book: rot & ruin

"rot & ruin" by jonathan maberrylast august, i posted about THE NEW DEAD, a collection of stories that deal with a world full of zombies. one of the more memorable stories in the collection was jonathan maberry’s FAMILY BUSINESS.

i didn’t mention the story when i posted about THE NEW DEAD, because by then i had already found out that maberry was going to release a whole book based on the short story he had written.

and so i waited for ROT & RUIN to be released.

i got the book around a month ago, but only found the time to read it now. and i wish i hadn’t waited so long, because the book was well-written–and very heartfelt.

when reading zombie fiction, i always look for something that would set what i’m reading apart from the things i’ve already read and seen before. ROT & RUIN reminds me a little of mira grant’s FEED; but instead of setting the story in a political terrain, ROT & RUIN sets the story a little closer to home.

ROT & RUIN tells the story of benjamin imura, a teenager who must look for a part-time job in a post-apocalyptic world. everyone assumes that benjamin, or benny as he is known to everyone, would apprentice with his older brother tom. tom’s a bounty hunter, but he prefers the term “closure specialist.” benny doesn’t think much of his brother–especially since his first memory of tom is of him running away from their infected parents during first night.

but when tom takes benny out into the great rot and ruin, benny’s way of thinking begins to change. and just in time too,  because their life in mountainside is about to get complicated.

ROT & RUIN is a coming-of-age story set in the post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies. benny, our main character, journeys to learn that the world isn’t confined within the fences of their town. and that zombies are not the only things he should be keeping an eye out for.

to be quite honest, i was wary of ROT & RUIN as a full-length novel. i liked FAMILY BUSINESS, and how it was able to convey the emotions connected to closure. so i was afraid that the novel would stretch that a bit too thin. but i shouldn’t have worried. ROT & RUIN is rich in characters and in details, that while the events of FAMILY BUSINESS does still happen in the novel, it’s now just part of a bigger picture–of a bigger world that we’re going to discover in the next book.

here are some thoughts on ROT & RUIN from other people:
Karin’s Book Nook
Elitist Book Reviews
Jenn’s Bookshelves

22 thoughts on “book: rot & ruin

  1. I just finished reading this the other night and will be writing my review this weekend(probably). This was Tina and Ariel’s birthday gift to me. 🙂 I like it a lot. I love how Marberry created his characters. Each one of them has a certain appeal, even Morgie! And Benny’s character growth is amazing!! I am really looking forward to read the sequel. The review snippet at the back cover the book is true, “it’s a zombie book not only about guts but also a heart.”(i hope i get that right). It really changed the way how I see zombies. 🙂

      • Yep. Are you coming to the Dec 18 meet-up?

        “Family Business” the short story is split into the first “Family Business” chapters and the second group of “Family Business” chapters. Nix is a new addition though, as she doesn’t appear in the short story.

      • No, I can’t. It’s the Filipino Goodreads christmas party on that date. The January meet-up sounds good to me, though.

        Nix isn’t part of the original story? That’s strange, I like her and the Lost Girl’s tandem.

      • All right. But do remind me before the January meet-up rolls around. 🙂

        The Lost Girl isn’t part of the original short story too, by the way. It was just Benny and Tom. 🙂

  2. Pingback: ROT & RUIN by Jonathan Marberry | Guy Gone Geek

  3. There are thirteen pages of free prequel scenes for ROT & RUIN available on the Simon & Schuster webpage for the book. Here’s a link to the main page; access the scenes by clicking on the banner that reads: READ BONUS MATERIAL BY JONATHAN MABERRY:

    Benny Imura and his friends will return in DUST & DECAY (summer, 2011) and at least two more books beyond that (FLESH & BONE and FIRE & ASH).

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