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Monday, 28 July 2014

Zom-B Mission by Darren Shan (Zom-B, #7) - Book Review

5/5 Stars



Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 219
Chapters: 23
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

By far I have to say that Zom-B Mission's cover is my favourite to date. It's all crazy kinds of creepy and absolutely mesmerising. While Zom-B Baby still takes the crown of absolutely-nightmare-inducing-terror, Mission has a beautiful elegance about it, a sort of disarming calm. Along with its jaw-dropping cover, Mission is true to what was expected. It pushes the series forward a little with action, and while there are still plenty of questions - and more en-counting - we are reaching the latter half of the series, and hopefully, those questions that have plagued us since the first book will be answered. 

SPOILER WARNING 


It's B's first sanctioned mission along with her friends the Angels, and not only is she ecstatic about the break from the monotony of her undead life, she can't wait to finally be able to do something good. Their mission, in terms of explanation, is quite simple: Escort and protect a group of humans to a settlement outside of London. But the Angels' leader sums up the danger perfectly, zombies might have ignored them before, but with fresh meat in the mix, danger is for sure. But, it's the living that they have to worry about. Not only are they trigger-happy fiends, but even if they knew about the Angels' special condition as part of the undead, it's unlikely that they'd care. 
How do you protect the people that will inevitably turn on you?

Mission takes our protagonists out of the rut that they'd fallen into. That rut being the seemingly innocent jaunter outside that ends with B being kidnapped and put through a horrible ordeal only to end up back with the Angels. This time we're following our characters on a journey we've only been hearing about: An angel mission. It ramps the series up a little. While the series has been action-packed, Mission has a sort of feeling that all that action pales in comparison to what's to come. The storyline is marching along, and it looks ready to break into a jog.
There's more world building within Mission as well. We are told about human settlements early on in the series, but we've never actually laid eyes or seen the inner workings of one before. It's a pleasure to take that journey with our cast of characters, to travel through the countryside of London, being witness to the devastation and also laying our eyes on the hope humanity has erected to keep them safe. It's a nice way of showing us that humanity hasn't taken a passive position in the war against the dead, as we've really only seen them scurrying to hide while B and friends take on the battles.

One thing I am surprised to see is the Klu Klux Klan entering the series. For a second, reading it, I was taken aback, but after my initial shock and wonder, I realised it fit. There's always been the subtext concerning the issue of racism throughout the series, with the first novel, Zom-B, being the entry to focus on it heavily. With the addition of this group though, it looks like we're set to see how racism has changed with the Apocalypse. I mean, with zombies and humans pitted against one another, and our non-zombie zombies the Angels, there is already an undercurrent of hate in the world, you'd think that old habits such as race would no longer matter.
The cast of characters are also coming along nicely. While I've always enjoyed them in previous book, the novels are short, and it's sometimes hard to connect fully. Mission doesn't have that problem. Along with the usual cast, new and old characters make an appearance, and with the story unfolding the way it is, I'm heavily invested in the outcome.

As a side note, for those that have finished Mission, that dog creeps the crap out of me. I will never look at another stray dog the same again...


Previous Instalment: Zom-B Gladiator
Next Instalment: Zom-B Circus


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