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Fire and ash
Book
2013
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

It's been less than a year since the events of Rot & Ruin (2010), but hundreds of pages of grueling adventure have transpired on the way to this fourth and final volume, which happens to be the best since the original. Benny and his band of post-apocalyptic samurai find themselves positioned for the kind of battle royale at which Maberry excels. In the first corner of this four-cornered conflict, our heroes; in the second, the burgeoning American Nation government; in the third, tens of thousands of cult assassins; and in the fourth, the endless streams of zombies, many of them mutating in speed and intelligence. With the help of ex-military bad-ass Joe Ledger, the gang hunts down the cure, hopefully in time to rescue almost-zombie Chong. Even those who felt the middle volumes touched upon overkill will be taken by this finale, which manipulates the large cast with wonderful clarity. Best of all is the epilogue, which poignantly brings us full circle. Time for Mr. Maberry to enjoy a different kind of R&R he deserves it.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Maberry delivers a fitting conclusion to his popular Rot Ruin series. Filling in back story throughout, this fourth novel picks up three weeks after Benny and his teen allies discovered the elusive jet that guided much of the series' story arc. Now bunkered in a monastery that also serves as a government laboratory, they await the fate of their friend Chong, who was bitten by a zombie at the end of the third novel. As the teens search for a missing government researcher who may just hold the antidote to the zombie plague, religious zealot and psychopath Saint John continues his genocidal holy war, using an army of living dead. The focus of this novel is less on gory battles (though there are still plenty to keep fans entertained) and more on successfully tying together the characters and storylines from the series. The suspense comes instead from the teens' race to find a cure for Chong, save their hometown from zombie attacks and ultimately regain control in their part of the new American Nation. Benny's conscious realization that he has crossed over from boy to a man with a future ahead of him and that his generation must fix the problems of the previous one will particularly strike a chord with adolescent readers. In the end, this gripping zombie saga is really about Hope Love. (Science fiction. 13 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
In the gripping conclusion to the action-packed "standard bearer" ( Booklist ) of zombie series, the threat of death is given new life. <br> <br> Benny Imura and his friends have found the jet and Sanctuary--but neither is what they expected. Instead of a refuge, Sanctuary is a hospice, and the soldiers who flew the plane seem to be little more than bureaucrats who have given up hope for humanity's future. With Chong hovering between life and death, clinging to his humanity by a thread, Benny makes a startling discovery: A scientist may have discovered a cure for the zombie plague. Desperate to save Chong, Benny and his friends mount a search and rescue mission. But they're not the only ones on the hunt. The reapers are after the cure too, and they want to use it turn all the zombies into superfast shock troops--and wipe humanity off the face of the earth.<br> <br> In this riveting conclusion to the Rot & Ruin series, the battle to end all battles is just beginning.
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