Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series before - Joe is a former cop and Army Ranger who now works for a the mysterious Mr. Church in an elite, secret government agency. These books are gripping, the action is non-stop, the characters are well written and you won't come up for air until you've made it through all of them. The good news, the series isn't over yet. The bad news, there are only seven books in the series so far, plus several handfuls of short stories.
Does that sound like a lot? It's not... I wanted more.
So I started reading the Rot & Ruin series because I'd read that Joe was in them... even if he didn't appear until the third of the four book series. I figured he'd just have a cameo, but frankly that would still have made me happy.
It sort of makes me sad too... Joe saved the world several times from doomsday plots, but apparently at some point he failed. A little more than thirteen years later we meet Benny Imura, a fifteen year old living in the zombie-infested Rot & Ruin. Benny was 18-months old the world as we know it ended forever and the zombie apocalypse began.
Don't let the age of the main character, nor the series' young adult "status" scare you off, these books are fantastic. Once I started listening to the audiobooks I couldn't stop; not only did I listen to and from work, but in the evenings as well.
By the way, listening to an audiobook, drinking a glass of wine and putting together a puzzle may be one of the most enjoyable and relaxing things you'll ever do.
But I digress... If there's one thing Maberry is a master at, it's writing characters. Within just a few sentences he can create characters that are unique, interesting and that you want to know more about. The action, emotions and realism in his novels is also top notch; and that's saying a lot considering that he sprinkles in a good dose of the supernatural in his stories.
Oh, and as for Joe... well his appearance was very much not a cameo. He's back with his wonderful wry sense of humor, non-stop-action and stories about "First Night" that will have me reading future Joe Ledger novels holding my breath because now I know how things ultimately turn out for him.
I'd suggest you read Joe's novels first, then follow with the Rot & Ruin series. However the two series, although connected, can be read independently of each other - but really,you won't want to.