Saturday, April 30, 2011
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Mountainside is their home now. A town surrounded by fences to keep the zombies away. Benny is now 14 and has to choose a job in order to keep receiving his full rations. Tom earns a living as a bounty hunter. He goes out into the Rot & Ruin to find people's family members and put them to death permanently.
Benny loves to hang out with Charlie Pink-Eye and his hoodlum friend The Motorcity Hammer. He loves to hear their stories of how they kill zoms out in the Rot & Ruin. In Benny's mind compared to Charlie and Hammer his brother Tom is a coward.
As time has finally run out for Benny to find a job he agrees to go with Tom out into the Ruin to see what the "family business" is really like. What he learns is that Tom doesn't just randomly kill zombies. He teaches Benny that each zombie used to be a REAL person, a member of a family and deserves that respect. Tom "quiets" the zombies he is sent out to find. He reads them a letter from their family member and he then quiets them so they are no longer roaming around as zombies. It gives closure to the family member. This confuses Benny as he has a strong hate for the zombies and after all of Charlie's and Hammer's stories he has never thought of them as being real people.
Benny finds that not all bounty hunters are as compassionate as his brother Tom. In fact he hears about a place that some of the bounty hunters take innocent children to and make them fight zombies. When Benny happens to get a collector card of the "Lost Girl" one day he finds that this is a "mythical" girl that is supposedly out in the Ruin who may know some of the dealings of the bounty hunters.
As a storm rages over the city and the fence fails Benny finds out to what lengths these bounty hunters will go to protect their interest in the gaming park. Benny and Tom go out into the Ruin to rescue Benny's friend Nix and to find the Lost Girl who may be able to show them where the games take place. What happens while out in the Ruin is horrible and will change their lives forever.
Oh my goodness! Why have I waited so long to read this book? It was soooo good! Really though I'm glad I waited because I have my copy of Rot & Ruin and the sequel Dust & Decay autographed by Jonathan Maberry. Dust & Decay comes out in August but I snagged an ARC copy at the TLA conference I went to. Yay me! Anyway, this was such a good book. I had to close it several times because I couldn't take the suspense, but then I would have to open it and read on to find out what happens! Even though this is a zombie book I was more interested in the human relationships that were going on. Excellent read!