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Flesh & Bone (Rot & Ruin Series #3)

Flesh & Bone (Rot & Ruin Series #3)

4.6 79
by Jonathan Maberry

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The stakes are higher and the zombies are deadlier in this third of an action-packed series that’s “an impressive mix of meaning and mayhem” (Booklist).

Reeling from the devastation of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah, and


The stakes are higher and the zombies are deadlier in this third of an action-packed series that’s “an impressive mix of meaning and mayhem” (Booklist).

Reeling from the devastation of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. Fierce animals hunt them. They come face to face with a death cult. And then there’s the zombies—swarms of them coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. And these zoms are different. Faster, smarter, and infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

One thing Benny and his companions can’t afford to forget: In the great Rot & Ruin, everything wants to kill you.

Editorial Reviews

"Zombies have run amok in YA lit, but the standard bearer remains Maberry's straight-ahead, action-drama series that began with Rot & Ruin (2010) and Dust & Decay (2011)...Waiting for the full reveal in volume four won't be easy."
"Zombies have run amok in YA lit, but the standard bearer remains Maberry's straight-ahead, action-drama series that began with Rot & Ruin (2010) and Dust & Decay (2011)...Waiting for the full reveal in volume four won't be easy."
From the Publisher
"The third time’s the charm with even more adventure—and gore—as the series continues."--Kirkus Reviews
"Zombies have run amok in YA lit, but the standard bearer remains Maberry's straight-ahead, action-drama series that began with Rot & Ruin (2010) and Dust & Decay (2011)...Waiting for the full reveal in volume four won't be easy."
VOYA - Jennifer Rosenstein
Flesh and Bone is the third book in the Benny Imura series after Dust & Decay (Simon & Schuster, 2011/VOYA August 2011) and Rot & Ruin (Simon & Schuster, 2011). While the text makes reference to the earlier books in the series, it is still readable as a stand-alone novel. Teenager Benny Imura and his friends Nix, Lilah, and Chong are on their own in the vast Rot and Ruin, what remains of America after a zombie apocalypse. They have to survive not only the hordes of hungry zombies but also feral animals, disease, and most dangerous of all, other people. As if the four did not have enough trouble, they encounter a murderous cult led by a psychopathic serial killer and a manipulative priestess. And just when they thought they could predict how the zombies will behave, the "gray walkers" seem to be mutating, becoming faster, smarter, and more dangerous. The action starts from the first line and rarely lets up. This is not a book for the faint of heart, and both the body count and gore factor are pretty high. However, Maberry does find some quieter moments to explore the relationships between the characters and flesh out the details of the bleak world he has created. The idea of a death cult bent on clearing the earth of humanity is both chilling and eerily convincing, and Maberry ponders some weighty questions about human nature among the flying bullets and whirling knives. Horror fans will love this book; it is also a good choice to grab reluctant readers. Reviewer: Jennifer Rosenstein
Kirkus Reviews
The third time's the charm with even more adventure--and gore--as the series continues (Dust & Decay, 2011, etc.). With their beloved trainer Tom now dead, Benny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah carry on their search in the Rot and Ruin for the still-elusive jet. Just when the teens didn't think anything could be stranger in a zombie-infested world, they cross paths with Mother Rose and Saint John of the Knife, rival leaders of the Night Church, a death cult seeking the extinction of the human race. Separated from one another early on in the story, the teens battle nonstop with various factions of the Night Church and their zombie minions. As Mother Rose and Saint John secretly try to double-cross one another, the battles turn deadlier. The blood bath is tempered by each teen's personal struggle with grief and realization of his or her "Warrior Smart" training. Short chapters, punctuated by suspenseful, cliffhanger endings, heighten the tension throughout. Of course, zombies still play a large role, and Maberry keeps each zombie chase terrifying as more evolved and cross-species zombies enter this already dangerous environment. While the teens learn more about the genesis of the zombie plague and the history of the nation (or what's left of it) since First Night, many more questions remain unanswered. Good thing there will be another sequel. (Science fiction. 13 & up)
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
Benny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah are on a quest to find a jet that they believe can lead them to a better life. Currently, they are being chased by zombies. As if that is not bad enough, the kids learn that they are actually running headlong into a death cult called the Reapers. The leader of the Reapers is Saint John. His main purpose is to make the human race disappear forever. Chong seems to have a nice relationship with Lost Girl. Nix's Journal entries were very informative and added much to the story. The short chapters made it easy to read one more chapter before putting the book down—which readers will feel compelled to do since most chapters end with something of a cliffhanger. This book can be read without previous knowledge of the first two books in the series. While it is commendable that these teens must work as a group in order to survive, the book involves a lot of gore. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Benny Imura and his friends are back fighting their way through a postapocalyptic world. Still reeling from the tragic ending in Dust & Decay (S & S, 2011), Benny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah continue moving east from California's Sierra Nevadas, searching for the jet that Benny and Nix saw and, hopefully, for a better life. As in the previous volumes, the ever-present zombies threaten the teens but they are hardly the most hazardous or scariest things stalking the wilderness. The kids run headlong into the "Reapers," a death cult led by Saint John, a serial killer turned prophet. The Reapers' mission is to finish what the zombie plague started-the extinction of the human race. Even as the teens struggle to stay one step ahead of these murderous freaks and close in on their goal, they discover that the zombie virus is mutating, resulting in startling and even more dangerous changes. A few of the passages (especially between Benny and Nix) get a little tiresome, and the Reaper philosophy stretches credulity a bit, but lots of action and generous helpings of blood and gore keep the story moving briskly and will keep series fans turning pages. The ending leaves open the possibility of a fourth installment, though one of the main characters might not survive that long.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Rot & Ruin Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.48(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Flesh & Bone


