My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review Copy: Purchased
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
“Rot & Ruin” is a book I stumbled upon while browsing at my local Borders (before they closed, unfortunately). I hadn’t heard much about it at that point, but I’m a sucker for zombies so I decided to give it a shot. I’ve had the book sitting on my bookshelf for a few months now. As much as I wanted to read it, I just never seemed to have the time. So when I received “Dust & Decay”, the second book in the series, from Galley Grab, I decided I needed to make time…and oh do I wish it had been sooner. Now, much like “Warm Bodies”, this is a zombie story with heart…and much like “Warm Bodies”, I absolutely loved this book.
“Rot & Ruin” is about two brothers, Tommy Imura, a well known bounty hunter, and Benny Imura, his younger brother (a bounty hunter in training). Benny is convinced Tommy is a coward for leaving behind their mother on First Night. It isn’t until his brother gives him a job that he begins to understand him and even respect him. What’s great about this relationship is that its realistic and it actually grows, it isn’t rushed – it develops at a great pace.
Tommy is a well known bounty hunter, but he’s different from the other bounty hunters. He isn’t out to just kill zombies, he’s out to provide closure for families and relatives. He’s very different than Charlie and The Motor City Hammer, two men Benny thinks are ‘cool’. At first you don’t see why the men are bad, but as the story goes on and you learn what they do to children, to the zombies, and to people in general – you begin to understand just how horrible they are. But it’s their actions that force the relationship between Benny and Tommy to strengthen.
“Rot & Ruin” is a book about zombies, yes, but it isn’t only about zombies. It’s about society, about people, about the world around us. It’ll make you cry. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll make you think. And most importantly, it’ll leave you wanting more.
I have nothing but praise for “Rot & Ruin” and the author, Jonathan Maberry. I can’t wait to start “Dust & Decay” (I will make sure to speed through my ‘’to read” pile so that I can get to it faster).
A quote from “Rot & Ruin” which I loved:
There are moments that define a person’s whole life. Moments in which everything they are and everything they may possibly become balance on a single decision. Life and death, hope and despair, victory and failure teeter precariously on the decision made at that moment. These are moments ungoverned by happenstance, untroubled by luck. These are the moments in which a person earns the right to live, or not.