Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop, Featuring Jonathan Maberry, author of Rot and Ruin series



Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop

December 27th to 31st

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm so excited to showcase my favorite book of the year, Rot and Ruin (part of a series of 4 books), and its author, Jonathan Maberry.

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1) 
Goodreads Book Description: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

My Review:  Several people that I really trust told me that I would love this book, and they were completely right. I've had this book on my to read list for a while. I was a little apprehensive because I have not been very impressed with any of the zombie YA books I've read. This includes the extremely hyped up "This Is Not a Test." Rot and Ruin, on the other hand, was intelligent, thoughtful, moving, and fast paced.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry focuses on Benny Imura, who was orphaned after First Night, when the first zombie outbreak took place 14 years ago. He was rescued by his brother, Tom, who is a skilled Bounty Hunter. Benny doesn't think much of his brother and thinks him a coward. In the beginning of the book, Benny tries to find a job that fits him. In the end, he realizes that he is destined to follow in his brother's footsteps, and that his brother is more than he seems to be.

It is hard to compress this wonderful book into a synopsis without giving away its wonderful secrets. Let's just say that this book develops layer after layer, each one more intricate and thoughtful than the last. Maberry does a masterful job of world building. Zombies are more than just zombies-- the remaining humans have created a culture around them. All of their jobs, etc, have to do with living their lives free of zombies. Then there is the Rot and Ruin where the zombies roam free where Bounty Hunters are paid to put zombies down. Even that is treated with a reverence and thoughtfulness that I thought remarkable. The characters are many layered as well, as three dimensional as you get. Benny starts off as an annoying, bratty adolescent who then is confronted with darkness much scarier than the zombies and has to grow up too fast. Then there is Nix, who is a wonderful female counterpart. Tom, Benny's brother, may have been my favorite character and I may just have a little bit of a crush on him. And then another character is introduced that is incredibly intriguing, whom I think we will learn more about in future books.

I could go on and on about how wonderful this book is. Because it was so good, I'm worried that the next two books may not live up to the first. But you can be sure I'm picking them up. Overall, the best book I've read all year.
 

 Author Blurb:


Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and freelancer for Marvel Comics. His novels include ASSASSIN’S CODE, FLESH & BONE, GHOST ROAD BLUES, Dust & Decay, Patient Zero, The Wolfman, and many others. Nonfiction books include ULTIMATE JUJUTSU, THE CRYPTOPEDIA, Zombie CSU, Wanted Undead or Alive, and others.  Jonathan’s award-winning teen novel, ROT & RUIN, is now in development for film.  He’s the editor/co-author of V-WARS, a vampire-themed anthology; and was a featured expert on The History Channel special ZOMBIES: A LIVING HISTORY. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, two plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry. His comics include CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, DOOMWAR, MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN and MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE AVENGERS. He teaches the Experimental Writing for Teens class, is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and co-founder of The Liars Club. Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sara and their dog, Rosie. www.jonathanmaberry.com.


Author Interview


QUESTION:  I am fascinated by the world building and culture you have built around zombies. What inspired you to create this world and where do you derive inspiration from typically? I personally thought of Star Wars when I heard the term Bounty Hunter :-)
JONATHAN MABERRY: World-building for me is simply a matter of applying common sense and a little practical imagination to any scenario. If people survived the zombie apocalypse then they are faced with the reality of ‘now what?’ Where will they live? How will they find food and water? What kind of protection will they need? What will get them through the hours of each day? One of the first things people will do if they survive a catastrophe is create jobs and get back to work. That’s what keeps a culture moving forward. So, with ROT & RUIN, I started there. I had the teenage star of the story, Benny Imura, go looking for a job. The jobs he applied for where a way of showing how ordinary life adapted to the reality of zombies and how life moved on from there. It also allowed me to explore the world of the Rot & Ruin, and by doing so share it with the readers.  I didn’t really draw on any other source beyond common sense.

