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.
I know it seems like it took me a long time to read this book, but I didn’t really start reading it until just a few days ago. I picked it up almost two weeks ago, got about 40 pages in, then had to put it down to deal with other things in life. Once I picked it back up again, I could not put it back down. I finished it last night and ran right out and bought the second book, Dust & Decay, which I’m already 150 pages into – if that tells you anything. I’m actually having a difficult time writing this review because I want to get back to reading Dust & Decay!
Rot & Ruin takes you on a very unique kind of post-apocalyptic journey. It’s been 14 years since “First Night” (the night that six billion people died and reanimated as the living dead). Benny Imura lost his parents that night and he is now stuck with his zombie-hunting brother, Tom. They live in a town called Mountainside, which is completely fenced off from the great “Rot & Ruin” where millions of zombies roam free. This post-apocalyptic world is very different from anything I have read before. Even career choices in this world revolve around zombies, and Benny has a big choice to make by his fifteenth birthday — take a job inside town doing something “easy” or learn how to be a zombie hunter out in the great Rot & Ruin with his brother.
Rot & Ruin is filled with more zombies than you can imagine, but it’s also a real story about family, friendship, growing up, and making some tough choices. It’s not filled with non-stop action, but the action scenes kept me on the edge of my seat, flipping pages at lightening speed. The story is a perfect blend of everything. I found myself chuckling while reading one minute, and biting my nails furiously the next.
Jonathan Maberry is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. I am a huge fan of anything that has to do with zombies, and he writes this story brilliantly. Zombie lovers everywhere will gain a whole new perspective on their decaying friends. I highly recommend Rot & Ruin to all fans of post-apocalyptic dystopian novels.
Check out the FREE bonus content for Rot & Ruin, called First Night Memories. It’s a quick, thirteen page read that gives you even more insight into these wonderful characters!
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