The cuddlier side of the zombies. Ok, maybe I said that wrong, more like the more spiritual side of zombies. Jonathan Maberry makes you think about the world after we’ve settled down and people have had time to think about zombies and what they are and how we should treat them. It’s definitely different. It’s very exciting and there is a ton of action, boy-hood romance and a plot line that will get you thinking instead of the usual blood and gore, shoot ’em up, zombie experience. This is one I highly recommend you experience.

The family business for Benny Imura is zombie hunting. At age fifteen he has to get a job or his rations are cut. He does not want to join the family business because he can’t understand how his older brother Tom is a zombie hunter and especially why the whole town thinks he is this big, tough, cool guy – when Benny knows the truth, Tom is a coward. It is his brother Tom, he knows him best.

Job after job that doesn’t work out though ends his job search with no choice but hunting zoms with Tom. He thinks it’ll be lame, having to spend time with Tom, hunting zoms, traipsing through the rot and ruin, what he doesn’t plan on experiencing is life, a little bit of education and a new understanding of his brother.

The main basis of the Rot and Ruin is what many zombie novels skip over just briefly: Zombies were once human, they were once your loved ones. While a zombie has an endless urge to feed, their affliction is uncontrollable, they are not evil, they do not have a choice, one day they are a loving mother, the next a hungry zom. Yet, among the humans lies free will and evil tendencies and while the town huddles afraid of the walking dead, the ruthless humans thrive. It’s definitely something to check out if you want something different. Jonathan Maberry is a compelling author and I was even excited to see him on the zombie special on the History Channel. His character Benny Imura¬† goes though a wonderful transition and you really grow to like him. The world he created in ‘Rot & Ruin’ is quite believable and frightening, yet it shows the passion of humans to survive and also their tendency to blame and seek refuge in the normal. It was definitely the deepest zombie novel I’ve ever had the chance of reading.

Recommended for an older teen audience due to a bit of violence and some language. Adults will enjoy this also. Readers that enjoy coming of age stories from a male teens perspective would enjoy this even if you haven’t read zombie fiction before. Zombie fans you’ll love it.

Like this, Like That

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  2. ‘Anna Dressed in Blood’ by Kendare Blake

Audio BookYoung Adult Novel

‘Rot & Ruin’ by Jonathan Maberry (Benny Imura #1) in audio book was purchased via audible.com.