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Dust & Decay

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Dust & Decay PDF, ePub eBook 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 thei 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.

30 review for Dust & Decay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' that’s how I describe this story it all unfolds like a Wild West Battle. The GOOD is Tom Imura and his band of warriors Benny, Nix, Lilath and Chong. THE BAD is White Bear and other bad zombie hunters. THE UGLY of course are the Zoms (zombies). I have said it before Jonathan Maberry is really a masterful storyteller packing a punch across genres. Genre for genre a pound for pound a heavyweight contender for book awards. He has really knitted together a thrill ride o 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' that’s how I describe this story it all unfolds like a Wild West Battle. The GOOD is Tom Imura and his band of warriors Benny, Nix, Lilath and Chong. THE BAD is White Bear and other bad zombie hunters. THE UGLY of course are the Zoms (zombies). I have said it before Jonathan Maberry is really a masterful storyteller packing a punch across genres. Genre for genre a pound for pound a heavyweight contender for book awards. He has really knitted together a thrill ride of a story that is about more than zombies keeps you engrossed right to the end with love and war. Benny is maturing and becoming a warrior he was no longer the skinny kid that he once had been he has muscle definition and six-pack abs. He has an eye also on one girl, will he be able to express his love to her? Tom the powerful warrior equipped with his kami Katana, Tom the Swordsman, Tom of the woods, Fast Tommy. Tom the Killer. Lilah is another hero fast efficient and ruthless she grew up out in the Ruin, she was raised by a man who helped her during the First Night and then was living on her own for years after. Lived alone in the woods spoke to no one. Learned from books and learned the art of making weapons. She became a hunter and a killer. She is quiet and very beautiful with eyes the colour of honey. They called her the Lost Girl on the Zombie cards. She was merely a legend or myth until Tom and Benny brought her out into the public eye. Together they destroyed Charlie Pink-eye and the Hammer. But did they really destroy Charlie? That’s what they thought but a figure appears amongst the zoms that looks like Charlie from the distance, is it him? If it is how could Benny tell Nix, a girl he loves, that her mothers murderer is still out there, still roaming the world free? The band of warriors lead by Tom the hero Zombie Hunter set out on a journey to the Ruin in search of a Jet a mode of transport. They leave Mountainside and head for the Forest along there journey meet The Bad and the Ugly, they also meet many of their good friends, good Zombie Hunters. The Greenman is one of them a hunter who literally looks like a tree, he wears a leafed mask and has cones and leafs pinned to his coat, a camouflage amongst the forest in which the zoms cannot see him. One good weapon to have against the zoms, is cadaverine. Consists of a mixture of cadaverine, putrescine, spermidine, and other vile ptomaines. They will not eat you if you have it smeared on you. The journey places them into what could be debated as the greatest test some of their friendships have been under. A real nail biting experience as they become divided and some captured, love also flourishes in a story that really entertains with ingredients of courage and bravery. White bear The Bad has a bounty on the heads of the good band of zombie hunters the four of them Nix, Benny, Lilah and Tom. The Hunger Games is over for now until the movie is released and The Dust and Decay and The Gameland is a rightful dose of the same entertainment. If you think all this is not enough to get you to read this novel, then hold on because Carpet coats, Football Helmets with Plastic Visors and a Pit in the ground are signs of danger! An event of gruesome violence pitted against zoms in a pit they call it ‘Gameland’ The bets are on who will survive? Gameland was a place that Lilah escaped in the past and was eventually closed down but now it has been reopened by White Bear and other Bad Zombie Hunters. “Now Benny was fifteen and a half, and First Night was a million years ago. This world was no longer that world. On First Night the old world had died. As the dead rose, the living perished. Cities were incinerated by the military in a futile attempt to stop the growing armies of the dead. The electromagnetic pulses from the nukes fired all electronics. The machines went silent, and soon, so did the whole country. Now everything east of the small town of Mountainside was the great Rot and Ruin. A few other towns littered the foothills of the Sierra Nevada north and south of Benny’s home, but the rest of the old world had been consumed.” “Before First Night the United States Census Bureau estimated that there were 6,922,000,000 people alive on planet earth. Tom said that news reports claimed that more than two billion people died in the first two days after First Night. By the time the internet went down, the estimates of the global death toll were at four billion and climbing. People in town believe that following first night more than six billion people died. Most people think the whole rest of the world is dead. We know that the total population of the nine towns here in central California is 28,261 as of last new year’s census.” “It was like a plague, but different from the one that had destroyed the world. This was an emotional pandemic that blinded the eye and deafened the ear and darkened the mind so that there simply was no world other than what existed inside each fenced town.” Preacher Jack shrugged. ”This world may be paradise for the Children of Lazarus, but to snot-nosed little sinners like you…this world is hell. How’s that for a cosmic paradox? Heaven and Hell coexisting out here in the Rot and Ruin, and the two of them forming a brand-new Eden. The towns-why, you might consider them limbo, where souls are just waiting for judgement. As for Gameland….now it would be God’s own truth to say that Gameland is purgatory. It’s where you have a chance to expunge your sins.” “He took her hand, and they walked under the canopy of cool green leaves. Birds sang in the trees, and the grass beneath their feet glistened with morning dew. The first of the day’s bees buzzed softly among the flowers, going about their ancient and important work, collecting nectar and taking pollen from one flower to another. Cyclones of gnats spiralled up from the grass and swirled through the slanting sunlight. The loveliness of the forest was magical and fresh, but it was also immense. Neither of them spoke, unable to phrase their reactions to the rampant beauty and unwilling to trouble the air with the horrors that haunted their hearts. Despite the warm reality of each other’s hands, they felt incredibly alone. Desolate. Even though they knew that Tom and Lilah and Chong were somewhere in this same forest, it was as if everyone else was on a different planet. Mountainside-home-was a million miles away. The jumbo jet could well have been on the far side of the world, or something from an old dream.” http://more2read.com/?review=dust-dec... Also read the interview i had with Jonathan Maberry @ http://more2read.com/review/interview-with-jonathan-maberry/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trudi

