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Dust & Decay (Rot & Ruin) Hardcover – August 30, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"The zombie attacks are bigger, better—and gorier—in this nearly non-stop action sequel to Rot & Ruin."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Maberry knows this world well; when the zombie apocalypse comes down, I want him on my team."

"Chock-full of gory action, complicated teen relationships, and several plot twists."--School Library Journal

"Fans of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games will devour this."--VOYA

About the Author

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and Marvel Comics writer. He’s the author of many novels, including Assassin’s Code, Dead of Night, Patient Zero, and Rot & Ruin. His nonfiction books cover topics ranging from martial arts to zombie pop-culture. Jonathan continues to teach the celebrated Experimental Writing for Teens class, which he created. He founded the Writers Coffeehouse and cofounded The Liars Club, and he is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries, as well as a keynote speaker and guest of honor at major writers’ and genre conferences. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California, with his wife, Sara, and their son, Sam. Visit him at and on Twitter (@JonathanMaberry) and Facebook.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Rot & Ruin (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442402350
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442402355
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today's Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; now in development for film; named in Booklist's Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, an American Library Association Top Pick, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; winner of several state Teen Book Awards including the Cricket, Nutmeg and MASL; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (winner of the Bram Stoker Award; 2012; and FIRE & ASH (August 2013). His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin's Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; EXTINCTION MACHINE, (2013; now in development for TV by Lonetree Entertainment and Vintage Picture Company); PREDATOR ONE, 2015, and others. His first middle grade novel, THE NIGHTSIDERS BOOK 1: THE ORPHAN ARMY, debuted in 2015 from Simon & Schuster.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium; DEAD MAN'S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 (named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium) and its forthcoming sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. He also wrote the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation; and DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS, an original novel inspired by the million-copy-selling role-playing game. He has also written the foreword to a new annotated edition of DRACULA from Writers Digest Books.

Jonathan is the creator, editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW, and its sequels, V-WARS: BLOOD AND FIRE, V-WARS: NIGHT TERRORS, V-WARS: SHOCKWAVES, V-WARS: INFERNO. And he writes a best-selling monthly V-WARS comic. A board game version of V-Wars will be released in late 2015; and the series is in development for TV by IDW Media.

He is also the editor of the dark fantasy anthology series, OUT OF TUNE (JournalStone, 2014), a series of X-FILES anthologies launching in 2015, and SCARY OUT THERE, an anthology of horror for teens.

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary, ZOMBIES: A Living History. He will also be featured in That $#(!'ll Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture, a forthcoming documentary on horror movies directed by Robert Tinnell. And he was participated in the commentary tracks for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED. He recently filmed segments for six installments of a forthcoming H2 series on monsters in mythology and pop culture.

His many nonfiction works include VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006); THE CRYPTOPEDIA (Citadel, 2007 -winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer); ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and finalist for a Stoker Award; 2008); THEY BITE! (2009 co-authored by David F. Kramer); WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (2010; Bram Stoker finalist; co-authored by Janice Gable Bashman); THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD (2001, written under the pen name of Shane MacDougall); ULTIMATE JUJUTSU (Strider Nolan, 2001); ULTIMATE SPARRING (Strider Nolan, 2000); JUDO AND YOU (Kendall Hunt 1991); and many others.

He writes a variety of projects for various top comic book companies. His work for Marvel Comics included CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, BLACK PANTHER: POWER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE: FLIES TO A SPIDER, PUNISHER: NAKED KILLS, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN; as well as his own franchise within Marvel --MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER, MARVEL UNIVERSE vs WOLVERINE and MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE AVENGERS. He wrote the vampire miniseries BAD BLOOD for Dark Horse, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Graphic Novel in 2015; V-WARS and ROT & RUIN for IDW based on his bestselling novels. Adaptations of his short stories have appeared in EVIL JESTER COMICS and GRAVE CONDITIONS. All of Jonathan's comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.

