Rot and Ruin - Jonathan Maberry

Rot & RuinRot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book in a review challenge from Swedish Zombie, and I started reading it just after finishing with a very long and complicated hard SF novel by Peter Hamilton. This might not have been completely fair to Rot and Ruin. I spent the whole first third of the book being annoyed at the main character for being an idiot when he in fact was being a pretty ordinary teenager.

Basis of the book is this: two brothers live together in a small town of survivors about 14 years after First Night, the outbreak of the unknown cause for everyone dying rising again a while later with a mindless urge to consume anything living. The older brother is a zombie hunter while the younger is just trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Then stuff happens. Perceptions change and in the end the read’s been told a fairly engaging story.

In some way this felt like The Passage light. There’s a strange young girl and a young man finding himself in this one too but the storytelling seems aimed at more inexperienced readers. I use that term instead of Young Adult or Teenagers because age have very little to do with it. I would just as soon put this in the hands of an adult who is rediscovering reading or someone who just want something fun and light while sunning at a resort.

At the start I was pretty sure I was going to be annoyed the whole way through the book but in the end I wouldn’t mind reading more by the author and even a continuation of the book. I also have a sneaking suspicion that if this was filmed I would be hopelessly mooning over Tom (the older brother) even though he is a bit too good to be true at times, even his faults were endearing.

One thing the author does very well is balance the gender roles. Contrary to many post apocalyptic novels both males and females are allowed in any role they feel they could manage but despite this the gender identity is not erased to be replaced with some kind of hard-ass male template. Women are women, just women who can also kick ass when needed. There might not be terribly many women portrayed in Rot and Ruin but those that are feel real, and in the end that’s what matters most.


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  • Sooz
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