20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning new take on an old favourite
After reading MK Burton's excellent review above there isn't really much to say except that I agree completely. Zombies seem to be competing with vampires for book and film sales at the moment and it is much easier to make vampires more acceptable and romantic than it is to do it for a shambling corpse. Isaac Marion has skilfully taken the classic Romeo and Juliet love...
Published on 25 Oct. 2010 by PJ Rankine
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Start that Crashes and Burns
See my review of this book, and many more, at TalesfromtheGreatEastRoad.wordpress.com
What exactly happens to a person's mind when they're bitten by a zombie? R knows he has lost a huge part of himself to the virus, including his name, but that doesn't mean he stops thinking - or dreaming. He spends his days wandering the airport...
Published 22 months ago by Ginny
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars,
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Kindle Edition)
Warm Bodies begins with R joining a group of zombies to go hunting. They find a group of young humans and R eats Perry Kelvin. He then kidnaps Perry's girlfriend Julie and takes her back to his home, a 747.
I really liked (almost loved) Warm Bodies. It is the first zombie book that I've read. However, it doesn't always seem like it is a zombie book. R rarely eats any humans throughout the story. I went into it expecting something similar to Twilight (the whole teenage girl falls for supernatural being/dead person). I couldn't have been more wrong!! Warm Bodies is brilliantly funny and quirky. And R's narration is just plain hilarious, for example:
"I am Dead, but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it."
"She is Living and I'm Dead, but I'd like to believe that we are both human. Call me an idealist."
"I would like my life to be a movie so I could cut to a montage."
I really liked R. He is just such as sweet guy and has such a unique point of view. To put it simply, he's different from the other zombies and he's very much aware of it. He was desperate not to be a zombie and he really wanted to change. R's character also developed quite uniquely - at the beginning he could barely say one word but his speech gradually improves as the story progresses.
I also quite liked Julie. She isn't the cleverest of people but she isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and fight a few zombies. Of course, there are times when she is too terrified to move but who wouldn't be when faced with Boneys.
Also, the Biology geek in me loved the anatomical drawings at the beginning of each paragraph. I would literally sit and study them for ages before starting each chapter.
I did occasionally get a bit confused when Perry would cut into the story with his memories and thoughts. But reading them again cleared this up.
Overall, I really, really liked Warm Bodies and can't wait for the sequel. I'm also going to look into getting a copy of The New Hunger - the prequel to Warm Bodies. I can definitely see myself re-reading Warm Bodies in the future.
5.0 out of 5 stars Handsome Zombie is about to eat girl but loves her instead . . . What. The. Heck.,
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
R is a Zombie. I slow-walking, man-eating, black-blooded Zombie who lives at an abandoned airport with over a dozen or so other Zombies. But he is also the narrator and threw his mind we find that he has what no Zombie ever in the history of the media has ever had before; emotions. He feels hurt, curiosity, pain and most of all guilt. But his lack ambitions, hopes or dreams keeps them stuck in this separated area between the living and the dead. All he stride towards is what kind of meat he can catch and what life he can take. But when R eats the memories of a boy named Perry, a girl named Julie comes into his mind and when R looks in the room, she's sitting right in front of her. In a sudden violent jerk of change and emotion, R rescues Julie, keeping her in at his home in an old jet, spending the time playing old records, giving her Pad Tai to eat and listening as she begins to pore her heart out to him and R slowly begins to change.
