Zombie Review: Rot and Ruin/ Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry (Outstanding)

Posted March 19, 2012 by Felicia S in 2012 Read, 4.25 Wine Glasses, 4.50 Wine Glasses / 17 Comments


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From Goodreads: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash—but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.Acclaimed horror author Jonathan Maberry makes his young adult debut with this detail-rich depiction of a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has fallen, the dead have risen, and danger is always imminent.

Read from March 13 to 18, 2012

Read for Fun!
Challenges: Zombies, Read for Fun
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.25
Character Rating: 4.50

First Thought when Finished: I am slightly in love with a fictional character named Tom Imura!

What I Loved: Rot & Ruin was set long after the First Night and gives us a glimpse at society trying to rebuild itself. I loved that Jonathan wasn’t afraid to show us that some people chose to hide, some people chose to fight, some people were nasty creatures, and other people chose to make their own kind of stand. I imagine that the world he created is a lot like what would happen if something catastrophic changed our world. Rot & Ruin really makes you think about what your coping mechanism would be in a crisis. I also really loved that even though this is YA (there are some very smack the teenager up the head moments), you never feel as if that is the whole story. There are adult figures, family, teenagers learning lessons (and not knowing it all), and mostly truth shared through experience and teaching. This is the kind of YA that I enjoy reading.

What I Liked: The characters in Rot & Ruin run the spectrum in personalities. Jonathan Maberry pretty much put one of each into the mix and let you find someone you could identify with. I think that above all it was the people (good and bad) that makes this story tick! Plus, I really liked Tom Imura’s POV towards Zombies and how he is teaching Benny to think as well as act!

Final Thought When Finished: I am glad I have the 2nd one on hand to start!

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From Goodreads: Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

Read for Fun!
Challenges: Zombies, Read for Fun
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.75
Character Rating: 4.50

First Thought when Finished: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (Don’t ask I am not going to tell you why)

What I Loved: I am not going to give spoilers so while I LOVED almost everything about this book, I can’t really be specific. Dust & Decay is about journey, leaving the comfort (even in a Zombie infested world) of what you know and seeking out something better. This book really pulled at my heartstrings and made EVERYONE grow up! Dust & Decay reminded us that this is a world filled with bad people, interesting people, and really no answers as to what makes a Zombie tick. Perhaps it is the fact that once you think you have figured out how to live in a Zombie world, the rules change. I laughed, cried, and was seriously thinking about reading the last chapter way before I got there!

What I Liked: Jonathan kept it real! People got hurt, killed, treated badly, and unfortunately not everyone got what was coming to them! This just made Dust & Decay more gripping. He also introduced quite a few new characters that were perfect fits to the story. You just got the feeling that the crew was in for an adventure of epic proportions whether they were ready or not!

Final Though when Finished: Seriously September? *stamps foot*

Felicia S
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17 responses to “Zombie Review: Rot and Ruin/ Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry (Outstanding)

  1. Jonathan Maberry

    Thanks for the great reviews!Benny Imura and his friends will return in FLESH & BONE (September 11, 2012) and FIRE & ASH (2013) Here are links to free ROT & RUIN bonus content: FIRST NIGHT MEMORIES includes an excerpt from Nix’s Journal and the story of how Tom Imura escaped with Benny on First Night: <a href="http://www.simonandschuster.com/admin_assets/3477_First_Night_Memories.pdfhttp://www.simonandschuster.com/admin_assets/3477… />IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD takes place between ROT & RUIN and DUST & DECAY http://www.simonandschuster.com/admin_assets/5539

  2. Alexis

    I might be a crazy person but I really love these covers. I've read few zombie books…I think. Should I be afraid. I scare easily. Lol.

  3. Natalie (Mindful Mus

    I LOVE zombies, but oddly enough, I haven't read hardly any zombie books! I'm going to have to add these to my to-read list! 🙂

  4. Christy D

    Two of my favorite books – I love this series!! I totally cried during you-know-when. *sigh* I'm going through withdraws … must read Flesh & Bone NOW.

  5. Felicia the Geeky Bl

    YEP! Book 2 is already out but Book 3 isn't out till freaking Sept! I am seriously going to be hunting it down the second it hits the shelves 🙂

  6. Felicia the Geeky Bl

    This very much has that vibe—very gritty realistic. It helped me cope with last night!

  7. Heidi

    This is a series I was just discussing with my fav book buddy. It is on my coveted list and your reviews made me want to read it even more. I am glad that book 2 is available becuase is sounds like book one has a jaw dropping ending. Have a good week. See you on Friday.

  8. Missie, The Unread R

    I think I'm gonna need to read this to help me cope with the season finale of The Walking Dead. It sounds like Maberry approaches the series much like the show. Not all the good people get to live and not all the bad people die. I like that.

  9. Felicia the Geeky Bl

    The covers are awesome! It is the humanity that keeps me sucked into this series. It really is a study of human behavior (at it's best and worst)

  10. FABR Steph

    I have Rot and Ruin sitting on my shelf. I can't wait to read it, but am trying to save it for the fall. Thanks for your thoughts.-FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

  11. bookgoonie

    I love Tom!!!! You are right. It's more about humanity and/or the lack of. The zombies are just the vehicle 😉 can't wait to read Dust & Decay. How freaking awesome are the covers!!!

  12. Felicia the Geeky Bl

    It is all about the Humanity! I won't say there isn't violence (because there is) but it is NOT the focus of the story. It is more of the journey of these characters, their emotions, and their coming of age. The violence is just a reality of this world!

  13. Rummanah Aasi

    I'm no way near Team Zombie which is what kept me from reading Jonathon's books. The gore, violence just doesn't suit me. However, I have heard several arguments that though there are zombies present-the book is actually more about humanity and how we interact/treat each other, etc. I think I'll have to put my zombie prejudice aside and give the first book a whirl. Glad you enjoyed it, Felicia.

  14. Felicia the Geeky Bl

    You and me both!!! In my dreams, I am a contributor and bad-ass zombie killer. In real life, I would be scared and probably zombie bait LOLDust and Decay—I tweeted the NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO yesterday and yep I was not happy (even less happy about Sept LOL). I won't say if it was sad, cliffy, annoying, or just OMG—it may have been a combo of all for the final 4 chapters LOL

  15. Jenny

    Uh oh. That does not sound like a promising ending to DUST & DECAY! It sounds like bad things happen. Or there's a crazy cliffhanger. Or a crazy cliffhanger in which bad things happen:) Zombies are not my thing, but I've heard great things about these books, and while I'd like to think my I would be level headed in a situation like the one in these books and cope with grace and aplomb, I think the reality would be far different:)