Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Book Details
Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry
Hardcover, 528 Pages
2011, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
ISBN: 1442402350
Series: Book 2 of Benny Imura

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.

I absolutely loved Rot & Ruin. It was an astounding zombie YA series starter, with just the right mix of the horrors that men can do verses the zombie carnage. There was a thought-provoking focus on the fact that zombies used to be people, and therefore they should be respected for what they were as well as feared for what they now are - something a lot of zombie stories fail to take into account.

Dust & Decay keeps the theme in the same general vein, but having already established that zombies deserve respect, spends more time on thrilling action and the atrocities humans subject each other too. After month of training, Tom, Benny, Nix and Lilah are finally heading out to search for the plane they saw in Rot & Ruin. Having trouble saying goodbye, Chong heads out with them for the first leg of the journey, only to prove that he may be smart, but really isn't the outdoorsy type.

Problems abound. Life and death situations are faced. Evil men prove more dangerous than herds of zombies. Love of all kinds is found, tested, strengthened and cherished many times over.

While Dust & Decay is horrific and terrifying, thrilling and action-packed, what the reader will be surprised to find is how emotional the book - and the entire series - is. The book sucks you in, the characters get under your skin, and you won't be able to pull yourself away from the page. Dust & Decay is an emotional thrill-ride that will leave you shaken for a long time to come. Zombie perfection.


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