Title: Rot and Ruin
Series: Benny Imura #1
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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.
Thanks to Smash I have a new fondness for zombie books. My favorites will always be the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant – but this one was also surprisingly good. When I think of “zombie” I always think of ick and gore and braiiiiiiiiiiiiins. Because you know – Hollywood. But Jonathan Maberry gives a whole new level to zombie lore.
Plus – it’s not about the zombies. It’s about how society has rebuilt after the zombies rose. It’s about the choices that were made and are still being made.
And I would love to see this book made into a movie. If Hollywood would promise not to screw it up (fat chance, right?).
At first, Benny Imura irritated the snot out of me. He was an entitled little kid (at fifteen) who thought that he didn’t have to work to survive. He hated his brother and thought he knew everything he needed to know about the world.
Kind of reminds me of me at that age.
Finally, he realizes that he has no choice but to join his brother if he’s going to have a job (in this world, you have to have a job at 15 in order to eat). And his world suddenly turns upside down. Tom is one of the most famous zombie hunters in the world, but Benny can’t understand. As far as Benny is concerned, Tom is a coward. But as he goes outside of the fence into the Rot – where the zombies are – and begins to learn how the world really is, Benny begins to understand that things aren’t always as they seem.
And that’s when the real action begins. Kidnapping. Murder. Forced child/zombie fights (for fun).
Benny grows up fast.
If you like zombie books, you’ll like this one. If you don’t – but you like action books – you’ll still like this one. It’s a good one, I promise.