Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Benny lives in Mountainside, the only town he's ever really known. He was 18 months old when First Night happened--the night people started turning into zombies. His first memory is of his mother pushing him into his older brother Tom's arms and telling Tom to run while she faces their father--already a zombie. Benny has disliked his brother for being a coward and running away.

Now Benny's 15 and it's time for him to get a job or his rations will be cut. He tries a wide variety before deciding he might as well become Tom's apprentice. His first time in the Rot & Ruin (what they call the area outside the perimeter fence) is eye-opening. His brother calls himself a closure specialist, instead of bounty hunter like the others. His job is to find people who have been turned into zombies and to put them down. On their journey, Benny sees men he's always admired torturing zombies for fun. He knows he'll never be the same again.

But his lessons aren't over. Soon Benny's friend Nix is kidnapped and her mother murdered by the very bounty hunters Benny has always admired. And Benny and Tom know they must go out into the worst of the Rot & Ruin to find her. Before she's handed over to zombies for entertainment.

Utterly believable and well-executed. Benny can be annoying and frustrating at times--especially in the beginning, but that's on purpose. He does mature and grow as the book moves on, thankfully. Enough action, adventure, characterization, setting, danger, suspense, and a little romance to keep the pages moving. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review. Glad you enjoyed the book.

    There are thirteen pages of free prequel scenes for ROT & RUIN available on the Simon & Schuster webpage for the book. Here’s a link to the main page; access the scenes by clicking on the banner that reads: READ BONUS MATERIAL BY JONATHAN MABERRY:

    Benny Imura and his friends will return in DUST & DECAY (August) and at least two more books beyond that (FLESH & BONE and FIRE & ASH).