Books & More from the Teen Scene

Book reviews and other reflections from one of Oregon's young adult librarians

“Rot & Ruin” by Jonathan Maberry November 30, 2011

Maberry, Jonathan. Rot & Ruin. New York:  Simon & Schuster, 2010. 458 pages. ISBN: 9781442402324

Rot & Ruin cover

Images courtesy of GoodReads.com

Annotation

Unsuited for any other kind of work, Benny Imura reluctantly agrees to become apprenticed to his zombie hunter brother. For the first time in his life, Benny leaves the safety of his gated community and heads out into Rot & Ruin, coming face-to-face with the realities of this zombie-ridden, shattered shell of what was America.

Booktalk

Welcome to Mountainside, an exclusive gated community guarded 24/7 for the benefit of the elite population permitted inside. Benny Imura, almost 15, is one of these elite – one of the last humans surviving after a zombie virus swept across the United States, leaving a teeming mass of hungry undead behind.

Now that he’s turning 15, Benny will be expected to take a job and contribute in his small community, working for rations. But where? He’s a disaster as a fence tester, pit thrower, carpet coat salesman, and erosion artist. Finally, he is left with nowhere to turn except the brother he hates. Tom Imura is supposed to be some hotshot zombie hunter – he’s even on one of the Zombie Cards that the kids in the village collect and trade. But Benny knows better. Benny knows his brother is the same coward who ran when their father turned, leaving their mother to a terrible fate.

But because he has no choice, Benny attaches himself to Tom, following him for the first time into the Rot & Ruin beyond the village gates. What he finds there – what he learns about himself, his brother, his zombie hunting idols, and the zombies themselves – will turn his world upside down and test him seemingly beyond his own very human limits.

Wait! There’s more:

The next book in this series, Dust & Decay, was released in summer 2011. Flesh & Bone due out September 2012!

Awards/Honors (source: http://www.nypl.org/blog/2011/03/03/rot-ruin-review):

  • 2010 Cybils Awards (Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • 2010 Bram Stoker Award nominee (Superior Achievement in a Novel)
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