Tag Archives: zombies

Rot and Ruin – Jonathan Maberry

Published 2010 

Zombies, zombies, zombies. The literary world may be overrun, but personally this is the first young-adult book I’ve read featuring the bitey undead. I must say, I liked this take on the trope. Benny Imura was barely a toddler when the world ended. His first memory is of his now-zombie father going after his mother, while his half-brother just runs, carrying Benny away forever. He hates them both: the zombie monsters, and the coward brother. When Benny turns 15, his rations will be cut in half if he doesn’t find a job. Finally, exhausting all other options, Benny has no choice but to apprentice in the family business: zombie hunting. He loves the idea of killing zombies, but isn’t keen on doing it with his brother – both attitudes which are soon put to the test when he has to face the realities of life outside the protective walls of the town.

Maberry’s zombie-mythology is absolutely brilliant, and though the zombies never lose their inherent danger or scariness he allows the reader to pity the creatures for the humans they had once been. This is a crucial part of Benny’s growth as a character as well, and though the novel is action packed, it really is about his emotional journey and the choices he makes about the kind of person he wants to be.  To get back to the action though, there were some really dynamic scenes, with my favourite being the horse charge – from my experience you don’t often get them in zombie stories and it was just one of those small things which add to the uniqueness of the novel.

Were there some aspects of the novel I thought could have been executed better? Definitely. For instance, a clear idea of Tom’s age earlier in novel would have eased confusion over why Benny was so convinced he was a coward for not saving their mother. What flaws the novel does have are easily overlooked though, and I enjoyed the read very much. I’d certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a mixed-genre adventure.

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The Inexplicables – Cherie Priest

The Inexplicables is the fourth book in the Clockwork Centrury series written by one of my favourite authors, Cherie Priest (is it fair for me to say that when I haven’t read her other series? I’m going to say yes, because it’s my blog). I pre-ordered the book aaages ago, and set it aside to read over Christmas as a treat, then I got sidetracked by books which had expiration dates. Oops.

The Clockwork Century is set in a steampunk world , where the US civil war still rages in 1880 ( a fictional extension of the war, I gather, but at the time of writing this cannot [be bothered to] look it up). Away from the war, and 18 years in the past, an experimental burrowing device has released noxious Blight gas from the earth under the city of Seattle: Gas which makes people sick, and dead…. and then undead; gas which has caused the city to be walled up to prevent its spread; and, finally, gas which has been made into a weapon, and turned into drugs for men to fight over. For more info, read Boneshaker, the first novel.

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