A Reading Group Guide for Rot & Ruin
By Jonathan Maberry Discussion Questions
1. Consider what Tom says: “There’s the town and then there’s the Rot and Ruin. Most of the time they aren’t in the same world, you know?” Are there any divides you notice in your daily life where two things exist in “different worlds”?
2. On Benny’s first venture out into the Rot and Ruin, they encounter the “Children.” Tom later says, “I think a lot of the Children are people who didn’t survive the Fall. Oh, sure, their bodies did, but I think some fundamental part of them was broken by what happened. I was there, I can relate.” In what ways are they broken? Why do you think they choose to live as they do?
3. In what ways does the absence of electricity impact life in the new world? Are these changes all practical, or are some of the changes emotional, as well?
4. Secrecy, mystery and ignorance all play important roles in this story. In what ways do these themes impact the choices of the characters and also affect their emotions throughout the book? Are there differences between the three words? When in the book does each come into play?
5. What are the differences in the attitudes and outlooks of the characters who survived and remember First Night, and those who did not live in the old world and are