Dust & Decay

Dust & Decay

4.28 (14,691 ratings by Goodreads)
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Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It's also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny's zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny's best friend Lou Chong are going with them. Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of 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? In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything...and not everyone in Benny's small band of travelers will make it out alive.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 519 pages
  • 146 x 217 x 46mm | 581g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint ed.
  • 1442402350
  • 9781442402355
  • 425,857

Review quote

"Maberry knows this world well; when the zombie apocalypse comes down, I want him on my team."
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Rating details

14,691 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 50% (7,273)
4 34% (5,034)
3 13% (1,871)
2 2% (350)
1 1% (163)

Our customer reviews

After being so hyped up on ROT & RUIN, of course I rushed to devour DUST & DECAY like a good zombie who needed a fresh new brain. Was it as tasty as its predecessor? Let me tell you, dear Readers, this sequel was slicker and smarter, but it was simply an extra side of appetizer before the main course begins. THE GOOD BITS {The Imura brothers in action.} Now that Tom and Benny have fully commited themselves to the "family business" and plan to set out into the Ruin in search of answers, the action packed into DUST & DECAY channels the same intensity as its predecessor. I already knew Tom Imura was cool, but holy smoky eyes, does he ever dish out the badass and demonstrate why he is a force to be reckoned with! Smart, strong, honorable, innovative - Tom embodies the ideal hero figure. Even better, Benny gets to prove his worth this time around. Much more mature, thoughtful, and less whiny - he follows in Tom's footsteps and shows promise into being just as strong and amazing as his older brother. {The Zombie Cards come to life!} It is like Jonathan Maberry and I (plus illustrator) hopped onto the same brainwave after ROT & RUIN because the featured Zombie Cards in DUST & DECAY actually played a role this time. The cards weren't just eye candy - they entered the scene and took it by storm when the going got tough and bloody. I loved the diversity of the bounty hunters - good, bad, newbie, experienced, funny, wacky, solitary - they made an already spectacular zombie story into something even more memorable. From surfer dudes to roller derby queen to woodland hermit, they show that courage can be found from any background - and also that anyone can become a survivor. {The suspense.} If you read the book jacket or any sort of summary, you know that our band of heroes do not make it very far into the Ruin - and ultimately land in Gameland. It sounds like a pretty straightforward plot, but Jonathan Maberry milked the journey for all its worth! Introducing new characters both good and bad, having old characters disappear or break away from each other, DUST & DECAY will be sure to make you wonder how everything fits together. It seems pretty strange to watch how quickly the world falls apart since ROT & RUIN, but given the zombocalypse, I suppose nothing is permanent - and everything is always mutating. THE BAD BITS {Not much progress since Book 1.} Don't get me wrong, DUST & DECAY is an excellent stepping stone for the series. Yet, considering that we leave ROT & RUIN with the intent to find the mysterious jet, the characters did not make it too far in that direction. Gameland stood in their way. Leaving their hometown virtually defenseless and prey to other less honorable bounty hunters was not acceptable. Still... I wanted them to find more signs of an outside world in Book 2. This sense of not getting too far away from the beginning reminds me a little of LOST. I hope that Book 3 gets our characters to where they want to be - and that they all get to survive until then. {More deaths of certain characters.} *sigh* I really hate this part. I know that their deaths serve a purpose, but I wasn't ready for this to be the end! Have I mentioned that I quit reading any STAR WARS books since the death of Chewbacca? I was THAT devastated. The deaths in DUST & DECAY did not feel as powerful as those in ROT & RUIN - if that makes any sense. In ROT & RUIN, Jonathan Maberry drove home point that zombies are ex-humans who had loved ones, so the deaths played a part in delivering that message. DUST & DECAY did not have as clear a message, and the deaths seemed to prove that life was unfair and ugly sometimes. And there was ONE particular death that will totally change the whole scheme of things - and I hope that Book 3 will be strong enough to survive without this character! THE OVERALL I think DUST & DECAY served as another "Book 1" to get to know the characters as they mature and prepare themselves to face the harsh world in order to find answers. Whereas ROT & RUIN focused on the Imura brothers' relationship, DUST & DECAY begins to set the stage up for the group dynamics. I am sad that our characters had to leave their hometown behind with family and friends, but it will be exciting to see where their journey will take them.show more
by theEPICrat
