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Fire & Ash (Rot & Ruin) Hardcover – August 13, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Rot & Ruin (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442439920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442439924
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s been less than a year since the events of Rot & Ruin(2010), but hundreds of pages of grueling adventure have transpired on the way to this fourth and final volume, which happens to be the best since the original. Benny and his band of post-apocalyptic samurai find themselves positioned for the kind of battle royale at which Maberry excels. In the first corner of this four-cornered conflict, our heroes; in the second, the burgeoning American Nation government; in the third, tens of thousands of cult assassins; and in the fourth, the endless streams of zombies, many of them mutating in speed and intelligence. With the help of ex-military bad-ass Joe Ledger, the gang hunts down the cure, hopefully in time to rescue almost-zombie Chong. Even those who felt the middle volumes touched upon overkill will be taken by this finale, which manipulates the large cast with wonderful clarity. Best of all is the epilogue, which poignantly brings us full circle. Time for Mr. Maberry to enjoy a different kind of R&R—he deserves it. --Daniel Kraus


"Maberry delivers a fitting conclusion to his popular Rot & Ruin series...In the end, this gripping zombie saga is really about Hope & Love." (Kirkus Reviews)

"[Readers] will be taken by this finale, which manipulates the large cast with wonderful clarity." (Booklist)

More About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a 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, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; nominee for several state Teen Book Awards; 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 (September 11, 2012; and FIRE & ASH (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; THE DRAGON FACTORY, 2010; HE KING OF PLAGUES, 2011; ASSASSIN'S CODE, 2011; EXTINCTION MACHINE, 2013; CODE ZER0, 2014, and JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES, 2011 from Blackstone Audio.

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; DEAD MAN'S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 and its forthcoming sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. And the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation.

He is also editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW.

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.

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 Marvel Comics involving CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK PANTHER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE, DEADPOOL, THE X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER. MARVEL UNIVERSE vs WOLVERINE and the upcoming MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE AVENGERS. All of Jonathan's comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.

Recent short stories include "A Footnote in the Black Budget" (MADNESS OF CTHULHU, 2013), "Pegleg and Paddy Save the World" (HISTORY IS DEAD, Permuted Press 2007), "Doctor Nine" (KILLERS, Swimming Kangaroo Press, 2008; and reprinted in THE STORIES (in) BETWEEN Edited by Greg Schauer, Jeanne B. Benzel, and W.H. Horner. Fantasist Enterprises, 2009), "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Greenbrier Ghost" (LEGENDS OF THE MOUNTAIN STATE 2, Bloodletting Books, 2008), "Clean Sweeps" (AND SO IT BEGINS, Dark Quest Books, 2008), "Family Business" (THE NEW DEAD, St. Martin's Press, 2010), "Like Part of the Family" (NEW BLOOD edited by Patrick Thomas and Diane Raetz, Padwolf Press, 2010), "Zero Tolerance" (THE LIVING DEAD 2, Night Shade Books), "Flint and Steel" (GI JOE: COBRA WARS, 2011), "Saint John" (THE MONSTER'S CORNER, 2011, St. Martin's), "Spellcaster 2.0" (An Apple for the Creature, Ace Books, 2012), "Jack and Jill" (21st Century Dead, St. Martin's Griffin,2012), "The Death Song of Dwar Guntha" (Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom, 2012, Simon & Schuster), "The Wind Through the Fence" (an original e-story available for all e-readers), "Property Condemned" (scheduled for the premier issue of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE), "Chokepoint" (included in THE UNINVITED, Vol 2), and many others. His essay, "Take Me To Your Leader" is included in the nonfiction book, TRIUMPH OF THE WALKING DEAD: Robert Kirkman's Zombie Epic on Page and Screen edited by James Lowder (BenBella Books/Smart Pop, 2011).

In 2012 Blackstone Audio released two collections of Jonathan's short stories: Tales from the Fire Zone and Hungry Tales.

All of Jonathan's novels are available on audio, including the audio-only collection, JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES (Blackstone), which includes the short stories "Countdown", "Zero Tolerance", "Deep Dark", "Material Witness" and "Dog Days". Another Joe Ledger short, "Mad Science", will appear in the audio anthology LIAR LIAR from The Liars Club.

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 Big Scary Blog ( focuses 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.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest of honor and workshop leader at genre cons, libraries, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including KeyCon, ThrillerFest, Zombie Fest, Heather Graham's The Writers for New Orleans, Central Coast Writers Conference, NeCon, NY Comic Con, Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Sisters in Crime, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, Romance Writers of America, American Library Association, 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. He is developing a psychological thriller novel based on that play.

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 and Stoker 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.

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, Sara Shepard, William Lashner, and Laura Schrock. 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.

On the last Sunday of every month Jonathan hosts the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill. The event is held at the Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove Pennsylvania. The Liars Club has begun launching additional Writers Coffeehouses throughout the region.

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.

Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie. His stepson, Sam West-Mensch, serves a general manager of Jonathan's writing business.

