Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: 5/5 for Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Hardcover, 458 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Purchased
Buy the book: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads

From Goodreads:
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.
For some insane reason, I was not expecting much from this book. It's not one of my usual go-to's and definitely a little long to read while in grad school. The synopsis was, eh, so-so at best for me and didn't put me in any real rush to read it. Then I got involved with a couple Halloween read-a-thons and thought it would be a good fit for it. It turns out I was right and was relatively surprised with how much I loved this book.

The characters in this book feel very real to me. Benny, being the fifteen year old that he is, has the stereotypical incidents of "teenage-hood." The usual outbursts, emotional turmoils, rebellion against rules and family, and mistakes are not beneath him at all. However, it was very enjoyable to watch him grow-up and become so aware of the world around him. I could almost see his naivety floating off of the page. The most impressive evolution is his relationship with his brother, Tom, due to the life realizations. The book chronicles his "coming-of-age" story beautifully and it really holds the plot together like a central line. Many of the other characters that Benny is friends with go through similar trials and their relationships entwine seamlessly as they mature into young adults.

The plot holds steady through the book. It didn't matter when I put the book down or picked it up, I was always in the middle of some event going on in their lives. I can see some being put off because not all of these events were dramatic or heart-stopping, but they were essential. While not venturing out into danger, Benny was experiencing really strong events personally that really made up for it. These scenes were as involving to me as the actions scenes and really completed the book. Maberry held the delicate balance between the scenes wonderfully and it gives the reader a complete sense of satisfaction when they're finished with the book.


jonathanmaberry said...

Wonderful review!

There are thirteen pages of free prequel scenes for ROT & RUIN available on the Simon & Schuster webpage for the book.

And there are twenty-five pages of free scenes set between ROT & RUIN and DUST & DECAY. 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 FLESH & BONE (2012) and FIRE & ASH (2013)

A. Knight said...

I'm loving zombies these days. Like, I have a serious fetish for them right now, so this sounds like a book I'll definitely have to pick-up soon. The cover reminds me a little of the TV show on right now, The Walking Dead. I love coming-of-age stories and so I think me and the story will blend well.

- Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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