Monday, 31 January 2011

Review: Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion

"R" is a zombie.  He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams.  He is a little different from  his fellow Dead.

Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl.  Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape.  For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.

This has never happened before.  It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave.  He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him.  But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight...

Check out Isaac Marion's blog for more information

R is in pretty good shape for a zombie, he has grey skin and smells bad but still has all of his body parts so is a lot better off than many of his friends.  He has no memory of his life before he died, he doesn't know his name and doesn't even know how long he has been a zombie but he does know things used to be different.  He gets to experience snippets of life through his victims - when he ingests their brains he also gets to live through some of their memories - and he wants to be able to feel things again.  When he goes out to hunt with some of his fellow zombies he experiences memories of Julie after eating her boyfriend.  He becomes fascinated with her and decides he doesn't want to eat her so instead he protects her and takes her home with him.  With everything against them can R and Julie beat the odds and find a way for the living and the dead to live together?

I have to confess I didn't know much about Warm Bodies when I borrowed it from my friend Lyndsey.  I don't think I would have started reading it if I'd realised that it was a zombie romance and that fact did affect my enjoyment of the story.  I couldn't get over the fact that a human could fall for a proper brain eating zombie - particularly one that had killed her boyfriend.  The idea of kissing a rotting body quite frankly turned my stomach and was almost enough to make me stop reading.

Having said that there was something so compelling about Warm Bodies that I had to finish reading, I just needed to know what would happen to both R and Julie.  I never thought I'd be able to relate to R but he is a surprisingly likable character and one that grew on me despite the odds.  I think I would have preferred it if the romance had been removed and instead R and Julie had become friends but that is more down to personal taste than the way the story was written.  If you can look past that fact then I'm sure you'll find the book a really enjoyable read.

The story is witty and well written and makes you think about the value of life and things that you take for granted.  It is written from R's perspective which helps you to relate to his character but I think it would have benefited from seeing some things from Julie's point of view to help see her motivation and feelings towards R.  Isaac Marion has created a realistic dystopian world where there are very few remaining humans and the ones who are left are forced to live in fortified towns to protect them from the zombies.  The zombie attacks are written in great detail so I don't think this is a story for the squeamish but I thoroughly enjoyed the guts and gore.  Warm Bodies is definitely original and although not quite to my taste I'm sure it is a book that a lot of people will love.  If you're looking for something different to read then it would be well worth giving this one a try.

Source: Borrowed from Lyndsey at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I picked this one up as my Zombie read for a monthly challenge. I'm not altogether sure I'll like it much either as I'm not really into Zombies, but hey every read broadens our horizons a little even if we didn't enjoy it.

  2. Wow this just sounds so completely different. I will keep a look out for it :D

  3. @ The Slowest Bookworm - I'll be interested to see what you think of this one, hopefully you'll enjoy it more than I did. There were parts of this one that I really enjoyed but I just couldn't get over the whole zombie / human romance issue. It creeped me out more than a little LOL

    @ Asamum - I hope you enjoy it if you do give it a try, Lyndsey really loved it but it just wasn't my cup of tea

  4. when i saw warm bodies at my local bookstore i just had to buy it, because the cover is sooo great! and i also liked the story, even if i'm not into zombies that much...

    i think the lovestory was not so bad, because it was quite soft, therfore i wasn't thinking: eeew, grows... but rather felt simphathetic with r, because he's like a prisoner in his rotten body...

  5. @ ndone - I'm glad you enjoyed this one more than I did. I did quite like R but I couldn't get over the fact he had a rotting body & the girl was prepared to kiss him! It just freaked me out lol. I'd have enjoyed it much more if they'd both been zombies I think but I know not everyone would agree with that

  6. @sarah
    i'm not sure 2 zombies making out would be more or less disgusting =)
    ha ha funny thought... i see their lips comming off and now i really think: EEEEEEEWWWWWWW

    did you also read the short story by marion?



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