Rot & Ruin (Rot & Ruin Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

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.
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Rot & Ruin (Rot & Ruin Series #1)

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—At first glance, this appears to be a retelling of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Delacorte, 2009) but with a male protagonist. But Maberry's vision of a zombie-infested future has more action, more violence, and more emotional depth. Benny Imura was a baby when the zombie apocalypse happened. His first memory is of his mother handing him to his older half brother as she is being dragged down by his zombie-fied father. He resents Tom for leaving his mother, for running away. To Benny, Tom is a coward. To everyone else in their fenced-in town, Tom is the toughest, bravest zombie killer in California. As Benny approaches his 15th birthday, he must find a job or forfeit half of his food rations. After losing half a dozen jobs, he reluctantly agrees to work as Tom's apprentice in the "Family Business." When they travel out into the Rot and Ruin, he witnesses things that change his opinion of his brother and forever alter his perception of the world. He also learns that flesh-eating zombies aren't the scariest or most dangerous monsters around. As with all zombie stories, this one requires a fairly large suspension of disbelief, but once the brothers enter the Rot and Ruin, readers become too wrapped up in the plot to dwell on some lapses of logic. The relationship between Benny and Tom becomes surprisingly complex and satisfying, as does the romantic subplot between Benny and his friend Nix. The length of the book may intimidate some reluctant readers but the striking cover, compelling action, and brutal violence will draw them in and keep them reading.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
From the Publisher
"Thrilling, enticing, and surprisingly touching, Rot & Ruin will grip readers from beginning to end, and make them question who the real monsters are. It had me hooked from page one."—Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series

"This is a romping, stomping adventure. And while most zombie novels are all about the brains, this one has a heart as well. With the dead prowling all around, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura learns the bittersweet lessons of life, love, and family in the great Rot & Ruin. Anyone with a pulse will enjoy this novel, and anyone with a brain will find plenty of food for thought inside."—Michael Northrop, author of Gentlemen

"George Romero meets The Catcher in the Rye in this poignant and moving coming of age novel set during zombie times. I welled up at the end, then smiled through my tears when I realized there was going to be a sequel. Bravo, Jonathan Maberry. Can't wait to read more." —Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and Possessions

"This is no ordinary zombie novel. Maberry has given it a soul in the form of two brothers who captured my heart from the first page and refused to let go."—Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study

* "The delineation between man and monster, survivor and victim is fiercely debated in Maberry’s thoughtful, postapocalyptic coming-of-age tale...In turns mythic and down-to-earth, this intense novel combines adventure and philosophy to tell a truly memorable zombie story, one that forces readers to consider them not just as flesh-eating monsters or things to be splattered, but as people.“—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"An impressive mix of meaning and mayhem."—Booklist

“Horror fans will appreciate the gorge-raising descriptions of the shambling zombies...while zombie-apocalypse aficionados will cotton to the solid world-building and refreshingly old-school undead. —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"An action-packed, thought-provoking look at life—and death—as readers determine the true enemy."—Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Will the world as we know it come to an end through war, flood, invasion of an alien species, or any of the other science-fiction-type disasters that we can imagine? In this post-apocalyptic world, the enemy is so powerful that the remnants of the population exist in gated communities for its own safety. Any industrial advance—electricity, mass production, nuclear power—is seen as evil. The small community in which the protagonists live is walled off from the "ruin" which is the real world. An unspecified virus has caused the dead to become zombies—mindless, soulless wanderers with an insatiable appetite for blood. Benny Imura has just turned fifteen, and the law says that he must get a job or lose half his food rations. Everything job he applies for, however, has something wrong with it. He knows that his older brother Tom hunts zombies, and would gladly bring him into the "family business," but Benny hates Tom—has always hated him—considers him a coward. Benny's first memory is of their mother's handing him to Tom and telling Tom to run. They never saw either of their parents again. As in any community, there are good folks and bad, and it is very easy for young people to be influenced by the bad (and to think that they are actually good). This is a complex coming-of-age story that becomes a meaningful page-turner. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Fourteen years after First Night, when America was overrun with the dead who reanimated, 15-year-old Benny Imura joins his half-brother, Tom, in the family business of "closure" or zombie bounty hunting in Jonathan Maberry's novel (S & S, 2010). Benny thinks Tom is a coward and greatly admires the much flashier Charlie Matthias, but his opinions begin to change once out in the Rot & Ruin where he sees what Tom really does. His maturation and growing respect for his brother dovetail with a deep yet unacknowledged affection for his friend, Nix, and his fascination with a near mythical Lost Girl who is said to be living out in the Rot & Ruin on her own. Plenty of action and gore balance a delicate love story, and finely drawn, three-dimensional secondary characters make the tale sing. Brian Hutchinson capably handles the narration, expressing Benny's fear, determination, and dawning realizations. The ending is a bit predictable but satisfying, leaving plenty of room for a sequel. The setting, circumstances, and character development will be enjoyed by all who relish vivid storytelling, not just horror aficionados.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, Oxford, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442402348
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Series: Rot & Ruin Series , #1
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 21,284
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 10 MB

