Are You Not Entertained, Zom-heads? (Zom-B: Gladiator – A Book Review)

Zom-B: Gladiator (Zom-B #6)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

The Scarlet Reader

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated G for a girl that can handle gore and guts in the zombie gladiator pit.

 

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, B Smith has decided to live—

and to fight for good as long as possible.

While on a search mission for people—live people—B is kidnapped by a familiar face: Barnes, the military zom-hunter that let her live after a run-in. He and his partner deliver her to a yacht of ruthless wealthy only known as The Board. They’re fascinated by her being alive, well, as alive as one can expect as a zombie. For their own amusement, they want to watch her fight brainless zombies. She knows she can’t last long but she’s unsure if anyone is coming to rescue her.

 

Zom-B in review so far…

Zom-B

Zom-B: Underground

Zom-B: City

Zom-B: Angels

Zom-B: Baby

 

B still keeps her guard up and keeps everyone at arm’s length. While she’s only protecting herself from getting hurt, it bites her in the butt. Kind of. The Board, a bunch of deranged, wealthy people looking to retake the world-one of whom happens to be a child killer named Dan-Dan-capture her and put her in their own personal fighting pit, and it’s creepy! That being said, Shan really took the horror up a notch in this installation! These new villains are disturbing and gave me some serious chills. I figured that there’d be new problems and snags in this good vs evil fight, but daaanng. This was crazy wild. I look forward to seeing how this new development feeds into the story later with the big bad, Mr. Dowling. I imagine the creepy-ass clown and Dan-Dan will get along famously.

B finally starts to let people in. This deadly circumstance she gets tangled in leads to her opening up even more. It’s understandable why B’s worried about letting her guard down. She’s got a rough personality that is an acquired taste, like bleach. The way she stops people around her from getting close in any way before she feels like she can hurt them is relatable. After revealing her past to everyone, she also doesn’t feel like she deserves any kind of friendship. I’m glad it’s turning around and she’s gaining redemption. Shan has developed such a great redemption arc with her. Not only that, but she’s so damn smart in being able to tell the trustworthy from the ones that aren’t. This whole theme is ever-present and relevant to life now.

The return of Barnes was actually welcome. He made his entrance in book 3: City and I got a feeling he was a completely shitty guy, unlike the people he traveled with. I like when old characters make recurring appearances throughout a series. The author hasn’t forgotten about them and I love that. It really adds to the story and reveals more about the character, and learning more about why Barnes is out doing shifty things he doesn’t want to be doing is revealing to the whole story and adds more emotion. He adds a living aspect to the story which hasn’t been had in a while.

I can officially say I’m hooked on this series. The fact that it took until book 5 and 6 to get me really intrigued is a bit of a bummer, I’m not totally complaining. Sometimes it takes a little while to get into a story.

 

Overall

Old acquaintances and new villains. Gore and uncomfortable shivers to the bone. This series is actually picking up. Now I really need to see this to the end. If you like zombies then give this series a shot. It can feel drawn out in places, but each book is pretty short and acts as episodes/chapters in B’s journey. A unique perspective. A zombie’s perspective in the apocalypse. Original and unique and continuously surprising.

 

Quotables:

“It’s a real pisser when you don’t know whether to thank a guy or spit in his eye, isn’t it?” (Barnes, p. 152)

“A zombie can’t be a hero. We’re monsters.” (B, p. 157)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Army of Me by Bjork.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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