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
ROT & RUIN by Jonathan Maberry was one of the audiobooks that I had been eye-balling for some time but for whatever reason always pushed it to the side. Big mistake-HUGE! From the moment I pushed play I was consumed by the story and the journey of the characters and their development along the way.
Benny Imura is an average 15 year old boy with average thoughts and angst but living in a time and situation that is anything but average. Benny goes to school, hangs out with friends, has typical boy-girl drama, and feels bitter toward his older brother, Tom, who he harbors resentment to and blames for his mother’s death when he was only two years old. Despite the fact that his brother has done an amazing job raising him, Benny’s memory (through the eyes of a two-year-old) of the night his parents died in the zombie apocalypse known as “first night”, won’t allow him to forgive his brother for running away and not helping his folks.
Although Benny has grown up in relative safety behind the fence of make-shift town with a population of approx 800, Zombies still walk outside the walls in what is known as the Rot and Ruin. It is because of the danger outside the town that people ages 15 and up, have to do their part and work in order to get a full ration of food. Hating the idea of working with his brother who is well respected in town as a zombie killer, Benny goes everywhere he can think of to apply for a job but has little luck. Getting a job is mandatory, so when all other doors close Benny swallows his pride and agrees to try working with Tom in the “family business”. From the very first moment Benny steps foot in the Rot & Ruin his life is altered and as he starts to question the things he once was so certain about, he begins the journey of finding out who he really is and becoming a man.
I enjoyed every minute of this story. The narrator did a great job of keeping the personalities varied and the story exciting. I have read reviews where some who have actually “read” the books found the first part slow and the second half un-put-downable, and all I can say is that listening to the audiobook, I didn’t experience that particular lull. The only thing I had an issue with (and it is minor) was in some of the repetitive dialogue between the characters. There were a couple times where things were brought up again or re-hashed that I personally feel could have been edited out of the story. All complaining aside, I enjoyed the book so much I immediately downloaded DUST & DECAY, the second book in the series.
ROT & RUIN is a zombie story that deals with some tough issues and at times disturbing descriptions, but at it’s very core it is a coming of age story with some remarkable and unforgettable characters. It was thrilling, heartbreaking, exciting and everything I had hoped it would be.
The relationship between the brothers was very realistic. And their teacher mentor dynamic.Also the realistic betrayal of the neighbors trapped in the state they fought so hard to prevent.
Patient Zero is some what similar in that the protagonist is very believable. The suspense in both novels begins right away peaking your interest in the explanation for these scary ,almost invincible foes.
Very clear narration. Lots of feeling in his telling of the story. Also distinct differences in characters.
It scared me! Read with the covers pulled up.
I shied away from this book multiple times because I didn't think the idea of a 15 kid trying to avoid working in the family business sounded like a compelling zombie story.
I was wrong.
I finally gave in and listened.This story is just as much about zombies and the world after the dead rise, as it is about honor, bravery, evil, justice, love and family.
What a refreshing take on the genre. Not only do we get hordes of Ramero-style lumbering zombies, but we are also treated to a story about right and wrong and having the strength to overcome fear and the status quo.
Rot & Ruin didn't quite have me as soon as I started listening, but it had me pretty early on in the story. The work of the author and the narrator wove together to create a world in which it was quite believable that such things might be happening. That's not to say I didn't find faults with the book, I just don't think they impacted the overall experience enough to warrant mention.
Check it out for yourselves.
The fresh take on the struggle to survive in a world full of the undead.
ROT & RUIN: THE UNDEAD AREN'T THE ONLY MONSTERS OUT THERE.
Use your credit, and get this book.
Love the horror genre but read all kinds of stuff! I'm 40 something, a wife, mom and Project Manager for a large Construction Company.
I definitely like the audio versions better than the print versions because the narrators bring more emotion to the book and give more insight to the characters.
This is not a story line I have read before, it is original to me.
Emotion, clarity, understanding
Yes and I could not wait for the next book to come out to find out what happens!
I listened to this because my ten year old wanted to listen so I needed to check it out first. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!
Like others, I picked this story to listen to because I had just finished the Joe Ledger series and wanted more of the same. Surprisingly, it's not anywhere near the same but I still found myself listening to this story whenever I could -- to and from work, mowing the lawn, running. Maberry does an excellent job of creating interesting characters and telling the story from the perspective of a teenager. As zombie thrillers go, this story pulls you in and gives depth to the dead as well as the living. I would love to see this made into a movie or TV series. As for the narrator, he does a great job save for a few instances where I felt the author had different intentions with the tone of the story.
the mora brothers, and the zom cards
Benny the zombie killer. And the Lost girl
with great drama
this book made me bouth cry and laugh
Jonathon Mayberry is fast becoming my most read author. make it must to read Dust and decay as will
The Dragon Mother
This story follows teenager, Benny Imura, who has lost both of his parents to the zombie infection. The story starts out with Benny’s teenaged boy attitude and his need to find a job. He doesn’t like his older brother, has no respect for him, and doesn’t really understand what his brother does. He searches out all of the other jobs available and finally decides he has to go out with his brother into the place referred to as the ‘Rot and Ruin’ and learn the family trade.
Outside the walls of their city, zombies walk around in the Rot and Ruin and will go after anything that moves, makes loud noises, or smells good to eat. There are also some other people out there and they can be just as dangerous as the zombies. Benny starts getting real lessons in what his new zombie-infested world is all about.
I really enjoyed this story. I had some reservations when it started off and I got to know Benny a little, but once the story took off, I was hooked. These aren’t your typical zombies and this isn’t your typical zombie story. The world created by Jonathan Maberry was very well done and I was left wanting more!
Although this was the first book in a series, I was not left hanging with a giant cliff hanger. I was left with the feeling that I had just heard a really good story and wanted more. I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series, Dust and Decay!
The Narration Review
Brian Hutchison has a nice, clear story telling voice that is very easy to listen to. Although he didn’t have a whole cast of character voices in his pocket, I could easily differentiate between people when they were speaking in dialog.
Jonathan Maberry continues to impress me with him ability to create great books. Rot and Ruin was much different from the previous stories I read like The Joe Ledger series, but both books in this series (Rot & Ruin and Dust and Decay) were great reads that kept me on the edge of my IPod.
Though it seems to take place in the not-too-distant future, this book feels very much like a Western with a Zombie problem. The brothers rang true, the younger resenting the older for what he feels are legitimate reasons, the older quietly letting him find his own way. I'll read the next one, if there is a sequel.
Nice twist from the old zombie stories. It's got a lot less blood and gut's and nothing spash's in your face.
Kind of a moral feel and you wonder who are the real monster's us or the zombie's.
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