Title: Dust & Decay
Author: Jonathan Maberry
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.
It should come as no surprise to people who read my blog that I love anything about zombies and other weird crap. So, it should come as no surprise that I am over the moon about Jonathan Maberry's Dust & Decay - the second book in the Rot & Ruin series.
This book picks up six months after Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah, Chong, and Tom are heading out into the Ruin to track down the plane they sat at the end of Rot & Ruin. They have several surprises waiting for them that turn out to be just crazy! I mean, seriously some of the things that happen in this book had me sitting there like:
A couple things that had me going wild were:
1. Preacher Jack is Charlie Pinkeye's dad.
2. White Bear was at Gameland when Tom torched it, and he DIDN'T DIE! (Also, he's Charlie's brother.)
3. Gameland is back.
There were so many other things I could tell you, but I don't want too many spoilers - go out and read the book!
When I was reading the book, I kept just wondering about Preacher Jack. I found him to be incredibly arrogant, but also intriguing. I imagine that he would probably sit around like:
But I digress.
The characters in the book are all stunning. Well developed, distinct, and sturdy. They take the things that happen with a grain of sand and keep fighting. I think that Benny, Lilah, Chong, and Nix all grow and mature a lot in this book. There are obviously a few moments where they are a little immature - they are teenagers after all. But by and large, they grow and change a lot.
As far as the bad guys, White Bear, Preacher Jack, et al, they are as marvelous as you could expect any bad guy to be. Really, truly, exceptional bad guys They did things that made me cringe - and the entire time, they were under the belief that everything they did was good and under the guidance of god. Weird, sure, but it makes it all seem legit.
The story fit together well from beginning to end. There was nothing in the book that made me think it didn't fit or belong. I was heartbroken at the end, but also understood why everything had to happen.
Go read this book - it gets 5 stars all the way! (Also, if you listen to it on audiobook, I think you'll find yourself as enamored with Brian Hutchison's voice as I was.)