- The zealots. It seems like most apocalyptic theories in the news today are accompanied by at least one group of extreme religious zealots that take things a step further--oftentimes a little too far. Adding this element to the Rot and Ruin made the book feel more realistic and honest.
- The plot. I love the plots of these books. There is so much going on and everything feels so chaotic, but that is exactly how the reader would feel if thrown into a forest filled with murderers and zombies. I never felt bored, although at times the pace drug a bit.
- The grief. If you've read previous books in this series, you know that the characters have experienced great losses. This third installment of Rot and Ruin gives an honest portrait of the grief they feel and demonstrates very well the different ways people deal with trauma.
- The villains. The villains didn't feel like traditional YA villains. The way Maberry presents them, you can tell they're just people who aren't quite right in the head but in their heart really feel like they are doing the right thing. Nothing about what Saint John does is malicious--he is just trying to serve his God and do his bidding. In his eyes, HE is the hero.
- The writing. The writing felt somehow less polished in this book than in previous Rot and Ruin books. It felt like this was less of a problem toward the end of the book, but I shouldn't have to read 350 pages to get to a well-constructed paragraph.
- Wild zombie pigs...really? Without going into too much spoiler detail, I understand the value these mutated animals added to the overall plot, it just felt completely ridiculous when it was introduced.
Joe gave him a small, sad smile. "No matter how long the night is, the sun always comes up."
I did not like this book as well as the first two, but that is not to say it was bad, and I will definitely purchase the next (and last) book in the series when it comes out.