Rot and Ruinzzzzz

Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

I'm not going to rate this with stars because I didn't finish it; however, the fact that I didn't finish it should tell you enough.

I am doubly disappointed.  There's, of course, the usual disappointment at realizing a book is just not for you.  In addition, it seems like literally the entire internet loved this book.  My friends also loved this book.  Alas, I just couldn't get into it.

I thought long and hard about abandoning this book.  I did.  Well, one major factor in that was that I paid for it.  Okay, so it was an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal, but whatever.  That's still like $1.00 I'll never get back, right?  Not to sound mercenary.  Then, I wondered if I was judging this in comparison with other zombie-type books I've read.  There really isn't a lot of action in here, and there's a lot of musings about morality and humanity.

Then I realized that that's kind of the point of most zombie books (apart from the UGHGHGHH UNDEAD) aspect of them--they explore what it means to be human.  Maberry really isn't breaking new ground here with Benny's worldview crisis: he's always thought of zoms as mindless monsters, not as former humans with families who loved (and still love) their reanimated loved ones.  This theme comes up repeatedly in zombie lit.  Maberry just takes a really.  Long.  Time.  Talking about it.

I just didn't feel anything for these characters.  They were ... there.  Benny was frustratingly dense.  You know he's going to have this major epiphany and start feeling for the zombies and so forth, but it's so dragged out that I felt tired just reading about all of his feelings.

The other feelings-related issue I had was with his romance/no-romance/what-is-this-even with Nix, his childhood friend.  Mostly they stare deeply into each other's eyes and then Beeny feels emotionally inadequate.

S.R. Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science teach us that for every reader there is a book, and for every book there is a reader.  Rot and Ruin and I must go our separate ways.

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