“In the zombie-infested world Benny has grown up in, teenagers must work once they turn fifteen- or they’ll lose their food rations. Benny isn’t interested in taking on the family business, but he reluctantly agrees to train as a zombie killer with his boring big brother, Tom. He expects a dull job, whacking zombies for cash. What he discovers is a vocation that will teach him what it really means to be human.
As his world view is challenged again and again by the lessons he learns from Tom, Benny is forced to confront another horrifying reality: Sometimes the most terrifying monsters are human.”
-Synopsis from cover
In Rot & Ruin, zombies are very slow rotting dead that eat flesh and are easily avoidable. Bringing a pitying view to them as opposed to viewing them as flesh hungry monsters, something I’ve never seen before.
At first, I found Benny (protagonist) to be whinny, lazy, rude, and self-centered. Thankfully though as the book goes on, little Benny grows up some and eventually becomes likeable. I think my favorite character was Tom. He’s compassionate, loving, and completely badass. Obviously he’s the best bounty hunter (zombie killer) around. And Charlie Pink-eye and The Hammer were perfectly cast villains. There are plenty of people you love to hate in this book.
Above all else, Rot & Ruin is the first book in a very long time that moved me to tears. There are moments in this book that really tug on your heart strings. Even the driest of eyes will tear up at the end.
The only “hole” I found was the EMP that wiped out the electronics. I don’t remember an explanation for why there was an EMP after “First Night”. If I missed it, please let me know.
I was blown away by how much I loved this book. I knew that Rot & Ruin was about zombies, and that most book blogs had reviewed it. I figured I’d at least like it (my somewhat anti-romance point of view is very hard to please these days), but never dreamed I’d fall in love with it. The sequel, Dust & Decay, is definitely on my “to read” list. Five stars.