Title: Rot & Ruin
Series: Benny Imura, #1
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Date(s) listened: September 8 – 12, 2013
Genre: Zombie / Horror
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
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.
Zombies and I have a love-hate relationship. I really don’t understand them. I’ve said this in the past and I’m SURE that if you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’re probably sick of me talking about this, but it’s true: all zombies do is grunt. They’re not THAT interesting.
Fortunately, though, when I started reading Rot & Ruin, I realized that it wasn’t about the zombies, but the relationship between two brothers, friends, and really understanding the zombies that live out in the Rot & Ruin. Reading about the relationship between Benny and his zombie-hunting brother, Tom, was pretty amazing and the thing that sucked me into the story. I also really enjoyed Tom’s compassion towards the zombies, reminding Benny (and the reader) that zombies used to be people. I mean, it’s easy to say kill all the zombies! but do we ever really stop to think about the zombies?
When it comes to the characters, I have to say that I loved Tom’s character. I may be a girl, but I was swooning over him and how amazing he was. Benny, on the other hand, took some time to warm up to. I had to remember that he was a kid and he really didn’t understand what was going on. His brother never explained anything to him and he didn’t have parents, so that would definitely attribute to his being naive and just, well, a bit of a pain in the butt.
If I could criticize one thing about the book, I would say that it would be the romance. It’s not a HUGE romance or anything, but it’s there and I felt that it was just unnecessary. Instead, give me more horror and action! And really, what’s wrong with just having friendship in a novel? Why muddle it up with romance? (<– something I never thought I would say.)
I honestly expected to finish this series not liking it at all, but I was so surprised by it. I looked forward to reading it and finished it wanting more. That means this was definitely a keeper for me!