Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry was an interesting twist on zombie lore. It wasn’t the typical hack and slash story I was expecting; instead, Maberry really highlights the man vs. monster dilemma as he humanizes the zombies. I never thought it was possible to feel sympathetic toward a creature that hungers only for brains, but this novel proves it is. The one thing I appreciated most is Maberry’s ability to keep me guessing all the way through; there were so many twists and turns! And there were so many cliffhangers that kept me saying, “I have to read just one more chapter…”.
Released: October 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
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Synopsis: Benny Imura is 15, and now he must find a job or his food rations will be cut in half. But what kind of opportunities are there in a world that’s nearly been run over by zombies. His job search seems fruitless until his brother, Tom, invites him to join the family business– zombie hunting. For the first time in his life, Benny will go beyond the fence that keeps him safe in Mountainside to land claimed by the zombies known as the Rot and Ruin. Any preconceived notion Benny may have had about his brother, about fellow bounty hunters, about zombies, and about the way the world works will be completely shattered.
I thought the characters were a “mixed bag”. Tom was a little too good to be true, and Benny was a tad bit annoying. Some of their dialogue was a little hokey too, and every once in a while I would think, “Did he really just say that?” Nix and the Lost Girl, on the other hand, were amazing; then again, I always break for the butt-kicking heroines. Maberry also cooked up some deliciously vile baddies; Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer were two characters that I loved to hate. I wanted to tie those two guys up and feed em’ to the zoms!
Overall Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry was and enjoyable book filled with adventure, butt-kicking, blood and rotting flesh, a budding romance, and dreams of a better future. This book is definitely worth a read!