Author: Jonathan Maberry
Series: Benny Imura #2
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
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 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 & best friend Lou Chong are going with them.
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?
In the great Rot & Ruin, everything wants to kill you. And not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will survive.
*Deep breath* O M G… seriously? Jonathan Maberry has done it again! Dust & Decay is the 2nd book in the Benny Imura series, and it was just as great as Rot & Ruin. I feel like there is so much I want to say about this book, but don’t know where to even begin. I’ll try not to gush too much about how amazing it is, but no promises. Oh, and I LOVE the covers for Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay so much.
Dust & Decaypicks up 6 months after Rot & Ruin left off. Benny, Tom, Nix, and Lilah are all back in Mountainside, behind the fences safe and sound. Tom has been training them, preparing them for their departure from Mountainside, to head east. No one knows what lays beyond the mountains, what’s left of the world, but someone must be out there, because they saw the big jet fly that way. Tom, Benny, Nix, Lilah, decide to head out earlier than planned, and Chong is going along this time. But something strange is going on out in the Rot & Ruin… well, stranger than the usual zombie stuff. It isn’t long before they’re fighting for their lives.
I love, love, love that this book is set in an area I’m familiar with. The Sierra Nevada’s are practically my back yard, I even know the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite. It makes the story even better being able to imagine exactly where they are and the things they’re describing. It’s ten times more intense, and creepy. I also loved how we were introduced to the other bounty hunters, like J-Dog, Dr. Skillz, Sally Two-Knives, etc. It was interesting learning little things about them, like what they did before First Night, and how certain talents they had helped them survive.
The entries from Nix’s journal was a nice touch. I like getting inside her head, even when she’s just giving some zombie facts. She wants to learn and understand everything she can about the zombies. Nix isn’t content with staying ignorant and living a fearful life behind the gates of Mountainside. I really like that there are two strong female characters, Lilah and Nix. They survived such traumatizing experiences, but they kept fighting, never giving up. Of course I love the boys, too, even though I wanted to smack Chong a few times.
I swear, it isn’t often that a book gets me so engrossed, and so anxious to where I’m biting my nails. Yet, Maberry gets me to that point several times throughout Dust & Decay. Not only that, but he gets me to sob like a baby (don’t tell anyone). These things are what makes a great book to me. I want to go on a heart pounding adventure where I can feel the pain, the joy, the fear, everything the characters are experiencing, and this book does that. Dust & Decay left me breathless. I’m dying to read the next book, but it won’t be out until next year! -sigh- If you haven’t started this series, you need to. Immediately.