    MABERRY, YOU BASTARD!!! I knew you would do this to me!! ::sobbity sob:: Review to follow when anger and choking tears subside. In the first book Rot & Ruin, Maberry spends a lot of time putting us into the world as it exists almost 15 years after a zombie apocalypse. We need to know about how things are now, how people live and how they relate to one another. This is Benny's world. Maberry also spends a lot of time and care developing a cast of characters he wants us to fall in love with befo MABERRY, YOU BASTARD!!! I knew you would do this to me!! ::sobbity sob:: Review to follow when anger and choking tears subside. In the first book Rot & Ruin, Maberry spends a lot of time putting us into the world as it exists almost 15 years after a zombie apocalypse. We need to know about how things are now, how people live and how they relate to one another. This is Benny's world. Maberry also spends a lot of time and care developing a cast of characters he wants us to fall in love with before he puts any of them in peril. In this he shows a keen talent for details. I know I fell in love almost immediately, and when peril does descend I was sick with anxiety for everyone's safety and survival. Rot & Ruin has its moments of high octane action, but it is primarily an emotional story about two estranged brothers who must learn to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding that separates them. In a lot of ways it is a coming-of-age story focused on 15 year old Benny as he learns about the world around him and what it is that his brother does out there in the Rot and Ruin beyond the safety of the fences. Benny discovers nothing is what it seems – cowards become heroes and heroes reveal themselves as villains. And zombies aren’t nearly as monstrous as living men Because Maberry did such a fantastic job in the first book creating a convincing world peopled with convincing characters, he is able to let loose and go full throttle with Dust & Decay, which is dizzying in its action sequences. It is a white-knuckle read through and through, peril at every corner, imminent death sitting on the shoulders of every character we’ve come to know and love. I was an absolute MESS reading this. I just knew something horrible would happen, I just didn’t know what and how bad it would be. The very few quiet or tender moments in this installment work because they are in such stark contrast to the otherwise absolute chaos. Dust & Decay has a very Western feel; the lawless and perilous Rot and Ruin is very much reminiscent of the American Wild West where heroes are made and villains thrive. The vast, emptied landscape is the backdrop for a battle waged among the good, the bad and the ugly. It is nail-biting, nerve-wracking stuff -- dramatic, cinematic, and totally epic. Maberry still has a lot of story left to tell, and I’m definitely looking forward to that, but I will never, EVER, be able to forgive him (view spoiler)[for killing my Tom – NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Why oh why? (hide spoiler)]

