Review – Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

dust & decayDust & Decay is the second book in the Benny Imura series.  All I can say is the Jonathan Maberry can really craft a story that appeals to males, females, adults and teens.

It’s been six months since Benny and the crew defeated Charlie pink-eye.  Tom is training them all to become warrior smart.  They are planning to go back out into the Rot & Ruin – probably for good.  They want to track the origin of the plane that they saw and find what is out there.  As you can imagine, things don’t go quite as planned.

In one of my status updates, I said something that pretty much sums up my feelings about the world that Benny lives in – “it is horrifying to think of what people will still do to each other even after the world has fallen apart.”  While there are plenty of ‘good’ people, there are always going to be those who try to profit or gain power during struggles.  Maberry brings that realism to the story and it creates the conflict for our protagonists.  The real fight is with other humans and not the zombies.  That is the success of this series and why so many people, including myself, love it.  You may fear the zombies (after all they will mindlessly kill you given the opportunity) but, for the most part, you begin to pity them.  It’s other people that are the true threat.

I’m not going to give too much away because I hope that you will read this series.  And, if you’ve already read it, you don’t need me to tell you how wonderful it is.  Benny, Nix, Morgie and Chong still have a lot of growing up to do.  And, we find that Lilah isn’t quite as tough as she believes.  All of them make so many mistakes but you can’t help continuing to pull for them.  Tom is already a hero – that’s why the other bounty hunters either love or hate him.  Seeing his friends rally was one of the best parts of Dust & Decay.

We do still have a lot of questions about the world and the origin of the zombie outbreak – who, what, where and WHY?  Maberry uses Nix’s journal entries to show the reader that he is not ignoring those questions or lacking in world-building.  He is allowing us to learn these things along with the characters.  Nix asks every question I have about the zombies so we know that Maberry has a plan.  These writing details make for a fuller and better story.

The ending – well, yes, I was gutted.  That’s all I can say through the tears.

5/5 stars and highly recommended.  Worth every penny!


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