Monday, 16 July 2012

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)Title: Rot and Ruin
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
Publish Date: 2010
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Pages: 458
Source: Purchased
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

So I hate to say it, because I know it's a huge jinx, but I am on such a book hot streak. First the "Mistborn" trilogy from Brandon Sanderson and now this fantastic coming-of-age novel by Jonathan Maberry.

I don't know why, but i've kind of steered clear of the zombie craze as of late. I'm big into magic (and there are so many magic-centered books to go around already) so when it comes time to pick a sci-fi/fantasy book, I usually gravitate to something magical. I rarely read fiction about vampires or werewolves, although I know there are some great ones out there, and until this book I had not read one book about zombies. 

I was hesitant, but I met Mr. Maberry at the BEA and he signed a copy of "Rot and Ruin" for me, so what the hey, right?

It's moments like these that I treasure. Diving into the unexplored (both genre and author) and coming up with a glowing pearl. I really, really liked, "Rot and Ruin". I was prejudiced against zombies because I keep thinking that authors might use them in a way to draw readers in, but might rely only on the inclusion of the creatures, ignoring plot and depth. Maberry does something fantastic. He uses the zombies to examine humanity, and what actual struggles someone might face growing up in a society that had once been overrun by the living dead. 

Character development ain't easy, and Maberry manages to turn protagonist Benny Imura, at first a snotty, lazy punk, into someone honorable and memorable. I don't want to include any spoilers, so I'll just say that if you're like me, and you haven't yet read any zombie fiction yet, this should be your foray into the field of the living dead. And if you like zombies, then you're a shoe-in to like "Rot and Ruin."

I'm not giving it a perfect score because I definitely saw many things coming, but I hope that doesn't deter you. This book was a quite a ride. And just to further emphasize my attachment to this book, I went out RIGHT away and bought the sequel. Which I'm planning on diving into right away, and hopefully continuing my hot streak :)



  1. I don't read a lot of zombie books (they scare the *ahem* out of me), but I'm tempted to give this one a spin. :-)

  2. Dan, I'm with you: zombies do nothing for me. I like my fantasy populated with legendary heros from worl mythologies and loads of magic and weapons. But this book does sound intriguing...