Meet the Author

Jonathan Maberry
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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Read an Excerpt


1

BENNY IMURA COULDN’T HOLD A JOB, SO HE TOOK TO KILLING.

It was the family business. He barely liked his family—and by family he meant his older brother, Tom—and he definitely didn’t like the idea of “business.” Or work. The only part of the deal that sounded like it might be fun was the actual killing.

He’d never done it before. Sure, he’d gone through a hundred simulations in gym class and in the Scouts, but they never let kids do any real killing. Not before they hit fifteen.

“Why not?” he asked his Scoutmaster, a fat guy named Feeney who used to be a TV weatherman back in the day. Benny was eleven at the time and obsessed with zombie hunting. “How come you don’t let us whack some real zoms?”

“Because killing’s the sort of thing you should learn from your folks,” said Feeney.

“I don’t have any folks,” Benny countered. “My mom and dad died on First Night.”

“Ouch. Sorry, Benny—I forgot. Point is, you got family of some kind, right?”

“I guess. I got ‘I’m Mr. Freaking Perfect Tom Imura’ for a brother, and I don’t want to learn anything from him.”

Feeney had stared at him. “Wow. I didn’t know you were related to him. He’s your brother, huh? Well, there’s your answer, kid. Nobody better to teach you the art of killing than a professional killer like Tom Imura.” Feeney paused and licked his lips nervously. “I guess being his brother and all, you’ve seen him take down a lot of zoms.”

“No,” Benny said with huge annoyance. “He never lets me watch.”

“Really? That’s odd. Well, ask him when you turn thirteen.”

Benny had asked on his thirteenth birthday, and Tom had said no. Again. It wasn’t a discussion. Just “No.”

That was more than two years ago, and now Benny was six weeks past his fifteenth birthday. He had four more weeks grace to find a paying job before town ordinance cut his rations by half. Benny hated being in that position, and if one more person gave him the “fifteen and free” speech, he was going to scream. He hated that as much as when people saw someone doing hard work and they said crap like, “Holy smokes, he’s going at that like he’s fifteen and out of food.”

Like it was something to be happy about. Something to be proud of. Working your butt off for the rest of your life. Benny didn’t see where the fun was in that. Okay, maybe it was marginally okay because it meant only half days of school from then on, but it still sucked.

His buddy Lou Chong said it was a sign of the growing cultural oppression that was driving postapocalyptic humanity toward acceptance of a new slave state. Benny had no freaking idea what Chong meant or if there was even meaning in anything he said. But he nodded agreement because the look on Chong’s face always made it seem like he knew exactly what was what.

At home, before he even finished eating his dessert, Tom had said, “If I want to talk about you joining the family business, are you going to chew my head off? Again?”

Benny stared venomous death at Tom and said, very clearly and distinctly, “I. Don’t. Want. To. Work. In. The. Family. Business.”

“I’ll take that as a ‘no,’ then.”

“Don’t you think it’s a little late now to try and get me all excited about it? I asked you a zillion times to—”

“You asked me to take you out on kills.”

“Right! And every time I did you—”

Tom cut him off. “There’s a lot more to what I do, Benny.”

“Yeah, there probably is, and maybe I would have thought the rest was something I could deal with, but you never let me see the cool stuff.”

