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Rot & Ruin (1) Paperback – Illustrated, May 3, 2011
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* "The delineation between man and monster, survivor and victim is fiercely debated in Maberry's thoughtful, postapocalyptic coming-of-age tale...In turns mythic and down-to-earth, this intense novel combines adventure and philosophy to tell a truly memorable zombie story, one that forces readers to consider them not just as flesh-eating monsters or things to be splattered, but as people."--"Publishers Weekly, "starred review
"An impressive mix of meaning and mayhem."--"Booklist"
"George Romero meets "The Catcher in the Rye" in this poignant and moving coming of age novel set during zombie times. I welled up at the end, then smiled through my tears when I realized there was going to be a sequel. Bravo, Jonathan Maberry. Can't wait to read more." --Nancy Holder, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Wicked" and "Possessions"
"Horror fans will appreciate the gorge-raising descriptions of the shambling zombies...while zombie-apocalypse aficionados will cotton to the solid world-building and refreshingly old-school undead. --"Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"
"This is a romping, stomping adventure. And while most zombie novels are all about the brains, this one has a heart as well. With the dead prowling all around, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura learns the bittersweet lessons of life, love, and family in the great Rot & Ruin. Anyone with a pulse will enjoy this novel, and anyone with a brain will find plenty of food for thought inside."--Michael Northrop, author of "Gentlemen"
"This is no ordinary zombie novel. Maberry has given it a soul in the form of two brothers who captured my heart from the first page and refused to let go."--Maria V. Snyder, "New York Times "bestselling author of "Poison Study"
"Thrilling, enticing, and surprisingly touching, "Rot & Ruin" will grip readers from beginning to end, and make them question who the real monsters are. It had me hooked from page one."--Heather Brewer, author of "The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod" series
About the Author
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1442402334
- ISBN-13 : 978-1442402331
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 3, 2011)
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #57,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have read a LOT of semi pro zombie series that have thousands of very high ratings that are incredibly marginal books. This is not one of those.
The character's emotions and actions are believable. No crazy coincidences, stupid luck etc to get people in or out of trouble.
An example of a series with a large popular folloing is zombie fallout. I gave up reading zombie fallout to book 4. That series was absolutely horrible (unless you like juvenile comedy fart jokes which many do - like deadpool).
This series is a serious book, well written, with characters that are consistent and have a good backstory. There is even some moderately sophisticated philosophy going on as well.
I would put it in the same league as books like the dust/wool series, day by day armageddon, forest of teeth and hands and the remaining as far as being engaging and enjoyable to read.
Guys, I love me a zombie book. Some of my favorite books ever are zombie books. There’s just something about the way they bring up questions about what makes someone human and what makes someone a monster that I find hugely compelling and this book was no different. It doesn’t help that it feels a lot like an episode of Supernatural either. Maberry creates a desolate wasteland in which America has succumbed to the zombie apocalypse and it’s such a haunting setting for the story and an apt metaphor for life. Survivors have created small towns to live in, away from the rest of the world which has been dubbed The Rot and Ruin. These settlement camps are actually tight knit communities of people trying to move on with their life, but having no idea how to do so. Most of the time, people live and die in these small spaces without ever trying to find something better out there and it’s heartbreaking, but also very real. Because who wants to tempt fate when a zombie horde could come along? People have a hard enough time breaking out of their comfort zones and trying to do something scary without a bunch of flesh eating monsters to worry about.
This book hits you heard with FAMILY FEELS. Tom Imura is one of the best characters I’ve come across in a while. He’s such an interesting mix of grace, honor, and obligation. He genuinely loves his little brother and wants to help build a world for him that will actually mean something in the end, that can offer him something more than just waiting to die. He serves as a great mentor and is a fully fleshed out almost main character. He’s the yin to Benny’s yang and it’s a truly wonderful and interesting dichotomy that’s explored between the brothers. Benny is a good protagonist in his own right and we spend most of the time in his head and you can actually feel and see him growing as a person as his journey into the zombie wasteland continues. He learns a lot about himself, his brother, and what it means to be a human being in a world of the dead. It brings up complex moral dilemmas in a very organic, beautiful way. There are times it does’t even feel like a young adult novel to me and instead reads like a haunting treatise on the human condition and the choices we make in order to live.
The pace is also pretty action packed and there were moments where I found myself holding my breath wondering what was going to happen next. The heart of this book, really, is the family aspect and the bond between brothers as they learn things about each other they didn’t know before. It’s of note that Benny and Tom don’t really know each other well at all in the beginning of this book even though they’re the only family they have left and they live in such a confined world and it really speaks to Maberry’s credit as a storyteller that their relationship progression was so rewarding and finely revealed. There is a bit of romance in the book as well, as Benny’s longtime friend Nix is a secondary character with a crush that becomes pretty complicated, but it’s by no means a focal point of the story. So if you like your YA novels with a little more emphasis on love of the romantic persuasion, you might be a bit disappointed. However, I’m sure this aspect is going to come into play in a much bigger way later in the series. All in all, I really enjoyed the book and have already Kindled the second installment.
The actual story was decent but not enough to make me want to read the rest of the series... I really wanted a good zombie series. The author is good and the story flowed so I’d read this author again, just not this series... when I pick up a zombie book, I want loads of zombies
Top reviews from other countries
This novel takes place in the post-zom (as they're called in this novel) apocalypse time, when there is a fence around the town they live in and few dare to venture outside of it, and those who do are bounty hunters. Bounty hunters in this age, however, are assigned to offing zoms. Most bounty hunters go at it with little care as to whom they're offing, but Tom Imura, Benny's older brother, is different. He offs zoms who were once friends and family to those who hire him, with compassion and a sense of grace, versus the senseless and disgustingly violent hacking of the other bounty hunters. He respects the bodies of the souls that once lived in the zoms and un-animates them bearing that in mind.
Then comes the story of the Lost Girl. She lives in the wilderness, having grown up there, supporting herself, alone, and can barely speak. She is an anomaly, and there are people who want her. Benny wants to protect her, but the truth is that she doesn't need the protecting. She can take care of herself.
All of these factors play into this tale of the post-zom apocalypse and make for an incredible story that I am happy to read over and over again. I'm not one who usually goes for violence, but there is more to this story than the violence that makes it very, very worth reading.
I would recommend this to all readers, but especially teenage guys and anyone with a sense of adventure or fascination in zombies. I wholeheartedly recommend this. Even if you don't THINK you'll like this book, you'll probably like this book. It's that good of a story.
5/5 and two thumbs up! Well done, Jonathan Maberry.
And the good news is that there are already more books in the series! :D
There is plenty of zombie action although they are not the be all and end all of events. Once again, man's inhumanity towards his fellow man, either by design or ignorance, features strongly in this well worth reading story.
I bought this book without knowing too much about it (I tend to like reading books knowing as little as possible about them beforehand, something that I accept can backfire), along with it's sequel. It was very quickly apparent that this book was written for teenagers, or, at the very least, removing anything too gory, violent or sexual so as not to be an adults only book.
I was very disappointed. But then I kept reading. And reading and reading and reading. 20% in, and I couldn't put it down. I finished it in three days, which is pretty good, considering I quite often only read after getting into bed.
Yes, the 'action' is very tame, but it's well written. It's one of those books where your mind fills in the blanks. You definitely find yourself cheering on the heroes and wanting the bad guys to get what's coming to them.
Also, the book is set well into a zombie infestation. Some of the characters have only ever known this world, which makes a refreshing change from 'Oh my god, there's a zombie outbreak, everyone run!". It definitely makes it more interesting, and presents a different kind of story within the genre.