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    A lot like the first in the series and wow what an ending!!! Tom, Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong head out into the Ruin to spend the night before Chong says goodbye to his friends and returns home while the others continue east to see if they can find where the jet they saw in the previous book came from. But things don't go quite as they expect.As with the previous book, there is a lot of fighting off zombies and bad humans. I have to admit it did get to be a bit repetitive which almost brought th A lot like the first in the series and wow what an ending!!! Tom, Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong head out into the Ruin to spend the night before Chong says goodbye to his friends and returns home while the others continue east to see if they can find where the jet they saw in the previous book came from. But things don't go quite as they expect.As with the previous book, there is a lot of fighting off zombies and bad humans. I have to admit it did get to be a bit repetitive which almost brought the book down to a four-star rating. If not for the utterly spectacular ending, it would have stayed there.There is more character development in this volume which further enhances the depth of the characters. Benny, the main character, is, of course, my favorite and that didn't change in this book.Without spoiling it for you, give the book a chance. The end is very much worth the read. It's one of the most intense and incredibly emotional endings to a book I have ever read!Very much a FIVE star read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    The second installment of the Benny Imura series delivers action, mysteries, and oodles of character growth. Oh, and at least two thousand and fifty-nine zombies. And a pair of rad surfer dudes, for anyone over 30 who might happen to be reading. Benny and his friends have returned to their fortified hometown, training with Benny's brother Tom in preparation for the journey east. A week before they are supposed to leave town forever, plans are interrupted by neighbor grandpa dying in his sleep. As The second installment of the Benny Imura series delivers action, mysteries, and oodles of character growth. Oh, and at least two thousand and fifty-nine zombies. And a pair of rad surfer dudes, for anyone over 30 who might happen to be reading. Benny and his friends have returned to their fortified hometown, training with Benny's brother Tom in preparation for the journey east. A week before they are supposed to leave town forever, plans are interrupted by neighbor grandpa dying in his sleep. As much as the story is about zombies, it is also about family, love--both romantic and brotherly, freedom, and risk. Who can't get behind a discussion like that? Though young adult, I have to say this is one of the better zombie series I've read. Like the best, it understands that the problem isn't dead people, it's people-people, but I find it avoids hitting the reader over the head with that message. Well, okay, maybe once or twice there is unnecessary reinforcement, but Tom's talking to teenagers, especially Benny, so it needs repeating a few times before it sinks into those thick skulls. Maberry captures the tone of the teens well; that inner conflict that is so ill-expressed externally, and the bits of wisecracking to cover affection and fear. The friendships and morphing relationships between the teens felt familiar and real, despite the dim haze of many years. The readers discover along with the characters that zombies seem to be changing. The mystery adds a sense of danger and unpredictablity to what could be a conventional zombie story. Kudos to Maberry's distinctive elements: freed circus and zoo animals roaming the California wilds, the religious sect that takes a benevolent approach to zombies, the death-match Gameland and the bounty hunter network. The teens learn about some of the greats in bounty hunters through trading cards, a stroke of genius on Maberry's part. Trading cards are perfect in their practical and entertainment use, and serve as a clever way to foreshadow characters. I also appreciated one of the teen's, Nix, short journal entries speculating on the nature of zombies. Too often zombie books go for the action without taking the time to explore some of the real horrors--is grandpa still left inside that body? Does he feel pain? Her questions help shape understanding of the scope of the problem, and is another way of reflecting on the ethical issues of killing the once-dead. Kudos also for well-imagined characters. While the bad guys may be perfectly villainous, there are plenty of people condoning them that are not so easy to characterize, as the teens discover in Gameland. If I have one or two complaints, it's that the chapters near the book's end become extremely brief. I understand the use of chapters to change character viewpoint and sometimes scene, but towards the climax when they were running staccato lengths of 2 pages, it was felt like an annoying attempt to manipulate the reader into heightened tension. I wouldn't worry about it, Maberry--the story was perfectly serviceable and action engrossing. One concern I did have is that the way the teens left the town felt contrived, and didn't square with the initial well-planned trip. The last--very small--complaint is that, well, the characters need to do some maturing, both in emotion and experience. So, of course, they all do, with suitably thoughtful conversations with an adult of their choice (Leilah, Benny) or internal monologue (Chang, Benny). But I guess that's what taking a bunch of kids into the wilderness is about, zombies or no zombies. I appreciate the overall atmosphere of positivity. Thumbs up for having real challenges and dangers, but recognizing survival comes at a cost. I appreciate both the realism and the hopeful note. Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    This book is way more action packed than the first book in this series Rot and Ruin. Lots of zombie action going on and something weird is starting to go on with the Zom's. They are beginning to act and react differently than in the first book. You still have some of the teenage angst that the first one had but it didn't bother me as much as it did in the first one. I guess because well I was kinda fangirling on Tom Imura's character. Picture Glenn from the Walking Dead a thousand times cooler. Y This book is way more action packed than the first book in this series Rot and Ruin. Lots of zombie action going on and something weird is starting to go on with the Zom's. They are beginning to act and react differently than in the first book. You still have some of the teenage angst that the first one had but it didn't bother me as much as it did in the first one. I guess because well I was kinda fangirling on Tom Imura's character. Picture Glenn from the Walking Dead a thousand times cooler. You also get some light moments in the zombie killing with a pair of bounty hunters named Dr. Skillz and J-Dog. Who I kept picturing as a bulked up version of these guys. I'm hoping this series continues with improving with each book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    5 Stars “There is no God,” whispered the old man. “There’s just the devil and me and the Rot and Ruin.” I am a biased reviewer and a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry, so to give this book less than 5 stars would not be fair to the overall feelings I have for this book and for this series. Maberry is a master at creating larger than life tough as nails adult heroes like Joe Ledger and Malcolm Crow, but in this series, it is the young adults, the hardly more than children, that are the heroes. Clearly w 5 Stars “There is no God,” whispered the old man. “There’s just the devil and me and the Rot and Ruin.” I am a biased reviewer and a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry, so to give this book less than 5 stars would not be fair to the overall feelings I have for this book and for this series. Maberry is a master at creating larger than life tough as nails adult heroes like Joe Ledger and Malcolm Crow, but in this series, it is the young adults, the hardly more than children, that are the heroes. Clearly written to have the YA appeal, and to be current with one of today's most popular genres, that of Zombies, this series is Maberry's fresh take on the genre. I am once again impressed with his ability to tone down his writing to be suitable for the YA crowd while still maintaining his visceral action scenes. This book does not suffer the middle book plague of having neither a good ending, or beginning. This, the second book in the series, is much different than the first. There is much less time spent with backstory, and more time spent dealing with crisis after crisis. Our young heroes in Benny, Nix, and Chong, have matured quite a bit in the last 7 months. This book has a faster pace than the first, and is much more action oriented. However, Like in the first book, there are many times that are quite introspective, and meant to be thought provoking to the reader. “Sometimes it’s harder to tell which side of the fence the dead are on.” “It was like a plague, but different from the one that had destroyed the world. This was an emotional pandemic that blinded the eye and deafened the ear and darkened the mind so that there simply was no world other than what existed inside each fenced town.” “A lot of folks see it that way,” said the Greenman, “but it was death that changed. People are still people. Some good, some bad. Death changed, and we don’t know what death really means anymore. Maybe that was the point. Maybe this is an object lesson about the arrogance of our assumptions. Hard to say. But the world? She didn’t change. She healed. We stopped hurting her and she began to heal. You can see it all around. The whole world is a forest now. The air is fresher. More trees, more oxygen. Even in Yosemite the air was never this fresh.” I enjoyed the quiet moments between Benny and Nix, and the further development of the “Lost Girl” Lilah. Tom continues his father role, his hero role, his leader role, and his legend. I feel that Maberry shows his writing skills when penning action but also in his creative character development and naming. Characters with names like Charlie Pink Eye, The Hammer, The Greenman, The Preacher, Sally Two-Knives, Basher Bashman, and Dr Skillz. These unique names add fun and flare to his books and help play out the humor that is strewn throughout. I found the dialogue from the surfer brother bounty hunters to be hilarious: “Far out,” said Dr. Skillz. “Benjamin Imura and Phoenix Riley. Wassssabi?” Dr. Skillz nodded. “Seriously, brah, and Jessie’s daughter’s gone all aliham.” “Babelini!” agreed J-Dog, though he was smiling, not leering, when he said it. The surfers gave Benny the thumbs-up. “Good call, dude.” “Huh?” asked Benny. If I did not already know that there is more to come from this series, I might have been let down by the overall progress of this book. I will not go into that here as I do not want to have any spoilers included. I have really grown to like the young cast of heroes. I love the direction that this series is headed. I also am glad that, like the Harry Potter series, we the readers get to watch our heroes mature from book to book as the approach adulthood. This is a fine series that is very accessible to the Young Adult crowd, and one that should not be missed by Maberry fans. “…leaving only their footprints behind in the dust and decay.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    4.5 stars rounded up. “he knew that there was only one path to walk, and that path was a red one.” i like the way these teenagers are still going through their YA moments, while being forced to grow up really quickly to survive. I think part of my attraction to survivalist and zombie fiction is that I could never cope myself! Excellent and action packed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark Wilson

    Engaging, human, exciting, character-driven, beautifully written. Fine work sir. The author exposes the fragility of human decency and the simplicity and ease with which people may sink to the depths of evil wonderfully. Throughout these books Mr Maberry develops his characters in a wonderfully human and believable way, despite the unreal setting and extraordinary trials they face. The obvious villains he presents us with in Charlie pinke-eye's brood are just the rotten, public face of the "ordin Engaging, human, exciting, character-driven, beautifully written. Fine work sir. The author exposes the fragility of human decency and the simplicity and ease with which people may sink to the depths of evil wonderfully. Throughout these books Mr Maberry develops his characters in a wonderfully human and believable way, despite the unreal setting and extraordinary trials they face. The obvious villains he presents us with in Charlie pinke-eye's brood are just the rotten, public face of the "ordinary" men and women of Benny and Tom's fenced community, the truest perpetuators of misery in the tale. The analogies in this book between modern developed nations and third world countries are obvious and very enjoyable. Benny Imura is a potentially unforgettable hero in the making, to rival even his supernaturally cool brother Tom. Benny's development has been funny, touching, hard to read, and wonderful to see. I simply cannot wait to meet these characters again, who already feel like old friends, in the third book. When I grow up, I want to write like Jonathan Maberry . Just read it. You won't regret it, but first pick up Rot & Ruin, the 1st book where you'll meet Benny and Tom Imura, the lost girl and all the rest.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Yeah, so that ending fucking sucked. (Not because of the writing or anything, but because I'm NOT happy with how things ended.) No "Happily Ever After" here, my friends.

