Customer Reviews for

Rot & Ruin (Rot & Ruin Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 219 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 219 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 11
  • Posted August 18, 2010

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    Reviewed by Karin Librarian for

    Benny just turned fifteen. In his world, that means he must find a job in order to continue receiving his rations. The problem is, Benny can't find a job he likes. He and his best friend, Chong, waited too long to get one and all the easy jobs are gone. What's left isn't very appealing. He's tried being a locksmith, a fence tester, a fence technician, a carpet coat salesman, a pit thrower, a crank generator repairman, a spotter, a bottler, and an erosion artist. It seems like the only option left is to join the family business.

    Benny's brother, Tom, is one of the most respected and successful zombie killers. The problem is, Benny doesn't know why people think Tom's that great. He's never seen Tom do anything especially exciting or impressive - in fact, he's actually turned away from violence, which makes Benny think Tom's a coward. Tom is nothing like the totally cool Zombie Killers like Charlie Pink-Eye and Motor City Hammer. Benny has never intended to do what Tom does. He's always said no every time Tom asked him to become his apprentice. But, his lack of success in any other job has left him no choice.

    Benny learns a lot while out in the Rot & Ruin with Tom. He learns about his own past, what it is that Tom really does, and what separates man from monster. Benny's outlook on life completely changes as he begins to realize there might be more to life than just his small town of Mountainside.

    ROT & RUIN is a perfect choice for readers who enjoyed THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. Both books take place in a small town of survivors surrounded by fences that keep the zombies out. ROT & RUIN is set in a time when people still remember what happened when the zombies started rising, so the reader gets some first-hand accounts of First Night (the night the world changed). ROT & RUIN also gives us some of the blood and gore that we sometimes want in a zombie novel.

    Jonathan Maberry did an excellent job developing the characters and creating an interesting setting. The reader can get lost in Benny's world. ROT & RUIN gets the Gold Star Award because I couldn't put it down. In fact, I stayed up until 3:30 A.M. one night to finish. This story caused me to cringe, gasp, chuckle, and cry. Absolutely amazing!

    16 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012


    I get a little annoyed when people review a book and give almost the entire story line up in their eight LONG paragraghs of information. Okay, with that being said, Jonathan Mayberry's first YA novel is very impressive. I was already a fan before this book and I've gotta say that this is not just a "zombie" book. The character development is phenomenal. There's good guys and bad guys, LOTS of zombies and action, and the main character's stages of emotional maturity and understanding. I definitely recommend this book AND the series. HAPPY READER

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    An astonishing twist, on the classic zombie novel.

    I first read this book in my town's public library. I was going to stop reading it, but after I passed chapter five, I was completly entranced by this novel. I ended up reading this book until the wee hours of the night following the adventure of the Imura family. I highly reccomend this to anyone.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Zombies were people, too!

    OMZ, Jonathan Maberry, you have truly outdone yourself - and while I wasn't in love with Patient Zero last year, I am tempted to camp out on your doorstep and beg you for more tales of the Imura brothers, the Lost Girl, and ye olde world of Rot & Ruin. I cannot believe I did not pick it up until now! This book is a MUST-READ. It reminds me of THE FIRST DAYS with a little touch of ZOMBIELAND and dash of The Forest Of Hands And Teeth. It was almost like Jonathan Maberry threw all the best things zombie and cooked up such a rich and brainy story to sink our teeth into. Delicious! f(0_o)f


    {A dynamic love-hate relationship between brothers who lost their parents on the First Night.} Rot & Ruin chronicles the post-zombocalyptic world through Benny Imura's eyes as he reaches the age of "adulthood" (15). He blames his older brother for leaving their parents to die, and he has a blind hatred for zombies. When Benny is forced to shadow Tom to learn what happens in the Ruin, he has to face the possibility that all that he has been taught and heard may not be true - or humane.

    {Tom Imura.} I wish there had been a little more about him because his story would definitely be phenomenal. He is a zombie samurai who has a lot of honor and heart. As an older sibling myself, I could relate to Tom and all his burdens/responsibilities. Not to mention living with a brother who makes no effort to hide his disdain for your very existence.

    {Parts 3 and 4.} Holy fried brainz on a stick! LOVE LOVE LOVE. Action-packed, horror-filled, tear-jerked, surprise-ended, zombie-loaded :D Well worth the journey!


