Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2nd January 2014
Edition: UK hardback, review copy
B Smith has seen evil in her time, but the Board are a whole new board game. These inhuman humans use their money and power to buy their way to safety and entertainment...
The bloodthirsty members of the Board want action and excitement, and it’s my job to deliver that for them.
The zombies snarl, sniffing the air.
‘Come on,’ I growl, crooking my fingers at them. ‘I’m not as dead as I look.’ I jump into the air, grab the pole and whirl around.
‘Oh, nice shot,’ the Prince applauds...
Finally, I step away and gaze at my handiwork.
The members of the Board are cheering warmly. I glance at them numbly, blood on my hands, brains dribbling from my lips.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, a gladiator is born!’
I’ve come to the conclusion that this series is very much like taking a shot: over quickly, but packs a powerful punch. Zom-B Gladiator was no exception.
Throughout the series, Darren Shan has been questioning the idea of monsters, of evil, of human nature, if you will, and in this instalment of the series, I think that was driven home the hardest. It wasn’t through an even more savage mutation of zombies or how deadly zombies with brains could be, it’s the humans that were the scariest creatures in Zom-B Gladiator.
The Board are a horrifying group of rich, aristocratic people who were politically powerful before the world fell and now they’re trying to rebuild London with themselves at the helm. As soon as I met them I knew that would be a truly horrible thing. Dan-Dan gives me the creeps – perhaps even more so than Mr Dowling... It’s such a clever turn in a series that could quickly become samey if anyone but Shan were writing it. He doesn’t give his characters an easy ride!
I hated B in the first book, but now I love her and champion her unfailingly. Each book seems to vault her character development a hundred feet! This time B explored having friends and having colleagues and the importance of that. It was gave an emotional depth to B that I never could have imagined from book one if I hadn’t followed her journey since. There were moments when she was given choices and ultimatums that almost punched me in the face with how much she has grown as a character. I do love me some character development!
As you can see, Zom-B Gladiator was just as fantastic as the previous five books – and without the evil cliff-hanger ending – and I’m already chomping at the bit for book seven, Zom-B Mission. Bring it on!
Thank you to S&S for the review copy.