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Flesh & Bone (Rot & Ruin) Hardcover – September 11, 2012
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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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Top customer reviews
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. I had the same reaction to Nix-- so many times in the book, I just wanted to shake her. She exhibited all the worst characteristics of female communication (i.e. men need to just know what we are thinking), and was a complete brat to Benny for most of the book. Also, the first half of the book was more of the characters just wandering around in the Rot and Ruin, and seemed like just filler for the last 25%, which was non-stop action and intrigue to the end.
That said, there is no doubt that I'm following this to the end and cannot wait to pick up the fourth and final installment of this series, which is probably the best set of books I've read this year.
Mr. Maberry deals with grief, loss and feelings in such a subtle way that you don't even realize what the subject matter is of this book until the end. A friend asked me what the book was about and I stopped and thought, it's about loss, grief and hope and about not giving up no matter how bleak life may seem. What Benny, Nix, Chong and Lilah have done in the past and the present has greatly affected their relationships to each other. These young teens are the hope of the future but at what cost? There are hundreds of thousands of zoms (zombies) and there are so few of them to fight them. And to add to their dilemna, they have to deal with adults and their way of dealing with the way the new world is.
Ahhhh, but I don't want to give too much away, so you have to read the book whether you be a young adult or an adult, like myself. If you have not read Rot & Ruin (book #1) or Dust & Decay (book #2), read them first. The whole series so far is excellent and you will not be disappointed!
I began reading this series as a teacher looking for books to recommend to students but have continued as a reader vested in the characters and curious to see where, when, and how this all comes to a conclusion. Don't be fooled by the use of zombies - while I've never been drawn to stories involving zombies, this series has me questioning who the real "zombies" in our society are, as well as the way we chose to live our lives. Well-done!
With this read our team of teenagers have a new war they are fighting along with the war on the zombies, or also called, 'gray people'. But along with this war brings a surprise visitor to the scene and I did not even expect it. But I gotta say I loved it! It adds so much more to this series and makes it that much better. But since I am not one for spoilers, I wont reveal who the surprise visitor is.
It is hard to really guess what Maberry will bring to us with this series, some of things are great and some are not. A lot are unexpected. I really enjoy that aspect of things. Also another thing I like most about this series is the way the characters grow as you read the story. They have to learn things to progress. They have to overcome many obstacles. I think it makes there characters much stronger and believable and a lot more enjoyable as well.
I recommend this series to anyone who likes Zombie stories, or maybe even if you don't. A lot plays into it though, it is a huge mix of genres, zombies, dystopian, apocalyptic, YA. If you can handle those then you'll love it! I am looking forward now to the last book of the series Fire and Ash And if this is the last book to the series I am sure Maberry will end it with a bang!