Nearly fourteen years ago, a freak virus swept across the world turning the living into the undead. Benny Imura was only a toddler, but his last memory of his parents is tainted by the image of them becoming zombies, and he blames his older brother, Tom, for not saving them.
Now Benny is fifteen, and Tom wants them to put their difficult relationship behind them and work together in the “family business”: as zombie killers. It’s the last thing Benny wants to do, but he needs a job and he thinks it’ll be an easy ride.
But when they head into the Rot and Ruin, an area full of wandering zombies, Benny soon realises that there’s more to the job than just whacking zombies. And, as he’s confronted with the truth about the world around him Benny makes the most terrifying discovery of all, that the worst monsters you can imagine might actually be human...When I first heard of this book, I thought it might be your typical zombie novel. I was wrong. Of course there are zombies. In this version, they are mindless and slow moving. Everyone is already technically infected and so if you die in any manner, you need to be "quieted" or you will be come a zombie. The bite of a zombie only hastens your transformation immediately.
However, these are not the monsters of the book. Like some zombie novels, it's an exploration of the living humans and what monstrous deeds they are capable. The ones who give conscious thought to being evil. The zombies do it mindlessly; the humans with full thought and action.
My biggest criticism does have to do with the beginning of the book. However, it is a light criticism. I just didn't get involved with the character, Benny Imura at the beginning. Not until he and his big brother Tom go to the "Ruin" (where the zombies outnumber the living) did I get interested and invested. However, although I might have liked that beginning shorter, I don't think it could be left out. It was important information about Benny and how he viewed others including his brother.
I give this zombie tale 4 stars. I really suggest this book to those that don't often read zombie novels. It's more about the human condition and what we allow and how we keep ourselves caged because of fear. It's also about what happens when we are set free of fear. I really can't wait to read the next one in this series.
Jonathan Maberry talks about Rot and Ruin
I won this book from Mel at Mel's Random Reviews! I finally got a chance to dive into it! Thanks Mel!!