Hardcover 519 pages from Simon & Schuster
Benny Imura and Nix Riley can’t forget the jet they saw fly over the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot and Ruin.
The Jet meant leaving,
something that Nix and Benny were going to do. Now after months of rigorous training with Tom, Benny’s zombie-hunter brother, Benny, Nix, Lilah the lost girl and Chong are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future.
But, from the start, everything goes wrong. They are pursued by the living dead,wild animals and insane murders, and are faced with the horrors of a rebuilt Gameland,where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives n the zombie pits. worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye sill be alive?
Usually when one loses sleep he/she awakes the next morning in shall we say, a non energetic or positive mood? I woke in a great mood! Why? because the source of my sleep deprivation came from Dust & Decay!
I tried really hard to discipline myself and put the novel down even as the crickets went to bed…no luck. Each page drew me into the next as the suspense built and new characters were introduced. Each one resembling his/her profile just like on the zombie cards. (Brilliant idea Mr. Maberry).
To begin, The book did a superb job of picking right up where Rot & Ruin left off. Haven’t read Rot & Ruin? Really?!
Anyway, Benny has grown up over the last six months honing his martial arts skills and developing both his mind and his body. He also finally gets around to telling Nix he loves her. After a recent zombie attack within the village the timetable is moved up by Tom. The “camping trip” begins the next day.
Invited along are Morgie and Chong. Chong agrees for reasons he keeps to himself, and Morgie still fostering a hatred for Nix and Benny, declines.
After quietly sneaking out of the village they enter the Ruin. Ahead of them lies the unknown and terror at every turn. Supporting their efforts, Jonathan Maberry created a list of characters with names as sharp as their skills. To name a few , we have Sally Two- Knives, Solomon Jones, Greenman, J-dog and Dr. Skillz. I particularly like J-Dog and Dr. Skillz… righteous dudes! They made me feel like I was back surfing in Southern California!
Then we have the inhuman characters. White Bear, Stosh, and others. To call them evil is an understatement. They revel in inflicting pain and torturing their victims as one of them in Tom’s group soon discovers.
Each character is bombarded by physical and emotional strains as Mr. Maberry twists them just short of their breaking points. The seemingly strong discovery their weaknesses and vice versa. Because of these well defined characters the story adds multiple levels of excitement and terror.
Let’s take Benny for example. A young man in love, struggling to prove himself as he’s constantly beseeched by zoms and vicious animals, fleeing bounty hunters, trying to evolve into a warrior like Tom, then looking for peace. As if that weren’t enough, he struggles with the idea that he didn’t kill Charlie Pink-eye. He’s got a lot on his plate!
The story moves at a great pace as it combines fear, love, respect, and cleaver wit in the dialogue.
Speaking of which, the dialogue was right on the money!
There were many memorable quotes and to each their own, but this was one of mine. “Gak! I have monkey breath.”
Dust & Decay was cleverly crafted for the young adult, but ANYONE with a heartbeat who likes to read must put this on their list. This is a first class zombie novel and I’m giving it 5 out of 5 hits on the zombie bulls eye! Dust & Decay will grab your attention from the first chapter until the last. You’ll feel the excitement, the horror, the love and the sorrow but in the end, it will leave a lasting impression as one of the best YA Horror novels on the market today.
Like others whom have already commented on Dust and Decay, I share the sentiment that it should be optioned for TV or film.
So how does the story turn out? Does Charlie pink-eye return to destroy Nix , Benny and the others? Do they find the plane? Do they finally shut down Gameland and make a new life for themselves?
Of course I’m not going to tell you. Buy the book,(go to our link “books” and get free goodies if you do) enjoy the adventure Jonathan Maberry has prepared for you then we’ll talk!