Lucy's Reviews > Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
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's review
Dec 07, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: zombies, young-adult, disappearing-parent-syndrome
Read in January, 2010

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 unnatural, especially when the author was going through FBI measures, but I can't say for sure without a re-read. However, Rot & Ruin, on the other hand, I read in a single day.

Writing caliber wasn't my problem with Maberry's first novel. He does write well. He has a good pace and rhythm, makes excellent word choices and, at least in Rot & Ruin, his dialogue rarely felt stilted or false. He has a lot of talent and I can see he's still polishing it into something particularly remarkable. Rot & Ruin captivated me so much I might even give Patient Zero another shot, although I'll have to buy a second copy since I gave away my first. I will, however, be keeping my copy of Rot & Ruin.

The story was pretty original, the lead character's voice strong and clear, and the minor characters were charming. I'm a fan of Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon Lexicon because in a sea of YA fiction about unhealthy supernatural romance Brennan wrote about a family, about love and sacrifice. Rot & Ruin had similar wonderful markers. The important relationship was between the two brothers, while the rest of the story circled around them in perfectly timed movements.

Some zombie novels suffer from having the zombies be a distant, obscure part of the universe that you rarely see. Other zombie novels are annoying, non-stop action with little character development. Rot & Ruin had an excellent balance of both along with some original plot lines and world building. The only turn off was the elder brother, Tom, went over the top with the lectures way too often. It was when my attention was most likely to stray. I'd recommend the book for anyone ages 12 and up. Some violence would make me hesitate over handing it to anyone younger.
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message 1: by Robby (new)

Robby Chandra Almost as soon as i picked up the book, i groaned with sigh almost reluctant to read this book because i knew it would be of a zombie apocalypse. But i took the chance and i read it, and i'm glad i did. Yes, maybe it isn't like the TV show the Walking Dead but the plot was truly amazing, and of Benny slowly learning of Tom's secret. I really enjoyed the complex nature of Tom and Benny, and the entire situation of the book. Also unique to this book of Zombies were the fact that it included that zombies had feelings. And i never really thought of it like that way either, and in fact, i had to re-evaluate my entire viewpoint of how i saw zombies and soon it all made sense. This seriously compelled me to read more, and i probably will. I always knew Tom was a good person, and that Benny's grudge towards Tom was unjustified to be honest. But they now understand each other, after so much of what they've gone through. Also, this book did not stray too much into the future and really did make things pretty simple to understand. So i would recommend people to read this book not only because of its fantastic characters but because also of the plot development alongside the occasional dose of emotions when looking at zombies.

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