Review: “Dust & Decay (Benny Imura #2)” by Jonathan Maberry
Description 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.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ever fall in love with the first book in a series and then convince yourself the second book couldn’t be nearly as wonderful? Well, no worries because “Dust & Decay” is everything a sequel should be. I loved it even more than the first book. Jonathan Maberry is one of the best storytellers out there, in my opinion. To be able to capture the readers attention for the entire book (all 528 pages of it), is hard to do. But he easily keeps the story going at an even pace. When they re-enter the Ruin, the viewpoints shift so that you constantly know what’s going on with the others. You feel for them. You can actually picture the words on the page. Even if you’re not a fan of zombie stories, it’s easy to enjoy this series.
Onto my actual review:
“Dust & Decay” picks up six months after the events in “Rot & Ruin”. Benny, the child who was so easy to want to punch in the beginning of “Rot & Ruin”, is far more mature now. The Ruin changed him, and Nix, for good. That’s easy to see right off the bat. In “Rot & Ruin”, they discuss going after the jet that they saw fly by, wanting to understand where it came from and how. Tommy, Benny’s older brother, announces they’ll be leaving much to the town officer’s dismay. Chong and Morgie are upset that their friends are leaving for good, and it’s in this oncoming change that you start to see a drift in their relationships.
When Tommy, Benny, Nix, Chong, & Lilah take off into the Ruin after saying their final goodbyes, they feel as though the start of the trip will be easy. But they don’t know the danger that’s lurking behind every corner. The Ruin is much more dangerous than it was six month’s ago. After they took out Charlie, someone stepped in to claim his land, and he’s worse and much smarter. Trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible, I will say this: you never know what will happen next. There’s gore, a lot of it. There’s laughter. There’s hope. There’s heartbreak (big time).
I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.
Do I recommend this? Abso-freaking-lutely.
If you haven’t read the first book, “Rot & Ruin”, run to the nearest store and pick it up!
Two of my favorite quotes:
“Let me tell you a truth, little sister. No matter what choice you make, it doesn’t define you. Not forever. People can make bad choices and change their minds and hearts and do good things later; just as people can make good choices and then turn around and walk a bad path. No choice we make lasts our whole life. If there’s ever a choice you’ve made that you no longer agree with, you can make another choice.”
“That’s your choice. You can’t change the past. Ah, but the future … you own the future.”