Tuesday, February 14, 2012

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

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

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Publish Date:  August 30, 2011
Pages: 519
ISBN:  978-1442402355

ROT & RUIN introduced us to our young group of warriors.  DUST & DECAY takes us a step further.  Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong have been training with Tommy for months - ever since they saw the plane at the end of ROT & RUIN.  They want to find out if there's a civilization out there that's gone forward instead of huddling in fear.  To do so, they must travel through the wilderness and avoid the zombies...and other nasty things.

Mr. Maberry really fleshes out the characters of the teens in this book:
Lilah - still quick to act, she begins to think and feel more and frankly, I don't think she likes it much.

Benny - while not as good at fighting as he'd like to be seems to 'get' what Tom is teaching more than the others, he voices his doubts to himself (a good start) and you can see him becoming the man he'll eventually be.

Nix - her journal entries and questions are fantastic and show a quick mind, but she's been through so much that she's at times scared and then wild.

Chong - he changes the most.  Chong is the bookish kid, the one that isn't going on the journey with the others, he's going to stay safe at home.  He goes from believing he's a liability and not worth much to knowing and showing what he's made of.

We do meet some new characters and the Bounty Hunters we've heard so much about. The Bounty Hunters are an amazing group - they each have their own story and we get a quick glimpse of each of them.  They're mostly loners, not to be messed with and fiercely loyal to Tom Imura.  My favorites?  J-Dog and Dr. Skillz; two surfers turned Bounty Hunters.  It would be easy to underestimate them with their humor and surfer slang.  Weirdly, I've read multiple books with surfer slang and so understood them right away.  It's no wonder my husband thinks I'm weird.

The bad guys? There's a lot of them, but I think that while there are more zoms in this one, the people outnumber them as to evilness.  Zoms are just doing what they do, people think it out and do it on purpose.  The major players are The Preacher and White Wolf.  I'm not spoiling any surprises, as soon as you meet them, you know they're the bad guys. 

The story is fast-paced and takes some quick turns, so while it's over 500 pages, it goes quickly.  Mr. Maberry is a master at showing that while the world is full of zombies, it's the people you really have to look out for.


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