Monday, October 3, 2011

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura #1): Reviewed by AH

Title: Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura #1)
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Published: 2011
Guest Blogger: AH from Badass Book Reviews
Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

Is the zombie apocalypse close at hand?

Are zombies the new vampire? Both are undead. Both bite. Unfortunately, zombies have gotten the short end of the stick. Zombies are not glamorous. They are not sexy or sparkly either. Zombies are just ….well ewww.

I must preface this review with the fact that I usually don’t like zombies. I don’t go out of my way to read about zombies, or watch *shudder* zombie movies. I get squeamish at the sight of blood and gore.

Rot & Ruin is a great read. Aimed at the young adult market, I can certainly see my 14 year old son getting a kick out of this book. I loved its underlying theme: zombies are just like people except they’re dead (and they may want to bite you). I despaired at the world of Rot & Ruin, a world of abandoned technology and zombies.

Rot & Ruin is the story of Benny Imura and his legendary brother Tommy. Benny barely remembers First Night, the night the zombies took over. Benny is just your average 15 year old boy who must find a job in order to keep receiving his food rations. The job market in the zombie post apocalypse sucks, probably worse than today’s job market. Benny tries some truly horrid jobs, but never lasts. He finally takes the last possible job – his brother’s apprentice. Tommy is a heroic zombie hunter and well known throughout their world. I really liked how Benny’s view of Tommy changes significantly during the book and how Tommy allows this change of attitude little by little.

I loved how Benny is portrayed as just a regular teenager, with teenage angst and issues. Benny’s friends are also very entertaining. I loved Morgie and Chong and enjoyed reading about their job hunting woes. Nix was another interesting character and I loved how all the boys wanted to date her. I was intrigued by the Lost Girl Lilah. For a girl who grew up on her own, she was fierce, lethal and very resourceful. The bad guys in this book are especially heinous. Charlie Pink-Eye and Motor City Hammer are very unscrupulous zombie hunters.

I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to the next installment of Benny and Tommy Imura’s story.

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