What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, October 4, 2013

Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry

Welcome to Creature Feature Friday! This is another of my new Halloween features here on FCB! Every week I'll pick a different..."creature" and we'll review a book that highlights that creature! This week, I've chosen ZOMBIES and no one writes them better than the incomparable Jonathan Maberry. This is the third year I've had a Halloween event on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books and the third year I've chosen to feature a book from Mr. Maberry's Benny Imura series. So yay! Glad to have another of his books to read and discuss! Here are the links to the reviews of Rot and Ruin and Dust and Decay. I'm going to avoid spoilers as best I can here, but if you haven't read books 1 and 2, well, A) you should have!! and B) it's hard to discuss this one without discussing some of the events in Dust and Decay. Also I need to note that the fourth and final(sad face) book of the series came out in August. I have not read it, because I just now read Flesh and Bone. I kinda save these as Halloween treats. Not even kidding. We'll see if I can handle that though, knowing that the FINAL book is out.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Reeling from the tragic events of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living. But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals escaped from zoos and circuses. They must raid zombie-infested towns for food and medical supplies. They discover the very real truth in the old saying: In the Rot & Ruin…everything wants to kill you. And what is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zoms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead? In Flesh & Bone, Benny Imura, Nix Riley, Lou Chong and Lilah the Lost Girl are pitted against dangers greater than anything they've ever faced. To survive, each of them must rise to become the warriors Tom trained them to be.
What I Liked: 1) Well, first things first, I have to say how much I love Mr. Maberry. Read his author's note in the beginning. It's beautiful, and explains how he found inspiration in his life for one of the major themes in Flesh and Bone. Just make sure you don't skip over it when you flip through to start the story. It's worth a read, and gives you some insight into the story you are about to explore. 2) Something happened at the end of Dust and Decay that drastically changed how Benny, Nix, Chong and Lilah were going about their journey to find the jet, and it really shapes the relationships and the mentalities of the main characters throughout Flesh and Bone. Mr. Maberry delves so deeply into those emotions that you really get to know these characters and see how they are growing up. But while he's gotten into some of the more serious side of things, he did not lose that...entertainment factor. I continue to find myself just so completely wrapped up in these stories. 3) There is a new story arc in this book, with some crazy new characters in Mother Rose and Saint John. This new element was a really great addition to the story (not that it wasn't already interesting) in that it brought a whole new dimension to an already intriguing story.

Now, I want to talk about the ZOMBIES for a minute. First off, I have read a fair amount of zombie stories. Not a whole lot, so I am not claiming to be an expert. But in my personal opinion, the zombies that author Jonathan Maberry has created in the Benny Imura series are the most interesting. First of all, no one knows what caused them to...exist as of First Night. And second of all...they seem to be EVOLVING! This is nuts! We saw a little bit of it in Dust and Decay, but it went to a whole new level in Flesh and Bone. Zombies that understand the subtleties of surprise and waiting to strike, instead of just lumbering around hoping to stumble over their next meal. And some of them are FAST! Oh geez. I just can't...so much! Like I said, there are so many surprises (including ones that I didn't mention here) with these zombies that I think they are the best out there in there in the YA lit world!

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I don't think I'll be able to handle is waiting until next October to read the fourth and final book of this series, Fire and Ash. Maybe I'll just have to read it and then save my thoughts for next Halloween. BWAH HA HA HA!

Overall Thoughts: Jonathan Maberry is the pinnacle of zombie writers! He creates this story around characters who are incredibly real, with gripping plot lines, and then he throws in these surprises with the zombies that just make me crazy. There is so much to enjoy about this book and I just don't even have enough words to say how awesome it is! If you haven't checked out this series, I highly recommend it.

My Rating: 5 Candy Corns


  1. I have only read the first and loved it. I have been holding off on the second because I heard a spoiler that killed me. SO I am waiting until I feel I can handle the real think in the book. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

  2. What a magnificent idea. I will try and check back on Fridays to see. I am always looking for good zombie books to read, haven't read many. This one sounds interesting.

  3. I was not a total fan of Maberry's Ghost Road Blues which I found unnecessarily ponderous but the Rot & Ruin series is awesome. The characters are either likable or appropriately despicable and the stories all contain surprises that dazzle. Maberry has a great imagination and is a masterful writer of action and suspense. I've read the whole series and there isn't a bad book in the bunch.


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