Author: Jonathan Maberry (site)
Published: August 30th, 2010 by Simon & Schuster
Buy: Amazon/ Book Depo/ Powell's
Series: Benny Imura #2
Synopsis: 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. 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.
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?(Goodreads)
Review: Dust and Decay starts off half a year after Rot & Ruin. Tom Imura has been training his brother and his brother's friends so that they can go look for the jet they saw in the first book. They start off on their cross-country trip, but then everything goes NUTS. I'm going to warn you now that the mystery of the plane is not solved in this book. Instead, old enemies come back to cause more trouble and not everyone makes it out alive. Once again, the characters in this book felt so young. I would think that growing up in a world where zombies have taken over most of the planet would make the teens a little less naive, a little less whiny, but that is not the case. The book also had a really slow start (like the first one). The magic of Maberry's zombie series is that you start out thinking "are these kids ever going to shut up?" and then suddenly everything goes crazy and you can't fly through the pages fast enough. Things started to get interesting halfway through and, by the last third, I could not tear myself away. There's something about this series that makes me reluctant to give it a 5 star rating. I think it's the fact that the younger characters are a bit annoying. They step up to the plate when things get tough, but that didn't quite redeem them in my eyes. For plot and action scenes, I'd definitely give this five stars. Characters would be more like 2.5 or 3. This evens out nicely to a 3.5. I'm wondering if maybe he's just dumbing down the characters a bit too much because it's YA, so I'm going to give his adult book, Patient Zero, a try and see if it has all of the good and none of the bad that I've seen in the Rot & Ruin series. Read my review of Rot and Ruin here.
P.S. How amazing are these covers?!