Jules (Never enough time to read)'s Reviews > Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
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Jun 22, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya, zombies, post-apocalyptic, 2011-favourites, fb-of-series-in-limbo
Read from July 12 to 13, 2011


Let me just start by saying that I loved this book, absolutely loved it! I started it and I just couldn’t put it down until I had finished it, Rot and Ruin completely took me surprise by how good it was.

In the past I have read some of Jonathan Maberry’s adult fiction (Patient Zero) and I did enjoy it, but I wasn't planning on rushing out and buying any of his other work. Don’t get me wrong it was good, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea, I think it was something more suited to my husband – it was filled with loads and loads of gadgets, super secret Army types and I thought the female leads were quite lacking – it was easy to tell they had been written by a man. So sadly, Rot and Ruin wasn’t something that I rushed out to buy and when I finally did, it ended up sat on my book case for quite some time – I just didn’t know what I was missing!

I think that this book has one of the best opening chapters that I have read in a while, I really picked this up on a whim and I was instantly hooked, with the funny, witty and fascinating insight into the characters and how the Mountainside community live and function on a daily basis. As the blurb states by the time a child turns 15 they are expected to work part time along with school or their daily rations of food and supplies will be drastically cut. Benny is looking for a job that is easy, and really he is searching for the path of least resistance. He shows up and tries for several jobs, some with funny consequence and some jobs that you really wouldn't wish on your worst enemy - I'm not going to go into too much detail it really is something I recommend you read for yourself!

Although this book is all about the undead and has some Zombie gore filled moments it really wasn’t what I would classify as a scary read (definitely a teen book rather than young YA). However, don’t get me wrong there were certainly a few tension filled scenes when the life of Benny, his friends and family are only inches away from the death bite of a Zombie. The story is one of family bonds, adventure and growing up - although it is growing up with the imposing threat of being eaten by a Zombie. I really liked the tag line for this book and in a lot of ways it sums the story up well -

"In a world full of Zombies, who are the real monsters?"

What I really liked about this book was that the Zombies weren’t the real evil out there beyond the fences of the towns. Zombies existed, they were dangerous, they were a huge threat to daily life but they just were, there are no intentions or malice behind their actions. However, the same couldn’t be said for some of the people out there living and conquering the Rot and Ruin, their actions were deliberate and evil. I really don’t want to say more in case I let something slip about the story, just go and read it for yourself!

There are some great characters in this book, I loved Benny but I also loved his older brother Tom, even thou they have a bit of a bumpy and complex relationship Tom makes for a constant and reliable source of stability for Benny, even when he is completely not appreciated. He is also a Samurai Katana wielding bounty hunter, Zombie wrangler and closure specialist good guy that is doing the best he can in a whole bad situation of a world.

Definitely one to read! Highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

07/12/2011 page 185
07/13/2011 page 402
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