“There’s nothing ‘cool’ about killing,” Tom said sharply.

“There is when you’re talking about killing zoms!” Benny fired back.

That stalled the conversation. Tom stalked out of the room and banged around the kitchen for a while, and Benny threw himself down on the couch.

Tom and Benny never talked about zombies. They had every reason to, but they never did. Benny couldn’t understand it. He hated zoms. Everyone hated them, though with Benny it was a white-hot consuming hatred that went back to his very first memory. Because it was his first memory—a nightmare image that was there every night when he closed his eyes. It was an image that was seared into him, even though it was something he had seen as a tiny child.

Dad and Mom.

Mom screaming, running toward Tom, shoving a squirming Benny—all of eighteen months—into Tom’s arms. Screaming and screaming. Telling him to run.

While the thing that had been Dad pushed its way through the bedroom door that Mom had tried to block with a chair and lamps and anything else she could find.

Benny remembered Mom screaming words, but the memory was so old and he had been so young that he didn’t remember what any of them were. Maybe there were no words. Maybe it was just her screaming.

Benny remembered the wet heat on his face as Tom’s tears fell on him as they climbed out of the bedroom window. They had lived in a ranch-style house. One story. The window emptied out into a yard that was pulsing with red and blue police lights. There were more shouts and screams. The neighbors. The cops. Maybe the army. Thinking back, Benny figured it was probably the army. And the constant popping of gunfire, near and far away.

But of all of it, Benny remembered a single last image. As Tom clutched him to his chest, Benny looked over his brother’s shoulder at the bedroom window. Mom leaned out of the window, screaming at them as Dad’s pale hands reached out of the shadows of the room and dragged her back out of sight.

That was Benny’s oldest memory. If there had been older memories, then that image had burned them away. Because he had been so young the whole thing was little more than a collage of pictures and noises, but over the years Benny had burned his brain to reclaim each fragment, to assign meaning and sense to every scrap of what he could recall. Benny remembered the hammering sound vibrating against his chest that was Tom’s panicked heartbeat, and the long wail that was his own inarticulate cry for his mom and his dad.

He hated Tom for running away. He hated that Tom hadn’t stayed and helped Mom. He hated what their dad had become on that First Night all those years ago. Just as he hated what Dad had turned Mom into.

In his mind they were no longer Mom and Dad. They were the things that had killed them. Zoms. And he hated them with an intensity that made the sun feel cold and small.

“Dude, what is it with you and zoms?” Chong once asked him. “You act like the zoms have a personal grudge against you.”

“What, I’m supposed to have fuzzy bunny feelings for them?” Benny had snapped back.

“No,” Chong had conceded, “but a little perspective would be nice. I mean … everybody hates zoms.”

“You don’t.”

Chong had shrugged his bony shoulders and his dark eyes had darted away. “Everybody hates zoms.”

The way Benny saw it, when your first memory was of zombies killing your parents, then you had a license to hate them as much as you wanted. He tried to explain that to Chong, but his friend wouldn’t be drawn back into the conversation.

A few years ago, when Benny found out that Tom was a zombie hunter, he hadn’t been proud of his brother. As far as he was concerned, if Tom really had what it took to be a zombie hunter, he’d have had the guts to help Mom. Instead, Tom had run away and left Mom to die. To become one of them.

Tom came back into the living room, looked at the remains of the dessert on the table, then looked at Benny on the couch.

“The offer still stands,” he said. “If you want to do what I do, then I’ll take you on as an apprentice. I’ll sign the papers so you can still get full rations.”

Benny gave him a long, withering stare.

“I’d rather be eaten by zoms than have you as my boss,” Benny said.

Tom sighed, turned, and trudged upstairs. After that they didn’t talk to each other for days.

© 2010 Jonathan Maberry

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 221 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(159)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 221 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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'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

    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

    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

    THE GOOD BITS

    {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!


    THE BAD BITS

    {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!

    THE OVERALL
    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

    Unique

    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

    Grrrrr....eat 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

    more from this reviewer

    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

    Katie

    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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  • Posted July 28, 2014

    I loved it

    I loved it

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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>
    <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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