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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Zom-B Goddess by Darren Shan (Zom-B, #12) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Is there any hope in a world of the lost?

B Smith has reached the end...

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Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 257
Chapters: 27 (Plus an epilogue with two parts.)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

All good things must come to an end, but there's nothing more bittersweet than coming to the end of a Darren Shan series...

Why? Now I have to wait until there's a new series and/or standalone novel. My patience sucks!

Alas, we are here. Zom-B Goddess finishes off the author's apocalyptic novels with a ferocious fierceness. What can you expect? The better question would be: What should you not expect, because Shan closes the curtains and as he bows sets them on fire. We get answers and action, chilling looks into the dark intricacies of the human psyche, and just when all hope seems lost, Shan uses the undead world to plummet the cast to new lows.

But, just as a high preludes a fall, a low can make the rise that much sweeter...

SPOILER WARNING

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

B Smith is at the end.
The endgame is near, and despite her own preference to stay the hell out of it, she's the most integral part.
Tortured, manipulated and betrayed, B is surrounded by the dead, the living, and the masterminds on both sides who each have their own special view of what the future should hold.
And everyone is ready for battle.
A war is at her door, but B can't choose a side, she doesn't want to, because all sides are stained by evil.
The players on the board will move, with or without her, so she has no choice but to choose.
But will she choose to be a Goddess of light, or dark...?

Plot - 5/5 Stars

It's been a ride worthy of an apocalypse, and Mr Darren Shan has given us another crazy collection of novels that inspire and intrigue. The Zom-B series gives fiction lovers everything they want, and it's an all-rounder: Great for kids and adults alike, especially if you have the cravings for some gruesome gore.

This review would be nothing if it didn't delve into one of the core themes of the series, a theme that reaches its culmination in Goddess. If you've been following the books then you'll be no stranger to what I'm about to say, but if you haven't, Shan does a phenomenal job of depicting the dangers and destruction of racism. It does not fail to marvel as the author takes us on a journey from the viewpoint of someone more than a little prejudiced, and the plot's landscape is an eerie and apt parallel. The way it shapes the story and its cast is nothing but riveting. 

Despite all the dark, you'll find plenty of light.

The beginning of Goddess picks up instantly after the events of its predecessor Fugitive. B is in a bind, one she can't really escape, but the humour and fierceness of our main character shines bright like a star. The wit is inescapably hilarious. The first half of the novel is also where we get our big answers, so it is exposition heavy, but don't worry, because Shan brings it for the final scenes.

War, nothing less, we get war, and it's everything you'd want it to be. The action and twists come at you like rabid bunnies: So damned hard to grasp with all the jumping and speed. The twists themselves are phenomenal. A couple you can guess, but it doesn't make them easy pills to swallow. The final one, the one that ends the series, truly brought a tear to my eye and hope for B's future (yeah, I know she's not really real, but she's real to me, okay?).

You'll be carried through this story on a tide of terror and joy, and the views on extremism and politics are easily grasped and scarily true.

But Shan has an important message for you: Speak up when an injustice occurs, because if you don't, how can you expect anyone to?

Pace - 4.5/5 Stars

The first half is, as I said, full of exposition and building, so it is a little slow. The tension it creates, however, is priceless. 

And once you reach the latter stages, boy, you best be prepared.

Characters - 5/5 Stars

The crazy casts Shan creates are beguiling and intense. Each individual embodies so much and is so distinctive it's hard not to be engaged.

But I want to talk about one character in particular; the Goddess of Zom-B Goddess: B Smith.

B is likely one of my most favourite characters ever. Her progression is just exceptional. From being her own antagonist to the series' witty and solid protagonist, you will not be bored. I've seen a few people who couldn't stomach her in the beginning, and while I see why, if you're reading this, persevere. Honestly, B is complicated, and that's the best compliment you can give a main character. 

Travelling the zombie apocalypse with her has been an absolute pleasure.

Writing - 5/5 Stars

Shan, my favourite author, you've done it again, and no doubt will continue to do so in your future works (no pressure, right?). You create such a compelling story that appeals to the young, old and those in between. That's a skill not many possess, and fewer could craft a story that, while it compels, it also inspires.

You're giving the world a fantastic moral legacy.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

It might be the end for this series, but you can count me there for the next one.

I just have to wait...

.............................................................My patience is already gone...................................................


Previous Instalment: Zom-B Fugitive


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