Sunday, 14 August 2011

Review: Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Pages: 352, paperback

ISBN: 9780857070951

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

Date Released: March 3rd, 2011 (first published October 5th, 2010)

Genre: YA / horror / post-apocalyptic / zombies / romance

Source: library


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.
(Taken from Goodreads)
Buy it From: Book Depository / Amazon
This was a surprising read. It had so many fantastic elements to it, and I simply wasn't expecting it.

Benny Imura hates his brother, Tom, whom everyone loves and respects. Benny calls Tom a coward for running away while his mother was eaten alive by his father on First Night--the night the dead came back to life.
14 years after First Night, and civilization has rebuilt itself as best it can. They don't bother with electricity, thinking that it was because of technology that the zombies came after them.  They have old fashioned views, and some of them would rather not kill zombies because they still see them as a shell of what was once humanity--their lovers, brothers, sisters, parents, children, neighbors.

Tom Imura is a bounty hunter, who kills the zombies when their family members request it--a sort of closure thing. Benny thinks it's such a cool job, to be able to kill the zoms and be worshiped for it, but when Tom takes Benny on a hunting trip, Benny ends up wondering who the real monsters are: zoms or humans.

The relationship between Tom and Benny is obviously strained. The awkwardness, the tension between them, it's brilliant.Though I thought that Benny was being a stupid ass about things, I still loved his reasons behind why he hates Tom so vehemently.

The romance is sweet, though, there are subtle hints at a love triangle, which I'm hoping will be avoided in the next book. I like the way it panned out, without all that unnecessary drama. And, bonus points, the two actually too the time to get to know each other and help each other grow. Neither person was completely dependent on the person (for the most part, at least) and their personality didn't do a complete about-face once they professed their love.

This is the kind of zombie book that I love. In most other zombie books, the zoms are just a prop, used to create tension and angst. But here, they were integral to the characters growth, and to the plot.

I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Dust and Decay, which comes out later this month. Keep your eye out for a review near the release date.

10 Second Review: Think Catcher in the Rye with zombies. Love, angst, and lots of gore. Not for the faint of heart.

Cover Art: 3
Plot: 4
Characters: 5
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 4

Total Rating: 4 stars

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