05 July 2013

Review: Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Dust & Decay (Benny Imura #2) by Jonathan Maberry

Published: 30 August 2011 by Simon & Schuster

Pages: 528 (paperback)

Genre/s: YA, Horror, Zombie

Source: Own library

Disclaimer: This is the second book in the series, and therefore my review may contain spoilers.  You can read my review of Rot & Ruin here.


Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them. Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of 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?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

My Thoughts

The one thing that really stood out for me in Rot & Ruin was that I started off almost completely disliking the ungrateful brat Benny Imura.  However, in the course of the book he grew so much that by the end I really really liked him, which to me is the sign of a very good book.

Dust & Decay picks up a few months after the end of Rot & Ruin, with the same old gang of Benny, the more-than-slightly-swoonworthy Tom, Nix and Lilah preparing for a journey to find out the destination of the jet they sighted at the end of Rot & Ruin.

In some ways, Dust & Decay is a little bit of a repeated formula of Rot & Ruin - there are goodies, baddies and a whole bunch of the living dead who have more than a dash of Maberry-zombie-genius in their creation.  But although it seems a little bit formulaic, it's certainly action-packed and there's very little downtime as the plot also moves on at a pretty brisk pace.

Once again, the good characters are admirable, strong and I couldn't help but cheer for them, and the baddies are despicable, terrible people that you kinda want to die in a horribly grisly brain-munching kinda way.  Jonathan Maberry puts a lot of work into his characters - making them believable with realistic dialogue and bonding them together through shared experiences under difficult circumstances.

Along with the usual crew, there are new characters introduced, and their stories further expand the world-building that was started in Rot & Ruin.  What I've always loved about Jonathan Maberry is that he can take seemingly ordinary characters and make them into heroes by their actions and attitudes rather then a sudden discovery of never-tapped martial arts or weapons skills.

I really enjoyed going back to the world of the Rot and Ruin, and with Benny as a more likable character, I liked this one a little more than Rot & Ruin, despite the ending (if you've read it, you probably know what I mean....).  And I'm excited to get started on Flesh & Bone before the fourth book, Fire & Ash, is released in September.

1 comment:

  1. I liked Rot & Ruin quite a bit, and I have this sitting on my shelf, but I've sadly never gotten around to reading it. Alas! It's good to hear that Benny's character continues to grow as the series progresses—like you, he wasn't my favorite person for a while, and I really preferred Tom on the whole. I'm excited to meet new characters and see how things turn out!



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