(There might be minor spoilers, but I am very sensitive to spoilers, so I do my very best to avoid them).
I am writing to please beg you to stop writing books so I can break into the market.
I picked up “Patient Zero” several years ago, but, alas, I was in school, and could not devote as much time to reading it as I would have liked. I think I loaned it to someone, or it’s fallen into the Bermuda Triangle (the former is probably more likely, as it’s been, oh a lifetime since I have been to the Bermuda Triangle). Anyway, had I known of the brilliance that existed between two book covers…I would not have been so quick to loan you out.
I would love to say it was the Joe Ledger series I finally read, but no, it was the Rot & Ruin, Benny Imura series I read. Devoured, more like. I had it on my shelf (from the library) for a while, and had just made up my mind that it would be the next book I read, when one of my bookish friends said he was reading it and it was good. So, I did read it next, and wow, was I blown away. The writing was flawless, the characters realistic AND mostly likable (you need to have some defects for people to dislike, or they are no longer realistic), and the story…well, the story. For those of you who are not familiar with this series, it is a zombie series. Don’t scoff just yet there, mister! This is not just ANY zombie series. This series reminds me of an Iron Maiden song (which might actually be a quote from the Bible) “The Evil that Men Do.” The zombies are not the greatest danger our heroes face.
Ahhh, our heroes. Benjamin “Benny” Imura, smart ass fifteen year old, who hates his older brother and idolizes zombie bounty hunters.
Nix Riley – fiery redhead that Benny grew up with, who had a crush on him for a while.
Lou Chong – Benny’s best friend, and hands down the brainiest in the group.
Morgie Mitchell – another of Benny’s friends.
Jessie Riley – Nix’s mother
Tom Imura – Benny’s older brother, whom Benny hates and resents because of events that he remembers from First Night (the night the Zombies took over).
The Lost Girl – this one, you have to read about.
There are other characters, antagonists to the above protagonists, but you have to read these books to see for yourself.
The books are set in the west, California, Nevada, that area. Rot and Ruin is the land outside the fence of Mountainside, where Benny and Tom have lived for some years. Tom frequently goes outside the fence to do a job, of which Benny is extremely derisive. Benny goes to school like any fifteen year old, but at fifteen, he has to find a job for the afternoons, or he does not eat. That’s life in the good ole Rot & Ruin for ya.
Benny gets curious about the wrong thing and seriously pisses off the wrong person, which sets a string of events into motion that are harrowing and dangerous…and deadly.
I am not doing any justice to this book, but hopefully where I am making a shambles of things, it will pique your curiosity enough to read them for yourself.
In conclusion, back to my letter.
So, Mr. Maberry, you have utterly UTTERLY ruined other zombie books for me. I see them sitting there, spines in my face, glaring accusingly at me, because I cannot pick them up after reading such excellent zombie literature. Series I loved before now make me go “eh.” I need more Benny. I need more Tom. Maybe a prequel? Maybe a 10 years later sequel? Something? Anything? Oh, right. I should go read the Joe Ledger series. Okay. Got it. Thanks. Just after I give away all these other zombie books to make room for Joe.
Read the series. Read the series. Read it. You will not be disappointed. This is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill zombie series!