    {Misleading Zombie Trading Cards.} I don't know if the paperback version will have the awesome Zombie Trading Cards illustrations on the inside front and back cover, but I was looking forward to an encounter with "The Bride Of Coldwater Spring." She sounded delightful - and by delightful, I mean downright frightful! However, because of the cards, I had prepared myself for a completely different zombie story. Like Benny, I had imagined the glory days of zombie bounty hunters - taking down zombies like nobody's business! On the flipside, I am more than satisfied with the actual Rot & Ruin story!

    {The deaths of certain characters} ...whom I shall not name here, but dearly wished that they had not gone the zombie way. However, I think that this also drove home what Jonathon Maberry wanted to get across. Yes, we all love our zombies getting blown to smithereens, but have we gone a little kill-kill-kill-crazy? Let's stop and remember that zombies had family who might still be human.

    {The book ended.} Granted, I thought the ending was the most beautifully-crafted piece of work, but I was seriously distraught that the story ended there. So many questions, so many ties left undone, and so much more revolutionary changes to make! Thank goodness that DUST & DECAY has already come out because I don't think I can wait much longer to find out what happens next!

    Absolutely a stunning piece of storytelling that shines a whole new light on zombies! I loved the way that Jonathan Maberry envisioned them and how that idea served as a way to bring brothers together after a tragedy that seems hard to forget and forgive. This would make an excellent movie with all the right sort of tension, excitement, romance, and humor! For a title like Rot & Ruin , this book has built such a strong, flavorful world

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended-check it out!

    I picked this book up at thinking it was going to be a scary zombie book but it wound up being much more. It was the coming of age story about a teenage boy growing up in a post-apocalyptic world. I couldn't put it down!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013


    I've read quite a few zombie books, but this one really stands out. It has in depth characters, and an amazing plot. I would recomend this series to all teenagers who liked the Hunger Games.

    This book played with my emotions, making me incredibly sad, and then happy as can be. When you read it you will know which parts.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Awesome Book!

    I loved this book! It made me cry laugh and almost pee my pants at the same time!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not Your Everyday Zombie Story

    I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by Brian Hutchison.

    This story follows teenager, Benny Imura, who has lost both of his parents to the zombie infection. The story starts out with Benny's teenaged boy attitude and his need to find a job. He doesn't like his older brother, has no respect for him, and doesn't really understand what his brother does. He searches out all of the other jobs available and finally decides he has to go out with his brother into the place referred to as the 'Rot and Ruin' and learn the family trade.

    Outside the walls of their city, zombies walk around in the Rot and Ruin and will go after anything that moves, makes loud noises, or smells good to eat. There are also some other people out there and they can be just as dangerous as the zombies. Benny starts getting real lessons in what his new zombie-infested world is all about.

    I really enjoyed this story. I had some reservations when it started off and I got to know Benny a little, but once the story took off, I was hooked. These aren't your typical zombies and this isn't your typical zombie story. The world created by Jonathan Maberry was very well done and I was left wanting more!

    Although this was the first book in a series, I was not left hanging with a giant cliff hanger. I was left with the feeling that I had just heard a really good story and wanted more. I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series, Dust and Decay!

    The Narration Review
    Brian Hutchison has a nice, clear story telling voice that is very easy to listen to. Although he didn't have a whole cast of character voices in his pocket, I could easily differentiate between people when they were speaking in dialog.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    This was a very fun book to read. It has a vast world filled wit

    This was a very fun book to read. It has a vast world filled with realistic detail, its almost as if the author has first-hand experience. At the beginning it may have taken a hot second to get jumpy with action but the delay was well worth it because the plot in this book is a enthralling tale of Benny Imura and his relationship with his brother tom as they survive in a world after the apocalypse.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Great book!

    Now im not typically a zombie book fan but just looking at the cover and the title got me curious so i read it. It was fantastic! The one thing I really loved about this book was that everybody has already been living in a zombie infested world for what i believe to be 15 years. I also love how the author wants everyone to see the zombies not as flesh eating monsters but as the living dead, people who used to eat, sleep, laugh and play just like everyone else.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect Beach Book... Zombie Escapism At Its Best! Grrrrr summer book, even for grown-ups like me! Benny lives with his older brother Tom because their parents were killed the night the zombies rose. Benny can still remember his mother handing him to his brother out a window as his father rose up behind his mother and pulled her down, and he thinks Tom is a coward for running away instead of fighting to save her, even though the rest of the town thinks Tom is a hero going out past the town gates into the Rot & Ruin and fighting the zombies day after day. Benny admires the cool bounty hunters who brag in the bars. Pretty soon, everything Benny thinks he knows is going to change, because he just turned 15 and if he doesn't get a job soon, he is going to have his food rations cut by HALF. Being a fifteen-year-old boy in the best of times is never easy, but in a post-zombie world defending your girlfriend can take on a whole new meaning... and it could cost you your life!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

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    The great zombie adventure begins!

    The book begins some years after 'first-night' where all the dead 'turned' into zombies. The town of Mountainside is fenced in which keep 'the walkers' outside of the town. The fence runs for hundreds of miles and encircles the town. What remains outside of town is known as 'the great Rot & Ruin' ("that stretched from California, all the way to the Atlantic"). This vast expanse of zombie wilderness is guarded and what I gathered from the book is that only bounty hunters are allowed in.

    The town-folk would rather go about their normal existence (sans zombies) then venture in the Rot & Ruin. They'd soon enough forget there was a 'first night' then fight zombies (who wouldn't?). The bounter hunters either live in the rot & ruin or go into the rot & ruin on a daily basis to take care of business. Family members sometimes hire the bounty hunters to track down their loved ones and to finally have 'closure'.

    An incident that happens about 3/4 the way through sets up the next adventure (book). The book kind of reminded me of 'lord of the rings' in the sense that there was a quest (can't give it away) and a journey. After finishing the book you kind of wanted Benny & his friends to continue on ... which they will (in DUST & DECAY)

    Any good book will leave you wanting more* and that's what Jonathan Maberry has done with mostly all his books. I can't think of a recent author who has made me feel like wanting to read the next book like Maberry does. I can only imagine what it was like when JRR Tolkien put out 'fellowship of the ring'. There must have been much anticipation for the next one to come out (4 months later), and the third book (almost a year later).

    I have to say I had no idea exactly what the book was about, except zombies, but it turned out to be a wonderfully written book with purpose, adventure, action & a great conclusion (to this book). The main characters are Benny, Nix, and Tom... and a colorful assortment of bounty hunters (mainly Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer). Charlie Pink eye is described as "six-foot, six inch albino with one blue eye and one pink one that was milky and blind" - the Motor City Hammer is described as "he was bulldog ugly and had pistol butts sticking out of every pocket..."

    There are many books, movies, video games on zombies but Maberry brings it to a new exciting level. The story flows as if Maberry was there writing it down as it happened (just what makes a great novel). He makes you believe that something like this could happen or that a place like 'the great Rot & Ruin' really exists (I would hope not).

    I don't know why but I liked that there was hardly any talk of government involvement and the book didn't go into great detail to explain why things happened. The book was more focused on the adventure , Tom, Benny and his friends. Since it is categorized as young-adult fiction there is just good ole' zombie killing*. I would even read this to my 7 year old .. he'd think it was cool.

    So, whether you are a young adult or an old adult (like myself) you will enjoy it just the same. You will not be disappointed.

    And for those of you who aren't really into the zombie thing ... You have to pick up this book, there really is nothing to be scared of... just grab your katana and sprinkle on some Cadaverine ... you will make it out alive!

    *Since ROT & RUIN is 'young-adult' fiction the violence is toned down a

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014


    Great read, i would definitly recomend this book to all the zombie lovers out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    WOW! This is Maberry's first young adult novel and it was EPIC!

    WOW! This is Maberry's first young adult novel and it was EPIC! He told a story in such a way that left you craving for more zombie action! 
    The story is full of twists and turns and everything is shocking and its really satisfying. So much awesomeness is thrown at your face from
    the very beginning. Every character is interesting! Especially Tom Imura and its so cool how he is like secretly a complete monster of 
    awesomeness. I loved seeing the characters growing like Benny and Nix. The story just has everything. In one point, I teared up. You 
    connect with the stories characters and start growing feelings for them. For instance, I hate Charlie. SOOOO MUCH! Read the book to understand why but I recommend this book to everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    An Absoulte Joy from Start to Finish!

    The story starts with Benny Imura, a 15 year old boy looking for a job to get his monthly rations in the small town of Mountainside. The town is surrounded by a giant wall to keep out the zombies. He goes from job to job and does not seem to find exactly what he wants. As a last minute decision he becomes an apprentice for his brother Tom Imura, who is a Zombie Hunter. He is a respected Zombie Hunter and Benny does not know why. Benny thinks his brother is a coward because his brother actually turns away from violence. Tom takes Benny out to the Rot and Ruin, which is the where the zombies free roam, and teaches him exactly what he does. Benny then learns about more about his brother and the world outside the walls. With some crazy twists and turns the story unfolds into a mesmerizing tale that that ends with a bang.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Pretty good

    Way better than the prolouge... i love your writing style so much! Please continue

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    ROT: Chapter 1

    I emerged from my house, pushing the body out of the way and into the bushes next to my door, with a backpack full of basic camping and survival supplies. I had a single antique Colt revolver that looked like it was ready to fall apart. I doubted its performance because of it's age but loaded it anyways. I also kept a pocket knife on me and a Bowie knife in my backpack on the very top of all my things. I kept the firepoker in hand. <br>
    After locking the door and securing my surroundings I headed around the side of the house to my garage. I was stunned. The hinges on the door were broken off and the door was wide open, the gate was plowed through, and worst of all, my car was gone. <br>
    I sighed, irritated, and began walking down the street, ducking behind fences and into bushes to avoid the walking cadavers aimlessly stumbling around in the streets. After about 10 minutes I heard a loud, high-pitched noise replace the siren and then static. Than, as abruptly as it had started, it stopped. As the tone of the sounds changed the things seemed to be intrigued and began making their way towards it. I ducked down in a wall of bushes and waited until the majority of the undead had passed by and only occasionally did I see one or two stragglers. I made my way down the street, checking abandoned cars for keys or supplies. Having no luck, I pressed on. <br>
    I was coming up on the edge of town when a few military jeeps came into view. They were positioned just outside of a barbed wire fence that stretched down the street as far as I could see. I pulled a pair of binoculars out of my bag and focused on the blockade. There was a half-dozen men, armed to the teeth with M16 and glocks. They looked a little too rugged to be military men and I figured that when this whole thing broke out, the U.S. army may have taken any recruits possible. Next I noticed the bodies laying near them, all on my side of the gate. I looked the bodies over, some of them with bitemarks, some without. Now I began to question if these were military-issued soldiers or just straight-up vigilantees. <br>
    I watched them for a while and got my answer when a car came speeding up to the gate and came to a complete stop, not noticing me or not caring. The men opened fire on the car, blood and glass flying. The driver floored it and put a hole through the fence. Definitely not deeling with friendly people here, I thought. <br>
    That's when I heard shouting and saw at least two of them looking straight at me. I turned, dropping my bag in the bushes and grabbing my knife, and ran into the nearest house. I heard the gate swing open, squeaking on it's hinges. The shouting got louder. <br>
    NOTE: In the prologue, I noticed several people ridiculing the story for varying reasons. That is perfectly fine, I respect your opinion. On the subject that I did not include a name, family, or even gender reference such as "he" or "she" is because I want you, the reader, to read it and put yourself in the story. That is why I used "I." Also, remember, that was just the prologue. I'm not gonna make it super exciting right off the bat, I don't want to use up all my ideas at once. As i said earlier, your feelings about the story, good or bad, are respected. Please be honest. If you say you don't like it, say it. It won't hurt my feelings. But don't rant that this is the "worst story ever" and talk about stupid sh<_>it like that. If you want the worst story ever, try reading "Les Miserables."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    This book is about a 15 year old kid named Benny Imura and his b

    This book is about a 15 year old kid named Benny Imura and his brother Tom Imura who live in a zombified world.In this book once you turn 15 you have to get a job or else your food rations you get will be decreased by half. That is Bennys problem, he is 15 and cant find a job he likes so he becomes an apprentice to his brother, a zombie hunter. After benny goes through some cards he find one in particular, one of a lost girl. Charlie Matthias sees Benny in possession of the card, Charlie does not like her because she ran away from gameland. Then Charlie hears Nix 's mom and tom talking about it (gameland) and Beats the mother for information. Then Charlie takes Nix into the rot and ruin. Benny and Tom chase Charlie in order to get Nix back encountering zoms along the way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    That is a book

    This is one of the best books that i have read in a while. It is non stop action and i can never put the book down once i start. I never tel ho the book will end and will live and who will fall to the hands o the dead. I would say that rhis book is THE BEST ZOM BOOK EVER but then again that is what i think. Try and found out for your self and TRY to prove me wrong. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Read this book

    Best series of books i have ever read! I really hope maybarry writes more!

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