by Isaac Marion
Published: October 2010
R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.
I was going to wait to post this review until later in the week, but after watching The Walking Dead tonight, I couldn't wait, I needed more zombies!
I originally heard about this book during an entertainment segment on some T.V. show fort the movie that is being made based on Marion's book. I was skeptical. I kept flashing back to the cheesy, campy zombie books I read during my Zombie Week in October. Warm Bodies was a welcomed surprise.
Zombies falling in love usually leaves me with an icky feeling, but not here. Warm Bodies is told from the perspective of R, a zombie. He seems pretty typical in his world of zombies. He moans and groans, he craves human brains. But Marion has created a breed of zombies who still retain some of their human qualities. His zombies have some capacity to think, and even speak, although it is limited and slow. He pushes the boundaries of what zombies are capable of, while staying true to their primal urges.
After eating the brains of a young man, R is bombarded with memories of the man's girlfriend. This is played as a typical reaction to eating brains and Marion explains that it's this experience that actually drives the zombies' desire for brains. With these memories overwhelmingly strong than normal R protects Julie, and forms an attachment that he is desperate to understand and hold on to.
There were a few issues with the end that had me scratching my head, but not enough to distract from the real story of R and his hope for something more.
What's even better is that the stills from the movie look amazing!! Here's a sneak peek!