Zombie novels are either going to be really good or really bad. There isn’t an in-between. Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry is an underrated zombie thriller that has went on to win an award. Read our review to find out why this novel is a must read no matter what genre you are a fan of.
Rot and Ruin: Summary
Benny Imura lives in a small town that is surrounded by chain link fence to keep the zombies outside. A zombie apocalypse has left most of the world inhabited by zombies and humans are scarce and few, huddled in small communities.
Now having turned 15, Benny and his friend Louis Chong are able to get jobs. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice for his estranged brother Tom who is a zombie hunter. But with no other viable options, Benny hesitantly apprentices for his older brother.
With Tom, Benny gets to travel beyond the fence and gets to see the zombies up close. He realizes that zombies aren’t monsters but victims. His brother quiets zombies instead of hunting them for sport.
But a darker secret looms over the small community. Children have gone missing and there are rumors floating about a zombie fighting pit being run by some residents. Is it up to Benny to make it all right even if it means facing his former idols.
Rot and Ruin: Commentary
I came across this novel by being a big fan of Jonathan Maberry and the Joe Ledger novels. Even before those novels, I read The Werewolf by Maberry and have been an avid fan ever since. He has written many novels and I have enjoyed all of them.
What drew me to this novel was the post-apocalytpic world Maberry creates. He has the lore built and tells it from a fresh perspective of a kid who is innocent and just seeing the world like us. We learn of the horrors of this world and experience this with the protagonist.
I love zombie novels and I believe this needs to be mentioned in the best zombie novels. I do think I need to get around to writing a best zombie novels list one of these days because I have read ta bunch of them.
Maberry is a talented writer and if you haven’t read any of his novels before, then this is a good start. This series is unique and brings a new approach to the zombie mythology. So if you like zombie novels, then you will like this for sure!