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Flesh & Bone (Rot & Ruin) Hardcover – September 11, 2012

169 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Benny Imura Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Benny Imura and his friends are back fighting their way through a postapocalyptic world. Still reeling from the tragic ending in Dust & Decay (S & S, 2011), Benny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah continue moving east from California's Sierra Nevadas, searching for the jet that Benny and Nix saw and, hopefully, for a better life. As in the previous volumes, the ever-present zombies threaten the teens but they are hardly the most hazardous or scariest things stalking the wilderness. The kids run headlong into the "Reapers," a death cult led by Saint John, a serial killer turned prophet. The Reapers' mission is to finish what the zombie plague started-the extinction of the human race. Even as the teens struggle to stay one step ahead of these murderous freaks and close in on their goal, they discover that the zombie virus is mutating, resulting in startling and even more dangerous changes. A few of the passages (especially between Benny and Nix) get a little tiresome, and the Reaper philosophy stretches credulity a bit, but lots of action and generous helpings of blood and gore keep the story moving briskly and will keep series fans turning pages. The ending leaves open the possibility of a fourth installment, though one of the main characters might not survive that long.-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"The third time’s the charm with even more adventure—and gore—as the series continues."--Kirkus Reviews

Lots of action and generous helpings of blood and gore keep the story moving briskly. (School Library Journal)

"Zombies have run amok in YA lit, but the standard bearer remains Maberry's straight-ahead, action-drama series that began with Rot & Ruin (2010) and Dust & Decay (2011)...Waiting for the full reveal in volume four won't be easy." (--Booklist)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: Rot & Ruin (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442439890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442439894
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,577 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

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of the previous two books in this quartet. The first, Rot and Ruin, was probably my favorite read of the year. The second, was almost as strong, and ended with heartbreak that I had to deal with for a few weeks before picking up the third. This installment is my least favorite of the three for a few reasons, but definitely worth reading, and thoughtful in its own way.

Flesh and Bone is the third out of four books by Jonathan Maberry about the zombie apocalypse that has fallen on the world. Benny, Chong, the Lost Girl, and Nix are struggling to survive in the Rot and Ruin after still reeling from deaths of loved ones. They encounter more evil than they thought possible-- a group of Reapers whose sole purpose is to have everyone join the Gray Walkers that abound the earth. New characters are introduced (including a terrifying Big Bad), and the mystery of the plane is solved.

What I Loved: The development of Chong was probably my favorite part of the book. He's come so far and his relationship with the Lost Girl is very sweet. This makes the ending that much more poignant. Also, we get the introduction of a new cult, which is terrifying in its sway in this awful world. I can imagine people giving up and joining a cult to end the human race. We see this kind of depression in medicine all the time-- and I can't imagine if the world was actually as bad as people saw it, what that would do to the human psyche. Maberry is terrific at coming up with new ethical dilemmas, and he is very thoughtful in his dealings with them.

What I wasn't as thrilled about: I know my reaction to this book is a little bit like my reaction to Harry Potter book 5. It was a must read, but because of how annoying adolescent Harry was, it was my least favorite.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By thehydrogenpoptart on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First Sentences: Benny Imura thought, I'm going to die.
The hundred zombies chasing him all seemed to agree.

A Quick Synopsis: Benny Imura never in his wildest dreams could never have imagined the shocking and tragic events that happened to him and his friends. But terrible things have happened, and in the Rot and Ruin, there's no going back. With Nix, Lilah, and Chong, Benny must continue to quest for the jet that they saw all those months ago. But unbeknownst to them, the Rot and Ruin is morphing. The zoms are morphing. Their surrounding are morphing. A new chilling death cult has risen. Benny must journey through the land of the dead to search for the key to life...

The Review: Flesh & Bone is the third book in Jonathan Maberry's Rot & Ruin series--a series that I discovered in a strange way: by having it recommended it to me by a friend. You see, usually I go around recommending books to people, or they come to me to ask for recommendations. But when my best friend came raving to me about a book--something that she rarely ever does--I knew I had to read it. That book, as you may have guessed already, was Rot & Ruin. So I bought it, read it, discussed it, and we both agreed that it was awesome. But when the sequel, Dust & Decay, came out, things took a turn for the worse. We both read it, discussed it, and agreed that it wasn't as good as Rot & Ruin. My friend hasn't read Flesh & Bone yet, but it pains my heart to know that I will have to tell her that this installment is the worst in the series yet. Here's why.

First of all, it is my belief that each new book in a series should bring something new to the table. Flesh & Bone doesn't really do that. The world that we had in Rot & Ruin is still there, and doesn't really develop that much.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Benny Imura thought, I'm going to die. The hundred zombies chasing him all seemed to agree."

With book three in the Benny Imura series, Maberry manages to impress me with the first two lines. Don't you love it when a book manages to do that? In Flesh & Bone, the reader follows Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong as they make their way east in search of the airplane and hopefully, a better life. Along the way, they discover things much more disturbing than they could have possibly imagined.

In spite of the dire circumstances, Maberry continues to mix in the humor:

"Yo! Deadheads," he yelled, waving his sword to taunt them. "Nice try, but you're messing with Benny-freaking-Imura, zombie killer. Booyah!
And then the lip of the ravine buckled and collapsed under his weight, and Benny-freaking-Imura instantly plummeted into the darkness below.

What makes this so funny is that I can see someone doing this, even myself. Maberry's writing is so good it is easy to visualize the scenes. He manages to write something that could be translated to the big screen very well, yet does not sacrifice any quality to the writing. That's impressive.

Of course, the intelligence of the series also continues:

Chong leaned close to Benny again. "This is fascinating," he said quietly. "If there are other settlements out here, then they're probably like islands or distant countries used to be in the days before the world was mapped. So isolated that their own phrasing and references- all the slang and jargon that we've used since First Night- is going to be different."

I love how Maberry looks at many different aspects of the zombie apocalypse aftermath.
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