Series: Benny Imura #4
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Pages: 537 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
Benny Imura and his friends have made it to Sanctuary, they've found the jet and they've discovered that civilization is struggling to regain its foothold in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. Scientists are on the verge of finding a cure for the zombie plague. It should be time for celebration, but it's not. Benny's best friend, Chong, has been infected by an arrow dipped in the flesh of a zombie and he hovers between life and death and Dr McReady, a researcher who may have the critical formula for a cure, has gone missing. So Benny convinces Captain Ledger to mount a search and rescue mission to find the doctor and help Chong. But with the Reapers still pursuing their plan to turn all zombies into super-fast shock troops even if they can save Chong, can they save themselves? In the fourth book of the thrilling and emotionally charged Rot & Ruin series, the battle to end all battles is about to begin...
I basically didn’t move for an entire day while reading Fire & Ash. Everything is revealed and it’s not pretty. Benny and his friends have to decide what to do with this new knowledge and their existing skills in order to save themselves and the world. They’ve been at Sanctuary for three weeks when Benny takes off to find some missing papers. He doesn’t find them, but he does find something else that can lead him to where they might be. It’s a race against the clock as the group head out to find whatever it is that they might find, while the Night Church waits to attack, not only Sanctuary but Mountainside.
Fire & Ash is an awesome finale! I loved that it didn’t introduce some new conflict into the mix that would have to be resolved quickly. Instead it focuses on everything Benny and his friends have been through in the previous three books and wraps them up. We finally learn where the zombie plague originated, kind of how it got out (I wasn’t satisfied with the “What’s done is done, so who cares” brush off), and why not all zombies are created equal! It was twist after twist and I couldn’t stop reading!
There also a lot of focus on how these events changed the characters. Benny, Nix, Chong, and Lilah are not the same kids in Fire & Ash. They’ve seen and done horrible things, and we get some of their reflections on that. It was also interesting how the adults in their lives were torn on how to treat them. On one hand, they are just 15-17 years old, but they’ve had to grow up in a hurry over the past few months. I even really liked some of the cheesy dialogue and thoughts from Benny and Nix about their relationship. There’s some reevaluation of feelings there, which was interesting.
In the end, Fire & Ash was a spectacular finish to this series. There’s so much action, and lies, and thoughtfulness! The ending is not all sunshine and rainbows and puppies, but it’s satisfying. Actually, there are puppies. Well, no, not really. Just an awesome dog named Grimm, but he’s a puppy to me! Although not one I’d want to hug, unless his armor was off. Anyway…this series is awesome and I highly suggest you get to it if you haven’t already!