  10. 4 out of 5

    AH

    Dust & Decay picks up seven months after the events of Rot & Ruin. Our young heroes – Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong have been training with Benny’s big brother Tommy. They learn his “Warrior Smart” method of protecting themselves from the zombies because you never know when one of your friends or loved ones will become a zombie… This is a brutal world. People live in fenced, gated, and well armed communities. Travel outside these towns requires planning, heavy carpet coats, and a disgustin Dust & Decay picks up seven months after the events of Rot & Ruin. Our young heroes – Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong have been training with Benny’s big brother Tommy. They learn his “Warrior Smart” method of protecting themselves from the zombies because you never know when one of your friends or loved ones will become a zombie… This is a brutal world. People live in fenced, gated, and well armed communities. Travel outside these towns requires planning, heavy carpet coats, and a disgusting concoction that hides human scent called cadaverdine. Oh, don’t forget the katana swords and other assorted weapons. Our heroes leave their small town in search of an airplane last spotted at the end of the last book. This airplane represents hope that there is life outside the Ruin. They embark on a journey through zombie infested lands where they encounter zombies (no surprise there), a preacher, and even a rhinoceros. A recurring theme in this series is that zombies were people once. Tommy always teaches the kids to treat the zombies with respect because they were once someone’s family. Tommy never “quiets” a zombie unless the zombie is a threat to him or his friends. There is a lot of action and sword swinging in this book, as well as a lot of moaning zombies. The scariest characters had to be the adults - the Preacher and White Bear and their gang. Their vision of a new society, complete with the Children of Lazarus (read: zombies) was truly horrifying. All of the Zombie Card heroes appear in this book. I did find the surfer dudes a little annoying, but they were good fighters. The fight scenes are exciting and the kids were extremely resourceful. I loved the main characters, especially the girls. Lilah, who had lived on her own for most of her life, is one of my favorites. She is a warrior, almost feral, a force to be reckoned with. I found that in this book, Lilah’s character changed the most. She learned to trust and to love. Nix is the thinker, the scientist of the group. Her diary entries make a great addition to the book. Her journal entries give insight into many aspects of life in the Ruin: zombie information, tools of the trade, survival tips, and more. We even get a glimpse of her feelings for Benny. I enjoyed this book. It is rather long (about 520 pages), but the chapters are short so that a younger reader may not feel intimidated by the book’s length. My 12 year old reluctant reader took a peek and agreed that it would be something he would like to read. *Thank you Simon & Schuster Galley Grab for a review copy of this book. Check out my review at Badass Book Reviews Update 1/15/12 - The author has posted extra scenes that occur between Rot&Ruin and Dust&Decay here. Click on the read bonus material banner for the extra chapters.

  11. 5 out of 5

    ~Tina~

    (4.5 stars) no No NOOOOOOOO!! Dame It ! ! ! ~cries~ Dust & Decay is such a sensational sequel. This series is the best Zombie books I've ever read. Action packed, heartbreaking and heart-lifting. Loved it!!! We're getting more, right? (Arc provided by S&S Galleygrab)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yodamom

    Well that was exhausting ! Intense action, horror filled pages, with a spark of love. This book had much more zombie action than book one. I thoroughly enjoyed it, well except towards the end when my heart cracked and I cried my heart out

  13. 5 out of 5

    Levi Walls

    😭😭😭😭😭😢😢😢😢😢 Full dark, no stars. That ending. Damn you Maberry. I don't want to read the next one after what you just did to me.........but I'm reading it already, right now, anyway. I have to know what happens. Eastbound and down Maberry, let's do this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paige Bookdragon

    FUCK YOU JONATHAN MABERRY FOR BREAKING MY HEART. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO KILL HIM?! THE BOOK WAS ON ITS WAY TO GREATNESS AND THEN -BOOM!- HE'S DEAD. *crying piteously in the background*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Harlee

    Within the first few pages, I remembered why I enjoy this series so much. The funny banter between Benny and Tom and Benny's friends made me smile and mentally laugh. It was nice to see that even after the horrific events in Rot and Ruin, and even after they all became different people, there was still that shred of themselves there. I believe Nix was the most changed. Although Tom may be a close second for most changed. He may have been more eager than the kids to get the hell out of that damn Within the first few pages, I remembered why I enjoy this series so much. The funny banter between Benny and Tom and Benny's friends made me smile and mentally laugh. It was nice to see that even after the horrific events in Rot and Ruin, and even after they all became different people, there was still that shred of themselves there. I believe Nix was the most changed. Although Tom may be a close second for most changed. He may have been more eager than the kids to get the hell out of that damn town! There was a moment or two in this book that struck me as not something the Tom Imura I know and love would do or say. I don't know, still love him though! He's my favorite character of the series. *swoon* Although I will say I also like the new ones we meet, especially Sally and Dr. Skillz and J-Dog.There was one point where I felt like I had been reading forever and this book was never going to end. That's not to say it was boring, it DEFINITELY was not, it still just felt like a lot of story to me. Around the 300 page mark, the intensity of this book goes from the 7 out of 10 it was already at and blasts through the roof to a 15 and then again in the final epic showdown to a 20. The violence in this book was incredible! Very vivid and intense without being overly gory (that's my opinion, at least. Gore doesn't really faze me anymore). The ending...*sob* THIS will be an ending I will NEVER EVER get over. In conclusion, this book was action packed, had some great twists, romantically awkward for our lovable youngsters, violently spectacular, and it made me cry. The rest of my review will be in spoilers. (view spoiler)[ I want to briefly touch on the relationship between Chong and Lilah. In the beginning, I found Chong's crush to be annoying. It felt lame and unnecessary to me. However, since we only heard about it from Benny's POV we didn't know there was more to the story. I was a bit confused about who she lived with but it was confirmed that Lilah lived with the Chongs while staying in town. What we didn't know, and only learn about from her time with the Greenman, is that her and Chong spent EVERY evening talking on their front porch. About anything and everything. AND SHE ENJOYED IT. Though she outwardly has an ant-sized emotional range, she apparently developed feelings for Chong but had no idea how to understand them. Though I will say even I fell for Chong a bit when we hear some of his sweet thoughts about Lilah and how hard he fought in the pits to stay alive and escape. My favorite moment of his: "So Chong ran forward into his last moment, accepting death because it had already accepted him, wanting to follow Lilah down into the darkness so that she would never again be lost and alone." OHMYGOD, SO MUCH EMOTION. Even still, her affection seems a bit hostile. I'm hoping she can take the intensity down a few notches in the next one. PREACHER JACK. The second we meet him we all know he's a slimy piece of work. That flash in his eyes, when Tom mentioned they were leaving the Rot and Ruin, I knew that meant something big. Who knew it was this big?? Gameland establisher, FATHER to Charlie and White Bear (don't remember his real name) Matthias?! There was one point where I was so damn impressed with him. His fighting prowess is phenomenal. When he literally slashed through two of the best bounty hunters in the Ruin and barely broke his stride? That's like some bad ass thing you only see in movies! BUT I WILL NEVER AGAIN THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF THAT MAN EVER AGAIN. THAT BASTARD KILLED TOM!!! I cried a little, and when I thought I was done I cried more! My heart is still hurting! TOM!!!! This is one of those character deaths I will never get over. He was such an incredible man. So much so I can't even list all his wonderful qualities. He was such an INCREDIBLE fighter, it seemed like nothing could stop him. Expect a bullet in the back from a crazed religious wannabe piece of shit who I will hate forever!! (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    The 2nd in Mr. Maberry's saga of post-apocalyptic America after a virus wipes out the majority of the population. In California, close to Yosemite, a settlement tries to contain any un-deadness that may creep inside. The story centers on Tom Imura, his teen brother, Benny, and Benny's group of friends/acquaintances: Nix, Chong, Lilah and Morgie. A different twist on the zombie yarn, with plenty of action as the group leaves the town and ventures east into the unknown.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    This book was amazing!! What a flipping ride. I loved it. Loved it. I can't believe I picked up the first in this series on a whim and by a recommendation only. I feel like this series should have been on my radar long before. The narration of both Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay is very well done; so good that I had a hard time pausing the audio to live my life (get work done, be a parent, talk to my boss, etc. etc.) Dust & Decay starts off slowly and at some points, Tom Immura's philos This book was amazing!! What a flipping ride. I loved it. Loved it. I can't believe I picked up the first in this series on a whim and by a recommendation only. I feel like this series should have been on my radar long before. The narration of both Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay is very well done; so good that I had a hard time pausing the audio to live my life (get work done, be a parent, talk to my boss, etc. etc.) Dust & Decay starts off slowly and at some points, Tom Immura's philosophizing and constant instruction is irritating -- let me emphasize -- only at some points. But then, the story abruptyly takes off and it is non-stop until the end of the epilogue. Dust & Decay comes close to the fabulousness of Rot & Ruin but it will also break readers' hearts. My 13 year old is reading Rot & Ruin right now and I can imagine that Dust & Decay will bring her to tears. I love how Maberry brings a new twist to the zombie tale -- the tale of humanity, morality and human beings. If you haven't started this story, I highly recommend it. If you like audio books then I recommend trying the audio as the narration is done really well. Unfortunately, #3 (Flesh & Bone) is not available in audio right now and I am trying to decide if the audio is worth waiting for or if I should dive right back in to the world of Benny Immura. Warrior Smart!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~

