As I had mentioned in my review, I actually hadn’t heard of Rot & Ruin until Jenn (Lost in a Great Book) suggested it as one of our Brunch Book Club reads. And I’m so glad for the introduction to this zombie world created by Jonathan Maberry. As usual with our Brunch Book Club discussions, there is a SPOILER WARNING that comes along with it.
Jenn and I had the chance to meet up for a quick lunch one day at MoRoCo, one of my fave spots in the fancy Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto. Over some yummy food & drinks on the sunny patio we talked zombies. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed this read. We expressed our love of Benny’s brother Tom (and how unbelievably upset we were when he had fallen into the pit of zombies!) I was genuinely so invested in those brothers that I was completely devastated at the thought that Tom was no more.
While Jenn wasn’t too bothered by it, I found the romance connection between Benny and Nix to be a bit out of place at times. I actually was hoping they wouldn’t get together, because that would certainly be a nice change of pace… that the male & female main characters not get together (Jenn exampled that thought with the Harry/Hermione/Ron dynamic). And that’s exactly it. Even though Benny didn’t realize he liked Nix, I was kind of hoping that it wouldn’t actually happen so I was a bit bummed when he ends up kissing her after all that teenage angst on her end the entire way through till that point. I loved the characters of Nix’s mom and the artist friend who turned zombie (which I was super bummed about.) Jenn and I had such deep feelings about the end when Tom brings Benny to see the parents and to find closure. That was such an emotional and touching moment… that he waited until Benny was ready.
We also chatted about how this would be an interesting movie, and it would be nice to show the diversity with the characters. Besides Benny and Tom being established as of Asian descent, we felt the other characters could be cast as any ethnicity. I would love to see Godfrey Gao and/or Harry Shum Jr. as one of the two brothers, and Jenn thought Willow Smith would be great as Nix.
Overall, we both just loved the humanity side to the book. We loved that the zombies were written as actual brainless zombies, without preconceptions and malicious intent. What they had to be afraid of were themselves – fellow humans. Both of us are definitely interested in reading the second one, even though we’re a bit hesitant to see what direction this story is heading.
Will you be joining us for our August read of The Book of Lost Things?