DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jul 27 2012

ShareReads: My Very Zombie Summer

by ShareReads

ShareReads intro

This was my very ambitious summer. Between summer school, work and other obligations, I was determined to read a few books for pleasure. I requested several books and even started a few but nothing would hold my attention. My only source of pleasure reading was article reviews and textbooks for class. Though my head was filling with knowledge, I still needed some form of escapism in the few precious moments of down time I had.

So when a friend suggested that I read Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry, I hopped on the Library’s catalog and requested the book. I mean, a book with zombies, conspiracy theories and secret agencies that protected the world, who could ask for anything more? I started reading it, but alas, life happened and there the book sat for weeks, waiting for me to continue my journey through its pages whenever I had a break in my schoolwork.

Then one day, I read a DCPLive blog post about a 5K obstacle course with zombies that included a list of a few good books to read. Imagine my excitement as I perused the list of the post-apocalyptic fiction. I mean, who doesn’t love a good zombie story right? So, I requested a copy of Rot and Ruin, Jonathan Maberry’s YA zombie fiction and could not put it down.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Rot and Ruin is about Benny Imura, a young teen who is about to turn sixteen, and is faced with finding a job or losing half of his food rations. He tries out for everything, wanting any job but a zombie hunter like his older brother Tom. His career choice will set off a chain of events that will forever change his life.

I was truly engaged with the story and amazed by the care that Maberry took with such a subject. It went beyond the simple see-zombie-run-from-zombie formula and grabbed the reader. Before I knew it, 464 pages passed me by and I do not want the story to end. Thankfully, there is a sequel, Dust and Decay, that just as enjoyable as the first book.

After reading both books, I think I will give Mr. Maberry’s Joe Ledger series another try now that I have a break from school and a taste for a zombie thriller.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Leigh P. July 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I hope you get more out of Patient Zero than I did. That’s one of the few zombie books I simply couldn’t stomach (no pun intended) – too much cliche, characters entirely too flat, physical cringing at some of the lines.

If you’re tired of the see-zombie-run-from-zombie formula (but why??? that’s great!!!), then try Bob Fingerman’s Pariah. It’s got humans running from zombies because you really can’t escape that but it’s got a deeper story, too. Try Alden Bell’s The Reapers are the Angels, too. That’s a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world that even I wouldn’t want to live in.

I think I’d be more the style of the characters in Tim Lebbon’s Bar None – the world ends, zombies everywhere, so why not risk your life to go to the last pub on earth?

Sandra H August 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I saw Jonathan Maberry give a talk at last year’s Decatur Book Festival. I hadn’t even heard of him before that talk, but it sounded pretty interesting and I made a mental note to read Rot and Ruin. But it’s been almost a year and I still haven’t! However, now that I know the library has it and its sequel, I will definitely be checking them out soon.

Speaking of zombies, I recently read Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard and absolutely loved it. It’s a touch steampunk and features a strong heroine who must battle zombies to save her brother during the post-civil war era in Philadelphia. It was such a fantastic novel!

Jeff E. August 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is my favorite zombie read so far. It is absolutely hilarious if you are familiar with “Pride and Prejudice.” I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy spar with more than just words!

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