    Wow! I am so glad this was just if not a tad bit better than the first. I'm very much looking forward to starting the third one after I'm done with the rest of the books in progress. :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' that’s how I describe this story it all unfolds like a Wild West Battle. The GOOD is Tom Imura and his band of warriors Benny, Nix, Lilath and Chong. THE BAD is White Bear and other bad zombie hunters. THE UGLY of course are the Zoms (zombies). I have said it before Jonathan Maberry is really a masterful storyteller packing a punch across genres. Genre for genre a pound for pound a heavyweight contender for book awards. He has really knitted together a thrill ride o 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' that’s how I describe this story it all unfolds like a Wild West Battle. The GOOD is Tom Imura and his band of warriors Benny, Nix, Lilath and Chong. THE BAD is White Bear and other bad zombie hunters. THE UGLY of course are the Zoms (zombies). I have said it before Jonathan Maberry is really a masterful storyteller packing a punch across genres. Genre for genre a pound for pound a heavyweight contender for book awards. He has really knitted together a thrill ride of a story that is about more than zombies keeps you engrossed right to the end with love and war. Benny is maturing and becoming a warrior he was no longer the skinny kid that he once had been he has muscle definition and six-pack abs. He has an eye also on one girl, will he be able to express his love to her? Tom the powerful warrior equipped with his kami Katana, Tom the Swordsman, Tom of the woods, Fast Tommy. Tom the Killer. Lilah is another hero fast efficient and ruthless she grew up out in the Ruin, she was raised by a man who helped her during the First Night and then was living on her own for years after. Lived alone in the woods spoke to no one. Learned from books and learned the art of making weapons. She became a hunter and a killer. She is quiet and very beautiful with eyes the colour of honey. They called her the Lost Girl on the Zombie cards. She was merely a legend or myth until Tom and Benny brought her out into the public eye. Together they destroyed Charlie Pink-eye and the Hammer. But did they really destroy Charlie? That’s what they thought but a figure appears amongst the zoms that looks like Charlie from the distance, is it him? If it is how could Benny tell Nix, a girl he loves, that her mothers murderer is still out there, still roaming the world free? The band of warriors lead by Tom the hero Zombie Hunter set out on a journey to the Ruin in search of a Jet a mode of transport. They leave Mountainside and head for the Forest along there journey meet The Bad and the Ugly, they also meet many of their good friends, good Zombie Hunters. The Greenman is one of them a hunter who literally looks like a tree, he wears a leafed mask and has cones and leafs pinned to his coat, a camouflage amongst the forest in which the zoms cannot see him. One good weapon to have against the zoms, is cadaverine. Consists of a mixture of cadaverine, putrescine, spermidine, and other vile ptomaines. They will not eat you if you have it smeared on you. The journey places them into what could be debated as the greatest test some of their friendships have been under. A real nail biting experience as they become divided and some captured, love also flourishes in a story that really entertains with ingredients of courage and bravery. White bear The Bad has a bounty on the heads of the good band of zombie hunters the four of them Nix, Benny, Lilah and Tom. The Hunger Games is over for now until the movie is released and The Dust and Decay and The Gameland is a rightful dose of the same entertainment. If you think all this is not enough to get you to read this novel, then hold on because Carpet coats, Football Helmets with Plastic Visors and a Pit in the ground are signs of danger! An event of gruesome violence pitted against zoms in a pit they call it ‘Gameland’ The bets are on who will survive? Gameland was a place that Lilah escaped in the past and was eventually closed down but now it has been reopened by White Bear and other Bad Zombie Hunters. “Now Benny was fifteen and a half, and First Night was a million years ago. This world was no longer that world. On First Night the old world had died. As the dead rose, the living perished. Cities were incinerated by the military in a futile attempt to stop the growing armies of the dead. The electromagnetic pulses from the nukes fired all electronics. The machines went silent, and soon, so did the whole country. Now everything east of the small town of Mountainside was the great Rot and Ruin. A few other towns littered the foothills of the Sierra Nevada north and south of Benny’s home, but the rest of the old world had been consumed.” “Before First Night the United States Census Bureau estimated that there were 6,922,000,000 people alive on planet earth. Tom said that news reports claimed that more than two billion people died in the first two days after First Night. By the time the internet went down, the estimates of the global death toll were at four billion and climbing. People in town believe that following first night more than six billion people died. Most people think the whole rest of the world is dead. We know that the total population of the nine towns here in central California is 28,261 as of last new year’s census.” “It was like a plague, but different from the one that had destroyed the world. This was an emotional pandemic that blinded the eye and deafened the ear and darkened the mind so that there simply was no world other than what existed inside each fenced town.” Preacher Jack shrugged. ”This world may be paradise for the Children of Lazarus, but to snot-nosed little sinners like you…this world is hell. How’s that for a cosmic paradox? Heaven and Hell coexisting out here in the Rot and Ruin, and the two of them forming a brand-new Eden. The towns-why, you might consider them limbo, where souls are just waiting for judgement. As for Gameland….now it would be God’s own truth to say that Gameland is purgatory. It’s where you have a chance to expunge your sins.” “He took her hand, and they walked under the canopy of cool green leaves. Birds sang in the trees, and the grass beneath their feet glistened with morning dew. The first of the day’s bees buzzed softly among the flowers, going about their ancient and important work, collecting nectar and taking pollen from one flower to another. Cyclones of gnats spiralled up from the grass and swirled through the slanting sunlight. The loveliness of the forest was magical and fresh, but it was also immense. Neither of them spoke, unable to phrase their reactions to the rampant beauty and unwilling to trouble the air with the horrors that haunted their hearts. Despite the warm reality of each other’s hands, they felt incredibly alone. Desolate. Even though they knew that Tom and Lilah and Chong were somewhere in this same forest, it was as if everyone else was on a different planet. Mountainside-home-was a million miles away. The jumbo jet could well have been on the far side of the world, or something from an old dream.” http://more2read.com/?review=dust-dec...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    Rot & Ruin - ★★★★★ Dust & Decay - ★★★ Flesh & Bone - ★★★★ Fire & Ash - ★★★★★ "The big kahuna is riding a permanent wave." Minor Spoilers from Rot and Ruin. Dust and Decay is the sequel in the series. From how things ended with Rot and Ruin, it is hard to pass up not knowing where and what are the characters doing now. As you saw I had been gushing over the character from Rot and Ruin. Here in Dust and Decay, it faltered. There were inconsistencies in the facts presented by some characte Rot & Ruin - ★★★★★ Dust & Decay - ★★★ Flesh & Bone - ★★★★ Fire & Ash - ★★★★★ "The big kahuna is riding a permanent wave." Minor Spoilers from Rot and Ruin. Dust and Decay is the sequel in the series. From how things ended with Rot and Ruin, it is hard to pass up not knowing where and what are the characters doing now. As you saw I had been gushing over the character from Rot and Ruin. Here in Dust and Decay, it faltered. There were inconsistencies in the facts presented by some characters and ola, that screams plot holes to me. And Jonathan Maberry you’d been knew since Rot and Ruin you would do this but still, it hurts like hell, I had been preparing but no preparation could really make you over a character death. Oh, I said it. But I won’t say who. In the writing aspect, my plot hole issue. It has been said repeatedly over the books but it was not proven~well not until the third book. And it there was a time that it was redundant. Though there are impactful improvements over the action sequences. I thought Rot and Ruin was already packed, this was heavier on that side. And they all got moves. The characters are getting mo edgier and becoming more of an identity they are steering on. Since the events of book one, months had passed they had all been training for a better skill set in combating not only zombies but morally corrupted humans too. They’ll yet again leave Mountainside but this time for good. Unlike Rot and Ruin’s focus on the morality and beliefs of the characters, Dust and Decay focuses on the side of the characters’ identities and belongingness both emotionally and physical attribute. Adventure packed, action-packed, and with the wits and hilarious take of Benny and the gang in the journey, it managed me to like the whole book as okay. The balance of division throughout the book was fun hilarious and painful altogether. Earning an okay set of three stars. Want to see more? Go visit here.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jo Anne B

