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Book Review: Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

August 09, 2012

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In a post-apocalyptic world, 15-year-old Benny Imura must learn the art of zombie hunting from his legendary older brother, Tom. Kidzworld reviews the first two books in Jonathan Maberry's amazing zombie series for young adults - Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay.

Rot & Ruin Summary

In the settlement of mountainside, 14 years after the zombie apocalypse, life is a struggle. The community relies on brave traders who risk their lives in the Rot and Ruin - the zombie infested area beyond the fenced-in settlement.

At 15-years-old Benny Imura needs to find a job fast in order to prevent his rations from being cut in half. But the last thing he wants to do is follow in his lame older brother Tom’s footsteps and become a zombie hunter. He and his best friend Chong apply for a series of jobs, but only Chong lands one, leaving Benny with his last resort - Tom.

While Tom trains him beyond the fence, Benny learns that the zombies aren’t the horrible monsters he always believed them to be. And that many of the zombie hunters have less humanity than some of the zombies themselves.

Dust & Decay Summary

Six months after Rot & Ruin takes place, Benny, his brother and his friends leave Moutainside behind in search of a better future. But on their quest, more than just zombies threaten to stop them in their tracks. Enemies and old ghosts crop up when they’re at their most vulnerable. Some are dragged to Gameland - a place where kids are forced to fight in zombie pits. Another will pay the ultimate price. In this invigorating sequel, romances bloom, friendships are tested and family bonds are stronger than ever.  

The Bottom Line

Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin series is a rare find. Rarely do you come across a fantastic teen book with a sequel that is just as fantastic. Zombie lovers will adore these novels. In fact, even those who are on the fence or don’t particularly enjoy anything zombie-related will find these books worth reading. Maberry has created a unique world with excellent characters that you can’t help but root for.

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