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

February 8, 2013 Review 4 ★★★★

Review: Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (Benny Imura #1)Release Date: September 14, 2010
Title: Rot and Ruin
Series: Benny Imura #1
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Pages: 458
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.
4 Stars

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.

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4 Responses to “Review: Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (Benny Imura #1)”

  1. Jackie

    I really liked Rot & Ruin. I love me some zombie films, but I hadn’t explored zombies in books until Rot & Ruin. I really appreciated that it focused more on life post-breakout than during the initial breakout. I don’t think most zombie lore that I’m familiar with has ever done that.

    I agree with you that Benny was annoying at first. It’s hard to believe that someone that survived an apocalyptic event could feel entitlement at all. But, he kind of grew on me once he started taking on responsibilities.

    The best thing about Rot & Ruin for me though was the Lost Girl. She was such a cool character! I haven’t continued on with the series yet, but I’d really like to!

  2. pabkins

    I am seriously looking forward to reading this one. I have so many zombie books on my zombie shelf and I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one. I know exactly what you mean about hating a character at first!

    Pabkins @ My Shelf Confessions

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