Rot isn’t my usual kind of read. It isn’t a romance, or at any rate, not a genre romance. It does contain romantic elements, though and it’s an interesting and well written novella.
Dean is caught up in what is essentially a mystery, after his cushy job at Silver Springs is compromised and he discovers the dark side of zombie farming. It’s a chase and discovery book, as Dean and his zombie sidekick, Patrick, delve into the mystery.
Dean is an engaging character, at first a little too cynical for his own good, but what he uncovers in the course of the story makes him even more disgusted with his world and what he discovers. The story is episodic, with little sense of a central whole, but it holds together well, and I’ve always been fond of the picaresque.
The book is a first person narration and we do get a good sense of Dean’s character and his motivations. The tone is hard-boiled, but Lee is no Hammett. Where Hammett’s cynical descriptions vividly describe his world and metaphors are often used to describe hidden traits of his characters, Lee’s Dean says what he sees.
I could have done with a little more description, especially at first, to centre me in the world. As the chapters went on, it became clearer, but when I was first plunged into a world where bringing people back from the dead was commonplace, I was a little lost. There is little explanation of how people were brought back and what philosophical implications that might have for society as a whole, but this would have been a very different kind of book if that were the case.
I have to admit that zombies aren’t my thing, but I picked this up willing to give it a try. The most sympathetic characters are the dead ones, but their rate of rotting seemed to be somewhat erratic at times. However, I did enjoy the story.
On the whole a different and engaging read.
Zombies Can Be Such a Burden
So you’ve raised your loved ones from the dead, but had no idea how difficult it would be to care for them.
No problem! Silver Springs is a warm, peaceful facility equipped to handle all your zombie needs. Their friendly staff will ensure they have a safe environment with daily exercise and raw meat.
Rest easy knowing they’re in good hands… as they rot.
In Michele Lee’s Rot, you won’t find an apocalypse or Romero-style flesh-eaters. This is far more disturbing.
In a world where certain people can will others back from death, Silver Springs Specialty Care Community caters to the undead for those who aren’t quite ready to let go (zombie milk available by special arrangement at the home office).
Dean, retired from the military and looking for an easier life, runs security at this zombie herding farm, but he learns that dark injustice is not unique to war. There’s a rotten core to Silver Springs. Now, Dean and a quickly-decaying corpse named Patrick are on the hunt for a woman they both love and lost to a lucrative business that specializes in greed, zombies and never having to say goodbye.
Read an excerpt here.