Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review - Fire and Ash by Jonathan Maberry

Benny Imura and his friends have made it to Sanctuary, they've found the jet and they've discovered that civilization is struggling to regain its foothold in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. Scientists are on the verge of finding a cure for the zombie plague. It should be time for celebration, but it's not. Benny's best friend, Chong, has been infected by an arrow dipped in the flesh of a zombie and he hovers between life and death and Dr McReady, a researcher who may have the critical formula for a cure, has gone missing. So Benny convinces Captain Ledger to mount a search and rescue mission to find the doctor and help Chong. But with the Reapers still pursuing their plan to turn all zombies into super-fast shock troops even if they can save Chong, can they save themselves? In the fourth book of the thrilling and emotionally charged Rot & Ruin series, the battle to end all battles is about to begin...
Sadly, Fire and Ash by Jonathan Maberry is the last in the Benny Imura series. I was so excited to read it that I could barely put it down. But then there was a part of me that was incredibly sad that the story was ending so I wanted to read it slowly. I couldn't. I tried, but I couldn't.

Benny, Lilah, Nix, Riot, and even Chong have come such a long way from the people they'd been at the beginning of the series. Well, Riot not so much the beginning. But you know what I mean.

Benny was an immature boy who idolized the wrong people, Chong was clueless, Nix was kind of just there... and Lilah, well, if you've read the story you know what Lilah was. In just the year since Benny started apprenticing with Tom they've all lost their childhood. They've all been through such unspeakable horrors that the part of them that should be dominant, the carefree-stupid-teenager part, is completely dead and gone. They won't ever get it back.

With the additions of Riot and Joe Ledger (along with his faithful, yet terrifying, companion Grimm), Benny and his crew seek to finally put an end to the war going on in the Ruin. The war between Sanctuary, the Reapers, the "Zoms", and whoever else comes along. It's time for it to just end. They think they've finally found a way to put a stop to it... but Brother Peter and Saint John have different ideas. Ideas that will completely rock their world, and not in a good way.

They've got to do it without Chong, though. Unfortunately Chong is more or less gone, kept in a cage in the bowels of Sanctuary, seemingly unable to remember who he is... what he is. Benny, Nix, and Lilah are desperate to find out if something can be done to save him, but no one will give them any answers.

I'm not gonna lie. I still miss Tom immensely. He was just such a calming force for the group and kind of their stability. Their rock. I think Benny was really able to fill his shoes the best he could this go around. I'm sure he would have made him proud. Joe Ledger made me mad for quite a while in this story. He was being just as evasive as the rest of the scientists and military personnel and irritating Benny to no end. I think he redeemed himself quite well, however. It was nice to see that Riot stuck around, not that she was really able to go anywhere. But I was glad she didn't try and separate herself from Benny and his friends.

The Night Church still makes my skin crawl. They're horrible and disgusting and just a complete and totally insane group of people. Stomach churning.

I will have to admit, one of my favorite parts was the allusion to The Walking Dead that was made later on in the book. I would tell you what it is, but.... Spoilers. You'll have to read to see it for yourself.

The book itself was incredibly long. I don't think that detracted from the story at all, though. On the contrary, it was an extremely exciting edition. Just when I thought things were over and done with, I realized there were still a hundred pages to go and so much more of the story to read. It was full of suspense and nailbiting battles. I highly recommend that you read it. Especially if you've read the others in the series. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you do.

It will be worth it for you to see Benny and Nix and how the realizations of who they have become change them for the better in Fire and Ash. It will be worth it to see all of the things that they find and the information that they learn from a completely unexpected source. And it will definitely be worth it to finally see how it all ends. Even though I hated to turn that last page and close the book... I was glad that I'd read the series. It was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

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