Series: Benny Imura, #1
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.In all honesty, I absolutely adore zombie novels. But for whatever reason, it's been impossible to satisfy me with zombies recently. They're all too... boring. They can't turn doorknobs, they shamble along and in all likeliness, their only purpose is a scare/action type factor. So, you can see where I'm going with this. Benny's zombies just weren't scary enough.
On the back of my copy of this book, it says "Benny Imura couldn't hold a job, so he took to killing". That makes him sound like the king of all badasses, but in the long run I didn't even really like him. As characters go, I thought that he was remarkably flat. He didn't have the emotion that I expected him to have, and... I didn't feel his drive. Like, I knew why he was doing things, but I couldn't feel it. There were no emotions behind him as a character.
I'm not going to lie, I didn't really care for the writing style either. It made the book a very slow read for me, even when the plot was really moving. I just kept trudging on and on. That was the only speed at which I could read Rot & Ruin, a trudge.
Don't get me wrong, the story was interesting enough. The plot was okay, and there were a few surprises... but it was bogged down by flat characters and I slightly confusing point of view. Most of the time, Benny was our narrator, but I noticed a few times that it was Tom, which was slightly awkward. I think that I just have a problem with third person writing. Maybe that's it.
I did like Tom, but he wasn't really in the book for very long. He had a great sense of justice, and he was wonderful when he was telling stories to Benny, which makes him one of the bright-ish spots in this novel. The ending was nice and gave me closure, but unfortunately... I don't really believe that I'll continue the series. All in all, Rot & Ruin just wasn't for me, no matter how much I wish that it was.