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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

on 18 December 2011
Dust and Decay is the follow up to the superb Rot and Ruin. As all that remains in Mountain Side is bad memories and boredom the crew which is Benny, Tom, Lilah, Nix and Chong (all though Chong is only planning to spend the night and then return to Mountain Side) set out into the vast plains of the Rot and Ruin in the slim hope of tracking down the mysterious passenger jet that flew off East into the distance. And unfortunately things go bad very early with a very strange but dangerous encounter with a Rhino! From that point things continue to get worse the further they venture into the Rot and Ruin.
Things get a lot more interesting after that and they also get split up after Chong goes missing. So suddenly the formidable team turns into scared stragglers. Also we see a lot more of Gameland in this book as it was only mentioned in Rot and Ruin as a few of the characters are thrown in themselves, this shows the reader why the characters in Rot and Ruin always frowned in disgust when it was mention because it really is something sick and disturbing. Gameland is where the force kidnapped children to fight for their lives in pits full of zombies.
This book really impressed me as the world feels so real and believable which is a very hard thing to do considering its based in apocalyptic world full of zombies. The characters are easy to relate too but for me personally Nix is just annoying. But they are all well rounded and again believable. The book has a really sad ending and I was genuinely sad. For me this is the best Young Adult zombie book out and I have read quite a few so I have a decent experience on this genre.
Judging by the ending there will be a third instalment to the series and I can't wait.
Hope I was helpful.
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on 3 October 2017
great series
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on 21 September 2017
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on 7 March 2017
I appreciate this is a zombie book and therefore very much out there at the get go. But much of what happens in this book was a joke. (Maybe spoilers) I was annoyed by the ridiculous ending of the first book (Let's get a group of people surrounding another with a bunch of guns and somehow managing not to get a shot off let alone hit any of the opposing group) but the rest was enough to give the second a go.

Firstly all the people being against violence even against the undead (They would protect a community of undead and kill 9 living people to do that?). Apparently the zombie's are stimulated by movement, noise and smell (Smell's covered) but the characters talk, shout and scream non stop in zombie country,. It contradicts everything the book is based on.

So the 15 year old's have been in training for months yet they are taken out of the community and given nothing more than wooden swords with which to protect themselves...These same 15 year old's manage to panic, ending up on their back sides at every encounter with zombies and then manage to overcome insurmountable odds at the culmination.

There were far more issues than mentioned but ultimately even though I find the protagonists in most zombie books a bit to good to be true but I much prefer to this drivel.
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on 28 July 2013
The one thing that really stood out for me in Rot & Ruin was that I started off almost completely disliking the ungrateful brat Benny Imura. However, in the course of the book he grew so much that by the end I really really liked him, which to me is the sign of a very good book.

Dust & Decay picks up a few months after the end of Rot & Ruin, with the same old gang of Benny, the more-than-slightly-swoonworthy Tom, Nix and Lilah preparing for a journey to find out the destination of the jet they sighted at the end of Rot & Ruin.

In some ways, Dust & Decay is a little bit of a repeated formula of Rot & Ruin - there are goodies, baddies and a whole bunch of the living dead who have more than a dash of Maberry-zombie-genius in their creation. But although it seems a little bit formulaic, it's certainly action-packed and there's very little downtime as the plot also moves on at a pretty brisk pace.

Once again, the good characters are admirable, strong and I couldn't help but cheer for them, and the baddies are despicable, terrible people that you kinda want to die in a horribly grisly brain-munching kinda way. Jonathan Maberry puts a lot of work into his characters - making them believable with realistic dialogue and bonding them together through shared experiences under difficult circumstances.

Along with the usual crew, there are new characters introduced, and their stories further expand the world-building that was started in Rot & Ruin. What I've always loved about Jonathan Maberry is that he can take seemingly ordinary characters and make them into heroes by their actions and attitudes rather then a sudden discovery of never-tapped martial arts or weapons skills.

