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 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.
Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But 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?
In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.
Let me get off my chest first:
It took me a couple of moments to get over how young Dust and Decay sounded to me. I tried to recall what it was about Rot and Ruin that had me gushing over it the to begin with. And counting back, I realize that book was one of the first zombie books I'd ever read. I was deeply impressed by how none-scary the story was; It's message was actually quite positive and, at the time, new to me (the past "humanity" of zombies and all that,) but as good as I recall my reading experience was. The young tone of this one was a little difficult to get past. And that's with me considering how awesome I found Tom and and how funny I found Ben to be (still do in fact.)
My complaining is now over because even with said youngish tone, I still loved it!
I'd forgotten how funny Benny could be. But what came as a surprise was Tom's humor. They're all funny. The last zombie book for boys that I read was a letdown given it being tad too descriptive with characters not as humorous as I have come to like. Which is why I enjoyed Rot and Ruin and now Dust and Decay all the more; both books are scary and funny in equal measure.
And there are so many surprising twists in this one, both good and bad ones. I'd been looking forward to the sen samurai Tom, but I what I got wasn't that *sad face.* And the kids got old. In the first book Benny's actions were spurred by his need to save Nix. In this one, there's a little more to their relationship. Except now both of them are unsure as to where to start. They're sweet. The romance not ending with them, Chong and later Lilah surprised me. I enjoyed reading how things (did not) develop. But it wasn't the romance that pointed to their getting old; they each had difficult decisions to make.
There be blood, gore, fire but also heartbreak.
*Much thanks to S&S galleygrab