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Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1) by Jonathan Maberry





In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.











This story is about two brothers, The Imura brothers, Tom the bounty hunter and Benny the not so yet bounty hunter. Benny since First Night, the time when the Zombie outbreak began has not yet killed, has now come to the stage in his life where he’s going to have to make some big decisions. Will he embrace the path of a bounty hunter like his brother or not? What sets Benny on a stepping-stone to his chosen destiny is the search for one girl, that he becomes besotted with.

Forget the tag of ‘Young Adults fiction’ as the only thing you are going to miss is unwanted foul language and sex scenes. This story gets to the meat and bone of what is a really good thriller about zombie hunters, many of today’s fiction that i have read for the Young Adult genre have cheesy one liners and cliché scenes, in this one gem you would not find this. Maberry takes you straight to the heart of the story and the action of the moment in this flowing and page-turning story. This has the makings of a TV series, similar to ‘Supernatural’ where you also have two brothers who hunt out demons and ghosts instead.

There is something more worse out there than zombies, more of an enemy for the Imura brothers, this enemy is killing off family members. A few of these bounty hunters, evil individuals have started something called the Gameland and are taking everyone down without rules.

With really good locations like ‘The Hungry Forest’ the author has created an interesting and engaging story. All I need now is to buy myself one of those Zombie cards from the story, they are like picture cards on the front of each was a portrait of a famous bounty hunter. On the back was a sort bio and the name of the artist. The next book in the series has all the makings of something even better!


“It’s not safe anywhere Benny. Not unless you’re generation makes it safe. My generation gave up trying.”

“Out here-I kill. Walkers, bad men. I kill and I live. I’m safe here”

“Cadaverine was a nasty-smelling molecule produced by protein hydrolysis during putrefaction of animal tissue. Benny remembered that from science class, but he didn’t know that it was made from actual rotting flesh. Hunters and trackers dabbed it on their clothes to keep the zoms from coming after them, because the dead were not attracted to rotting flesh.”

“The pair of them-Charlie and the Hammer-were the toughest bounty hunters in the entire Rot and Ruin. Everyone said so. Except for a few weirdoes, like Mayr Kirsch, who said that Tom Imura was tougher.”

“Most of the hunters were paid by the town to clear zoms out of the areas around the trade route that linked Mountainside o the handful of other towns strung out along the mountain range. Others worked in packs as mercenary armies to clear out towns, old shopping malls, warehouses, and even a few small cities, so that the traders could raid them for supplies. According to Charlie the life expectancy of a typical bounty hunter was six months.”

” ‘Quieted’ was the acceptable term for the necessary act of inserting a metal spike, called a ‘silver’, into the base of the skull to sever the brain stem. Since First Night, anyone who died would reanimate as a zombie. Bites made it happen too, but really any recently deceased person would come back. Every adult in town carried at least one silver, though Benny had never seen one used.”

“Every dead person out there deserves respect. Even in death. Even when we fear them. Even when we have to kill them. They aren’t ‘just zoms,’ Benny. That’s a side effect of a disease or from some kind of radiation or something else that we don’t understand. I’m no scientist, Benny. I’m a simple man doing a job.” “Yeah? You’re trying to sound all noble, but you kill them.” Benny had tears in his eyes.

” The world is bigger and harder to understand than you think, Benny. It was before First Nigh and it still is now. You have to keep your mind as wide-open as your eyes, because almost nothing is what it seems.”

“She may answer to the name Lilah or Annie. Approach with caution, she is considered dangerous and may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.”

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