Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Review: Warm Bodies

Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Published: 2011
Pages: 226
My Rating: 3/5

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.

I was interested in this book a long time before I actually got it. I love zombie books and have read many different kinds of zombie books. But this one had the most interesting premise by far. Mainly because not only is it a zombie romance but it is in the point of view of......a zombie.

First off, I was quite shocked to see how short this book was. At just over 200 pages, I expected to get through it quickly. This was not the case however. The book started off with our lead zombie, R, telling us, with surprising intelligence and innocence, about his extremely simple day-to-day life as a zombie. Which was hilarious. It's written so well with R just casually explaining in brilliant detail these absurd things that zombies do in their everyday life. We also find out that zombies can actually speak, to a degree, and form (exceptionally simple) relationships. They have no knowledge of who they were but do have a vague understanding of how the human race used to live. 

Later on in the book we meet Julie. And R starts to feel alien affections for her after devouring her boyfriend's brain (which can give zombies a glimpse of the persons life). Throughout the book, we have chapters with 'clips' of his life through R's eyes. All the way from his childhood to when he met Julie. This starts to give R extra knowledge and make him different from the rest of the zombies. 

Julie was an interesting character and I really liked her. She was rebellious and quirky, but also very intelligent. One problem I found with her though, was how easily she accepted R. One of the mindless monsters that the Living have feared and fought off her entire life, and after the initial shock at seeing her boyfriend and team eaten alive while she is taken back to their home, she seems completely cool about it. I don't know if this is just part of her character, but I found it quite strange. 

Another part of the book I found odd, was how human R was. I know that he was supposed to be different than the rest after what he experienced, but I personally found him too real and human. He just seemed to forget he was a zombie and that his soul purpose was to eat people. And with that, I started to lose interest in the book. I found it interesting and funny at the beginning, but it became quite slow-moving, and I couldn't really figure out where it was going, causing me to take a while to read it.

But in the end, it picked up and I got into it again. The ending was quite epic and hollywood in a good way, and I thought that it ended well. Other than it being a bit slow-moving and hard to believe (even though it's a zombie book, I know), I did quite enjoy it. It was really interesting and I recommend it if you're a zombie lover (no pun intended).




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