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Rot & Ruin Paperback – May 3 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 3 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442402334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442402331
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Thrilling, enticing, and surprisingly touching, Rot & Ruin will grip readers from beginning to end, and make them question who the real monsters are. It had me hooked from page one."--Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series

"This is a romping, stomping adventure. And while most zombie novels are all about the brains, this one has a heart as well. With the dead prowling all around, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura learns the bittersweet lessons of life, love, and family in the great Rot & Ruin. Anyone with a pulse will enjoy this novel, and anyone with a brain will find plenty of food for thought inside."--Michael Northrop, author of Gentlemen

"George Romero meets The Catcher in the Rye in this poignant and moving coming of age novel set during zombie times. I welled up at the end, then smiled through my tears when I realized there was going to be a sequel. Bravo, Jonathan Maberry. Can't wait to read more." --Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and Possessions

"This is no ordinary zombie novel. Maberry has given it a soul in the form of two brothers who captured my heart from the first page and refused to let go."--Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study

* "The delineation between man and monster, survivor and victim is fiercely debated in Maberry’s thoughtful, postapocalyptic coming-of-age tale...In turns mythic and down-to-earth, this intense novel combines adventure and philosophy to tell a truly memorable zombie story, one that forces readers to consider them not just as flesh-eating monsters or things to be splattered, but as people.“--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"An impressive mix of meaning and mayhem."--Booklist

“Horror fans will appreciate the gorge-raising descriptions of the shambling zombies...while zombie-apocalypse aficionados will cotton to the solid world-building and refreshingly old-school undead. --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"An action-packed, thought-provoking look at life—and death—as readers determine the true enemy."--Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and Marvel Comics writer, and was named one of the Ten Best Horror Authors Alive Today by He’s the author of many novels, including Assassin’s Code, Dead of Night, Patient Zero, and Rot & Ruin. His nonfiction books cover topics ranging from martial arts to zombie pop-culture. Jonathan continues to teach the celebrated Experimental Writing for Teens class, which he created. He founded the Writers Coffeehouse and cofounded The Liars Club, and he is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries, as well as a keynote speaker and guest of honor at major writers’ and genre conferences. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California, with his wife, Sara, and their son, Sam. Visit him at and on Twitter (@JonathanMaberry) and Facebook.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the quality zombie inspired novel that I have been waiting for. Many books of the walking dead tell of mindless killers roaming every where wrecking havoc. These serve as the backdrop to some other story about the survivors. In this series, they are integral to the entire plot, not their activites, but how they are perceived and how they are treated.

Benny Imura barely remembers life before First Night. That was the night everything changed, when the dead no longer stayed dead. He's been living with his brother in a fenced community and now that he's fifteen, he's required to train for a job. He tries many jobs, but none of them suit. He finally decides to do the last thing he said he'd ever do, to continue in the family business of zombie killer. That means spending days on end with his older brother Tom, who he views as a coward.

As the training progresses, Benny starts to see Tom in a whole new light. He also learns much more about the world he thought he knew.

Through this story, author Jonathan Maberry considers the many ways that the survivors deal with the zombies from outright slaughter, to a compassionate approach that recalls that the zombies were once their family members, friends and neighbours. He also looks at the variety of communities that have sprung up, several of them were not ones that I would have considered at all.

This book is well written and should appeal to it's target YA audience. I am looking forward to reading the further books in the in the series.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading this novel through and through. Sure, Benny Imura is rather hard to deal with in the first part of this book. His attitude is something close to a lazy brat who doesn't enjoy any of the jobs he gets. Even when he becomes Tom's apprentice, his attitude still doesn't let up. Yet that's the best part of Benny's character, because it develops in a big way throughout this book. He goes from immature, to mature as the novel progresses.

I enjoy reading Benny's friendships with Chong and Nix. Especially with Chong. They both make a perfect friendship and that's where some of the humor comes from. Character development in this book is wonderful and well done with all of the main characters. Of all the characters, Benny's attitude wasn't so great but it improved as the book went along. I found it hard to like Nix. She just wasn't that great in my opinion. (Lilah on the other hand, ended up becoming one of my favorite characters, second to Tom).

The plot of this book was also good. The action was great and everything you could want in a zombie plot. Yet besides zombies, there's also the threat of not so nice humans out there and this is what I liked the most about the book. It's not all just pure killing zombies, but also what humanity does in horrible situations and what some very horrible people are quite capable of doing. This was well done, as like Benny, we're assuming this is all going to be about zombie killing. Tom shows Benny and the reader what's it really like, getting rid of these 'zoms'.

Zombie fans rejoice, this is one of the better books out there regarding the subject. It's catered to a younger audience but readers of all ages should enjoy this one as much as I did. Most definitely recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
Benny lives in a post apocalyptic world. Fourteen years ago, the dead woke up and became zombies. They bite the living and turn them into zombies, it is almost like a virus. No one knows why this happened, but the result is that the zombies have taken over the earth, except for a few areas where humans are fenced in. Other than killing people, zombies are actually quite passive.

Benny lives with his older brother, Tom, as their parents were turned into zombies on the First Night. Tom is a well respected bounty hunter, someone who goes out into the Rot and Ruin to track down zombies for people and quiet them, or kill them. Benny has just turned fifteen, the age at which he must get a job or have his rations cut in half. After much resistance, Benny decides to join his brother in the family business of quieting zombies.

Tom, however, is not like some of the other bounty hunters in town, he is not full of bravado and exciting stories of killing zombies. In Benny's eyes, Tom is a coward.

Out in the Rot and Ruin, Benny watches Tom and the zombies and even some of the other bounty hunters. He sees for himself what is really going on and is faced with serious questions, not the least of which is who are the real monsters, the zombies or the humans.

I really enjoyed how this book examined some serious questions and explored what it means to be human, the nature of fear, how societies develop, and how people can close their eyes to what they know is wrong. The writing was good and moved easily and kept me interested. I also liked how the author played with the zombie story line, making it much more than a gruesome suspense or horror book. In a way, the zombies were not a big part of the book, but the set up to explore human behaviour.
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By Rose TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 21 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Since there are so many reviews on this book giving the general synopsis, I've decided not to go there.
I'll just say this - this book really wasn't about zombies. It was about a teen becoming an adult. It was about family and friends. It was about survival. Most importantly, it was about compassion and doing the right thing in the midst of the chaos that the world has become.

Even though this is the first in a series, you could read it as a stand-alone....but it's so good I can't imagine not wanting to read more about this world and the Imura brothers.
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