The Jet meant leaving, something that Nix and Benny were going to do. Now—after months of rigorous training with Tom, Benny’s zombie-hunter brother—Benny, Nix, Lilah the Lost Girl, and Chong are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future.
But from the start, everything goes wrong. They are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, and insane murderers, and are faced with the horrors of a rebuilt Gameland, where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all . . . could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?”
If you enjoyed Rot & Ruin, you’re definitely going to like Dust & Decay. It has all the elements that made the first book a game changer for zombie fiction, and it propels the story to where it was supposed to go–if not where the readers want it to go. And the second book takes it up a notch by putting a time constraint for our heroes. Rot & Ruin introduced us to what evils human beings are capable of in the zombie-apocalypse. Dust & Decay multiplies the threat–and makes it more personal than it was in the first book.
Now, I’ve made it no secret that I love the first book. And I am happy to say that the second book did not disappoint–even though it didn’t go where I was expecting it to go.
Sure, after reading the book, I felt a little bit cheated. I mean, the end of Rot & Ruin promised a journey. The start of Dust & Decay promised the same thing. But the journey that the story undertakes is not, as I’ve mentioned twice now, what I was expecting. But, having sat on the book long enough before writing this, I now understand that the story we get in this second novel is the follow-up (and closure) that we, the readers, and the characters needed, before we could actually start on the journey promised at the end of Rot & Ruin.
Jonathan Maberry’s series, for me, is a study of the human psyche–in a post-apocalyptic world infested with zombies. Rot & Ruin gave us a different perspective on zombies, reminded us that they are human beings still. And in Dust & Decay, the idea that the living is a lot scarier than the dead gets further addressed.
Yes, I know. That’s not exactly an original idea. But I really do like how the author handles this, through the eyes of the traumatized Nix, and the slowly-changing point-of-view of Benny.
That’s another thing I liked about Dust & Decay. The characters are allowed to grow and develop. I don’t know how popular the first book was, but the author definitely did not stick to a formula with his characters. In the first book, Benny was a little bit cynical and a lot jaded. In the same book, he saw that his world view was askew–if not entirely correct. In Dust & Decay, he starts to entertain the thought that it really isn’t easy to just do the right thing. We see in Benny the struggle to not take the easy way out.
And that struggle is what make Benny Imura a great protagonist. As a reader, I was able to connect to his dilemma of whether or not to do what is needed of him. We human beings get scared. And to see it in a fictional character is great–because not everyone gets born without a fear gene. And while there are stupid people in the world (sadly), not all of them will willingly throw their arms around danger. While some readers are okay with that–I’m not. And Benny, while not a genius and a bit impulsive, have enough smarts that I actually do want him to survive.
I have to say, Dust & Decay was worth the almost one year wait I had to endure. And I can’t wait for the next book in Jonathan Maberry’s series.