Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rot and Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry- Review

On my zombie quest of 2011, I have now gleefully added Jonathan Maberry's Rot and Ruin.  YA zombie novels have become such mania of mine that they're soon going to have their own fabulous shelf.  So while having a cup of coffee today I stopped to think about why I was suddenly so crazy for these books, and I have to say a huge selling point is the different dystopian societies they each exist in.

Carrie Ryan, Jonathan Maberry and Cherie Priest have each introduced me to such different post-apocalyptic worlds that the genre is not likely to get old for me anytime soon.  The one consistent thing they each do, which is the second part I love about these books, is they each segregate their population into those who know what the world was like before and those who don't.

 Generally speaking the teens have only experienced the after and so have less of the horror embedded in their view of their world (the exception being Carrie Ryan where the zombies came so many generations before, that knowledge of the pre-zombie world is mixed in her society, depending on what your family has passed down in both tokens and stories).   And something about that really works for me.  Maybe it just opens it up to more than just the creepy crawlies, and maybe it's why all these stories have enough to explore to have multiple parts to them.  I'm not sure, but like I say, I dig it.

Benny Imura is turning 15, which means he has to get a job or lose half of his rations.  The obvious choice would be to apprentice with his brother Tom who's a Zombie bounty hunter, but Benny has no interest in his brother or zoms.  Unfortunately his brother, the zoms, and the rot and ruin beyond the towns fence are not as straight forward as he thinks they are, and he won't be allowed to remain ignorant forever. Can he survive the reality?

The twists and turns in Rot and Ruin were spectacular, the characters were endearing and charming, the world was fantastically screwed up and completely engrossing, and am I gushing a little? YES, because I loved this book. Lots of great story plus great action and I'm pretty sure you just can't go wrong with that particular combo.  I am quite officially dying for part two Dust and Decay which releases in the far distant future of August this year.

It's official, I'm zombie crazed.  I'm also now dying to dig into Jonathan's large body of super diverse work, not to mention his awesome blog.  Mr Maberry, more zombies please!

Rot and Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry
Published by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, September 2011
Jonathan Maberry's Blog
Buy Rot and Ruin on Amazon


  1. I don't generally read books about zombies, but I read Rot and Ruin, and I feel like gushing about it too. It's a beautifully crafted book that combines action with characters you care about. I couldn't put it down, and I too can't wait for the sequel.

    J. Thomas Ross

  2. you know I read a fascinating article on This Literary Life where Jonathan talks about how he's jumped around wildly in genres (here: http://agentbree.wordpress.com/category/dust-decay/) and I felt it gave some insite into why his writting is so unusual, and really, so good. But I agree totally he's a talented man.

  3. Whoa, this looks fantastic! I havent' had a zombie fix in a long time. :-) Thanks for entering the Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge!

  4. I've not read a lot of zombie stuff, (but do have a vampire shelf...) but this sounds great. Just added it to the list :-)

  5. This one is at the top of my wish list. I was excited to see that a sequel is due out in a few months.

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