by Scott M. Baker
Publisher: Permuted Press (March 2012)
Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic
Format: Paperback (300 pages)
Source: Review Request by Author
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Eight months have passed since vampires released the Revenant Virus on mankind, nearly wiping out both species. For Mike Robson, the situation could be far worse. He has joined up with a small band of humans and the last coven of vampires who are riding out the zombie apocalypse in an old fort along the coast of southern Maine.
The uneasy alliance between humans and vampires is strained with the arrival of the creator of the Revenant Virus. Compton claims to have a vaccine that will make them immune from the virus and allow mankind to take civilization back from the living dead. However, the vaccine is located in a secure underground facility five hundred miles away.
To retrieve the vaccine, Robson leads a raiding party of humans and vampires down the East Coast, which has been devastated by the outbreak and overrun by zombies and rape gangs. Yet none of the horrors he deals with on the road can prepare him for what he will find in Pennsylvania. Once inside the underground facility, Robson encounters the greatest threat his group has faced to date, not only from zombies but from betrayal within their own ranks.~ Goodreads
At a Glance
It’s as simple as this, Rotter World is the best zombie book I have read by far.
There is no need to summarize this book because Baker did an excellent job of that in his own book summary. So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I loved this book so much I had a hankering for some flesh once I turned the last page. After satisfying my hunger by chewing on my pinkie for a bit, you couldn’t stop me from spreading my love of this book. A zombie book is a zombie book, until you read Rotter World. A story of raw emotion, gore beyond comprehension, and the lengths self-righteous people will go to justify their hate.
We spend a lot of time in the perspective of Mike Robson, once an officer of the law, now the leader of the team that goes into the thick of zombie territory to find supplies and survivors. Mike was the perfect hero. Loyal to a fault, caring but strict when needed, and a strong sense of morals. He is the kind of guy you would want to follow. I knew with him leading the group, with him being the voice of reason that no matter how bad things got, he would find a way to help the others survive.
Angels of Death…
Natalie was another great character. She was the leader of the Angels of Death, a group of girls who she taught to shoot a gun and take care of themselves. The stories of what these girls had to go through to survive were gut-wrenching. The many rape gangs roving the world has made zombie-land even more terrifying for the female population. Natalie showed these women who have been victimized to fight and survive. I love reading about women who don’t let their horrible pasts dictate who they are now. It added a lot of emotion to the novel that made me feel for the characters even more.
Zombies vs. Vampires…
I loved the added twist of vampires amongst the Zombie Apocalypse. I really felt bad for them though. Their brethren had pretty much started the end of the world by releasing this virus on the population. Too bad for the vampires that they were not immune to the virus either. Now there are only a few vamps left in the world and almost every human would relish wiping them out. The vampires aren’t too keen on having to rely on humans to survive. They need someone to watch over them during the daylight hours. This vulnerability only strengthens the vampires’ hatred for the humans that wish them dead. Dravko was the secondary leader of the small vamp group, and he did a great job of keeping them safe. He remained logical the whole time, never letting his emotions get the best of him. He knew who was a threat to his team, and which humans he could trust. I like how some of the humans and vamps started to work together as a common threat emerged.
Humanity is Gone…
The themes in this book were thought-provoking: How human frailty can destroy communities. How disaster rarely brings people together, but dismantles the basic structure of humanity. How morals and chivalry are often set aside as each person fights for their own life. How to some people hate and revenge are worth more than the rebuilding of a thriving society. I don’t think anyone could really say what kind of person they will become if put in this kind of situation, but we can only hope we keep at least a thread of compassion and civilty even during the end of the world.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
It was so easy for the people in Rotter World to blame the vampires for the destruction of life on Earth, but hate is what will continue the road of complete human elimination. When we are met with despair and a bleak future, one can only try to make things better by working together, not against one another. In Rotter World, some people just couldn’t let go of their disdain and distrust and it got them killed. It also got innocents killed along the way. But Rotter World also showed us that there is always hope for humanity. Even when surviving seems impossible, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. People make mistakes but holding that against them and continuing a feud during a larger war is just counterproductive. I loved reading about a group that comes together to overcome the impossible. It made me want to cheer out loud.
Rotter World was gory, terrifying, and heart-wrenching. It took my breath away and made me shiver at the same time. The action was sublime and the pacing kept my attention till the last page. I couldn’t put this book down. There was a constant sense of dread the whole way through. I wanted so bad for everyone to survive, but that kind of wishful thinking is useless with a zombie book. People die, we mourn, and then move on. Because after killing the first fifty zombies, a hundred take their place. The Zombie Apocalypse waits for no man…or vampire.
Only two things bothered me. The beginning (after the initial zombie scene) was pretty slow but it was understandable since Baker had to introduce us to all his characters. Then there was a bit of a lull about three fourths into the book, when the crew finally gets to the underground facility.
We get some fun sexual tension and sex scenes. Yaaay. I like my zombie books with at least one sex scene. What the hell else are these people to do when they might be eaten any second?
This is the kind of zombie book I have been looking for. Nothing was held back. I was face deep in rotting skin and gooey innards as Baker took me on the ride of my life. I loved the characters, even the bad guys. They all contributed to producing one hell of a zombie story. Highly recommended to all.
“What’s in there?” Sam asked nervously.
“Trust me,” said Natalie, “you don’t want to know.”
“We’ll see.” Sam yanked Natalie off the truck, knocking her into the grass. He stepped back and spoke to the others. “Check it out. If you find anyone inside, kill’em.”
The three gunmen climbed up onto the loading dock. The lanky one pushed aside the curtains with his AK-47 to allow the mustachioed gunman and the one in the Harley Davidson vest to enter, and then followed them inside.
A moment later, a scream emanated from the back of the Ryder, followed by gun shots and a growl, an ungodly guttural sound that was neither animal nor human. All three men started screaming now, the intensity of their panic terrifying. Then, one by one, each cry devolved into a muffled gurgle. The mayhem stopped as quickly as it had started, leaving in it’s place an eerie silence.