In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.
Review: Rot & Ruin is the first of a Tetralogy of books by Jonathan Maberry set roughly fourteen years after the zombie apocalypse. Our primary protagonist is Benny Imura, whose first conscious memory is of his adult half-brother Tom fleeing the family home with him on “First Night”. As a result of this memory Benny has always considered his older brother to be a coward and is befuddled by the respect that many in their fenced-in community of Mountainside seem to accord him. Benny much prefers the flashy exploits of other bounty hunters like Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer and his relationship with his brother is strained at best. Once Benny turns fifteen, however, he has a choice to make: get a job, or have his rations cut in half. After trying and rejecting (or loosing) close to a half-dozen jobs, Benny becomes resigned to the idea that he will have to join his seemingly stuck-up older brother in “the family business”. It is his first trip outside to “the Rot & Ruin” with his brother, however, that truly begins to change his life, and his perceptions of the world he is living in, forever.
The book does a wonderful job not just of capturing the visceral horror so common to Zombie books, but of making the issues involved complex: Zombies aren’t just mindless monsters, but are people’s deceased loved ones. So how much respect should they be accorded? How should they be dealt with and “disposed of”? Get the books here, and find the Author's website Here. This book is also a 2012-2013 High School Sequoyah Award Nominee.