Rot & Ruin

Rot & Ruin

Book - 2011
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In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2011
Edition: First Simon and Schuster BFYR paperback edition
ISBN: 9781442402331
Branch Call Number: YA MABERRY
Characteristics: 458 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Rot and Ruin


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Apr 27, 2016

Rot and Ruin was a quietly entertaining read. It definitely completely engrossed me a few times, and I have to say that I'm pretty sure Jonathan Maberry has the distinction of being the only person to make me feel vaguely sad for the zombies. Not sure how I feel about that, mind you, as I rather like my zombies to remain mindless flesh eating creatures of horror, but it is what it is.

The story is well-written, and Maberry's observations on one way society could go after an apocalyptic disaster seems quite believable. Benny is a fairly well developed teenager, and the crew he surrounds himself with is definitely varied. However, I couldn't escape the "been there, read this" feeling that tended to permeate the book. I don't think this is anything to lay at the feet of Maberry, but more a general yearning for more books that break away from the "It's not zombies you have to fear..."*dramatic pause* "it's people!" pigeonhole these books tend to consistently fall into. I want my scary zombie books back, please and thank you. A fight against the virus, a horrible mutated monster, etc. Anything but this "Yeah, zombies are scary, sure, but they're not what you really have to fear." I'm quite aware people are toe-rags. I read to escape that.

Anyways, for a young adult dystopian fic, Maberry almost/ kind of skirts the love triangle cliche, and he doesn't make his protagonist some sort of almost unnaturally talented fighter, so there's a couple points in his favor. However, as many times as the book surprised me, it was also equally predictable.

Overall, ground-breaking work of the post-apocalyptic genre it is not, but it is nonetheless a solid Young Adult book that is a fairly large hit for a reason. I'd recommend it.

Apr 19, 2016

Boringly predictable zombie book.

Mar 08, 2016

Zombies? yes. Zombie killers? yes. Lost zombie killers? yes. Epic read? duh!

Mar 17, 2015

I love Maberry's Joe Ledger books, but this is pretty tame by comparison. Definitely for a younger audience.

Oct 21, 2014

I read this because my daughter recommended it. While a great deal of current YA fiction is entertaining for even adults, this book was rather simplistic and naive. Great for ages 12-16, but any more sophisticated readers they might want to skip it.

Oct 29, 2013

One of my favorite post-apocalyptic/zombie book series. It may be aimed at young adults but its still pretty good especially rot and ruin.

Aug 11, 2013

Very well written, unique plot and characters worth cheering for.

ChristchurchLib Jun 04, 2013

"After the zombie apocalypse, teens must find work by the age of 15 if they want to keep their food ration. And that’s why lazy, resentful, 15-year-old Benny reluctantly leaves the safety of home and joins his bounty-hunting half-brother Tom in the zombie-riddled wilds of the Rot and Ruin. As the brothers encounter villains far more inhuman than the undead, Benny begins to question his understanding not only of Tom, but also of life, death, and what bravery really means. Before you devour this thought-provoking, gore-splattered thriller, beware - it’s the 1st in a series of three books, with a 4th and final volume arriving in the next few months." June 2013 Teen Scene newsletter

Aug 23, 2012

a great book its intresting but you have to read them by order then you will under stand

Aug 13, 2012

Not your fathers zombie novel.

Rare to have one that is as compelling from a character standpoint where the zombies are actually secondary to the story line.

Great summer read.

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JCLOctavia Oct 14, 2017

"We let fear rule us and guide us, and that's never the way to win. Never. A long time ago a great man once said that 'we have nothing to fear but fear itself'. That was never truer than during the first night.

Apr 14, 2017

“The truth is the truth. What changes is what we know about it and what we're willing to believe.”

Apr 14, 2017

“Revenge is an infection of the spirit.”

Apr 14, 2017

“There are moments that define a person's whole life. MOMENTS in which everything they are and everything they may possibly become hinge on a single decision.”

Apr 14, 2017

“Closure isn't closure until someone's ready to close the door.”

Apr 14, 2017

“Often it was the most unlikely people who found within themselves a spark of something greater. It was probably always there, but most people are never tested, and they go through their whole lives without ever knowing that when things are at their worst, they are at their best.”

Apr 14, 2017

“There are moments that define a person's whole life. Moments in which everything they are and everything they may possibly become balance on a single decision. Life and death, hope and despair, victory and failure teeter precariously on the decision made at that moment. These are moments ungoverned by happenstance, untroubled by luck. These are the moments in which a person earns the right to live, or not.”


Add Age Suitability
Oct 21, 2014

walkermom thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 16

May 04, 2012

i_like_cows thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Aug 17, 2012

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.


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