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Rot & Ruin

(Rot & Ruin #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  32,918 ratings  ·  3,741 reviews
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 h ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 458 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Brandon Tenn the best one i have ever read. you will laugh, you will cry, and it will become part of your soul
Gabrielle Holland I think so, i dont remember there being any super graphic descriptions, the main character is actually 14, and his older brother Tom is actually a pre…moreI think so, i dont remember there being any super graphic descriptions, the main character is actually 14, and his older brother Tom is actually a pretty good role model. I mean keep in mind it IS a zombie book so there will be people killing things, and there ARE bad guys that do some pretty bad things, but its nothing like, say The Walking Dead, this would probably be like a 2/10 on the scary meter(less)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  32,918 ratings  ·  3,741 reviews

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Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is what I learned from reading Rot & Ruin:

1. Zombies iz people too. So they should be treated with respect, yo. (more about this later)

2. Books containing zombies can be really irritating and boring.

You see, I didn't know this was a possibility. I mean, it's zombies we're talking about here. How could zombies be boring? Turns out all you need to do is add a lame teenage romance and BAM! What really matters (ZOMBIES!) gets shoved onto the backburner in favor of the not-so-important (love s
Kat Kennedy
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
My little brother and I generally get along very well. Except for an occasional intellectual disagreements on ethics, morality, religion or politics we're pretty close. However, he can sometimes be a naive pain-in-the-butt. Until reading Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, I assumed this was something that would have to be cured by time, experience, and several well-timed and well-placed blows to the head.

However, parents and old siblings can now breath a sigh of relief because Jonathan Maberry has
You know when you see yourself in a picture and think, "Ahhhhhhhh! Is that me?"

You just don't look right because you're used to seeing yourself from a different angle in the mirror. That's how this entire book felt because I thought I was seeing it all wrong. Something just seemed off. But more on that later *long drawn out dramatic pause*............ Dun, dun, duuuuuuun.

Beware! Minor Spoilers are afoot (and tagged). That's if you can spoil something that's already 'Rot'ten and 'Ruin'ed to begin
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Save words like ‘sorry.’ Save for the dead. Living don’t need them.”

Commercial Photography

Seriously. Once I ran through the gamut of vampires and werewolves and angels (oh my!) a few years ago, zombies were the next obvious choice. I plowed through zombie horror stories, zombie romance stories, zom-coms, you name it – but somehow I managed to miss this one.

When the Zombie Apocalypse finally takes place, I have a feeling we’ll find this to be the mo
I have been on a zombie reading frenzy lately – I see a zombie book and I must read it, I can’t help myself. And the books are coming fast and furious, especially in the YA area. Some are good, some are awful, and some are outstanding. Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin falls somewhere just shy of outstanding. It reeks of EPIC WIN.

So yeah, I love this book and before I go all fangirl over Tom Imura and squee my head off let me highlight why you should start this series:

1) It is very well-written -
Morgan F

I am. I so am. BRING IT

I'm just kidding. When there is a zombie apocalypse (no, not if), I'm about 98% sure I would not survive. I would be like those chicks in horror movies who get killed off in the opening credits. But there is the 2% I do survive initially, and then after that, I have a plan.

I am skilled in no way shape or form. I hate the wilderness and physical activity. I am not a quick thinker and I panic under pressure. So basically, I am screwed unless I find Tom Imura. Tom Imura was
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Long overdue for this zombie fan, I am finally - finally - reading this series! As you can guess I've been hearing a lot about this award winning author, Jonathan Maberry, and although I'm only on book 2 at the moment, I can already see why it garnered so much popularity (and book 2 is even better so far!).

This novel is set years after the zombies came, so it's not your run of the mill survival of the fittest story happening in the midst of an apocalypse, this one is about what happens after th
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to carol. by: Trudi

I know, zombies, right? So passe, so early century, so urban fiction--so yawn for so many people. The genre is erroneously underrated; the best zombie and apocalypse fiction is about wrestling with humanity, ethics and survival, with some hair-raising action to leaven the philosophy. At worst, they're Cracker Jacks, caramel popcorn fun with a prize at the end. I love me some apocalypse fiction, and when Trudi recommended this series, I knew I had to give it a go.

It opens in a small town of 28 th
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

WOW! Talk about an excellent read!

