Oct 25, 2010

Zombie Week Book Review: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

5 amazing iced ginger cookies!

Cover Love: YES! This is such a unique cover! And the eye is shiny so when it is laying just right it looks pretty spooky.

Why I Wanted to Read This: Well, it's a zombie book and I needed one for zombie week. I couldn't finish The Enemy and this one was getting good ratings on good reads. Here's the summary from Good Reads:

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 him what it means to be human.

I Kept Reading Because: It was so engrossing! Well written, fast paced, great character and relationships. Wow. That's just about all I can say...wow.

Romance?: A smidge, but the main characters are pretty young so it is just the beginnings of one. The bigger part that I loved is the relationship between Benny and his brother Tom.

What I Liked (& Didn't): (this is a real time review--I kept adding comments as I was reading so the early thoughts are what I was thinking as I when I read certain parts).

At this moment, just a few pages in, Benny is very unlikable. Whenever I am faced with a unlikable main character I always worry that the author will not realize how blech their character is, especially when I don't know the author. I already am expecting a lot of redemption for little Benny!

Do you ever get to a point, a few pages into a book and think to yourself, "I am really going to like this book?" That's where I am at right now. If I could I would just be reading, but I have to go make dinner.

Wow, who would've thought that a zombie book could be so emotional? I found myself crying last night when Benny finally saw what Tom really does. Also, (and this is from someone who is only 110 pages in, so it is just a feeling) I am already really worried about Tom, I really hope he doesn't die!!

I love this line that Benny says: "It's just that I'm fifteen, and I have this crazy idea 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 this world is over and this is just an epilogue."

Okay, I am a little over half the way through. Last night I had an episode of Sons of Anarchy recorded and instead of watching that I read this book. Sons of Anarchy, people. JAX. And I chose the book. What does that tell you?

My new literary crush: Tom Imura. I kind of love him. Really a lot. A lot, a lot.

I wonder if I had had only girls if I would like "girly" books better. I will never know but I do know I love these kind of books--young male protagonist coming of age story. This one was awesome. On par with The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Since this book has been hard to put down I have been reading snippets here and there in my car while waiting for my son to get down with his football practice. It was hard to really get too heavily in the plot because of that. This turned out to be a good thing because I read one major scene that had I been really deep into the book at the time would have had me bawling.

And as to the early thought about Benny being unlikable--that is totally gone. I LOVE Benny! Major redemption.

What I Would Like to See Happen: It's sad that when a book ends and it just came out, you immediately hope that it will be a series and the next one will come out very soon.

I would like for Tom to find some happiness and I would like to see Benny rally a group of young people to start taking back bits of the land.

I would like to see book two come out ASAP!

To Sum Up: Can I be any clearer? I LOVED this book. Recommend it for middle school through high school--boys and girls and to all of us adults who love YA. Go get a copy, now!

Book bought from bookstore.

Check out this interview/book trailer about Rot & Ruin:


  1. Wow! That's quite a review, Jana. Okay, you sold me! :-)

  2. I'm about halfway through it and Tom Imura is my new literary crush too. Loving this book!
    Great review!

  3. Anonymous5:00 PM

    What a fascinating review. Never read one before that was done in as-it-happens fashion!

    I'm delighted that you enjoyed ROT & RUIN. I recently completed the sequel, DUST & DECAY, which will be out next year.

    In the meantime, there are thirteen pages of free prequel scenes for ROT & RUIN available by following this link: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Rot-Ruin/Jonathan-Maberry/9781442402324

    Thanks again!