Dust & Decay picks up seven months after the events of Rot & Ruin. Our young heroes – Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong have been training with Benny’s big brother Tommy. They learn his “Warrior Smart” method of protecting themselves from the zombies because you never know when one of your friends or loved ones will become a zombie…This is a brutal world. People live in fenced, gated, and well armed communities. Travel outside these towns requires planning, heavy carpet coats, and a disgusting concoction that hides human scent called cadaverdine. Oh, don’t forget the katana swords and other assorted weapons. Our heroes leave their small town in search of an airplane last spotted at the end of the last book. This airplane represents hope that there is life outside the Ruin. They embark on a journey through zombie infested lands where they encounter zombies (no surprise there), a preacher, and even a rhinoceros.A recurring theme in this series is that zombies were people once. Tommy always teaches the kids to treat the zombies with respect because they were once someone’s family. Tommy never “quiets” a zombie unless the zombie is a threat to him or his friends. There is a lot of action and sword swinging in this book, as well as a lot of moaning zombies. The scariest characters had to be the adults - the Preacher and White Bear and their gang. Their vision of a new society, complete with the Children of Lazarus (read: zombies) was truly horrifying. All of the Zombie Card heroes appear in this book. I did find the surfer dudes a little annoying, but they were good fighters. The fight scenes are exciting and the kids were extremely resourceful. I loved the main characters, especially the girls. Lilah, who had lived on her own for most of her life, is one of my favorites. She is a warrior, almost feral, a force to be reckoned with. I found that in this book, Lilah’s character changed the most. She learned to trust and to love. Nix is the thinker, the scientist of the group. Her diary entries make a great addition to the book. Her journal entries give insight into many aspects of life in the Ruin: zombie information, tools of the trade, survival tips, and more. We even get a glimpse of her feelings for Benny. I enjoyed this book. It is rather long (about 520 pages), but the chapters are short so that a younger reader may not feel intimidated by the book’s length. My 12 year old reluctant reader took a peek and agreed that it would be something he would like to read.*Thank you Simon & Schuster Galley Grab for a review copy of this book.Check out my review at Badass Book ReviewsUpdate 1/15/12 - The author has posted extra scenes that occur between Rot&Ruin and Dust&Decay here. Click on the read bonus material banner for the extra chapters.