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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Hands down one of the best series of books I have EVER read!
The story is very good and well written which would be no other way coming from the author Jonathan Maberry.
Thomas M. Stoops
Just finished the long awaited final installment of this awesome series.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet - In a Corrupt Stew TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Fire and Ash, Maberry takes us back to the world of Rot and Ruin with a vengeance. Benny and the gang are bigger, badder (yeah, I know but the word fits!), and far more dangerous than ever before. As usual, the zombies are scary (even more so with some mutations) and the people are even scarier.

If possible, Fire and Ash feels even more epic than the prior books. Both the zombie hordes and Reaper hordes are unimaginably unrelenting and Maberry barely gives the reader room to breathe between scary thrills.

Simply put, this zombie series is one of the best out there. The world building is absolutely impeccable and the author mixes heartbreaking emotion, real surprises (no spoilers!), and truly scary scenes and shows a lot of other 'wanna be' zombie authors how it's done.

I sped through the book, finished it feeling extremely satisfied, and yes, I want more zombie goodness from this author!

P.S. I must shamefully admit that I have a Chong Crush. I want him to star in his own book. Hint, hint!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tessa on August 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this series and I am sad to see it end. Hoping for more stories from Mr. Mayberry. Ifvyou have not read this series you should. It was great I read each book in mess then 24 hours and went to work tired. I couldn't put them down.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a great finish to a series I stumbled into. I started reading the Joe Ledger series and wanted to read more by Mr. Mayberry. I agree with other reviews that this book is not strictly for the YA audience. I found the whole series to be entertaining! Character development and suspenseful writing are just a few things I truly like about what Mr. Mayberry brings to the table in this book.

I'm not sure what I'm most excited for, the next Joe Ledger novel to come out around my Bday or Fall of Night, the sequel to Mr. Maryberr's other Zombie novel, Dead of Night!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alex Samaras on August 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's really not often that I give 5 stars, but Jonathan Maberry knows his stuff, and the Rot&Ruin series is some of the best post-zombie-apocalypse fiction out there. If you haven't read the whole series yet, then you need to. Don't let the fact that the main characters are teenagers throw you into thinking this is merely Youth or Young Adult fiction. It's good for anyone who loves good zombie stories.

For those of you who have been reading the series, this conclusion won't let you down. Great action, good character development, good story. You want this. No doubt.

Now for the difficulty of trying to be patient while waiting for the next Joe Ledger novels to be written and released. :D
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense on June 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Review originally posted on A Kernel of Nonsense blog.
In the fourth and final installment of Jonathan Maberry’s zombie apocalypse series, Benny Imura and his friends face a final battle against Saint John and the Night Church. Angry and confused over the lack of aide coming from those in charge at Sanctuary and desperate to save their friend Chong, Benny and company must venture into the unknown in search of the lost scientist Monica McReady who may have discovered a cure for the zombie plague. Meanwhile the reapers are devising a deadly plan to eradicate the last of humanity. Benny is pushed to his limits and discovers just how far he’s willing to go to stop Saint John and his army.

I credit Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin for nurturing my like for zombies and transforming it into a full blown love-affair. The book was not centered around the fear of the dead rising, but around those who survived the cataclysmal event and despite the terrors of the outside world wanted to live. It was a book about growing up and discovering that real evil wasn’t in the reanimation of dead corpses, but in those who treated life and death like a game, who forgot that these walking cadavers were once someone’s loved-ones, and who devalued the life of the living.

And so it seems only fitting that the last confrontation for Benny not be with a horde of zombies, but with the most merciless of all enemies who doesn’t fight for entertainment or notoriety, but for the express purpose of destroying the human race. Saint John stands in direct contrast to Benny and his friends, who push forward with the hope of ending the plague and having a future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dorine White on October 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Story-
Benny and the gang have found Sanctuary and are safe for the moment. Chong barely is hanging on to the last threads of his life, and everyone is worried that a cure won't be found in time to save him. Benny decides it is up to him to seek out the missing information about the cure. He travels back to the plane, searching for clues. While there he is attacked by a reaper, but manages to kill the bad guy and walk away with a vital clue.

Now the hunt is on for the missing doctor who was on the trail of the cure. The problem is that the reapers of the Night Church are bent on wiping out the nine cities and Benny's home, Mountainside. The reapers numbers have grown, and they lead an army of 50,000 zoms. Benny is in a race against time to find a cure, and then save the nine cities.

My Thoughts-
A great ending to a great series. This final book is more about the human drama then about fighting zoms. In fact, the zoms are mostly background to the main story. But don't worry, they are still roaming around after flesh. Benny is a brave character who has turned into an amazingly cunning and strong hero over the course of four books. His groups of friends have remained faithful, each growing into a fierce fighter. In this last book, they put all their confidence in Benny and his plan to save the nine cities. Benny is such a changed person, that he is willing to basically commit a suicide mission to save everyone.

Full of drama and tension, this final story sums up all the loose story lines and brings things back full circle, straight to Mountainside. Fire and Ash is a telling title for an ending with a bang. 5 stars.
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