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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Bryan
  • Harvest, AL, United States
  • 02-18-11

Okay story, hard to stay interested though.

Narrator did an awesome job. But the story just kind of keeps dragging on, hard to stay listening to it, I find myself missing sections because I get distracted. I read his other book about Joe Ledger, it was great. That is why I gave this a shot. I got half-way through, and just want a cliff notes version to finish up to know what happens. I will say, this could be a great story for some people though. It just didn't entertain me. It has alot of potential because it was a nice twist on an old story.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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"meh" book, loathsome lead character

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not the usual zombie story

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good but not great!

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dennis
  • Fenton, Mo, United States
  • 12-02-10

Totally agree with the first review

Very good. I found this transcended age . The young and old will find this audio book enjoyable.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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The beginning of a great series!!!

As always, Mr Maberry delivers. The book is action packed from the start and keeps pace right to the end. The story of the sons of Echo Team's Sam Imura after Lucifer 113 gets off the leash on first night. The way the author brings all the different story chains together is fascinating.

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Got me into the world of zombie fiction

I avoided books about zombies until Jonathan Maberry visited our school to talk to the students who had read Rot and Ruin. My eighth graders loved the book and, since teachers whose students went to his talk got to eat lunch with him, I decided to read it myself. I fell in love with the series and both my students and I devoured the rest of the books.
I've since purchased all of the audiobooks and listened to them repeatedly. The narrator does a great job. The characters, altered world, thought-provoking scenes, and adventure keep you in their clutches and wanting more.

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  • Gerry
  • Prairie Grove, AR, United States
  • 04-13-17

Good and safe.

Would you consider the audio edition of Rot & Ruin to be better than the print version?

I always enjoy audio books more than print versions. I listen while driving and working out. Great way to cover books.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

This book is very safe to read. Nothing that would be considered too sexy or too gross. The story takes a bit to get started and to fill out, but when it does it becomes good. My personal taste in Z books is much more intense, but I still liked it. Hoping for more in next in the series.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I wish it was, but it takes a bit to create momentum.

Any additional comments?

Kids could read this book with no worries.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

mediocre story

the narrator was fine. the story idea was interesting. the teenage angst was annoying. just wasn't something i wanted to listen to, a whiney teen. I also didn't like the "perfect" do-no-wrong hero's. it all just feel flat for me.

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Not your regular zombie apocalypse story

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.