Jonathan has published several dozen short stories in a variety of genres: mystery, horror, thriller, science fiction, military fiction, fantasy, western, urban fantasy, humor and others. His collections include JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES, 2011 from Blackstone Audio; HUNGRY TALES (2012) and TALES FROM THE FIRE ZONE (2012) and the forthcoming JOE LEDGER: SPECIAL OPS (2014, JournalStone), DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN and STRANGE WORLDS (Blackstone, 2015). His work also appears in the audio anthology LIAR LIAR from The Liars Club (released by Blackstone Audio in 2013).

Jonathan is the co-creator (with Laura Schrock) of ON THE SLAB, an entertainment news show in development by Stage 9 for ABC Disney / Stage 9. He was also a 'blog correspondent' on Sony's zombie-themed web show 'WOKE UP DEAD'; and was a recurring character on Laura Schrock's 'IT'S TODD'S SHOW'.

Jonathan's popular Big Scary Blog ( focused on the publishing industry. Jonathan's interviews include Sandra Brown, Gayle Lynds, Alafair Burke, Charlaine Harris, James Rollins, Harlan Coben, Jeff Abbott, John Saul, Jonathan Kellerman, Barry Eisler, CJ Box, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Tom Piccarilli, Dale Brown, Kevin J. Anderson, Joe Lansdale, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, Carrie Ryan, and many other best-selling authors. Jonathan also writes the SCARY OUT THERE blog, through which he and his guests explore teen horror fiction in its many aspects. Current and upcoming guests include R.L. Stine, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Nancy Holder, Kim Harrison, Ellen Hopkins and many others. That blog can be found on the website of the Horror Writers Association:

He is one third of the hirsute pop-culture podcast THREE GUYS WITH BEARDS, along with Christopher Golden and James A. Moore.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest of honor and workshop leader at genre cons, libraries, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including the Writers Digest Conference, American Library Association, KeyCon, American Library Association, ThrillerFest, Zombie Fest, Heather Graham's Writers for New Orleans, Central Coast Writers Conference, NeCon, NY Comic Con, Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Sisters in Crime, Context, New York Comic Con, Dallas-Fort Worth Writers Conference, Tucson Festival of Books, Long Beach Comic Con, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, Romance Writers of America, American Library Association, ZenKaiKon,The Write Stuff, Hypericon, AnthoCon, KillerCon, NAIBA, LunaCon, and many others.

Jonathan has sold more than 1,200 feature articles and 3,000 columns; as well as greeting cards, song lyrics, poetry, technical manuals, call-floor scripts, and two plays, including Tales from the Fire Zone.

Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA, as well as a jurist for the Edgar, Stoker, and Scribe Awards.

Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County (2005-06) and co-owner of the Writers Corner USA (2006-2009). Jonathan regularly visits local middle schools, high schools and colleges to talk about books, reading, publishing and the writing life. He is a board member of the River Union Stage, a professional equity theater based in Stockton, New Jersey. In 2006 he helped found the Wild River Review, an notable online literary journal.

Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Stephen Susco, Chuck Wendig, Janice Gable Bashman, Cordelia Biddle, Christopher Golden, James A. Moore, Scott Sigler, Amber Benson, Kathryn Craft, Jeff Marriott, Nancy Holder and Michael Boatman. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books. The late NY Times bestseller L. A. Banks was a founding member of the Liars Club.

Jonathan created the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill in multiple locations around the country each month.

Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Act Like a Writer, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others. Many of his students have gone on to obtain representation and/or publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics.

In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field. He is the former Expert Witness for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office for murder cases involving martial arts; and he's done extensive work for civil cases.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in Del Mar, California.

Visit his website/blog and sign up for his free newsletter at,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on September 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I liked Rot & Ruin. It was a solid read, if nothing completely exceptional. If you liked it, I can pretty much guarantee that you're going to like Dust & Decay. The formula is similar, just as full of action, zoms and danger. Actually, I think I liked this one a bit better, with one exception, although I can't say whether that's because I knew what to expect or because it was higher quality.

So I might as well begin here with the one thing I could not get over and did not like, even though I did try to come to terms with it: they get attacked by a rhino. My first reaction was approximately, "lol whut?" because, well, rhinos don't generally chill out west. Then I thought about zoos and how they wouldn't be manned anymore, so animals might just roam, which did turn out to be the explanation. I also briefly wondered if rhinos can survive here what with not being native and perhaps not used to rough winters, but gave up since I don't know much about rhinos. Anyway, explained or not, I really don't know why the rhino attack happened. I mean, it was a disheartening thing to have happen on their quest, but couldn't it have been a less ridiculous animal, like a big ass boar, which is what I expected?