The hundred zombies chasing him all seemed to agree.

Meet the Author

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and Marvel Comics writer. He’s the author of many novels, including Assassin’s Code, Dead of Night, Patient Zero, and Rot & Ruin. His nonfiction books cover topics ranging from martial arts to zombie pop-culture. Jonathan continues to teach the celebrated Experimental Writing for Teens class, which he created. He founded the Writers Coffeehouse and cofounded The Liars Club, and he is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries, as well as a keynote speaker and guest of honor at major writers’ and genre conferences. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California, with his wife, Sara, and their son, Sam. Visit him at JonathanMaberry.com and on Twitter (@JonathanMaberry) and Facebook.

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Flesh & Bone 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Suvorov More than 1 year ago
"Benny Imura thought, I'm going to die. The hundred zombies chasing him all seemed to agree." ----- With book three in the Benny Imura series, Maberry manages to impress me with the first two lines. Don't you love it when a book manages to do that? In Flesh & Bone, the reader follows Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong as they make their way east in search of the airplane and hopefully, a better life. Along the way, they discover things much more disturbing than they could have possibly imagined. ----- In spite of the dire circumstances, Maberry continues to mix in the humor: ----- "Yo! Deadheads," he yelled, waving his sword to taunt them. "Nice try, but you're messing with Benny-freaking-Imura, zombie killer. Booyah! And then the lip of the ravine buckled and collapsed under his weight, and Benny-freaking-Imura instantly plummeted into the darkness below. ----- What makes this so funny is that I can see someone doing this, even myself. Maberry's writing is so good it is easy to visualize the scenes. He manages to write something that could be translated to the big screen very well, yet does not sacrifice any quality to the writing. That's impressive. ----- Of course, the intelligence of the series also continues: ----- Chong leaned close to Benny again. "This is fascinating," he said quietly. "If there are other settlements out here, then they're probably like islands or distant countries used to be in the days before the world was mapped. So isolated that their own phrasing and references- all the slang and jargon that we've used since First Night- is going to be different." ----- I love how Maberry looks at many different aspects of the zombie apocalypse aftermath. Chong makes an intelligent observation about society in the Ruin rebuilding itself and compares it to societies in history. This type of detail seems largely ignored in your run of the mill zombie book. Not only does the author successfully incorporate it into his story, he also makes me wonder why all the other zombie books I read did not even consider this natural development. ----- Of course one of my favorite things about Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay was the weirdo religious storyline. If you are with me on this one, Flesh & Bone will absolutely, positively not disappoint. It only gets deliciously creepier. ----- In addition, the author throws all kinds of new stuff out there for the reader. Suffice it to say, Maberry obviously has a head full of ideas because he still manages to throw in some really good ones in book 3. ----- Finally, the quality of the writing remains remarkable: ----- "Hell? [She] knew hell. It had nothing to teach her, no new tricks it could play on her." ----- Wait until you read it in context. My heart dropped. ----- As I mentioned in my review of Dust & Decay, I was concerned that Maberry would not be able to keep up the engrossing storyline through four books and I was probably doomed to disappointment. Well that disappointment does not arrive in book 3. On the contrary, Flesh & Bone kept me on the edge of my seat. There were times that I was so anxious I felt like running around in circles just to ease some of the excess energy. But I didn't because I can't run and read at the same time. Anyway, three down, one to go. Can Maberry keep it up? I guess we'll find out when Fire & Ash is released on August 27, 2013 (according to Goodreads).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is better than any zombie book I have read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book was really good wish there was another book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is totally thrilling,sad,and inspiring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the first two, almost cried when tom died. Cant wait to read this one. Im a huge fan of zombie based movies and books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and really hope that theres another one
BookAffair More than 1 year ago
