Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 458 (hardcover)
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.
Though I’m rather ashamed to say and admit it, I have never read a zombie book before up until now. Rot & Ruin is honestly the first zombie, and dystopian novel that I have ever read, and I have to be quite honest…I was not let down one bit. Of course my judgment might be slightly thrown off due to the fact that this is my first, but I can still say the least that I wasn’t disappointed with this book.
Before reading this book, I had still known a good amount of things about zombie. Had watched shows on the History channel and seen various movies with stuff like that. All of which, I’d only put one thought into a zombie. They’re mindless, soulless, flesh eating monsters. After reading Rot & Ruin though I found myself pleasantly surprised by Maberry’s ability to actually bring out a new perspective in zombies. In the book a zombie is seen by many of the townspeople as not monsters (though they are still deathly afraid of them) but as a trapped soul. In many cases as well, family in the book who had a family member rise from the dead as a zombie, requested that that family member not be killed. That’s the part that I liked. That Maberry made these flesh eating monsters…people. He did a wonderful job executing it throughout the novel, and having the characters beliefs around it form out as well about the zombies.
Up until now too I’ve never really read any true books with really good action scenes. When it came to this book through, I was literally pressing my nose into it, trying to absorb every single action and word. In many spots for the beginning the book moves slow. There’s a lot of explaining to do when it comes to things so it takes a good chuck to get everything cleared up. But then there are stories incorporated into it as well, making the book glide along and rescuing you from that sometimes slow spot. And then…you get to part three and four of the book. That is when I have to say I couldn’t put it down. The action comes in, and the big climatic scenes that you never see coming! It’s a page turning. One hundred percent turn on for me as a book lover. If the book makes me want to skip out on math and stay up extra late, well, then to me it’s a keeper.
Now, the characters in this book actually interested me some. Not really because of them being different or strange in a way, but because of Maberry’s ability to make them so realistic. Benny, our main character, to me was a very likable person. His emotions were very relatable to me, and I absolutely loved reading about his struggle in the Ruin when he started to train with his brother. If anything though Nix was a character that made me frustrated. AT certain points she’s always claiming that Benny is in love with another girl, while we get the usual of the boy saying he’s not, over and over again while the girl just keeps accusing him. It was something that really got under my skin and I wished could have been different. But still, Nix had very raw emotions and stories throughout the entire book that just managed to make you love her even when she could be a nag.
Overall it’s a very promising book. Book number two, Dust & Decay is out as well, but because of a really cruddy library system (CURSE YOU!) I will not be reading it for quite a while… ):