It only took the first two or three chapters to find me deeply immersed in this novel. The story surrounds Benny, a fifteen-year-old, growing up in a zombie-infested world and is basically his coming of age story.

I couldn't help but become attached to the characters in this book. Benny and his brother Tom, Benny's girlfriend but "not the girlfriend," Nix. There is her competition, the Wild Girl. Finally, there are Benny's heroes Charlie Pink-eye and the

Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
The ratings from my friends on this book are all over the place. Some loved it-some hated it. I almost took it back to the library without reading it because of that. Glad I gave it a go.
Benny is a typical teenager in the beginning of this book. I didn't like his smart little butt and spent most of the time wanting to smack some sense into his head. Honestly, he kind reminds me of Carl from the Walking Dead. I couldn't stand that kid in the beginning of the series and half the time now I want to
Mr. Matt
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
There are many stories about the outbreak of the impending zombie apocalypse. Tales of those first, terrible days when the horror of the outbreak strikes home. Rot and Ruin, in a pleasant surprise, breaks the mold on zombie stories. It picks up the story fifteen or so years after that first night. The initial chaos is gone. Humanity has figured out how to deal with the undead. They are slow. They are stupid. They are clumsy. While still a terrible threat, they are manageable.

It is in this settin
I'm not anti-zombie in any way, shape, or form, but I tend to only read/watch stuff with zombies when I'm really in the mood for them.

Twice has sort of reignited my ... er ... hunger? for them?

I seriously loved how this author didn't just rehash other zombie stories and instead made it undeniably his own. I also enjoyed that he didn't sugar-coat anything; there's lots of gory parts in this book.

I liked the setting, the philosophical parts, the characters, and the plot ... so that's a win. On
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young adults, boys
Is the zombie apocalypse close at hand?

Are zombies the new vampire? Both are undead. Both bite. Unfortunately, zombies have gotten the short end of the stick. Zombies are not glamorous. They are not sexy or sparkly either. Zombies are just ….well ewww.

I must preface this review with the fact that I usually don’t like zombies. I don’t go out of my way to read about zombies, or watch *shudder* zombie movies. I get squeamish at the sight of blood and gore.

Rot & Ruin is a great read. Aimed at the
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This story is about two brothers, The Imura brothers, Tom the bounty hunter and Benny the not so yet bounty hunter. Benny since First Night, the time when the Zombie outbreak began has not yet killed, has now come to the stage in his life where he's going to have to make some big decisions. Will he embrace the path of a bounty hunter like his brother or not? What sets Benny on a stepping-stone to his chosen destiny is the sea
Lisa Mandina
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had been wanting to read this book for a long time. The whole zombie book trend has really hooked me I think. And this book did not disappoint. In fact, you'll notice I gave it 5 stars, and lately, even books that have been really good have only gotten a 4 from me. But I felt this was really different, had something new. Not sure exactly what I'd say was "new", but I did really enjoy this.

I didn't start out with the description of the book thinking that it would be this good though. This is a
Mar 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the three r's
Recommended to Mariel by: retch & roll
I don't really have anything new to add about Rot & Ruin other than throwing in my voice to chime with the naysayers in a bored "Nay!" I may even be lip synching. I'm not feeling the effort at all.
Imagine the most stereotypical response of a fifteen year old boy and apply that to any points the zombie killing concept/teenaged boy living in a post apocalyptic world can dredge up and that's your book. Stir in a dash of "I should have cared all along!" and generic teen friendships story. Add a pinc
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Janina by: Tina & Teccc (don't you love how this sounds with the title?)
Rot & Ruin was the first zombie book I ever read and judging by how much I liked it, I think it won't be the last (recommendations are welcome; I'm not exactly an expert). I would categorize it as middle grade, though, so if you're looking for a 'hard-core' ;) zombie book, you might want to look elsewhere.

First of all, I really like the makeup of this book: We have an eye-catching – and slightly creepy cover – and then on the inside we have some 'zombie-cards' (the kids in the story collect them
To say I am a fan of zombie books and films would be putting it mildly. As a small child in church, I'd sit on the kneeler and watch people going up for communion and imagine who I would want in my post-zombie village.

Another fact you should know: I read half of Jonathan Maberry's Patient Zero and I just wasn't into it. I kept putting it down and stopped picking it up, not because it was bad, but because I didn't really care about what happened next. I remember finding the dialogue awkward and u
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! It was zombie killers a la Clint Eastwood. There was a western flavor to this that I really liked.

