Friday, December 21, 2012

Review - Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

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 don't remember what made me pick up Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. But I am definitely glad I bought it.

I was kind of annoyed at first by the use of the term "Zoms". Like they were just a casual thing. But then as I read I realized it was almost like it WAS a casual thing to the kids in this story. In the world they live in, the teenagers at least, the zombies have always been there. There isn't a time they can't remember them being around. They've gotten used to it.

The book started out kind of slow. But it didn't last long. It was just a momentary setting of the stage, so to speak. To give us an idea into the minds and lives of Benny Imura and his friends (and in very small part, his brother Tom). Honestly, once the action started, it never stopped. Or at least, it stopped long enough for us to take a breath before diving right back in to it.

You watch TV shows like The Walking Dead (or you read the comic) or you see movies like Resident Evil and those... they're zombies. They're walkers. They need to be complete eradicated and wiped off the face of the earth. In Rot & Ruin, bounty hunter - or "Closure Specialist" - Tom Imura, reminds us that though they may be just undead soulless creatures now they once were human. They had lives, friends, family, hopes.... and now that's all gone.

Tom's job is to find the undead family members of his clients and quiet them for good. And he's very good at his job. Benny, operating on a tainted memory of the night the dead rose again, hates Tom. In the beginning anyway. He's got a complete misunderstanding of what his brother does. And really, who he is. Tom just waits for the day when Benny decides to join the family business.

It opens up a new world for Benny. Not necessarily a good one. But in one trip out to the Ruin, Benny's life is changed forever. He's grown up so fast he can't really process it. Things are different he knows that. Soon after, something happens that changes him even more. Tests his mettle and the skills he's learned from his brother (who happens to be my favorite character).

I loved this book. Once I really got in to it I didn't want to put it down. At all. I really wish I could find book 2 (book 3 is out on shelves in the stores I frequent, but I can't find book 2!) so I could find out what happens when Benny and Co. decide to head east to find something they never thought they'd see in a million years. I would absolutely recommend this to any one. Walking Dead fans. Zombie fans in general. Anyone who likes paranormal things. Seriously, this was like a 10 star book for me.

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    ~V

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