AH's Reviews > Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, zzread-feb2011, zombies, young-adult
Recommended 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 young adult market, I can certainly see my 14 year old son getting a kick out of this book. I loved its underlying theme: zombies are just like people except they’re dead (and they may want to bite you). I despaired at the world of Rot & Ruin, a world of abandoned technology and zombies.

Rot & Ruin is the story of Benny Imura and his legendary brother Tommy. Benny barely remembers First Night, the night the zombies took over. Benny is just your average 15 year old boy who must find a job in order to keep receiving his food rations. The job market in the zombie post apocalypse sucks, probably worse than today’s job market. Benny tries some truly horrid jobs, but never lasts. He finally takes the last possible job – his brother’s apprentice. Tommy is a heroic zombie hunter and well known throughout their world. I really liked how Benny’s view of Tommy changes significantly during the book and how Tommy allows this change of attitude little by little.

I loved how Benny is portrayed as just a regular teenager, with teenage angst and issues. Benny’s friends are also very entertaining. I loved Morgie and Chong and enjoyed reading about their job hunting woes. Nix was another interesting character and I loved how all the boys wanted to date her. I was intrigued by the Lost Girl Lilah. For a girl who grew up on her own, she was fierce, lethal and very resourceful. The bad guys in this book are especially heinous. Charlie Pink-Eye and Motor City Hammer are very unscrupulous zombie hunters.

I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to the next installment of Benny and Tommy Imura’s story.

Guest post on Paranormal Wastelands

Update 1/15/12 - Prequel to this story is posted on this link. Click on the banner that says Bonus Material (in the middle of the page).

Update 5/23/12 - Rot & Ruin is now on the Badass Book Reviews' Best Badass Zombie Books List. Check it out!
24 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Rot & Ruin.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 11, 2010 – Shelved
February 5, 2011 – Started Reading
February 5, 2011 –
page 30
6.55% "Zombie apocalypse. No electricity. Crappy jobs for 15 year olds."
February 6, 2011 –
page 65
14.19% "In preparation for the zombie apocalypse, I think I need to get me a katana sword. All the zombie books have characters that are well versed in the use of these swords. I guess they work."
February 8, 2011 –
page 86
18.78% "So Tommy, Zombies are all bad and out to get us? They're just like you and me, but they're zombies???"
February 10, 2011 –
page 120
26.2% "Zombie hunter trading cards - My kids would love that."
February 12, 2011 –
page 140
30.57% ""It's just that I'm fifteen, and I have this crazy idea that I might actually have a life in front of me. I don't see how it's going to do me much good to believe that the world is over and this is just an epilogue." -- Benny Imura"
February 12, 2011 –
page 458
100.0% "Overall, not bad. I enjoyed this book. I am not sure if dystopian zombie apocalypse books are for me, but this was nicely done."
February 12, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Great review! It sounds like a really fun book for kids.

message 2: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH It was fun to read and I loved how the teenagers were portrayed.

message 3: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I like the thought of the mundane still existing in a zombie filled world--finding work and keeping it when you're a teen. LOL.

message 4: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH They were pretty humorous jobs, too. Pathetic jobs that only show you that an education could be a good thing LOL.

message 5: by Milly (new)

Milly Never thought of picking this book up either AH for the same reasons that you have. I was even reluctant to pick up that book, Forest of Hands and Teeth, since I don't like zombies as much either...but this seems like a promising read! Thanks for a wonderful review!

message 6: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Thanks, Milly! I haven't read the Forest of Hands and Teeth either. I probably will one day....

Greta is Erikasbuddy Oh neat!! That sounds awesome!!

You should read BREATHERS some day.


It's a story about people coming back to life (zombies) and going to a support group to deal with their new life. It's really funny at times :)

And yup!! Zombies are sooo the next vampire ;)

message 8: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH I think your son might enjoy this book, Greta. I told my son about it and he looked interested.

Greta is Erikasbuddy sweet!! I've added it to my list :)

Greta is Erikasbuddy OH!! You were talking about The Forest of Hands and Teeth earlier. I read that last year and omg... it scared the tar out of me. Really really. I got up when it was still dark one morning to go to the bathroom and I kept hearing noises in the house and thought that something was going to come out and grab me... then I kept wondering if there was something in the house if the cats would come get me. HAHAS! You know it's a good book if it's all I could think about at 4am ;)

message 11: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH I don't like scary. It freaks me out. I'm watching season 1 of Supernatural now and I am hiding under the covers all the time.

Greta is Erikasbuddy HAHA!! For reals? OK then lolz! Don't read The Forest of Hands and teeth... it's not gory but it seriously will mess with your head... well, it did mine ;)

When I read "I am Legend" my hubz was on a business trip for a week and I was so scared to sleep that I stayed up all night until the sun came up so the vampires (yeah...I thought the movie made them look like zombies too) wouldn't come get me. lolz!

message 13: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH That was a freaky movie for me. I'm just a wimp.

message 14: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne Ok this book sounds like an expanded version of the story I read in the anthology Z:Z: Zombie Stories

message 15: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Could be. I haven't read that anthology. He does have some free extra materials that I've linked in this review.

Lindsey Great review- starting this one tonight.

message 17: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Hope you enjoy it.

back to top