Monday, October 7, 2013

Zombie Monday Book Review - Rot & Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry

Welcome to our first review of our creepy October month! Very excited to get this month started with 'Rot & Ruin'!

Title: Rot & Ruin
Series: Benny Imura #1
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Simon and Shuster

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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.

This novel made it on my To be read list quite some time ago, and it's been out for a couple of years. Great news for me is that the following two novels are already out so I can pick this story up again any time I want.

Excellent read to start out October, though it gave me a lot more than I expected.  This is just not a novel of survival and kicking some zombie ass. There is a great story and a really deep, emotional storyline. This novel makes you go where you normally don't want to go as a reader of this genre.... giving the zombies a past and making you see them as once human. People that were loved, that once loved, that were fathers, mothers, children, husbands and wives. Once you allow yourself to see them in this light, it is so much harder to thirst for bloodshed - their blood to be exact.

And that is the lesson that Benny Imura learns from his older brother. Though reluctant to see the 'zoms' any other way, he slowly begins to see what his brother Tom sees. With Benny's change of outlook, so does his life change.  He begins to understand how deeply compassionate his brother is, and his eyes open to the injustices being done outside the safety of his sheltered little town of survivors.  Not to mention, that he begins to understand just how amazingly formidable Tom is.

Though this is a YA novel, don't think that you won't be kicked in the gut by this story.  Not only did this novel make me feel sympathy for the one thing that gives me serious nightmares, but it also hit me on the emotional level.  

There is plenty zombie action to keep even the most hard core fan enthralled, but it also gives you a pretty original plot line and characters to keep you biting your nails to the very end. And an excellent ending it was. I can't wait to get into the next in the series.

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

His novels include the Pine Deep Trilogy: GHOST ROAD BLUES (Pinnacle books; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2006), DEAD MAN’S SONG (2007) and BAD MOON RISING (2008); the Joe Ledger series of action thrillers from St. Martin’s Griffin: PATIENT ZERO (2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel), THE DRAGON FACTORY (2010; now available), THE KING OF PLAGUES (March 2011), ASSASSIN’S CODE (March 2012), EXTINCTION MACHINE (2013); THE WOLFMAN (NY Times bestseller from Tor, based on the Universal Pictures film starring Benecio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Sir Anthony Hopkins; winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation); the forthcoming standalone zombie thriller DEAD OF NIGHT (Oct 25 2011); and the Benny Imura series of Young Adult dystopian zombie thrillers from Simon & Schuster: ROT & RUIN (2011; named in Booklist’s Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award finalist; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards), DUST & DECAY (Aug 30 2011), FLESH & BONE (2012) and FIRE & ASH (21013).
Author Links: Goodreads/Website/Twitter


  1. You definitely won me over with this review. I never used to think that zombie books would be for me, but I've read two this year and really enjoyed both of them. Guess I need to give a third a try!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Hi Nicole! So glad to hear that you are giving these novels a try. This one was totally unexpected in regards to how much I LOVED each plot line and where the writer was going. I am an instant fan, and have added a few other novels of his to my list. I really hope you give this one a go, and enjoy it!



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