“Benny Imura and his friends are reeling from the tragic events of Wawona and the second Gameland, but there’s no time to stop and mourn fallen comrades. Survival in the great Rot and Ruin requires movement, and so, with heavy hearts, Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong continue their quest to find the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists, then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.
But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. The zoms seem to be mutating in terrifying ways that could change everything Benny and his friends know about surviving among the walking dead. And even worse, a death cult has arisen that is gathering new followers at a frightening rate and is devoted to sending every living person in the Rot and Ruin into the waiting arms of death.”
I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Which makes me happy after being dismayed by The Mark of Athena, which was supposed to be my happy read of the week. Thank goodness for Flesh & Bone then.
Jonathan Maberry is at it again with the third book from his Rot & Ruin series–the zombie story that doesn’t just scare you, but is also out to make you cry. And this book, while not as heartbreaking as the second book, will still make you… what’s the word? Feel like a friggin’ crybaby.
Now, I don’t know what it is about Maberry’s writing, but I love how he makes his readers feel the threat against all his characters. There is an actual fear for the characters you will most certainly love as you read on. As his characters confront death in different ways, you know that any which one of them is in actual danger of dying. Because Maberry doesn’t shy from killing off beloved characters.
Kinda like Joss Whedon.
But more than that, I think, it’s because Maberry was able to convince us readers of the actual dangers that the Rot and Ruin has in store for anyone and everyone.
I have to admit, compared to the first two books of the series, Flesh & Bone is the one with the least amount of character growth. Maybe it’s because the events of the book happen in a span of two days (less, actually), with a time jump at the end. Maybe it’s because we’ve already known the main characters we’re following for a couple of years now. Or it could be because most of the book is exposition, which set-ups the next book.
The intensity of the writing though, and the feel of imminent danger, completely makes up for it.
That’s not to say that Flesh & Bone is all action, all the time. It’s not. The theme of the book is actually grief, and the many ways people deal with this. But Maberry was able to infuse each chapter, each scene–each line of dialogue, with the foreboding sense of coming death that you don’t feel any lull in the action.
There’s a surge of adrenaline in every word you read. And I loved it.
It would be a disservice to the book though if I don’t mention how, even in the fast-paced events, Maberry doesn’t forget what makes his zombie stories special: the characters.
I already said that this book has the least amount of character growth. That’s not to say there’s none, because there is. Except, the previous books have already laid down the groundwork for these growths. Nothing comes out left of field, everything feels like they’re the natural progression of things.
My only gripe about the book is that it ended too soon.
And that there’s no release date for the next one yet. That the next one isn’t out yet.