Friday, January 11, 2013

Review - Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry

“Don’t forget the first rule about the RUIN; out here everything wants to kill you.”

Flesh and Bone is the third novel in the Benny Imura series. The story picks up a month after the devastating events of Rot & Ruin. Benny Imura, Nix Riley, Lilah the Lost Girl and Lou Chong are still searching for the mysterious plane they saw while trying to come to terms with Tom’s shocking loss.

They have left California behind, and are now in Nevada where Nix and Benny are having issues with their relationship and Lilah is coming to terms with her feelings for Chong. Things in the Ruin are also quickly changing. It appears that the zombies are getting faster and have a general understanding of what is happening around them while animals are now appearing as infected and causing problems for the group.

I have not read the novella Dead & Gone before picking up Flesh Bone. I probably should have and may do so sometime in the near future since many new characters appear and make an immediate impact on Benny & Crew. Maberry introduces readers to Riot, Eve and her family, as well an organization called the Night Church and its psychotic leader Saint John of the knives who is just plain evil in every way imaginable.

There’s also Mother Rose who leads a group known as Reapers who follow the doctrine of the Night Church and the god Thanatos by crossing the country killing everyone who refuses to join their crusade. Mother Rose also has a few choice secrets of her own that slowly unravel as the story reaches its pinnacle.

Not everything is dark and dreary or foreboding this time out. We have the arrival of Captain Joe Ledger of the Rangers and his zombie killing dog Grimm to the story. Fans of “Patient Zero” will immediately recognize who Captain Ledger is. I must say that Joe’s arrival was a pleasant surprise and one that I hope continues over the course of the next installment. There is a definite past between Joe and Saint John that I would love to see played out in this series.

We’re also discovering that the world didn’t exactly end on FIRST NIGHT as most believed when Benny and Nix discover all sorts of interesting things. They also learn that there is a place called Sanctuary run by the Children of God Monks and it appears that a new American nation is attempting to rise up out of the ashes left by the destruction of FIRST NIGHT.

Flesh & Bone is action packed and emotional right from the onset as Benny and crew are forced to fight against not only zombies, but the Reapers and infected animals as well. I’m happy to say that Maberry has once again written an outstanding novel that has everything I expect from a horror/dystopian novel. I’m definitely looking forward to reading Fire and Ash when it releases September 26th 2013.

Author - Jonathan Maberry
Title -  Flesh and Bone (Benny Imura # 3)
Publisher - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released - September 11, 2012
Genre - YA, Dystopian, Horror


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