Jianne's Reviews > Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
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's review
Jul 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: class-library, fell-in-love-with, fangirl-for
Read from July 14 to 18, 2012

Under the the new roof of our new flat, I sat down on the wood-splinted floor (having no furniture yet) and was enticed into reading Rot & Ruin in the empty room, my only company are the four walls, my little brother and the book. Because there was no clock, I wasn't able to keep track of the time, but by the time I took out my cellphone I realized that I have finished the book and also realized something was grumbling inside of me. I was hungry and I didn't even realized it while I was busy reading. And when I stood up, my back ached and there was so many things in my head but one stayed and lingered and was clear this book is amazing.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about the book.

Set in Rot & Ruin, the story takes places fourteen years after the Zombie Apocalypse. Benny Imura starts looking for a job so that his daily rations won't get cut in half. However, Benny finds himself not liking any of the jobs he's tried. So the only other alternative is to become an apprentice of Tom, his older brother who is an zombie hunter. Upon taking the apprenticeship and starting his training outside of Rot & Ruin, Benny comes to an epiphany that perhaps Zombies are not the monsters they seem to be and maybe humans are even the ones who are more monstrous than the living dead.

I immediately fell in love with the setting of the story and it's overall plot, Rot & Ruin being the only second Zombie-apocalyptic book that I've read I was really looking forward to it. I love the world that Maberry created and all the other things that go with it. I like how the alliteration in the title can represent many things with the novel, respect and revenge for example.

I absolutely and definitely love the characters, Benny as the main protagonist is just perfect. There's a certain innocence and naiveness but at times he also shows maturity and mentality. He's not the common type of protagonist that one might expect in a zombie-apocalyptic novel, Benny tends to complain a lot and at first blinded with rage. But eventually, as the story progresses the readers can see the way the character develops into a whole new different personality. Benny's not described as handsome or hot or any of those drool-worthy attributes that associates with the hero in a post-apocalyptic book, but Benny's journey is enough to make any reader fell in love with him to the point where you just want to cry because you can't have him. I know because that happened to me. It's amazing how a young boy would want to do something to change the ways of the new world he's now stuck into, there's just a lot of emotional change and thought and feeling that overwhelms the reader.

I also love Tom Imura's character, he's the definition of the saying there is more than meets the eye. Because Tom Imura is more than how the characters in the book see him and even think of him. I love how he's the silent type, no brags but has the guts ans skill. And similarly, not the drool-worthy type of brother but still very admirable. The sexy, smooth, swift moves that Tom has leaves me awestruck. He's calm, cool, in control and just chilled. I love how Maberry created this conflict with Ben and Tom because it plays such an important part on the story and shows how Ben really loses his innocence throughout the whole story. And I probably can't sympathize with Ben because I look up to my older brother a lot, he's like the hero, the man, but I can at least know where Ben is coming from. I just love the epiphany he undergoes as to how he sees his brother, it's magic. No, it's a work of genius.

The other characters like Rob especially Nix. I love how Maberry really created characters that subvert stereotypical depictions. Really affirming the saying, there is more than meets the eye. And Nix yet again, one of them. Phoenix Riley. Such a kick-ass name for a girl. And yes, Nix is such a kick-ass girl. Freckles. Sunlight. Redhead. I. love. her.

Yes, you Nix.

Nix and Benny. I. JUST. LOVE. IT. No amount of words, sentences, literary devices or whatever the English language has to offer for me to be able to say how much I love them both. It's sweet, adorable, young and just this.

The fact that Benny doesn't want to ruin the friendship. Tongue-tied. Stares. Sunlight. All those just makes me so giddy. Young love at it's finest. Simplicity of it all.

And the writing. Oh man, the writing. Delectable pleasure beyond speech that leaves my limited vocabulary more constricted. It's just wonderful. What a cliche adjective to use but yes, it's really just beautiful and so satisfying. There's more storytelling than dialogues and that's great because the reader can understand the story more. It's descriptive but simple. Such a good combination. And the thing I liked the most is how Maberry writes the story indirectly. What I mean is he's telling an idea but doesn't say it directly, it's like reading between the lines, you know figuratively. Like a character looks at someone's character then sees all the details and things there then boom, the character understands. Isn't it amazing?

And finally, my favorite aspect of the book. Themes.
I did mention in my status that I find that it shares some similarities with Issac Marion's Warm Bodies except for the obvious one that they're both zombie-apocalyptic novels. But themes like humanity and the evils of society. Sure, Warm Bodies is narrated by a zombie, but the fact that that zombie feels and has emotions is something which I guess connects with what Rot & Ruin is trying to tell the readers that zombies are not monsters, that they too are just victims of whatever caused them to be the living dead, which I believe deals with the theme of what it means to be human, in short humanity. And for a boy or teenager like Ben to realize all this is just pure amazement because teenagers don't even (probably) will bother caring about that as long as they're alive but then again that's another world so maybe. But to undergo such epiphany is like discovering something extraordinary especially when it's been there all along and you've just been blinded.

The evils of society part I guess has to do with the fact that these flesh-eating, ugly looking creatures are not the real evil in the world but the higher thinking, normal-looking creatures called human. And that's partly true because humans think, they have emotions, desires and their own ego which yes makes them more dangerous than zombies themselves so that I have come to postulate that that is another idea that Maberry is trying to say, that humans can be so much crueler than zombies and are evil in their own ways.

Blind. Truth. Believing what one wants to believe. These are also some themes, there's just a lot.

And when you realize and connect all those together, the feeling is just so great, like lifting me up to heaven. Seriously, OMG.

Finally, I am so happy and so glad that I read a book as great as Rot & Ruin I am still in the book hangover stage where I can't start another book because I'm stuck on the previous one. I love the feeling of satisfaction and that feeling that just warms my heart, it's like falling in love that the book left me even when I turned the last page, the story and everything in it stayed with me.

P.S. Johnathan Maberry replied and liked my status update about his book! *HAPPINESS* First-ever author to actually comment on anything I posted in goodreads. One of my life-long dream has come true. Hyperbole. But yes, it's something I always wanted. So thank you!
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Quotes Jianne Liked

Jonathan Maberry
“There are moments that define a person's whole life. Moments in which everything they are and everything they may possibly become balance on a single decision. Life and death, hope and despair, victory and failure teeter precariously on the decision made at that moment. These are moments ungoverned by happenstance, untroubled by luck. These are the moments in which a person earns the right to live, or not.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry
“There was a sliver of moon and a splash of stars, and the light outlined her face and glistened on the tears that ran like mercury down her cheeks.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry
“Closure isn't closure until someone's ready to close the door.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry
“Often it was the most unlikely people who found within themselves a spark of something greater. It was probably always there, but most people are never tested, and they go through their whole lives without ever knowing that when things are at their worst, they are at their best.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry
“They held each other and wept as the night closed its fist around their tiny shelter, and the world below them seethed with killers both living and dead.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry
“That's stupid."
"That's people.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry
“The truth is the truth. What changes is what we know about it and what we're willing to believe.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Jonathan Maberry
“You have to keep your mind as wide-open as your eyes, because almost nothing is what it seems.”
Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Reading Progress

07/16/2012 page 101
22.0% "so good!"

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