Book Review: Rot & Ruin

Brandon Hedrick, Staff Writer

Rot & Ruin stars a teenage boy of Asian descent named Benny Ishamura. Benny is almost desperate to find a job before his food rations are cut down to half. The only reason that Benny has food rations is because of the zombie apocalypse. Yes, this is a post-apocalyptic action novel.

Benny has to deal with a plethora of problems that no ordinary teenager has to face: From the constant struggles of being in a school that teaches the outdated history books from before the First Night, to having to deal with his inner conflict of having a crush on Nix, Benny doesn’t have it easy. Nothing is handed to him, especially out in the Rot and Ruin.

The Rot and Ruin is what everyone calls the wasteland outside of their own safe haven. Tom Ishamura, Benny’s older brother, decides to take Benny out into what’s left of the world. While outside the gates, Benny realizes that the only monsters aren’t just zombies. Sometimes, the true monsters are humans just like him.

Overall, I loved the book. I love the entire series, and I plan on reading the third and fourth books as well. The third in the series, Flesh and Bone, came out earlier this September. I would consider Rot and Ruin to be the best book to come out in years. Being a fan of World War Z, Patient Zero, The Zombie Survival Guide, etc.

I had high hopes for this series. I’m not disappointed in the slightest; the entire series is almost perfect. The suspense never gets old; the action is always fast and always ends with an unexpected twist. This book does a good job of setting a base for the characters, along with a great plot. The story never stops with the classic “suspense followed by action, then end of chapter” organization. Jonathan Maberry delivers with not only this book, but the others in the series as well. I wasn’t before, but now I’m a big fan of Mayberry and his works.