Multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin is his debut work for young readers. Fifteen-year-old Benny Imura lives in a world infested with zombies where, when a kid turns 15, he must get a job to continue receiving food rations. Benny has no interest in the family business of zombie killing, but figures he doesn’t have much of a choice. He’s tried out a bunch of other jobs, and hasn’t found anything he likes. But as Benny starts training with his brother, he learns things about being human that he never expected.
©2010 Jonathan Maberry (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
Yeesh, I see there are other books in this universe. I hope Benny grows a brain, because I found him utterly, intolerably obnoxious in this book. Perhaps I haven't spent enough time around teenagers; maybe they are this bad. However, even if that is so, I don't want to read about a guy who's this much of a jerk, utterly condemning his older brother based upon "memories" from a horrific night that happened when he was 18 months old, treating Tom with contempt despite the fact that Benny would be dead many times over without him --died that night, died since from hunger or lack of care.
I don't actually believe anyone remembers things from that young anyway, beyond perhaps hazy impressions of emotional states --comfort, fear, drastic hunger. 18 month old brains just don't work in such a fashion that they could pass along memories like that, not the way adult brains do. One of the people that I respect & admire most in all the worlds & time, Ray Bradbury, said that he remembered some things from when he was three. I believe him, but he was one of the most brilliant people that ever lived & had one of the finest minds that ever cogitated.
Benny Imura does not fit any of those descriptions. He's not too bright, he's not too perceptive, he's not too thoughtful, he's not too nice. He's lazy. He can be pretty schmucky to his friends. He sits listening avidly to self-aggrandizing, obviously false stories told by two reprobate zombie hunter/killers, guys who any idiot with half a brain would immediately see are BAD guys, serious bad news, liars, cheats, & probably murders. But Benny doesn't have half a brain.
I kept forcing myself to listen further; all that kept me going was pretending that Benny would be eaten by a "zom"...it's not a good sign when a reader is praying the protagonist gets devoured.
Tom is also fairly unrealistic as a character, being far too saintly in dealing with his jackass younger bro. Most of the characters are cardboard.
There are other things that bother me about the book; the people in the town behave all alike in too many ways; NO ONE will talk about First Night (come on, some old boor would sit around blathering about how heroic they were), NO ONE will even consider trying to get electrical power going again. Even if a sort of religious taboo had grown up against electricity, after 14 years NO ONE has decided they're sick of washing clothes by hand? Puh-lease; after 14 DAYS, SOMEBODY woulda been out there trying to get things going again, no matter how loudly the zealots screamed. People just don't behave in lock-step like that. The entire remaining population of America is not going to just meekly abandon their mod cons, no matter what the provocation or how few are left.
Another peeve --& I know this is strictly a personal, idiosyncratic gripe-- but the term "zom" instead of "zombie" absolutely drove me up the wall.
Even if this is a 'YA' book, which I'm not entirely sure is the case, there are just too many things about it that are too simplistic, starting with the characters.
The reader, Brian Hutchinson, does a serviceable job with the material.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
WHAT IS DONE IN THE RUIN STAYS IN THE RUIN
Maberry builds a world which is easy to picture and in which you will feel you live in. Some writers are so good that they set a mood. The mood set in this book reminded me a lot of the same mood Brandon Sanderson set in his book Elantris. In this world everyone fifteen and older must have a job. There are several imaginative jobs that you would only have in a society that includes Zombies. In the boy scouts they teach you how to defend against Zombies. The lead character is a teenage boy and a lot of people will have problems liking this teenager since he is kind of a lazy cry baby, yet does that not fit a lot of real life teenagers or yourself at that age.
PEOPLE NEED SOMETHING TO BLAME
The Zombie Queen gave this one of her rare five stars. She is half my age and I do believe younger people will like this a little better then older. I still don't understand why some authors think that books for young teens or kids should not be written as cleverly as those for adults. I believe a lot of people will like this and I did enjoy it, but not as well as the other books I have read by Maberry for adults. There is a lot of preaching in this and I don't believe kids like to be preached to anymore then adults. The character Tom is too perfect, he is the anti-Joe Ledger. He is kind of a professor Know it All. I am also tired of Albino people always being the bad guys. Why does Maberry and several other authors think it is okay to demonize anybody of any race. There is a lot of speechafying in this also. Like the bad guys in most bad movies, the good guys make long speeches before pulling the trigger.
CLOSURE ISN'T CLOSURE UNTIL SOMEONE IS READY TO CLOSE THE DOOR
These titles are just a small example of the constant platitudes given in this book. The narrator was alright for the first couple of hours, but his style started to bother me after a while. It is hard to describe and you may not notice it, he kind of talks at you. He puts a period at the end of every sentence. The second half of the book I put him on fast play and I enjoyed the narration better.
You won???t think of zombies the same way after this....
This was an excellent coming of age story, touching without being corny, suspenseful and humorous by turns, a believable tale of post apocalypse survival from the viewpoint of a teenage boy.
Zombie fare has never been of interest to me, but after reading some of the other reviews I decided to give this book a shot....I???m glad I did.
This is a zombie book but not as much as I was hoping. Overall I would recommend but nothing like Day by Day Armageddon, Beyond Exile, Patient Zero or The Morning Star Strain.
Very good. I found this transcended age . The young and old will find this audio book enjoyable.
I love Jonathan Maberry's work. This book was a coming of age story that takes place several years after the zombie outbreak. It has plenty of action and is character driven too. I can't wait for the next installment.
This was an interesting new take on the ZA! We have all read a myriad of books that tell the ZA story from the beginning. This was refreshing because it tells the story about life 15 years after the upheaval. The author coaxes you into understanding a whole new viewpoint. Amazing! Beware it does start off slow, but hang in there it is worth the ride, your credit and your NEXT credit in my opinion!
Starts slow but worth it if you hang with it. Zombie story with empathy - strange!
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