QUESTION:  Your characters are the most well rounded bunch I have met in a long time. I think my personal favorite is Tom Imura (which is also why I invited him to do an interview as well). Do you have a favorite character to write? Did any of the characters surprise you?
JONATHAN MABERRY: My favorite characters in the series are Lou Chong (who’s based on a friend of mine from years ago) and Nix Riley. Maybe Nix more so, because she was only supposed to be in one scene in the book –according to the plot I’d worked out—but as soon as I began writing about her I found her fascinating. She’s not a typical fictional girlfriend. She’s edgy, complicated, difficult, a little crazy, moody, and very much an individual.

QUESTION:  If you could have a reader take away one thing from your books, what would it be and why?
JONATHAN MABERRY: That all life matters.  The story isn’t about how many zombies you can kill or how many people have been chomped by the living dead.  It’s about the value of human life. Every zombie was once a real person –somehow who had a life, expectations, a family, and a belief in their own future. Each of these people died in fear and pain. Each zombie, therefore, is a kind of tombstone that marks where a human life was destroyed.  That’s tragic. And it should be a reminder to us that life should be treasured and respected, even if it’s the life of an enemy during these troubled times of war.

QUESTION:  What was the most interesting thing a fan has told you?
JONATHAN MABERRY: I’ve had a number of fans who are in programs for reluctant readers tell me that ROT & RUIN is the first book they’ve read.

QUESTION:  It's hard to kill off an important character. What thoughts go through your head when you are making that decision?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Any central character killed for mere shock value is worthless. A character’s death must matter to the story, and his or her life and death should echo through the lives of everyone else in the story.  All lives are connected. The characters I’ve killed off in the ROT & RUIN series were chosen because their deaths are logical and even necessary to the development of the story and the personal growth of the central characters.

QUESTION:  Can you tell us what you have on the horizon and about some of your other series that are already out?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Joe Ledger, the hero of my ongoing series of adult thrillers makes a significant appearance in FLESH & BONE and FIRE & ASH, the 3rd and 4th books in the ROT & RUIN series. FIRE & ASH debuts next September, but Joe returns in EXTINCTION MACHINE, the 5th book in his series. That comes out in March.  Also, issue #3 (of 4) of my new comic series is due out: MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE AVENGERS.  We’re also in development for a ROT & RUIN movie, but that will take a couple of years.  In the meantime, I just sold five new novels (which I haven’t yet written). They are two new Joe Ledger thrillers, a sequel to my recent zombie novel DEAD OF NIGHT, and the first two books in a new teen series of mystery-thrillers. The first one will be called WATCH OVER ME.
 
Enter to win a signed copy of Flesh and Bone, the third book in this series (one international winner and one US winner!) And click here to see Tom Imura's Interview! Believe me, it's worth it!
 
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This is a giveaway hop! Enter some more great giveaways on the list!
 

55 comments:

  1. My favorite is The Fault In Our Stars by John Green :)
    Happy Holidays!

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  2. You're certainly doing a good job of selling this book! I've seen this series around but I know the first book is something like 450 pages and that is a little intimidating for someone who doesn't really like zombie books. But I've got this on my to-read list and am going to try to tackle it in the new year.

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  3. I've read both Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay and love them both, I've yet to read book #3.

    My favorite this year was The Fault in Our Stars.

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  4. My favorite read this year was Tell the Wolves I'm Home.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  5. One of my favorite reads this year was Reflections by Jessica Roberts. :)

    My husband & kids bought me Rot & Ruin for Christmas. I'm so happy! Zombies are my thing, lol! Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Holidays! :D

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  6. My favorite of the book year is Pandemonium! :)

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  7. One of my favs was Terry Pratchett's Dodger. It's not a discworld book, in fact, it's set in an approximation of our world at the end of the 19th century. The tone is at times more sombre than in the discworld books but it's delightfully and undeniably Pratchett.

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  8. My favorite read this year was Tell the Wolves I'm Home.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  9. My fave was The Fault in Our Stars! Thanks!

