her out, she brings him tea and as B says "Kisses the hand he struck her with". Now I'm not claiming to be a tough cookie or anything but no body and I mean nobody would ever get away with hitting me. I'd kick their ass and that would be the first and last time they put their hands on me. And if I had kids, Id take them with me.
When B is stuck inside the school with the zombie's her group of friends (with stupid nicknames) and a few other racially mixed students (Muslims, Indian, black) they all band together to try to find a way out. During this time, race plays no part in the book and its all about survival. B's friends start dropping like flies. Once when they get lost in the school, Tyler (a black kid who B picks on all the time and tried to fight) points to the way out. He tries to help. So how does B repay him? She throws him to the zombies because her dad tells her too. Here's what happens. The rest of the group is trying to find a way out when they run into a few zombies in a nearly quiet corridor in the school. Then B's dad shows up with other parents and blasts the zombies with guns. Here's how unbelievable racist B's dad is. This is a crisis life and death situation. A chinese woman is in the group of parents and B's dad scowls at her! And when he sees B with her group of survivors, he sniffs at the muslim, indian and black kids. Some one needed to jump into that book and use the gun on B's father instead of the zombies. So B's dad is taking the kids back the way he went to get to them, and the door he came through ended up being locked. So B's dad and other kids are banging and pushing at the door to break it off its hinges and zombies are coming towards them. B's dad sees them and tells B to "throw them the black kid", while they get the door open. B tries to protest, weakly I might add, and her dad screams "Throw them the bloody chimney sweep or I'll whip you raw." So what does B do? She takes Tyler, who helped her, throws him to the zombies and watches him die and awful death. I mean I really didn't like B to being with but here is where I am completely done with her and she loses all sympathy from me.
When B's dad get the door open and they're running through it, her dad shoves one of the indian kids out of the way saying "Move Gandi, my daughter goes first" and literally throws the kids back and slams the door closed in his face leaving him to the zombies. I mean come on!. And I just want to add here, that its complete assholes like this who live to be 100 years old while the good people die young. But now during these moments B sees her dad for who he really is. She tells him he's worse than the zombies. I mean duh. Here is when she runs away from her father and freedom and back into the halls that lead to the school. She runs away because she figures out that her dad is sadistically evil and says he made her a killer. I call bullshit. She didn't have to throw Tyler to the zombies. Years of conditioning my ass. Nobody can make you kill anyone. People can tell you to do it, but ultimately is your choice. So B needs to stop blaming her dad for Tyler's death and start blaming her stupid ignorant self. I have no sympathy and whatever horrors she gets she deserves. I loved then ending where Tyler rips her heart out and eats it. I actually cheered!
Anyway after my rant, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. Who is the Owl man, how does he know B, why does he care about her baby dream and does he have anything to do with the zombies? (BTW B's dream about killer babies freaked me out!) Who are these mutant men that control the zombies? How did B's principal still posses the ability to speak and think? And where the hell did the zombies come from? I'm going to eagerly continue the series to find out these questions and to see if B's father comes to a well deserving grisly end. I don't really care about B anymore or what happens to her. All I gotta say is that I hope she dies at the end of the series.
This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews