Customer Reviews for

Rot & Ruin (Rot & Ruin Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

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'...
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!

posted by TeensReadToo on August 18, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I think this book was a really good and different view of a zomb

I think this book was a really good and different view of a zombie apocolypse. It was Awesome! Gives another view of going through a world epidemic in a way i can almost relate to.

posted by julianH-Beavers_3Period on January 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    ENTERTAINING!!

    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

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Once upon a review

    Over all the story was amazing and i loved it...but after awhile i kind seemed like benny and nix's love was forced into the plot

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2015

    The book was slightly predictable but it was so good! probably o

    The book was slightly predictable but it was so good! probably one of my new favorites!

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  • Posted October 16, 2013

    Pretty good zombie story. This review is for the audiobook. *B

    Pretty good zombie story.

    This review is for the audiobook.

    *Book source ~ Local library

    Living in a post-apocalyptic world where zombies are the norm, Benny Imura is reaching the age where he needs to decide what he’s going to do for a job. Since he hates his older brother Tom for abandoning their mother on First Night he does not want to join the ‘family business.’ However, after trying many different jobs available he realizes he needs to at least give bounty hunting a try. And his life once again does a 180.

    My guest reviewers for today:

    My 16-yr-old daughter A
    My 14-yr-old son T
    My 13-yr-old son K

    When asked to give their opinions on the book the vote was unanimous that Benny sucked. Some of the words to describe him were: whiner baby, idiot, prat, hobnocker (those who watch iCarly will recognize that one lol) and I wanted to beat him with a stick. Yeah, kinda my opinion, too.  However, everyone also agreed they liked him better towards the end of the book. 

    Also unanimous was that everyone loved Tom. He was cool, awesome and had mad skillz. And he shoulda beat Benny with a stick. Again with the stick. I’m going to need to keep a close eye on the walking sticks outside.

    They liked the plot, the world and the characters, but it irritated them that zombies were called zoms. They said it sounded dumb and I agreed.

    The narrator was good, but no one liked how he did the Lost Girl’s voice. It sounded like she smoked 10 packs of cigarettes a day for years. Other than that they enjoyed the narration.

    All-in-all a great zombie story and they all would like to continue with the series. Unfortunately the library doesn’t have copies of the next books.

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    TOM IMURA ROCKS!! This novel made it on my To be read list qui

    TOM IMURA ROCKS!!

    This novel made it on my To be read list quite some time ago, and it's been out for a couple of years. Great news for me is that the following two novels are already out so I can pick this story up again any time I want.

    Excellent read to start out October, though it gave me a lot more than I expected. This is just not a novel of survival and kicking some zombie ass. There is a great story and a really deep, emotional storyline. This novel makes you go where you normally don't want to go as a reader of this genre.... giving the zombies a past and making you see them as once human. People that were loved, that once loved, that were fathers, mothers, children, husbands and wives. Once you allow yourself to see them in this light, it is so much harder to thirst for bloodshed - their blood to be exact.

    And that is the lesson that Benny Imura learns from his older brother. Though reluctant to see the 'zoms' any other way, he slowly begins to see what his brother Tom sees. With Benny's change of outlook, so does his life change. He begins to understand how deeply compassionate his brother is, and his eyes open to the injustices being done outside the safety of his sheltered little town of survivors. Not to mention, that he begins to understand just how amazingly formidable Tom is.

    Though this is a YA novel, don't think that you won't be kicked in the gut by this story. Not only did this novel make me feel sympathy for the one thing that gives me serious nightmares, but it also hit me on the emotional level.

    There is plenty zombie action to keep even the most hard core fan enthralled, but it also gives you a pretty original plot line and characters to keep you biting your nails to the very end. And an excellent ending it was. I can't wait to get into the next in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Zombieeee

    Love it great book read the series at school

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

    Not usually a zombie or horror reader but I had run out of books

    Not usually a zombie or horror reader but I had run out of books and moved to another section. I was interested by reading the cover but as I read I became more and more intriguded. This is one of the best series of books I have read in quite a while. It has interesting characters, a plot that keeps you wanting more. I am ready for the next book in the series. 

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Rot and Ruin doesn't disappoint. There is a moral in the story,

    Rot and Ruin doesn't disappoint. There is a moral in the story, but the only problem I had was the waiting time to engage in the awesome scenes. This book is very entertaining as you enter the mindset of Benny himself and see what Tom does. the characters all have their certain backgrounds and nothing like a good zombie book to captivate the reader.

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  • Posted March 9, 2013

    I liked a lot of things about this book, the characters were wel

    I liked a lot of things about this book, the characters were well defined, the world-building was excellent, and the author gave quite a bit of food for thought about zombies. The only thing I did not like was the main character, I just could not get over his immaturity, and the horrible & undeserved attitude he had towards his brother Tom. I wish Tom had been the main char in this book, he was much more interesting than his younger brother Benny.

    **** SPOILER AHEAD ***** After reading reviews for the 2nd book I decided to give up on the series, as the author apparently kills Tom off at the end of the 2nd book. ****** END SPOILER

    I realize this is a YA novel, but still wanted to try it since I am a glutton for all things zombie :D - I have to say though that this book is probably not the best choice for more mature readers, as I was fervently hoping for the main char to get chomped on during the majority of the story, just to be rid of him already /sigh.

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  • Posted January 9, 2013

    This book was great mix between my two favorite genres - Lovey D

    This book was great mix between my two favorite genres - Lovey Dovey, And Mystery/Horror-ish. I only started reading this book to get points for my class but i quickly finished and loved it! This whole idea of what happens to the world once they learn to live with and accept that zombies are now apart of their world- even some 13 years later. Benny gets pulled into seeing what that actually means when he goes out with his brother Tom(a bounty hunter- for zombies) and gets to see for himself what zombies actually are, and creates feelings for them not only seeing them as blood thirsty monsters. He also has to deal with new feelings he is creating for his friends and brother whom he always despised. Going out into the rot and ruin changes his life and he has to learn to accept that when something very disastrous happens and has to step up and become a man. I definitely recommend this book and the rest of the series as i am already on the third book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    JRR

    Thoght was a great story, didnt want to put the book down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Loved it.

    But then, I'm twisted. Zombies and our weird obsession with the undead are put on the back burner in this book. Zombies exist, but are an obvious symbol for a humanity that has devoured itself. The characters are a cool combination of comic book heroes and raw emotion. I'm looking forward to the follow up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Enjoyed this book

    This was a fast fun book. It had great pacing and an original take on zombies. If you like character driven stories this is worth a read.

    If you decide to read the series, don't look at any reviews for book 2, I saw a spoiler that I'm bummed about. Enjoy this, it's really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Very entertaining

    Great book. At times its a little juvenile at times in the dialogue of certain characters but what can you expect from YA. More then just zombies and gore, it shows that in a post appocalyptic world full of zombies, the zombies arent the only thing you have to worry about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Seems like aa Seems like a good book

    Good book

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    Good Book with a very interesting story.

    Book was a page turner. Had a story line that had many twists and turns that were very unexpected. Although there are many many zombie stories out there this was has a different appeal and is a far more intelligent book than others. Must read defiantly must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Great post z-apocalyptic society

    A great read for zombie fiction lover & a really good book overall

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    LOVE IT SO FAR!!!!! :)

    THIS IS SUCH A GOOD BOOK I CAN NOT PUT IT DOWN!!!! :))

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    Definite page-turner!

    This was my first zombie book I've ever read though I've enjoyed that genre for several decades on tv and movies. Excellent read that had me interested in their world and what happened to each character. I'm looking forward to the next in the series!

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best 'zom' books out there

    I enjoyed reading this novel through and through. Sure, Benny Imura is rather hard to deal with in the first part of this book. His attitude is something close to a lazy brat who doesn¿t enjoy any of the jobs he gets. Even when he becomes Tom¿s apprentice, his attitude still doesn¿t let up. Yet that¿s the best part of Benny¿s character, because it develops in a big way throughout this book. He goes from immature, to mature as the novel progresses.

    I enjoy reading Benny¿s friendships with Chong and Nix. Especially with Chong. They both make a perfect friendship and that¿s where some of the humor comes from. Character development in this book is wonderful and well done with all of the main characters. Of all the characters, Benny¿s attitude wasn¿t so great but it improved as the book went along. I found it hard to like Nix. She just wasn¿t that great in my opinion. (Lilah on the other hand, ended up becoming one of my favorite characters, second to Tom).

    The plot of this book was also good. The action was great and everything you could want in a zombie plot. Yet besides zombies, there¿s also the threat of not so nice humans out there and this is what I liked the most about the book. It¿s not all just pure killing zombies, but also what humanity does in horrible situations and what some very horrible people are quite capable of doing. This was well done, as like Benny, we¿re assuming this is all going to be about zombie killing. Tom shows Benny and the reader what¿s it really like, getting rid of these ¿zoms¿.

    Zombie fans rejoice, this is one of the better books out there regarding the subject. It¿s catered to a younger audience but readers of all ages should enjoy this one as much as I did. Most definitely recommended!

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