Written by: Darren Shan.
Published by: Simon and Schuster.
Released: 2nd January 2014.
Official synopsis: "Can you kidnap a zombie? Can money buy your life? Or can you only fight for it? B Smith has met her darkest challenge yet ..."
Oh, boy. Here we go again. Another year and another rollercoaster expected for fans of a certain horror author. Yes, that's right, Mr. Darren Shan is set to publish four main volumes in the Zom-B series, bringing us to nine volumes by the end of the year, and we also get an even smaller addition in the form of Zom-B Circus, a short novella written with the intention of being released as a £1 book for World Book Day before the event organisers deemed it would be too violent for them... Well... if Gladiator, the sixth entry in Shan's planned saga of twelve, is anything to go by I can understand why.
As the series is progressing it is getting steadily bloodier and gorier and I for one am loving it. With some of Darren's goriest scenes yet encapsulated in its 160 pages, Gladiator is also my favourite of the series so far. It delivers both in the deeper content and gore as it does in action and we meet one of Shan's most disgusting and frankly vulgar villains yet. I want to speak about this character so much but the fact that you don't really see him coming is needed for the story, so hopefully we can talk about him a bit more when Zom-B Mission comes out in March. If you've read Gladiator then you know full well who I am on about. Total shmuck, right?! So creepy...
We meet a few other bad guys in this book as well, after B is captured and forced to perform for the entertainment of some of the living that have taken up residence in London. Seriously, these guys are weird and not to be missed.
I also like that we do see B developing. She does a lot of internal thinking, things that she doesn't say to her fellow Angels and things that she needs to sort out in her own head - it makes her feel more, well, human, despite the fact she is actually just a walking, talking corpse now.
Anyway, back on topic... I'll keep my review short because there is only so much gushing one guy can do, and we are half way through the series now so if you haven't yet read the previous books (seriously, where have you been living, under a rock?) I don't want to spoil anything. All readers need to know about this book is that it's fun, just as pacey and well written as we have come to expect from Darren. Some would fear that four books a year, as well as an adult novel he has coming out this Summer as well would be too much and that with all that quantity, the quality would suffer. Well worry not, because the quality of these books is on the up and Darren shows no signs of stopping yet and rightly so.
I cannot wait to see what Zom-B Mission has in store for us when it is published in March!