Aug 15, 2011

Review: Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

5 amazing warm & gooey chocolate chip cookies dipped in cold milk.

Cover Love:
Yes, a little bit disturbing but definitely eye catching.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
Because Rot & Ruin was one of the best books I read in 2010. This is the next in the series. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

I Kept Reading Because:
Actually, I don't think I stopped once I started. These books are hard to put down!

Romance?: Yes, as much as there can be in the Rot & Ruin.

What I Liked (& Didn't):
A good book really makes you feel. And this one really, really made me feel. So many emotions! The first one made me feel, too, but this one, ugh. Ripped my heart out, put it back in then ripped it out again.

I love the nicknames of the bounty hunters in the Rot & Ruin. I especially loved Dr. Skillz and J-Dog.

I think that Jonathan Maberry must have paid attention to all the reviewers and bloggers that fell in love with Tom Imura because he was so heroic and so awesome. I fell in love with him all over again!

There are so many bad guys and so many evil people. And many people that weren't flat out bad, but weren't super good either. The villains are not the zoms!

This book left us with even more unanswered questions than the first one. You could call the first book a coming of age story for Benny, but I felt this one was more so. He really had to step up in so many ways to start his own Benny Imura legend. There are so many ways that this story can go.

It's funny to say that I love this world Jonathan Maberry created. It's not so much the world, but the people I love. Nix, Lilah, Benny, Chong, TOM, the other hunters we met along the way. I so look forward to the next book in this series!

To Sum Up: Rot & Ruin was one book I talked up to so many kids in my school. Yes it is a violent world Benny lives in, but I still felt the book was fine for a middle school library. I have several readers anxious for this one when we get back to school in the fall.

A word about Jonathan Maberry: he is an amazing presence online. While I was reading this he commented to me on GoodReads and we went back and forth a few times. He also commented on my review of Rot & Ruin. And he often interacts with fans on facebook and twitter. It just makes him more amazing and cool in my mind! I am a fan for life (and will be reading his Joe Ledger series soon, I swear).

Book requested and received from Venessa at Simon & Schuster! Thanks so much Venessa!


  1. SOOOOOOOO glad you liked it. I got my copy (THANKS)There is always that fear that the second one won't be as good. Can't wait for this coming weekend. I'm doing my own read-a-thon to finish out the summer.

  2. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Jana...I'm delighted that you enjoyed DUST & DECAY. I'm currently sitting at a Starbucks working on the third (of four) in the series, FLESH & BONE. Currently Benny is being chased by zombies and escaped zoo lions, so he's having a moderately bad day. Poor kid can't catch a break.

    Loved your review. Thanks for not dropping any spoilers!

  3. Anonymous8:46 AM

    Here's a link to 25 pages of FREE BONUS scenes that are set between ROT & RUIN and DUST & DECAY. This material does not appear in either book:

  4. Wyatt loved it and has been pestering me to hurry up and read it. Look at those comments from Jonathan--you're a rock star, Jana!!

  5. Anonymous9:07 PM

    Thanks for this review! I will be reading Dust and Decay soon! I LOVED Rot and Ruin and it doesn't sound like I'll be disappointed with the second book!

  6. Somer: I don't think you will be. I wasn't but I will say I cried more with Dust & Decay!

    Jill: I heard that everyone won hardback copies! So cool.

    Thanks Shannon, as always.

    Jonathan Maberry, you are completely awesome! Thanks for being so involved with your fans!

  7. AGREED. Tom forever!!! I've been trying to push this series on so many people as well. Rot and Ruin just blew my mind just for the simple fact that I don't like zombie books and this was one of my favorite reads of last year. It really deserved the Cybil it won. One thing for sure - Dust and Decay doesn't let you go any easier than Rot and Ruin. Read it so fast and couldn't put it down.

    Now of course, I'm impatiently counting down the days for Flesh and Bone.

  8. Heather:
    Herein lies the problem with ARCs, you have to wait even longer for the next one!

  9. My son LOVED Rot & Ruin and he cannot wait to get this book! We lost our home a few months back including most of our books and he is really looking forward to Dust & Decay. My daughter is blind and she has the audio version of Rot & Ruin - it is a really fantastic performance! This is the book we have been looking forward to from the moment we finished Rot & Ruin (which we never would have found had it not been for your review - thanks!). We've already signed up for the waitlist at our library!