Friday, 2 September 2011

Review: Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry

Source: My own personal copy.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 458 (Hardcover)

Blurb 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.

My name is Ambur, and I have a confession to make. I love zombies. I love the movies, the costume make up, the moaning, the sluggish walks, and...yes, sometimes I even love the gore. Oh, and I can't forget the fact that I love the books.

I believe my love of zombies started when I first watched Dawn of the Dead, the remake of course because it had just come out on DVD and my mom bought it. We all watched it, and from that moment on I've been hooked. I rewatched Dawn of the Dead, and when it came out Land of the Dead, too, and I even remember a friend and I practicing the "zombie dance" that they had as a special feature on the Land of the Dead DVD. So, why am I telling you all this? I'll telling you all of this so you know that I like zombies, and so that if you, too, like zombies, know that you are not alone...also it's a great segue into my review. :P

Rot and Ruin isn't your typical zombie book. For starters, the narrator isn't an adult, he's a teenage boy, born into a world where zombies exist, and the world we're used to is only a memory. Zombies outnumber the living by vast numbers, and there are even mentions of the authorities dropping atomic weaponry to try and get rid of the zoms, but of course, that only made everything worse.

Benny Imura's parents both died on First Night (the night that the dead started to come back as zoms), and all he has left is his big brother, Tom. To say that Benny and Tom's relationship is tense at the beginning of this book is a serious understatement. Benny basically hates his brother, and it takes a while for him to even want to get to know his brother, but as the story progresses, so does their relationship. I loved their relationship. It was tense, it was tumultuous, but most of all, it was real. What teenage boy is going to want to listen to his brother, even if his parents are dead? None, it's just the way teenagers are wired. They don't listen to people who aren't "adults" and for some reason, siblings just don't count. :P

I'm gonna make another confession, while Benny was the main character, I have a serious soft spot for Tom, and I'm definitely harboring a not-so-secret crush on him...and that samurai sword. *sigh* haha Okay, so yes, Tom Imura, very very tough. ;) haha I also really liked Benny's friends. Jonathan Maberry wrote an amazing cast of characters into this story. From the bounty hunters, Charlie Pink-eye and the Road-City Hammer, to Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny's friends. They all had amazing stories, as everyone who remembers First Night also has. Another awesome touch that I loved was that my hardcover copy of the book has pictures of the "Zombie Cards" inside of it on the inside of the cover. It was an awesome touch, and I loved that it helped me give the characters with the cards a face. I love picturing characters in my head,  but I'm never one to turn down a hint at what the author thinks they look like. :D

Along with fantastic characters, the action in this book is incredible, which I guess is to be expected, since it is a zombie book. From the zombies, to the training scenes, to Benny's attempts at finding a job, the descriptions are vivid, yet not overly descriptive, and they leave you with a clear image in your head. At the same time, they also aren't descriptive enough to leave you feeling nauseous when it comes to the parts with the zombies and the gore.

As I've already confessed my love for zombies, and I've doted on this book in my review, I'm going to make it clear. I loved this book, and it's definitely one of my favourite zombie books so far. Jonathan Maberry writes an awesome zombie story, and I'm looking forward to reading more of his stories. :)

How do you feel about zombies?
Yuck? / Woot! Woot! Zombies? / Meh?
Do you like to read zombie books, and does this sound like one you'd like?

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur


  1. I've never actually read a zombie book before, but I love the sound of Rot & Ruin! Good to hear the characters are all great - brilliant review! :)

  2. Hey Liz, well Rot & Ruin would be a great zombie book to start with! :D It was amazing, and I recently finished the sequel and it was amazing too! :D Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it! :D

  3. An Interesting and I thank you for sharing with the community.


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