I really enjoyed going back to the world of the Rot and Ruin, and with Benny as a more likable character, I liked this one a little more than Rot & Ruin, despite the ending (if you've read it, you probably know what I mean....). And I'm excited to get started on Flesh & Bone before the fourth book, Fire & Ash, is released in September.
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on 20 April 2012
I love zombie novels, they are one of my favourite genres and I am guaranteed to buy or borrow anything with even the hint of shuffling undead. World War Z has a permanent place on my bedside table so I was drawn to this series when I heard about it.

I just finished the last page of this book and my heart is pounding and my mind is reeling. In this series (beginning with Rot and Ruin) Jonathan Maberry has created a wholly realistic world, peopled with incredibly human characters. There are bad guys (although never who you would expect) and good guys (who have their own flaws), living in a California devastasted by the zombie crisis 14 years before.

I was completely drawn in to this book, so much so that I devoured (ha!) all 500 pages in an evening. The twists and turns of the plot always felt fresh and surprising and Maberry has bought something new to the zombie genre, bringing me to a place where I can even pity the zombie -always whilst fearing too of course.

There is the traditional gore, but unlike other zombie novels this has a depth to the exciting plot, characters that you can care about, well written exciting scenes that will take your breath away and even...dare I say it...a little bit of teenage love-although this never goes further than a lot of angst and a tiny bit of kissing. It all feels so natural, so much a part of the story that I wasn't put off by it. Refreshingly there are some fantastic female characters who do not mope and whinge, do not rely on the male members of the group to protect them and do not use their burgeoning sexuality at all. They get out there and are part of the team, they struggle like the others and survive like the others.

I am impressed. I rarely buy new books nowadays but I'll be buying this one, the first one and any others in this series that come along, on the proviso that Mr Maberry continues to hold my rapt attention in the way he did in this book. Bravo.
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on 4 April 2012
Engaging, human, exciting, character-driven, beautifully written. Fine work sir.
The author exposes the fragility of human decency and the simplicity and ease with which people may sink to the depths of evil wonderfully. Throughout these books Mr Maberry develops his characters in a wonderfully human and believable way, despite the unreal setting and extraordinary trials they face. The obvious villains he presents us with in Charlie pinke-eye's brood are just the rotten face of the "ordinary" men and women of Benny and Tom's fenced community, the truest perpetuators of misery in the tale. The analogies in this book between modern developed nations and third world countries are obvious to me, and very enjoyable.
Benny Imura is a potentially unforgettable hero in the making, to rival even his supernaturally cool brother Tom. Benny's development has been funny, touching, hard to read, and wonderful to see. I simply cannot wait to meet these characters again, who already feel like old friends, in the third book. When I grow up, Iwantto write like Jonathan Maberry .

Just read it. You won't regret it, but first pick up Rot & Ruin, the 1st book where you'll meet Benny and Tom Imura, the lost girl and all the rest.
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on 9 September 2012
This is the second in the series that starts with "Rot and Ruin". As other reviewers have said, it is supposed to have been aimed at the "teen" market, but please don't let that put you off. It is a clever, and thought provoking series and a head and shoulders above other so called "young adult" market books. I'm in my 5th decade and loved it! Indeed Mabury's whole take on the zombie genre is interesting and goes well beyond the usual superficial "blast 'em before they bite you" format - especially in the first book "Rot and Ruin". This second novel moves at a much faster pace than the first, introduces several new characters that I would hope we get to see some more of in the third book when that finally comes out.
Loved it.
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on 6 November 2011
After being completely taken in by the premise and story of Rot & Ruin, I couldn't wait to read this sequel; and it didn't disappoint. The story grabs from the start, and it's a roller coaster ride full of action, adventure, and fantastic characters. Fairly graphic at times, but always engrossing, and with a sucker punch ending that leaves the reader stunned; this is probably my favourite Jonathan Maberry novel so far. Oustanding piece of work which balances the sublime and the scary effortlessly.
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on 1 December 2014
I bought the whole series, all four books. Two books in so far and enjoying them. If you like a good Zom novel then these are an excellent choice, I won't go into plots etc but you wont be disappointed. I am looking forward to reading the last two in the series.

It's official, Maberry can write!!!!!!
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