In this book, everything bad that could have happened, happened - the dead are rising, all the food's going down, everything's in drought or in a flood etc. - and humanity is not hiding wherever they can and, in this area, even in stadiums. I know about The Walking Dead - both the video game and the TV program - and I can honestly say that I see nothing about those Zombies and the Zombies in this book. Most of these Zombies are emotionless, nameless and brainless, but some of them seem to have an idea of what's going on around them and how things are changing and some of them want to be a part of it. I liked the idea about how that when a Zombie eats the brains of a living person they sort of absorb the memories of that person so they have a sort of vision of that person's life. I found the Bony's - those skeleton-like creatures that are basically in charge of this whole thing - to be really creepy and I really liked having them there as some sort of opposition besides the humans (sorry, Living, as R calls them). There is quite a lot of gore in this book, but I managed to gloss over or skip some of those parts and still get the general idea about it, but I do think that if you don't like gore that this might not be suitable for you. I've seen the trailer for the Warm Bodies movie and R doesn't look how he's described in the book. In the movie, R is dressed like a teenager - red hoody, grey T-shirt, jeans - while in the book, R is described as wearing a red tie and a (used to be white) grey shirt and is supposed to be dressed like a business man, so you get the general idea that R is supposed to be around about early to mid twenties, at the least, so I found that kind of hard to picture since my picture of R kept going back and forth between the two images. I thought that the world in which this was set in was really cool (wouldn't want to be there though) and I liked how the story was written in this "present tense" mode where he describes everything as if he's there in that moment - I thought that was a really good writing style for this kind of a story. R is my favourite leading male protagonist in any book I have read so far; he's funny, he's sweet, he's kind, (he can rip you to shreds but that's okay), he's thoughtful and hopeful and I just cannot put it into worlds how much he makes me smile both as a character and as a narrator. Julie is awesome and I love how she's not too much of a miserable character or that she's got no reason to do dangerous things in that she has a reason; she's not a damsel in distress, she's feisty and she can take care of herself pretty well and I love how she doesn't fall in love with R straight away (him being a Zombie and all) and I kind of like her resistance towards R. M is really funny and I find the fact that he can't remember the rest of his name but can remember how and when to say f*** or s***; I like how he's R's friend and how he, unlike other Zombies, actually helps and seems to care about R and I like it when R calls out for M's help and he comes. Nora was a fun, but kind of forgettable character, but I like how she response well to R when she first meets him. Perry was annoying; I found that sometimes I just wanted him to go away sooner and it kind of came to the point where I was screaming at the book 'Why are you even here, Perry?'; I understand that Perry, and his memories, are important in the book, but I didn't get why he had to be such a big part and why it sometimes snapped over to some of his memories - though I did find it both funny and cool at the part where he breaks threw and talks to R as a person. I didn't, at some points, why Julie's Dad was there to be anything else but an annoyance and something to get in between Julie and R (not spoiling anything here!); however, I do feel sorry for him in that he's a man who simply wants to survive. I think R and Julie have, by far, one of the best romantic relationships ever; there's something Beauty and the Beast about it where they're not sure about each other at first but then form a small team by the end of the book. One of my favourite parts of the book was the first time Julie hugs R - she's grossed out and a bit repulsed by the hug at first, but then she gives in and hugs him like a normal person. Some parts of this book are very deep and meaningful in which it questions about life and death and humanity and how what it takes to be human.
Sweet, fun and kind of horrifying, I'm not even sure what category this book is set in. It has action, romance, horror and a slight twinge of humour sprinkled in; I could barely put it down.
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 STARS!,
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Kindle Edition)
The Cover: It is simple in ways, but is very effective and gives a very strong presence of zombies. It easily captures your attention and reminded me a lot of when a group of zombies slowly amble their way to the city... and when I say slowly, I mean slowly slowly.
'R' is a Zombie. He is not sure where his kind stands in the world, he thinks of himself as a person... just dead and not alive. They think of themselves and each other as just disposable, merely shells roaming the earth with no purpose and ambition. He feels they are all misunderstood and just doing what they must do to survive (just like the living who are killing them). He doesn't remember anything from his past life, no dreams, no lasting thoughts, no sentimental items and not even his own name. Except their clothes, he believes he may have been a business man due to his smart attire, however he can only imagine within his decaying mind of what life was like. They keep a safe distance from the living... except when they must feed. Their favourite part to eat, the brain (yummy). It provides them with the memories they have lost and forgotten, a way of refilling their empty minds and bring them back to the life of the living. R is very different from the other zombies, he thinks very deeply and provides a great perspective of his world. When out on a hunting trip he meets Julie, and he feels like his heart is finally coming back to life. Instead of eating her, he saves her and so brings her back to his 'house' (an aeroplane, is that cool or what?) to keep her safe. And so amongst the strange thoughts, feelings and atmosphere, the zombie slayer and the zombie begin to build a sweet relationship in this confused world.
R is a brilliant character, he is funny at times but is also a big thinker. He thinks a lot about the purpose of life and what it will bring in the future. After every hunt he brings back a souvenir, he doesn't know why he does it, he just... does. He loves to listen to records as he feels it brings him that much closer to civilisation and loves to watch it as it feels much more real that an mp3 player. As the story progresses, he can feel himself starting to change and his number of syllables said in one sentence constantly increasing without pause, instead of his usual shrug. He thinks a lot about Julie's safety and is constantly looking out for her, making sure she isn't getting into any trouble.
