The first book in the Benny Imura series was brilliant, so when I was able to get my hands on a galley copy of Dust & Decay, the second novel, I couldn’t wait to start it. I wasn’t disappointed, either. The book picks up shortly after the story left off in Rot & Ruin, and Tom Imura is training his little brother Benny (along with Benny’s friends) how to fight zombies and survive in the Rot & Ruin so they could begin a journey east. Lilah (formerly known as “The Lost Girl”) lives with the friends while still keeping her distance, and Benny & Nix have grown even closer. As the friends prepare to begin their trip, disaster once again strikes in the town of Morningside, and they must leave ahead of schedule. However, anything goes in the Ruin, so the group quickly finds that things aren’t what they expected. A mysterious, creepy man named Preacher Jack is walking around the woods spouting some serious crazy talk, and Tom discovers that there’s suddenly a price on his head and every outlaw is looking for him. When the group gets split up, it’s every man (or boy, or girl) for himself (or herself), and they struggle to find their loved ones while escaping bounty hunters who want to take them to the newly-reconstructed Gameland, where children are forced to fight zombies in death pits. I was so happy to see that this book was as good as (or possibly better than) its predecessor. While it’s a fun, thrilling zombie romp, it also makes you think about the important things in life like love, loyalty, friendship, and honor. There are some really fantastic fight scenes, some gorgeous language, and devastating deaths, so it’s definitely worth checking out after you’ve read Rot & Ruin!