After reading the first book, Rot & Ruin, I had to know what happens next. Warning this review contains spoilers for Rot & Ruin.
Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Now, after months of rigorous training with Tom, Benny's zombie-hunter brother, Benny, Nix, Lilah the Lost Girl, and Chong are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future.
But from the start, everything goes wrong. They are pursues by the living dead, wild animals, and insane murderers, and are faced with the horrors of a rebuilt 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?
My Bookish Likes:
I enjoyed the action in this book. In the second book Maberry seems to get better at writing action. Maybe I've just gotten used to his writing style or short choppy sentences, but this book seemed to read better than the first. There also is a lot more action as the group leaves the safety of home into the unknown.
I also quite enjoyed the twists. Although I saw most of them coming, I still like the twists and turns that come in this book. I can't say any more than that without revealing a clue... Charlie Pink-Eye!
The new characters were also a great addition! There are a ton of new bounty hunters and loners introduced. Most have a rich backstory that Benny knows either form zombie cards (traded like baseball cards) or from stories his brother Tom has told him.
And not everything is fully explained. For the first time since First Night (when the zom plague started), we see people dying and not reanimating as zoms. It doesn't happen to everyone and is unpredictable but wow does it change the game for Benny, Nix, and Lilah.
My Bookish Mehs:
The overall plot was a bit chopped in two. While I loved the second half of the book and couldn't put it down, the first half dragged and dragged. The entire book takes place over the course of just a few days but seems much longer.
Also, the structure for description was a bit here and there. Maberry can spend two pages describing Benny's attempt to get across a field to get to Nix, but one sentence on a main character's death. The writing just doesn't seem balanced.
The multiple narrators gave me a bit of a turn. I understand why the author uses this particular literary device and yes it does make sense for the story, it still drives me crazy. Within the same chapter there could be 5 or more narrators. It just seemed like too much switching back and forth.
Even with all of the structure and stylistic issues I have with Maberry's writing, I am still going to read the next book. He creates characters that are well rounded and got me to invest in their future. Also, the fact that this series has 5 books and novellas keeps me wanting to know what is going to happen next. Do they ever find the jet that they saw at the end of book one? What about Lilah and Chong? Do the dead continue to stay dead?
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
About the Reviewer:
Kristen is 29 years old and stays busy teaching 6th grade in a small town in Oregon. She loves her husband, dogs, cooking, and Harry Potter books. If she had more time, she would create her own book blog, but for now she collects books for her classroom library.