    I can't help but feel insulted by this book. I know it is young adult and I should probably not think too much about it since it is meant for a younger brain but I can't help it. This was just the ending of the first book, not a different one. I feel that Maberry took a cheap shot here or a cop out and maybe for the sake of drawing out the series longer to make more money. I was expecting some new adventures not going back to Gameland to rescue some pesky teenager again. I didn't believe that Tom I can't help but feel insulted by this book. I know it is young adult and I should probably not think too much about it since it is meant for a younger brain but I can't help it. This was just the ending of the first book, not a different one. I feel that Maberry took a cheap shot here or a cop out and maybe for the sake of drawing out the series longer to make more money. I was expecting some new adventures not going back to Gameland to rescue some pesky teenager again. I didn't believe that Tom would leave Mountainside forever with Benny, Nix, Chong, and the Lost Girl because Nix could no longer live in the same place her mom was killed in. She was so emotional and thinking irrational so she was in no position to be making major life decisions. Tom, being the adult and hero, should have acted like a parent that Nix was in need of and told her to wait until she cooled off to decide about her future. These kids are only 15, they have no clue what they are talking about. I expected Tom to be the one to reel the kids back to reality. Instead, he rounded them up like they were going on a camping trip. Maberry does a good job introducing colorful characters to keep us interested- Greenman, the surfers Dr. Skillz and J-Dog, Preacher Jack, White Bear, and Sally Six-Knives. There are battle scenes with the Zoms to get your heart pumping. But all this was lost to the fact that all of this happened in the first book. It seemed played.  The chapters were short and of course everyone ended up separated from each other. Strangely, at the end of all the chapters leading up to the last 25% of the book, parts of Nix's journal was included revealing more information she learned about the Zoms from Tom. There seemed to be a theme that permeated throughout this book about people are not always what they seem. Greenman tells the Lost Girl:           "No one is really who people think they are. It's unfair. When they give us nicknames             and create a story for us, everyone expects us to be that person and live up to that             legend. People are all sorts of things. Some people are evil and good at the same time.            People can be very brave and very, very afraid. They can be heroes and cowards             from one breath to the next. No matter what choice you make, it doesn't define you.             Not forever. We've all had our moments of weakness and failure. We've all suffered             through dark nights of the soul. This is perfect for teenagers coming of age who still aren't sure who they are either. Tom is a hero or a villain depending on who you talk to, Benny is still a kid but begins hearing an inner voice of maturity guiding his actions, the Lost Girl acts cold to Chong but is unsure how to show that she loves him, Nix is unsure that her crush for Benny is the real kind of love, Chong is a smart kid but doesn't have what it takes to survive in the world of the Zoms. But when all of them are together, they bring out the best in each other and there is no mistaking them as one bad ass gang to be reckoned with. Chong and the Lost Girl seem to mature more than Benny and Nix in this book whereas it was Benny and Nix who did in the first book. This all would have made for ONE perfect book, not two. Maberry better be done with Charlie the Pink Eye and Gameland in the next one or Game Over.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Forget the walking dead, this is where first class zombie action is at! My heart was pounding through the whole book! I usually prefer a single, first person narrative as opposed to several third person narratives(especially in YA novels) but Jonathan Maberry's writing won me over. It reminded me of an awesome action/ adventure TV show where the movement from one scene to another is flawless. The pacing was great and I was eagerly awaiting the continuation of each characters story, even from char Forget the walking dead, this is where first class zombie action is at! My heart was pounding through the whole book! I usually prefer a single, first person narrative as opposed to several third person narratives(especially in YA novels) but Jonathan Maberry's writing won me over. It reminded me of an awesome action/ adventure TV show where the movement from one scene to another is flawless. The pacing was great and I was eagerly awaiting the continuation of each characters story, even from characters that weren't exactly high on my list of favourites *cough* Chong *cough* In this sequel I found myself disagreeing a bit more with the moral voice of the story i.e. Tom. While I do agree that you should have respect for the dead I do not think that you should put them above the living. I feel like Tom is doing that to an extent when he only kills for closure jobs and self defense. Sure you don't have to kill that zombie, but by letting it live you are essentially putting other people's lives in danger. People that maybe are not "warrior smart" enough to handle an attack. Zombies that you spare endanger the living. It's as simple as that. Despite some internal disagreements I had with some of the characters, I still really enjoyed this novel. It was amazing. The subject matter is pretty dark though, I might have to take a breather between the next books in the series ... Oh who am I kidding, bring on book number three! As per usual the cover art was great.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ☣Lynn☣

