Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura #1)
by Jonathan Maberry
Published October 5th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
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.
This Brunette thought:
WOW. Just WOW. I have never read a more emotionally driven and powerful “zombie” book. This story is about soooo much more than zombies… but they make it intensely freaking fantastic!
Okay there is SO much I want to say about this book, and I really tried to condense it… I did!
Benny Imura couldn’t hold a job, so he took to killing.
Dear God- if that’s not enough to pull you completely in from the extremely meaning of ‘beginning’, then I don’t know what is!
Benny’s parents were killed when he was just a baby- but he remembers that night vividly. First Night, the night the dead rose… he remembers his mother running- terrified from what used to be his father, shoving him into the arms of his older brother Tom and begging Tom to take care of him- then he saw his father take her.
In Mountainside, once you turn 15 if you don’t have a job your rations are cut in half. We follow Benny on his job hunt, (it’s quite comical… read it and see!) and nothing seems to pan out the way he thinks it should… Benny VERY reluctantly agrees to apprentice for his brother, the famous Tom Imura.
Benny thinks his brother is a coward, he has for 14 years. Ever since Tom ran away and didn’t help their mother… Benny HATES zombies, they’re dead, they’re nothing- and then Tom takes him out into the great Rot & Ruin (aka: what was once the USA) and NONE of what Benny has been holding onto for all these years is reality.
Benny is SO well written, at the beginning of the book Benny COULD have been my little brother when he was 15. He was completely irritating, bitter and had a huge chip on his shoulder. I loved him.
The pictures Maberry paints with his words are incredible. It’s not often that I get completely lost and overcome in a story. But with Rot & ruin that is exactly what I did, I literally had to FORCE myself to put this book down and do other things. You know… feed my children and whatnot.
- I cried like a little girl through the end of Part 1. (Good thing I’m a chick or that might embarrass me!)
- Chapter 34- all 1.5 pages of it are absolutely freaking incredible! If I could copy every word and put it up for you I would… (but I’m lazy so I won’t. Read it!)
- I cried AGAIN shortly after chapter 34… I mean *ugly cry*
- I NEED zombie trading cards.
- The end of this book will rip your heart wide open.
This is nothing short of EPIC people. If you have not read Rot & Ruin, I need you to stop everything you are doing, get in the car and go buy it right now. No joke.
Maberry will break your heart, sew it back together, shock you, have your mouth hanging open and leave you reading through your tears. This is one of the rare books that I need MORE than 5 stilettos for… still thinking on that one.
Dust & Decay, the second installment of the Benny Imura series comes out on 8/30/2011
by Jonathan Maberry
Don’t forget to check out the BIG Zombie Craze Giveaway Announcement if you haven’t already… The more you comment, the bigger your chances of winning are!
Tomorrow: Jonathan Maberry himself!!!
Zombie Craze 2011