... and get read for the next book!


Benny Imura may be a normal teenage boy, but the world he lives in is anything but normal. The America he lives in is infested with zombies and according to law, all teens must get a job by the age of 15. So Benny needs a job. He doesn't want to work with his brother Tom, but if he doesn't his rations will be cut in half. Left with no other choice, Bennie becomes an apprentice, working for Tom, who is a famous zombie hunter. As Benny sees it, he'll be spending his days beating up zombies for cash. What he didn't expect was a lesson on humanity and what it means to be alive. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (19):
Rot and Ruin is a great first dip into the zombie sub-genre. The world-building is incredible and you feel as though you are in the middle of a movie. The book does a great job of balancing the dynamic action with the more reserved story-telling aspects. From their different capabilities to the different theories behind them, you can clearly see how much work went into crafting these zombies into something unique to Rot and Ruin.

The relationship between Benny and Tom grounds this story and brings it all together. Watching the two of them explore this different world made every tense scene that much more thrilling. The story is very character-oriented from the main characters to the villains, which is what makes it such a good gem of this sub-genre. There are so many places for this story to take us and I can’t wait to see where that is.

While there isn’t much I disliked about the book, one thing I found to be a weak link was the character dynamic between Benny and Nix. There were moments that I found myself wondering how their characters had reached certain points. I like the idea behind them, but I wish it would have been constructed a little differently.

Overall, I enjoyed Rot & Ruin a lot. The few flaws take nothing away from just how enthralling this book is. I would recommend this for a teen audience given the mature themes. Plus, the zombies that may be a bit too much for younger readers. This book is an amazing gift if you know someone who normally likes zombies or shows like The Walking Dead. I would certainly buy this book over renting it, as you will want to have it in your collection when you read the next one.



Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Content Awareness Factors:

There is graphic violence, described in gory detail.

Type of Book:
This is the first book in a dystopian series where two estranged brothers come together to fight zombies.
Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 19
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. It is an enthralling read, and you're going to want to have it close by when you dive into the next book.

Title Rot & Ruin

Rot and Ruin, Book 1 of 5

Author Jonathan Maberry
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2010
ISBN 9781442402324
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction
be the star you are Cybils
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