If you’re a fan of sci-fi thrillers and paranormal horror, you’re in luck! Jonathan Maberry writes fast-paced (and very addictive) books in both genres for teens and adults - most of which include paranormal monsters. I started reading Rot & Ruin and now I can’t stop until I’ve read all of his books. Most of his books are suspenseful page turners about male characters trying to survive zombie (or other paranormal creature) infested settings, although he also wrote a standalone called Mars One about humans colonizing Mars. No matter what he’s writing about, Maberry always seems to know just how to build the world to make it interesting.
Rot & Ruin is the suspenseful opener to the four book Benny Imura series and is fast-paced, dark, and funny at the best times. It’s not all action and it’s not all plot – it has an excellent mix of both, which makes the world seem even more realistic. In post-zombie-apocalyptic America, teens have to find jobs by the time they turn 15 or face getting their rations cut in half. Benny didn’t really want to become a zombie hunter, but with time running out, he ends up apprenticing under his older brother, Tom. The job isn’t exactly what he had in mind, but along the way he is forced to learn what it means to be human in a world infested by the living dead.
Mars One is a standalone novel based on the real-life Mars One program and is set in the near future, where 16 year old Tristan is sent to live on Mars. He and his parents are part of the first group of 40 people who are sent to Mars to begin creating a colony. He’s a gifted and resourceful engineer which proves to be a valuable asset to the program when things begin going wrong around the colony. Small problems begin growing worse and worse as the colonists begin suspecting the presence of saboteurs among them. This story was mysterious and a little slower-paced than Maberry’s other books, but it kept my interest all the way through. It almost reminded me of a teen version of The Martian by Andy Weir.
If you’re looking for more about Jonathan Maberry, you can find him on his website, Twitter, and Facebook. Looking for more authors like Jonathan Maberry? Try books by Carrie Ryan (start with The Forest of Hands and Teeth TN RYA), Mira Grant (start with Feed PB F GRA), and Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles (start with Alice in Zombieland TN SHO).