Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: Rot & Ruin (September Zombies)

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: May 3, 2011 (paperback)
Pages: 480
Received: from library
BUY NOW: Amazon

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.
This book has it all - action, adventure, a dash of romance and tiny bit of comedy. There is amazing character building in this book. Benny, a 15 year old who has always hated his brother for leaving their Mom behind when the zombies attacked 14 years ago, had to grow up a bit and see the world for what it really is. The world that Benny has always known his entire life is about to change dramatically - his world will be turned upside down once he finds out what the Family Business is truly all about. And Tom, Benny's older half-brother, finally decides it's time for Benny to know what really happens out in the Rot and Ruin.

I love the connection that Benny and Tom start developing throughout this book - it's one that goes from strained and almost non-existent to steadfast and full of trust. Tom is older than Benny, though Benny still had a hard time respecting him since his first memories are of Tom carrying him away into the night while his parents are turned into zombies. Benny soon learns that memories and people aren't always what they appear to be. I secretly have a crush on Tom Imura, he's such a mystery at first, but as you read on you see who he truly is and hope that Benny can learn from him and become more like him.

Benny and his friends have this interesting friendship - a few boys and a girl, who spend their spare time collecting Zombie Trading Cards (I love them and wish I could find some - the art on them is pretty amazing). The boys all have some sort of crush on the girl, Nix, though they've all vowed to never ask her out since she is their friend. I think a lot of rules change once kids hit a certain age or see such adult things like life outside of the fences.  

So much happens in this book - zombie attacks, people still being malicious towards each other (even though there are so few humans and so many zoms out there), family bonds strengthening and new romances sparking. This book isn't just about zombies and life after First Night, it's about relationships and emotions. First Night destroyed so much - people dying, people fleeing for their lives, cities demolished and the fear that has always been there in the back of their minds since then. I think the fear gripped these people so much that they couldn't see the potential out there to make better lives for themselves. Benny's generation might have a chance to change things, but Benny has a lot to learn to get there.
'There are moments that define a person’s whole life. Moments in which everything they are and everything they may possibly become balance on a single decision. Life and death, hope and despair, victory and failure teeter precariously on the decision made at that moment. These are moments ungoverned by happenstance, untroubled by luck. These are the moments in which a person earns the right to live, or not…’
I can't wait to read Dust and Decay to find out what happens next!
Oh and I would love to own my very own Zombie Trading Card - 
or have my very own erosion portrait done - so creepy!

And now... vvb32 is hosting September Zombies and I am a guest poster today - you should totally go check it out - my post is like a few journal entries during what could be a zombie apocalypse if it happened right here and now in my city.

You can also check out all of the other guest posts and book reviews from Sept 20 - 30.

And there are some giveaways - so go check it out!


  1. Now this looks like a winner! Thanks for the review! Will definitely be checking it out. Have a whole list of zombie-related books to get so gotta get to reading! Thanks again!

  2. I am actually compiling quite the list of zombie books myself. And I need to get reading them too. :) So many great ones to choose from.


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