Grief as Maberry mentions in his foreword must be dealt with by all of the characters. For Bennie, grief pressures him to take over the role of his brother, Tom, in an effort to restore balance to his world. But Bennie is ever mindful of Tom's strong conviction that Zoms deserve sympathy and respect because they used to be people, and are now creatures roaming the Earth in a hell of their own. As Bennie and his friends continue to navigate a world repopulated with Zombies, questions regarding the cognitive abilities of Zoms linger in the air. Bennie and his friends find themselves in a desert that at first offers safety, solitude and quiet, but they quickly discover Zoms with ranges of intellectual abilities and encounter a religious group that is dangerously devoted to their own faith. This group of religious fanatics sheds light on some of the very thoughts and questions that plague most of society. Do the Scientists and pharmaceutical companies hold the cures to the diseases that plague mankind? Are they pocketing the money made from people suffering from terminal diseases? Is the government refusing to help the sick in an effort to control or reduce population? Finding the solutions to these questions forces Bennie and his friends to follow Tom's code of Warrior Smart ethics and become true Samarui.
KyaAliana More than 1 year ago
Flesh & Bone is a high-intensity, emotional thrill ride of a book! This is a really intense installment of the Rot & Ruin series, and one of Maberry’s best books yet! It’s no secret that this book deals with grief in a multitude of ways. Each character has their own, separate and shared, reasons to grieve. And Maberry hits the nail on the head with this one - realistically portraying the minds of the characters, their inner feelings, their outer actions, and the venerable state that grief can put you through. Benny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah all must navigate through the inescapable hard times of adolescents and growing up…they also have to deal zombies, monsters, the ugly side of humanity, AND all the heightened emotions that comes with the grieving process. This is an intense book filled with non-stop suspense, action, and mystery all tied together with a strong emotional core. Jonathan Maberry is a master of YA horror and he’s raised the bar with this book! I laughed, I cried, I related to the characters. My heart was broken and healed all at once. This is not just a book, but a journey. A journey that I recommend to any and all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I swear if that guy kills off a character, im gonna be so mad...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an epic book. It leaves you hanging---like the last two. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series! This book moved the story along and answered some questions. Can not wait to read where the final book takes us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its so awesome that maberry thought to bring joe "greatest soldier ever" ledger into this series. Is this a variation of the first ledger book but they didnt stop sief al din from getting out.
DreaEmilia More than 1 year ago
This book series is so riveted. I have read the three books well over 4 times, and all within a matter of hours. I have even gotten my dad interested in these books. Jonathan Maberry is an exquisite writer. One of the best.
LowKeedOne More than 1 year ago
This is possibly the best novel series on zombies that I've ever read! The characters are on a level you get to know them and feel they're pain, as well as the triumphs in they're lives. This series is a home run indeed!
Curtis_A_Orton More than 1 year ago
Incredible follow-up to one of my favorite books of all time! The "Rot and Ruin" series is quickly becoming a classic! I absolutely can't wait for each new chapter. This book was intense from beginning to end, full of unexpected twists and turns (and heartbreak). Thank you, Mr. Maberry, for writing with such depth and passion!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All in good time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yet another great book in the Rot and Ruin series. I would recomend this to any zombie lover!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This triliogy is a wonderful one. I could read these over and over
walawa More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my granddaughter. I have not had a chance to read this book yet but if it's anything like the first two in this series I am sure I will totally enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a awesome book i can not wait for the next one!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book in the rot and ruin series. Although F&B is slower than the first two, it has a darker tone and an ending that leaves you crushed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Number three did not disappoint! Excellent description of thoughts & emotions that would run through teenager, child & adult! Huge fan of zombie/post apocalyptic/ ITEOTWAWKI stories & I am impressed with these. Beautiful and scary at the same time.....so loving these stories! Come on #4!!! :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good book! maberry continues to write a great story - finished it in 2 days...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Zombies are a myth