    My poor heart...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    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 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    "Warrior smart." I did not expect this one to be so good. But it is 'edge of your seat' adventure from page 1 on. And even though there was some back and forth confusion about feelings....it didn't overwhelm the story or even get distracting. The characters are just amazing. Benny, Tom, Lilah, Nix & Chong...I feel like we get to know them so much more in this one. There is some soul searching, some philosophy - which I think is pretty understandable when talking about zombies and the rebuildin "Warrior smart." I did not expect this one to be so good. But it is 'edge of your seat' adventure from page 1 on. And even though there was some back and forth confusion about feelings....it didn't overwhelm the story or even get distracting. The characters are just amazing. Benny, Tom, Lilah, Nix & Chong...I feel like we get to know them so much more in this one. There is some soul searching, some philosophy - which I think is pretty understandable when talking about zombies and the rebuilding of the world. I also like that the good guys made mistakes. They didn't get it right and sometimes that really cost them. I think that's more true than your perfect 'happily ever after" stories. This is a zombie apocalypse, not everyone can hack it all the time. I am excited about where book 3 will take this story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. WHAT DID I THINK!!!!!!! Let's start off on a good note....... THINGS THAT I LIKED AND WERE GREAT! 1. Finally leaving the town 2. The fact Tom was there (best character) 3. All the action THINGS THAT I DIDN'T LIKE 1. Morgie not going on the trip 2. They hardly made any progress 3. White Bear............ 4. TOM DIED. He was the best character. The best fighter. Benny's beloved brother. He lives though a bunch of other stuff but dies from one bullet wound :( :( :( Reading the rest of this series will be very WHAT DID I THINK!!!!!!! Let's start off on a good note....... THINGS THAT I LIKED AND WERE GREAT! 1. Finally leaving the town 2. The fact Tom was there (best character) 3. All the action THINGS THAT I DIDN'T LIKE 1. Morgie not going on the trip 2. They hardly made any progress 3. White Bear............ 4. TOM DIED. He was the best character. The best fighter. Benny's beloved brother. He lives though a bunch of other stuff but dies from one bullet wound :( :( :( Reading the rest of this series will be very difficult for me and hardly worth reading :( Please leave a comment saying what you thought.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Amazing and heartbreaking, I never want to reread this book again. Or even continue the series. The vividness, clarity, and strength of this book has scarred me for life. Maberry has an amazing gift for writing and making the undead seem just a little more human. As much as I respect it, I do not enjoy it. I have a love/hate relationship with this beautifully written book. The ending has completely destroyed my heart and has ruined it for me. I am battling between a mix of fear, love, and respec Amazing and heartbreaking, I never want to reread this book again. Or even continue the series. The vividness, clarity, and strength of this book has scarred me for life. Maberry has an amazing gift for writing and making the undead seem just a little more human. As much as I respect it, I do not enjoy it. I have a love/hate relationship with this beautifully written book. The ending has completely destroyed my heart and has ruined it for me. I am battling between a mix of fear, love, and respect for this author and story, if you're a horror fan or just a fan of the living undead, this book, this series, is definitely a must read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marita Hansen

