Dust and Decay - Jonathan Maberry

4.5 Stars


“Courage is tricky, oily. Easy to drop, easy to misplace."
"I thought that if you had courage you always had it.". . .
"Lilah, nothing is always there. Not courage, not joy, not hate or hope or anything else. We find courage, lose it, sometimes misplace it for years, and sometimes live in its grace for a while.”

That seems to be the theme of this book. At some point and time everyone is human, loses their resolve and needs a little help to find the courage to move forward and to fight.

Dust and Decay starts seven months after the end of the Rot and Ruin. Benny and Nix have been training with Tom to be ready after the winter to start the trek east to find the plane. Chong has been training to but that is more about Lilah then anything else. Lilah has been living with the Chong family and well, Chong is smitten but she is totally oblivious to his feelings and will be leaving with Tom, Benny and Nix. But after they leave town things go horribly wrong.

Chong has tagged along for the first day for some real Rot and Ruin experience and to spend some last moments with Lilah but before they know it they run into unexpected dangers and while Chong is book smart he is Ruin stupid and makes all the wrong choices.

This book was some non-stop adventure and action once our group leaves for the Rot and Ruin. With Tom leaving the area someone is trying to take up all the territory and make a name for themselves. Lawlessness abounds and the Zoms are starting to do strange things, they are congregating and moving in large packs at faster speeds. There are rumors of a new Gameland and even worse villains than Charley Piny-Eye. With everything trying to kill them there is no way there won’t be any casualties.

Nix, I love her she is so strong and determined even though she is terrified and dealing with all the loses she undertook in the first book. She is still haunted by the pain of Charlie Pink-Eye and the death of her mother. I love her and Benny’s fierce devotion to protecting each other. It is not a touchy, feely, squishy kind of love but it is obvious that it is love none the less.

Chong, well he makes plenty of mistakes…so so many mistakes. Chong, through it all searches for some redemption and a way to make up for the mistakes he has made. I admire the devotion of everyone in the group to each other. They are all willing to stand up to any obstacle and protect one another out of love and not fear or hate.

Lilah has been alone for so long with no one and nothing to care for or about. What happens to our fearless lost Girl when she is given friends and a make shift family. It was a very good portrayal of the conflict and new emotions that someone might have to go through when they begin to be a part of a social group after so long in isolation.

…….And Tom. I don’t know where to start on this, my feeling for him are everywhere after reading this. Tom is my favorite character of the book. He is the ultimate hero, who doesn’t know he is a hero. He is ever leading by example and asks nothing for himself. He is a good brother, a great friend and all his actions are rule by a love of those around him.

“Generosity could be as contagious as the zombie plague as long as enough people were willing to be carriers.”

It seems like there is still a lot in store for all the characters as they finally push farther east to find what became of the rest of civilization. I can’t wait to see where the next installment of the series goes.