Thursday, 20 October 2011

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Rating: 3 out of 5 chocolates

There is nothing quite like the story of star-crossed lovers, immortalised by William Shakespeare when he spun Romeo & Juliet into creation. And then there are also the likes of Guinevere & Lancelot. Tristan & Isolde. Catherine & Heathcliff. Tony & Maria. Buffy & Angel… sorry? Edw... who? Oh. Those sparkly ones. Well, never mind them, because we now have… R & Julie.

Isaac Marion’s debut novel is refreshing, and not your typical zombie story. It is told from the perspective of R, a zombie who can’t remember what comes after the rest of the first letter of his name, or anything else from his previous life, for that matter. R shows us what exactly goes on behind the moaning, groaning, shuffling and decaying – the need to feed on fresh human flesh in order to feel alive. However on one hunting trip, he comes across Julie, who is very much a vulnerable human – and much to his bafflement, he decides to save her instead of eat her.

R is a very well formed (oh, ha ha.) character. He is a different kind of zombie. He has a ferocious will to exist. He dreams of living. He listens to Frank Sinatra. He is a determined hero, a romantic gentleman that you can’t help but overlook his grey complexion and decaying aroma. And he can speak up to 6-syllables long. 4 is the standard for zombies, you know. Well, at least the ones that haven’t lost their jaws yet.

As well rounded as R is however, his leading lady isn’t. Julie seems to have a malleable character, and takes on whatever persona is required of her in different scenes. Supporting character Nora seems to have more of a personality compared to Julie. Even M, R’s sidekick, is a towering lothario who never breaks character and will chase anything that wears a skirt, dead or alive... probably for different reasons, but I digress.

Plot-wise, it would have been better if Marion delved into the source of the zombie plague, instead of leaving it as a mystery. He writes in a scene where Nora starts talking about the origin of the plague, however just as general musing. The resolution at the end of the story also doesn’t satisfactorily explain how R’s situation is resolved, or how the zombie plague could be resolved in general.

All in all, a good read for young adults and paranormal fans alike, if you’re after something different with a bit of a twist. However, if you were a fan of The Passage by Justin Cronin and The Strain by Guillermo del Toro, this might be a little too childish for you. 

One thing's for sure, I'm looking forward to seeing this in the cinemas next year.


  1. i'll check this book. even if R manages to speak up to six syllables long, i wonder how he and Julie communicates? that would be interesting to know! :-)

  2. This book sounds awesome! It's sooooo on my reading list now...(I love zombie literature) Thanks for reviewing!

  3. I was on the fence ( I'm not so much into Zombies really) until I got to your paragraph! I'm listening to The Passage now an am in love with it!

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

  4. This is one book I really want, it sounds so good.

  5. LOVE this review! I really want to read this book!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  6. Great review :D I have this one waiting to be read on my kindle. It looks really good. Will have to bump it up the reading pile.