    4 1/2 Stars. [image error] As far as I remember, the first of this series is being turned into a film, and hopefully this one as well, which I think is fan-frigging-tastic. As with the first book, this was a gripping read. We have the Imuras, Benny (the main character), Tom (his older sumari sword wielding brother), Nix (Benny's girlfriend), Lilah (the legendary Lost Girl) and Chong (his best friend) going on an adventure, all but Chong leaving town for good. Well, that was the plan! But what they 4 1/2 Stars. [image error] As far as I remember, the first of this series is being turned into a film, and hopefully this one as well, which I think is fan-frigging-tastic. As with the first book, this was a gripping read. We have the Imuras, Benny (the main character), Tom (his older sumari sword wielding brother), Nix (Benny's girlfriend), Lilah (the legendary Lost Girl) and Chong (his best friend) going on an adventure, all but Chong leaving town for good. Well, that was the plan! But what they don't know is that they have bounties on their heads, created by two EXTREMELY nasty SOBs out for revenge, their identities rather surprising, especially the older of the two (although it makes perfect sense). I thought this story tied into the last one perfectly, and was extremely well structured. Yes, I knocked off half a star, but only due to some slower pockets in the story, but I still wouldn't have wanted it changed, because every book has some areas were it needs to allow the reader to breath, and the ending sure as hell almost made me knock it up to a full 5. But, I'm reviewing this book as a whole, and 4 1/2 stars is still pretty high up there, so if you come across any slower areas, don't worry, because the ending is even better than the first book's, though, a lot sadder, one of my favourites going down, which I preferred didn't happen, but I understand it was needed with what I know of the third book, the death pushing the main star of the series further into his journey as well as dealing with the theme of grief. In regards to the third book, which I now have, I would love to see Benny further his growth, coming into his own completely. Although Benny did wonderful in this story, he is still a kid, and what I want in the next installment is for him to be even more like his brother - to eventually become a man of legend, as well as that person everyone looked up to, which Tom achieved. All the characters were very well portrayed, Chong also being one of my favourites. The way he grew in this story was wonderful. Plus, I liked how his relationship with Lilah progressed and how it was a great plot device as well, creating a storyline which had many moments of "I can't stop reading." There was also a new lot of characters, an introduction to a wonderful cast of bounty hunters who were like Tom - heroes. In relation to the writing style, it is very good. And the author's ability to put you in the scene was fantastic, his settings very well written, his descriptions spot on. In addition, I like how this story has a number of mysteries weaved in, which I assume will be major issues in the next book, like: 1) Why some people didn't reanimate into zombies after dying? My theory is that it relates to the cadaverine potion that is put on to ward off zombies. The cadaverine may possibly be reacting like a vaccine. 2) Why they came across some zombies who were really fast. 3) And what is so bad that the preacher warned them not to continue on their journey, where they saw the plane headed to. And who was flying that plane, and what is their role in the next story. All the above gets the reader to snap up the next book, wanting to know the answers. Plus, of course, the reader is now very much tied to the characters, wanting to continue on with their journey, to see how they get through more hard times and come out at the end as the victors. All up, I definitely would recommend this series to readers who love YA books with bite, zombie stories, survival books and authors who know how to keep their readers enthralled. Benny Imura in my eyes. He has the right look, half-Japanese, half-Irish/American.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    *sob* Even when you know it's going to happen, it still hurts when it does. I'll avoid telling you exactly what happened because of spoilers, but I will say that we say goodbye to one of the characters. It's a hard thing, but it does, unfortunately, happen. Benny and Nix are strengthening their relationship. Benny is much more sure of it than she is, but that is completely understandable. After what happened to her mom, it's got to be tough to open up her heart for someone. And, honestly, they are *sob* Even when you know it's going to happen, it still hurts when it does. I'll avoid telling you exactly what happened because of spoilers, but I will say that we say goodbye to one of the characters. It's a hard thing, but it does, unfortunately, happen. Benny and Nix are strengthening their relationship. Benny is much more sure of it than she is, but that is completely understandable. After what happened to her mom, it's got to be tough to open up her heart for someone. And, honestly, they are seen apart so rarely that it's hard for me to separate them from each other. Benny relies heavily on finding out Nix's feelings for him. He's very confident that he loves her, but she hasn't replied the same as of yet (oof). Nix is too busy worrying about her mother dying and the cause of that (a big monstrous, awful human) to worry to much about upsetting Benny and his feelings. She definitely cares for him, but she isn't sure if she is even going to be able to love him after losing her mom. Lilah, the Lost Girl, has probably made the most strides in character development. She is the strongest of the group (out of necessity. I'm sure if any of the others had been in her position, then they would probably be as strong as she is). However, she also came from very unusual circumstances, which lead her to be the most socially awkward as well. Yes, even with the teenage boys being as terrible as they are around the girls. So, it's been fun watching her come out of her shell a little bit and start acting (somewhat) like a regular person. Even though she is a bit abrupt sometimes (sorry Chong). Chong is easily the stupidest of the kids (even though that was very abruptly brought up to him), but it is the truth. He joins the group on an overnight expidition, but when someone hurts his feelings, he decides to separate from the group and try to make it back to town. On. His. Own. Of course, this was after he was absolutely humiliated by a rhinoceros in front of the whole group. But if he didn't handle the rhino attack well, how on earth did that boy think he'd be able to make it back through miles of wilderness?! And not just normal wilderness, but zombie infested wilderness? Idiot child. Unsurprisingly, Maberry has given us villains that aren't zombies. Of course, the zombies will kill if given the chance (although Maberry has made it very clear that it isn't understood why the zombies kill, but they don't actually have the thought process to stop themselves). However, our main villains are human. Human monsters. The kids actual handle the villainous reveals very well. I would have probably just frozen in shock and never recovered, but these kids are stronger than I am. Not everyone is as they seem, however, and some very devastating losses happen because of that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue Smith

    I have to admit that this is one of the best post apocalyptic -zombie book series that I have read. Mind you - I haven't really read too many, sooooo I may be shooting off my foot. Regardless - this was a great read! Firstly - the cover art is awesome. It's in line with the first concept book and has enough WTF factor to make you want to pick it up and see what's all the screaming is about. Hmmmmm......... or is she biting? Whatever. It's a great shot and the colour (or suggestively lack there of I have to admit that this is one of the best post apocalyptic -zombie book series that I have read. Mind you - I haven't really read too many, sooooo I may be shooting off my foot. Regardless - this was a great read! Firstly - the cover art is awesome. It's in line with the first concept book and has enough WTF factor to make you want to pick it up and see what's all the screaming is about. Hmmmmm......... or is she biting? Whatever. It's a great shot and the colour (or suggestively lack there of - except in strategic spots) is really well done. I like how it makes you feel . Curious. Anxious. Intrigued. I also liked how it is in line with the actual story itself. Talking the talk and putting your money where your mouth is. But that may be alllllll me conjecturing on the idea and that may not have actually been one of the original ideas. Just saying - (if it is though, it 's genius!). What I loved about this series isn't just the characters - and they really are great despite the teenage angst and romance stuff (which isn't overdone either so it doesn't kill the book), it's the really awesome way the author has made this post apocalyptic world that is now zombie-land, so believeable. How the horror of the day to day stuff is ramped up like crazy when everything you live your life by is to really and truly a fight to survive. How it's ultimately the choices you make in your life that make the difference. How those choices can define who you are and where you go and what you do. Despite the zombies. I also love how he has made you think of what a zombie is. Certainly, he expounds on what you traditionally know, but he also makes you rethink what they actually are and what made them that way. I really love when an author makes you think outside the box........ or casket ..... or whatever.....without taking away any of the horror of the moment when those characters are face to face with them. And it's great when it's all juxtaposed against the reality of others who take advantage of the horror to gain power and influence over those who don't want to face it. Great concepts! Great story!

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