Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rot and Ruin

Title: Rot and Ruin
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Series: Benny Imura, Book 1
Number of Pages: 461
Date Read: 3/7/15
Genre: Zombies, Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Synopsis (Found on

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.

My Review:

This book was really good and it was so much more that just killing zombies. There were some deep feelings and conversations going on. 

Benny Imura lives in a post apocalyptic world where zombies have taken over. Benny lives in a town in California with his adult brother Tom. The town is surrounded by a fence with watchguards. Food and supplies come from wagon traders that go through the great Rot and Ruin. The Rot and Ruin is all the land and areas that are not part of any towns and are the places where the zombies live. Which means the whole world is the Rot and Ruin. Benny is 15 and in the book thats the age where he needs to get a job and work or his food rations will be cut in half. He tries to do everything to avoid working with his brother Tom who is a bounty hunter. A bounty hunter is a person who goes into the Rot and Ruin and kills zombies. Benny hates his brother Tom because he felt that Tom let their parents die on "First Night" which is the night the world went to hell. He thought Tom was a coward. Eventually he has no choice but to work with Tom. Everything changes once Benny goes into the Rot and Ruin with Tom. Theres more to the plot but I don't want to give anything away. 

I like Benny well enough. I like the fact that we can see him change throughout the book. He goes from being a snot, bratty kid who hates his brother to a kid with compassion, bravery, fight in him and love for his brother. He thought the worst of Tom but once actually got to know him, his feelings changed. Benny also became tougher; he was determined to save Nix. Benny used all of what Tom taught him to keep her safe and to help rescue other kids. Benny also went through some heavy and life-changing realizations and they shaped him into a better person. 

I love Tom. He is my favorite character. He is a bounty hunter and is super deadly with his katana. Everyone in town hails Tom as a hero and as the strongest bounty hunter but Tom is very down to earth and doesn't let what people say about him go to his head. He allows Benny to think what he wants of Tom, because Tom is waiting for Benny to really want to get to know him. Tom is not like any of the other bounty hunters. Other bounty hunters kill zombies for fun, torture them for sport and are very brutal when dealing with them. Bounty hunters in this world are supposed to go and "quiet" a zombie that a family member (of the zombie) wants to be quieted. The bounty hunters are paid for this. Tom's approach to quieting and zombies in general are very different from other people. Tom sees them as dangerous but he also sees them as things that were once people. People go to him to quiet their zombie family members because Tom does it respectfully and gently. Tom teaches Benny all about how he does the job and how others do it by showing him around the Rot and Ruin. Tom is also a very compassionate person, very protective and extremely dangerous when he has to be. I love him!

There are other characters in the book as well. Nix, who is Benny's love interest is ok. Shes tough but she kind of annoyed me. She can be very jealous also. I also found it weird about there being a romance in the book because of the character's ages. Benny just turned 15 and Nix is only 14. I think that's kind of young for the type of romance I felt in the book. I also liked Lilah, the lost girl. She had been living in the rot and ruin all her life and she is what one would call uncivilized. She is not very good at speaking since she survived alone for many years. She is also very dangerous and very intelligent as well. I hated Charlie Pink-Eye and I wanted to kill him. He is very obnoxious and so damn full of himself. He is a very large and built man who everyone is afraid of. He is also a bully, very violent, dangerous and basically is like what you would think a serial killer is. Plus he is scary looking because he is an albino with one pink eye. Gross. 

I enjoyed the conversations and realizations that Benny had throughout the book. I also loved the action scenes. The book also reminded me of the Walking Dead because sometimes the zombies were called walkers and the fact that in this world, like in the Walking Dead, the virus or dna or whatever is already inside everyone. No matter how a person dies, they will come back as a zombie. A bite from a zombie will speed up the process but its not necessary. A person who was shot, fell, drowned, died from illness or died any other way would come back as a zombie, just like in the Walking Dead. 

This was a great book and I can't wait to see more of Tom in the second book. 


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