Benny made it back from the Rot & Ruin only to start training with his brother, Tom, to leave again. After seeing the airplane fly over, Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Tom have been anxious to find out where it was going. Could there be civilization beyond the Rot & Ruin? Every day, Tom trains Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong. He prepares them to fight the Zoms they are sure to encounter on their long trek across the dangerous country. Everyone has different feelings about leaving home. Benny isn't sure he wants to leave FOREVER, but is willing to in order to be with Nix. Nix, who has nothing left, is desperate to leave behind all the bad memories. Lilah just wants to feel freedom and live outside the fences again. Tom decides he has to leave, since his countless pleas to the town leader's to build up defenses have fallen on deaf ears. Chong, without the permission of his parents, will be staying behind. Tom plans an overnight trip to help the kids practice living beyond the fences. Chong is given permission to accompany his friends for this short adventure, which gives him more time to spend with Lilah. The overnight outing doesn't go as planned though, and the kids are separated from each other and Tom. Evidence points to the possibility that Gameland is up and running again and, even worse, could Charlie Pink Eye still be alive? DUST & DECAY is filled with danger and excitement, love and hatred. It keeps the reader engaged from the first page to the last. The horrors the characters live through are heartbreaking. This is a zombie book that will bring you to tears. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
Wow, what a book! I could barely put this down, it is so intense and action packed. This is the second installment of the Benny Imura series, the first being Rot & Ruin. These are young adult thriller zombie books with a decidedly human twist. Dust & Decay sees Benny Imura, his brother Tom, and their friends Nix, Chong and Lilah sevens month after destroying Gameland. They have trained and are leaving the safety of town to go after the airplane they saw fly past, and to go after a different life. This book really drew me in, right from the first lines, and each chapter had me wanting to read the next one. Maberry's writing is often fast and abrupt, which adds to the pace of the book. I loved how the humour, tension, action and horror mixed with the human story and how invested we become in the characters. There were also some great twists and turns. I don't want to give anything away, but I even shed a few tears at the end, I was so wrapped up in the story. The addition of a page from Nix's journal here and there was a good one as it answered a lot of the questions about the back story and asked a lot of the same questions I had about the zombies and the Rot & Ruin. I enjoyed how the characters developed in this story, particularly Benny and Chong. Benny has really matured. I loved his ambivalence about going out into the Rot & Ruin as this seemed authentic and human. It would be difficult for most people to leave the world they know and its safety for the danger and uncertainty of a new life, especially a dangerous one. However, he has made his decision, and once he is out in the Rot & Ruin, his training and level headedness shows. Chong was also great and showed real growth. He seems authentic in his desire to go out into the Rot & Ruin, to have the adventure, but only for one day. He doesn't take the situation completely seriously, just a I could see many teens doing. The consequences of his actions put him in a position to show what he is really made of and examine himself, which he does. It is sad to see him lose his last shred of innocence, especially because I felt for him. There are also great female characters in this book in Nix and Lilah. They are strong and can fend for themselves, something missing in many books where the girls have to be saved all of the time or are only accidentally strong. Nix is smart and hurting from the events of the first book, but she can certainly hold her own. Lilah is all brawn and "street smart" but learns more about her human side as the book goes on. What I especially love about this series is how Maberry explores what it means to be human. Dust & Decay explores various themes along these lines: what it is to really live - is it OK to bury your head in the sand and exist and be safe, or is it better to take risks and be free and live?; the nature of evil - how intention and free will is needed to be evil; and how people act without laws - will evil and fear dominate with lawlessness, do we need a moral compass to tell us how to behave? Something I haven't mentioned yet are the zombies. Yes, this is definitely a zombie book and there are lots of zombies and graphically violent scenes. There is also an underlying level of violence to the whole book, between the zombies and the bounty hunters. I am not normally one for violent books, but the scenes do fit the story and do not seem out of place or gratuitous. I loved this book and would easily recommend it to those who like zombie or action and adventure books or are OK with violent scenes. There are great male and female characters in this book, which should appeal to both boys and girls. I can see the length being initially off putting for some kids, but if they can get into it, the fast pace should carry them along.show more
by Coreena McBurnie
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