Jason's Reviews > Dust & Decay

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2012
Read from January 22 to 24, 2012

5 Stars

“There is no God,” whispered the old man. “There’s just the devil and me and the Rot and Ruin.”

I am a biased reviewer and a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry, so to give this book less than 5 stars would not be fair to the overall feelings I have for this book and for this series. Maberry is a master at creating larger than life tough as nails adult heroes like Joe Ledger and Malcolm Crow, but in this series, it is the young adults, the hardly more than children, that are the heroes. Clearly written to have the YA appeal, and to be current with one of today's most popular genres, that of Zombies, this series is Maberry's fresh take on the genre. I am once again impressed with his ability to tone down his writing to be suitable for the YA crowd while still maintaining his visceral action scenes. This book does not suffer the middle book plague of having neither a good ending, or beginning.

This, the second book in the series, is much different than the first. There is much less time spent with backstory, and more time spent dealing with crisis after crisis. Our young heroes in Benny, Nix, and Chong, have matured quite a bit in the last 7 months. This book has a faster pace than the first, and is much more action oriented. However, Like in the first book, there are many times that are quite introspective, and meant to be thought provoking to the reader.

“Sometimes it’s harder to tell which side of the fence the dead are on.”

“It was like a plague, but different from the one that had destroyed the world. This was an emotional pandemic that blinded the eye and deafened the ear and darkened the mind so that there simply was no world other than what existed inside each fenced town.”

“A lot of folks see it that way,” said the Greenman, “but it was death that changed. People are still people. Some good, some bad. Death changed, and we don’t know what death really means anymore. Maybe that was the point. Maybe this is an object lesson about the arrogance of our assumptions. Hard to say. But the world? She didn’t change. She healed. We stopped hurting her and she began to heal. You can see it all around. The whole world is a forest now. The air is fresher. More trees, more oxygen. Even in Yosemite the air was never this fresh.”

I enjoyed the quiet moments between Benny and Nix, and the further development of the “Lost Girl” Lilah. Tom continues his father role, his hero role, his leader role, and his legend.

I feel that Maberry shows his writing skills when penning action but also in his creative character development and naming. Characters with names like Charlie Pink Eye, The Hammer, The Greenman, The Preacher, Sally Two-Knives, Basher Bashman, and Dr Skillz. These unique names add fun and flare to his books and help play out the humor that is strewn throughout. I found the dialogue from the surfer brother bounty hunters to be hilarious:

“Far out,” said Dr. Skillz. “Benjamin Imura and Phoenix Riley. Wassssabi?”
Dr. Skillz nodded. “Seriously, brah, and Jessie’s daughter’s gone all aliham.”
“Babelini!” agreed J-Dog, though he was smiling, not leering, when he said it. The surfers gave Benny the thumbs-up. “Good call, dude.”
“Huh?” asked Benny.

If I did not already know that there is more to come from this series, I might have been let down by the overall progress of this book. I will not go into that here as I do not want to have any spoilers included. I have really grown to like the young cast of heroes. I love the direction that this series is headed. I also am glad that, like the Harry Potter series, we the readers get to watch our heroes mature from book to book as the approach adulthood. This is a fine series that is very accessible to the Young Adult crowd, and one that should not be missed by Maberry fans.

“…leaving only their footprints behind in the dust and decay.”
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Nice review, Jason.

message 2: by Anne (new) - added it

Anne Garry Great review

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