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  10. Hmm...I guess that would be The City of Lost Souls. Quite a break for my heart because of my otp.

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  11. My favorite book this year was (i think) First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

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  12. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

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  13. I enjoyed The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, it's a great book.

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  14. I can't imagine how hard it is to kill off characters sometimes. Some characters you know are going to die from the get go, but some I am sure are a surprise. My favorite book this year is a tie between my favorite authors: Karen Marie Moning, Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris

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  15. Oh, man! This is an amazing chance! I am such a HUGE zombie fan!!! *-*
    My favorite 2012 reads were Monstrous Beauty and Shadow and Bone. Thanks fot he giveaway!

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  16. My favorite book was The Bandit King by Lilith Saintcrow.

    Thank you and may your new year be filled with books.

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  17. I've been wanting to read Rot & Ruin for FOREVER.

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  18. Under the Never Sky was my fav book of 2012 *_* I loved it!
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :D

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  19. I have not yet read Rot and Ruin and my fingers are crossed that I win Flesh and Bone, giving me an excuse to plead with the budget gods to let me out of jail LOL I loved the interview and appreciate your sharing with us. One of my favorites this year was A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison, I love Rachel Morgan and this was a great installment in the series. Thank you for your generous participation in this fun hop.

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  20. This book looks awesome! I loved Fever by Lauren DeStefano! Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!

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  21. My favorite book of the year was Beautiful Disaster. This books sounds amazing too. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  22. My favorite book was The raven boys

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  23. I read a lot of good books in 2012 so it’s hard to pick just one, but I think the one that stands out the most is,” The Crimson League (The Herezoth Trilogy)”, by Victoria Grefer . I wasn’t expecting it to be nearly as good as it was but when I read it, I was so surprised as it turned out to be completely brilliant as she brought an entire world to life. I loved it. (Though I absolutely loved Jonathan Maberry's Pine Deep Trilogy when I read that a few years ago!)

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  24. I loved Sins of the Fallen by Daniele Lanzarotta

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  25. I loved Lothaire by Kresley Cole

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  26. The Sundered is my current 2012 favorite and I would love to read Rot and Ruin.

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  27. Very nice interview and review.

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  28. My favourite books were The Hunger Games trilogy. I love a little dystopia.

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  29. Oh, that is a great price! Nice review :) and one of my favorite books this year was Tiger Lily.

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  30. One of my fav books this year was Seraphina.

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  31. My favourite was Angelfall and Grave Mercy!

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  32. My favorite was The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting!

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  33. My favorite read of the year was Black City by Elizabeth Richards!

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  34. This year my favorite is Pushing the Limits.

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  35. My favorite book published this year was either Glitch or Cinder :)

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  36. Loved Dorothy Gale Vampire Hunter, Daughters of Jaguars: Savage and Broken
    seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

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  37. The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

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  38. I loved Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  39. My fav this year was Grave Mercy.

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  40. I will definitely be reading this book sometime soon! The story sounds fantastic! I haven't found many zombie stories that I've enjoyed and this one sounds like a different take and such a neat world that you've created! Thank you!

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  41. I really enjoyed The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

    orangestar17(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  42. I have to say my most favorite this year is The Golden Lily!!
    Thank you for being a part of this fun and awesome blog hop!!

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  43. This sounds like a really awesome and intriguing book, I can't wait to read it!

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  44. My favorite read this year was Slammed by Colleen Hoover. I also love zombie books, and my favorite zombie book this year was Taking on the Dead by Annie Walls. I haven't read Rot & Ruin yet, but I plan to! Thanks and Happy New Year!

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  45. I really liked what he said about how all life matters.

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  46. I really loved: Life as we knew it

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  47. I absolutely Jonathan Maberry's writing! Rot and Ruin is one of my favorite series ever!
    A book I loved this year that I read was Shatter Me :)
    Carolinemcmaster@yahoo.com

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  48. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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  49. Cinder & The Immortal Rules were my top 2012 reads

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