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Dust & decay
Book
2012
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

The jumbo jet spotted near the end of Rot & Ruin (2010) has not been forgotten. The world's last group of samurai trainees, which includes 15-year-old Benny, his girl Nix, his friend Chong, and former feral warrior Lilah, is following Benny's closure expert brother, Tom, into the unprotected zombie wilds of America to find the plane. But unexpectedly thick hordes of flesh-eaters tear their group apart almost instantly. Separated, the isolated groups uncover the dark secret of the resurrected Gameland, a gladiator-style arena where bets are placed on zombie-versus-prisoner fights. Maberry packs a lot into this sequel multiple points of view, new zombie evolutions, various romances, yet another climactic battle royale but he can intercut action with the best of them, ending most of the 80 chapters with effective cliff-hangers. As with the first book, grief pervades all the bloodshed, and pathos is built before the zombification and death of even minor characters. Maberry knows this world well; when the zombie apocalypse comes down, I want him on my team.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

The zombie attacks are bigger, betterand gorierin this nearly non-stop action sequel to Rot Ruin (2010).With a quick recap of events from the first novel, this account picks up seven months after 15-year-old Benny Imura and his "closure expert" stepbrother Tom rescued "Lost Girl" Lilah, killed ruthless zombie hunter Charlie Pink-eye and witnessed the only jet since First Night turned the dead into monstrous zombies. Since the brothers' return to their fenced California town, Tom has been training Lilah, Benny, Benny's girlfriend Nix and Benny's best friend Chong to battle zoms in the manner of Japanese warriors. They need these skills as they set out into the surrounding lawless terrain to find the jet. Their journey is interrupted, however, by Preacher Jack and White Bear, who have taken over Pink-eye's territory, reinstated Gameland (gladiator-style arena games that pit children against zoms) and promulgated bizarre religious beliefs. When not trying to survive any one of these perils, the teens continue to contemplate the meaning of First Night and love in an uncertain time. Their terrifying situations stimulate more debate on the true nature of humans, while a host of savory secondary characters adds to the thrill.A cinematic ending with lingering unanswered questions and plenty of zombies still lurking in the unknown sets the scene for the next installment. (Science fiction. 13 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
"The zombie attacks are bigger, better--and gorier--in this nearly non-stop action sequel to Rot & Ruin " ( Kirkus Reviews ). Winner of the Bram Stoker Award. <br> <br> 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 been 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.<br> But before they even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town, and 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?<br> In the great Rot & Ruin, everything wants to kill you. And not everyone in Benny's small band of travelers will survive....
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