Benny Imura is fifteen years old and looking for a job. His older brother Tom is a bounty hunter but Benny can't stand the idea of working with him because Tom is a coward. What kind of "man" would run away from his parents and not try to save them from the zombie horde? But that's just what Tom did, taking his infant brother Benny with him.

Now, fourteen years later, they live in the rel
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.

Inspiring? Moving? Emotional? These are just some of the words I didn't expect to express r
Beatrice Masaluñga
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, young-adult
Zombie novels aren't my cup of tea. Preferrably, I enjoy watching movies or playing video games with zombies in it because of the thrill and jump scares. Rot & Ruin is a pleasant surprise. This book has been sitting on my shelves for years and I made a right decision picking it up. It's a refreshing and meaningful dystopia story. It's not just about survival and killing the living dead as Jonathan Maberry digs deeper than that.

Our protagonist is a 15 year old boy, Benny Imura . At first he gets
2.5 stars

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

I’ve read several zombie books in the recent months. Because of this I know that it’s important for the author to come up with some original aspect to centralize their story around. I don’t feel that this book did it… what this book felt like to me was a typical YA story with zombies thrown in as an after-thought.

Rot & Ruin’s ‘original aspect’ focused on a group of people trying to change the world to make people see and understand that z
It would be nice to think that this is simply a reflection of my reading tastes being very different from Jonathan Maberry's writing style. After all, I despised Patient Zero when so many people loved that book. And here again, I very strongly dislike Rot & Ruin. But is it really just me?

Maberry is the king of telling, not showing. One dimensional characters who seem so cliched. Even the zombie attacks couldn't make this more enjoyable. It was a chore to finish this and no matter how cool the ti
Zombie fun and games, but the games aren't fun. Excellent zombie tale of truths, lies, mistakes, abuse, control and revenge. There are some men that are just evil, and they aren't zombies.
The dead have control of the world. The living are living in fear, hidden behind walls, willing to just exist to be safe. The past has forever scared them. The new generation, the ones they didn't live through the first night of the zombie rising are itching to know what's out there, or at least the truth of
I was rather surprised by this one. I had started reading it before I got too sick to even try and read the print in any book, so I came back to this one as it stuck in my mind. I guess that's good news. It was very good. I hope the rest follow in it's path. ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Way different than I thought it would be but in a really good way! Full review hopefully to come.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Benny Imura has a couple of days till turning fifteen. Fifteen year olds in his post apocalyptic world are expected to contribute to society otherwise they find their rations cut in half (Everything I’ve said happens in the first couple of pages.) He also lives with his half brother, Tom Imura, whom he loathes. Why? You’ll just have to read on. Things get really exciting as he looks for a job only to find that the only viable option is to go into the “family business” with Tom who happens to be ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2019, own, zombie, horror
Fourteen years after the zombie apocalypse, high walled and fenced-off settlements have established a safe way of life for the survivors and those born after the event. Benny Imura was only two years old when the world fell to murderous madness, his older brother Tom, a fresh faced newly minted police officer, just 20. In Rot and Ruin, the brothers forge a bond beyond the family ties as they traverse the treacherous landscape outside the veiled safety of their settlement in search of a missing m ...more
Levi Walls
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That was a wild ride!! I had a hard time putting this book down every night, and now that I'm done I want to read the rest of the series, like all of them today without stopping. Aaaand anything else Jonathan Maberry ever writes (not all of them today, that would be impossible😜) What could be a better compliment for an author? Resounding enthusiasm over here. Highly recommended. Don't be a bitch-ass critter like Charlie Matthias, do the right thing like Tom and Benny an
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for

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 e
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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT &

Other books in the series

Rot & Ruin (7 books)
  • Dust & Decay (Rot & Ruin, #2)
  • Flesh & Bone (Rot & Ruin, #3)
  • Fire & Ash (Rot & Ruin, #4)
  • Bits & Pieces (Rot & Ruin, #5)
  • Broken Lands (Broken Lands, #1)
  • Lost Roads (Broken Lands, #2)

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Genres can be defined by what's waiting around the corner. In a romance book, it's happily ever after; in a mystery novel, it's the...
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“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.” 203 likes
“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.” 131 likes
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