Rot and Ruin
Hardcover, 458 pages
Simon and Schuster Books, September 14, 2010
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.
I was really surprised to enjoy this as much as I did; the book is considered "horror" so I was a bit nervous to take a bite. But the cover was so hauntingly catchy that I couldn't help it.
I really like Maberry's writing style. I found his dialogues to be realistic (and with enjoyable bits of sarcasm), his descriptions were detailed with imagery and beautiful word usage, and his concept of the story thought provoking.
It's a simple plot that takes place in post-apocalyptic Southern CA and yet there are so many layers and themes hidden underneath. The idea of zombies as unfortunate diseased individuals vs. killers was an interesting perspective to the typical zombie stereotype. Then to compare them to human killers makes you think about what is really considered evil.
While I enjoyed the story, the beginning was a little slow and the number of pages a little intimidating but overall an enjoyable read.
Content Advisory: While the book is considered "Horror," the scenes were not descriptively gruesome and only mildly scary. There are some exclamations of "God" and mild languate.
Rated: 3.5 Zombie Bites.
Dust and Decay (Book 2 in the Benny Imura Series) is now available and was published August 30, 2011.