Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

I absolutely love reading Jonathan Maberry, but I kind of have a beef with him right now. The guy writes so damn fast that I can't keep up with his releases! It's been a while since I finished his excellent Pine Deep Trilogy and his first Joe Ledger book, Patient Zero, but since then, he's put out two more Joe Ledger books with a third one dropping any time now, Rot & Ruin AND its sequel, Dust & Decay AND a stand alone zombie novel, Dead of Night! The guy's fingers must be smoking! But, how can I complain? Once you've read Maberry, you just can't get enough!

Anyway, on to the review. I finally got a chance to read Rot & Ruin and I've got to tell you - in a genre that has been blasted with every kind of zombie story there is, Maberry has written what I might consider to be the best one yet and the funny thing is, it's a YA title. But, just because Rot & Ruin is a YA title, don't let that dispel you from reading it. This is hands-down one of the most realistic takes on how the world carries on after the zombie apocalypse. Maberry doesn't dumb things down for the teen audience and his world is dreary, gritty and filled with challenges both physical and emotional.

Rot & Ruin follows Benny Imura, who was just an infant when the zombie apocalypse occurred. Now a teen, Benny must find a job or else his food rations will be reduced. After trying and failing at several, he decides he wants to become a zombie killer like his older brother Tom. What Benny doesn't understand is that killing zombies isn't all its cracked up to be and his brother Tom isn't exactly the person Benny thought he was and that sometimes, the living can be more dangerous than the walking dead.

Rot & Ruin has been the recipient of too many awards to list here, but I can tell you this - it deserves every one of them. This is a beautifully told story that just leaps off the page. The characters and the environment feel real and the emotional aspect of life after the zombie apocalypse is equally as intense. I absolutely loved this book and look forward to discovering what happens next in Dust & Decay and thanks to Jonathan's smoking fingers, I can jump right in. Rot & Ruin gets ***** out of *****.

Order Rot & Ruin for your Kindle today. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Revisiting Old Friends

Ahhh,Spring is in the air! It's that special time of year when the mornings are crisp but comfortable, the trees and plants are slowly sprouting back to life and the afternoons are rife with pollen particles that turn your red car yellow and your nose red with sneezing fits.

Yes, Spring is all about renewal and reawakening, so to that I say, what better time to catch up with some old friends? Now, I am usually not one to re-read books that I have already read. It's just not something I do. With so many new stories waiting to be discovered, why would I want to re-read a book that I already finished? It just never made sense to me. But, lately I have been in a reminiscing type of mood. I find myself wanting to re-read some of my all-time favorites.

Thus far, I have traveled back to Zephyr, Alabama, where a boy named Cory Mackenson had to deal with a wonderful array of problems, including solving a particularly nasty murder. Currently, I'm spending some time in a little town in Maine where a group of kids are about to be confronted by a sinister clown.

I'm also taking a cross-country trip through Armageddon with a huge wrestler named Black Frankenstein and a little girl with the nickname, Swan.

These three books, Boy's Life, IT and Swan Song, easily rank among my top three favorite novels of all time and it's been a while since I've read them. The interesting thing is that while reading them for a second time, it does feel like I am discovering them all over again. There are many scenes that fit comfortably within my memory, while other scenes seem bright and new, as if the authors somehow added new information since the last time I read them. It's funny how re-reading a story you've already read can be just as rewarding as it was your first time through.

Well, like I said, my time in Zephyr is already done and that was indeed quite a wonderful visit, and I'm finding Derry and Armageddon to be just as exciting as ever. These latter two books are hefty, so I'll probably be revisiting them for a while, but that's OK. Once these two tomes are complete, I think I'll pass by Oxrun Station and from there maybe pay a visit to Erl King Hill, who knows? Or, maybe by that time summer will be in full swing and it will be time to find some new friends.

What about you? Have you revisited any old friends lately? Tell me about them, maybe I know them too.