Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's
Publish Date:  September 14, 2010
ISBN:  978-1-4424-0232-4
Pages:  458
Art:  Book Design by Laurent Linn, Endpaper Art by Rob Sacchetto

I know what you're thinking - 'Geez, are you serious, ANOTHER zombie book?  Didn't you say two months ago that you're not big into zombies?  We think you're lying!'  No, No, Seriously!  I didn't like zombie stuff!  HOWEVER - there are so many good takes on zombies and how we relate to them right now, that I can't help myself.

In ROT AND RUIN, the zombie takeover started 14 years ago.  We don't know how, but now everyone that dies will return as a zombie (or zom as they're known), unless they're 'quieted'.  To 'quiet' someone, you simply cut the spinal cord so they can't reanimate.  I know, gross.  Benny is turning 15 and lives with his brother Tom in Mountainside.  It's one of the fenced in communities that humans have taken to live in.  Zoms have the rest of the planet, or at least we think they do.  Tom is a Bounty Hunter, he goes out into the Rot and Ruin - the world outside their community - to quiet zoms.  That's his job, he quiets them and receives money for doing so.  Not all the Bounty Hunters work the way he does, some of them are terrible people.

When you turn 15, you must find a job or have your food rations cut in half.  Benny hates his brother and refuses to work with him. He tries every job in the community before giving in and asking Tom to take him on as an apprentice.  Benny believes that Tom is a coward.  This is mostly because Tom doesn't brag about his kills and never fights.  Benny has a lot to learn and Tom is willing to teach him.  What Benny believes is constantly challenged by what Tom shows him until he finally comes to the realization that it may not be the zoms that are the bad guys.

The endpapers in this book are amazing!  There are replicas of the Zombie Cards that the kids in the community collect and they are awesome!  Even the author is on a Zombie Card - fantastic!  This is a great book, I'm really enjoying zoms, even though I never thought I would.

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