This book really was amazing. Best zombie book I've ever read. But there's so much more to it than zombies.
Awkward cover art aside (the one eye zoom always freaks me out a bit), this is one of my favorite books this year. Rot & Ruin goes beyond the idea of “Ahhh! Zombies are trying to kill us!” to take us inside a small community a few years after the ‘end of the world’.
I feel like I’m not going to do a good enough job convincing everyone in the world to read this book, regardless of how you feel about zombies. The reason I feel so strongly about Rot & Ruin is because of how Jonathan Maberry slowly reveals the world in which Benny Imura was raised. Benny’s state of mind when the story begins is vastly different than how he thinks at the end, and the events that lead him there are some of the most riveting and insightful glimpses into post-apocalyptic psyche that I’ve ever seen.
The book is told through Benny. I think that’s another reason why I liked this book. It was written by a guy, which added to the realism of Benny’s voice and thoughts, especially when it came to girls. There’s a great bit in the story between Benny and this girl. Benny’s thoughts during the entire thing had me giggling. He’s so adorable.
There’s so much about the characters and this world that I want to talk about, but at the same time, I don’t want to spoil anything. Like with Tom. Oh, Tom! *sigh*
I will say this, though. Once you start this book, expect to not put it down until you’re finished. I was thoroughly engrossed in Benny’s story after he decided on a vocation, to the point where I forgot to eat dinner. And I need to tell y’all that I teared up a little toward the end. It’s a very emotional story, one that I found to be a bit sad with just a dash of hopeful. There was some closure, but really, so many more questions were raised during the last chapter that I’ve been dying to read Dust & Decay the second after I finished Rot & Ruin.
Overall, I consider this a MUST READ book. The world and the characters make this one of the most thought-provoking and intelligent YA books I’ve ever read.