Rhinoceros aside, I really liked the pacing of this book (except for the little snippets of Nix's notebook, which made her seem like an airhead and not like the badass we all know she is). It kept the action coming and blended in some interesting ideas and thoughtful moments well. For example, I really loved the Greenman's (please tell me this is a reference to It's Always Sunny...) observation that the earth was actually recovering because of the zoms. Oh, and the scene where a horse and zombie did a little do-si-do with the horse just staying out of reach.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Sicurella VINE VOICE on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved Rot & Ruin. It was an astounding zombie YA series starter, with just the right mix of the horrors that men can do verses the zombie carnage. There was a thought-provoking focus on the fact that zombies used to be people, and therefore they should be respected for what they were as well as feared for what they now are - something a lot of zombie stories fail to take into account.

Dust & Decay keeps the theme in the same general vein, but having already established that zombies deserve respect, spends more time on thrilling action and the atrocities humans subject each other too. After month of training, Tom, Benny, Nix and Lilah are finally heading out to search for the plane they saw in Rot & Ruin. Having trouble saying goodbye, Chong heads out with them for the first leg of the journey, only to prove that he may be smart, but really isn't the outdoorsy type.

Problems abound. Life and death situations are faced. Evil men prove more dangerous than herds of zombies. Love of all kinds is found, tested, strengthened and cherished many times over.

While Dust & Decay is horrific and terrifying, thrilling and action-packed, what the reader will be surprised to find is how emotional the book - and the entire series - is. The book sucks you in, the characters get under your skin, and you won't be able to pull yourself away from the page. Dust & Decay is an emotional thrill-ride that will leave you shaken for a long time to come. Zombie perfection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Crossroad Reviews on August 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
So this one was so much better than book 1! Which almost never happens. In this one we find ourselves in the POV of just about everyone. But Mayberry does it so well that you don't have to wonder who's head your in which makes the book even better! We also get glimpses of Nix's journal entires at the end of each chapter which is just awesome! I think my fav character is Dr. Skillz he is one of the surfer guys and is so funny. I hope we get a novella about them in the future! The only thing I didn't like about this book is that we loose a beloved character near the end. So make sure you have tissues near by cause your gonna need them.

There were a few typos in this one like the first. Nothing to big. Just a few things like it said alive instead of live etc. Other than that I love this one even more than book one. I love that Mayberry has created a series that keeps you entertained without the book being all about running for your live away from the zombies. That the book has a real plot with wonderful characters.

In this one we find Benny, Nix Lilah, and Chong growing up. Benny is no longer the skinny know it all kid he was in book 1. Lilah will change and become more human and less like the Zoms that roam the Rot and Ruin. Nix will blossom into a fierce warrior and Chong will learn that he is braver than he thinks he is!

This book is full of nail biting action that will leave you on the edge of your seat until the last page! Love and loss also play a part in this second installment as well as a twist that will haunt these four kids for the rest of their lives!

On a side note. I still love that this series explores zombies in a new light. Do they feel? Is there still anyone inside? What are they really? These questions are things that normally are not even asked.

"*I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ramblings on Readings on February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 5 Stars

Avg. Good Reads Rating: 4.35

Series: Benny Imura #2

Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic/Horror

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 519

Best for: 16+

Good Reads Summary:

Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot and Ruin. It’s also been six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

But before they even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town, and as soon as they step into the Rot and Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers, and the horrors of Gameland, where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all, could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot and Ruin, everything wants to kill you. And not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will survive.

My Quick Recap:

After spending months training and preparing to go after the jet they saw heading east, Benny, Nix, Tom, and Lilah head out into the Rot and Ruin, with Benny’s friend Chong in tow to see them off. Things go bad from the start. Wild animals are acting strangely, the dead are moving in ways Tom’s never witnessed, and there are rumors of a new Gameland spreading. A new Gameland under new management.
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