Julie is a brilliantly developed character. She is clever, strong and easily holds her own, she can also be very funny at times when talking to R. Julie admits to making mistakes in her life, but easily learns from them and so helps those in need and always does what's best for others... such as R. We also learn about Perry, who was Julie's boyfriend of which R killed. After eating Perrys brain we got an insight on what life was like for Perry and also more about Julie. This was a great twist to the story and so allowed us to see what happened over the course of the years of which the earth got overrun by zombies, and the physical and psychological effects it had on the human race.
One thing I really loved in the book, was the zombies. I found myself thinking and in ways acting like them such as when they speak, because they struggle to say more than a couple of syllables, every time they took a breath I found myself taking a deep breath too... weird or what? Their groaning was also expressed a lot and was interesting the way they would just spend ages riding the escalators for hours on end and just, groan. In ways it showed their personalities but you should read about the 'Oldeys'... now they are a strange bunch.
This book had a great pace and always kept me interested. The two different perspectives were great and the way that R imagined talking to Perry really added an air of mystery to how powerful the brain really is. I could easily picture the settings as the description was flawless and effortless, the settings were also well planned out and the imagination in this book was spectacular. There was mystery, suspense, a hidden romance, pure emotion and the journey of a zombie unearthing himself and reappearing into civilisation.
I HIGHLY recommend this book and cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.
Warm Bodies- 2
5.0 out of 5 stars Weirdly warm and fuzzy...,
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
As with so many books in this genre which have come and gone before it, Warm Bodies is set in a world pretty much overrun with zombies. Small pockets of humans continue to exist, living uneasily alongside the walking dead, fighting for survival and scavenging where they can whilst all the while on the lookout for those zombies intent on making them their next meal. So far, so predictable. But with Warm Bodies there is something (or rather someone) distinctly different; a zombie simply known as 'R'.
When we first meet R he is to all intents and purposes a regular zombie - partial to a brain or two, shuffling walk, blank staring eyes, who can't remember much about his pre-zombie life - but with a slightly unusual twist. For although outwardly zombie-like, inwardly he is beautifully literate, able to ponder a wide range of topics and string sentences together with perfect ease (whilst in reality he struggles to utter the smallest of words). And it is this uniqueness that leads R to save Julie, a living girl who is part of a crew attacked by his group whilst out on a raid. Unsure at first of his actions and what it means for those around him, R begins to question his existence, wondering whether there is a way out of being the 'thing' he's become. And with these new thoughts comes the overwhelming sense that he must protect Julie and keep her safe. And despite her initial reservations, their relationship slowly begins to blossom and R starts to wonder if there might be another chance for him and his kind...
Firstly, this has to be the most unconventional love story I have ever read. And at its heart, that is exactly what it is. No, it doesn't have the typical love story elements (other than boy meets girl, but he's Dead and she's Living so it's not exactly your standard stuff), but that really doesn't matter. Marion's writing is so wonderfully done, the characters so beautifully drawn and considered, that he could be writing about a block of cheese and a table falling in love and you'd still read it! And that to me is the sign of a truly brilliant writer. To make the reader care deeply for a being that ordinarily you would want to see disposed of in the opening chapters, is a skill not easily mastered. And for all his self-deprecation in the author intro (he did not 'go to college or win any prizes' apparently) it's clear that Marion is a talented writer who knows how to put words together to make the reader want to keep reading.
Although I'd seen the film and therefore knew what was coming storyline-wise, I still had a hard time imagining how Marion would make R into the romantic lead. In a way I think it's harder to do in the book because he's relying on the reader to use their own imagination to conjure up what R looks and behaves like. So again, it's testament to Marion's writing that he's not only able to make us care for this being (by telling the story from the first person POV so we can really experience everything he does), but he makes us root for him too. We want him to succeed, we want him to live and we want him to find his place in the world again!
This really is an amazing book and an excellent example of what can be achieved using an established genre but with a unique twist. And for anyone wondering - I know this has been compared more than once to the (frankly awful) Twilight (not helped by the unappealing quote from Meyer on the back cover), but please believe me when I say that it's nothing like it at all. This is better written, more sophisticated and far more entertaining too. Read it as soon as you can - you won't be disappointed!
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet romance but disappointing otherwise,
R is a zombie. He exists in a slow-paced, endlessly repetitive world broken only by short bursts of feeding until he meets Julie, a normal human. Rather than feeding on her, R decides on impulse to capture her and protect her. But being around a living human for such a long period of time starts to have unusual effects and R finds himself changing, becoming different from all of the zombies around him. Can a relationship between a human and a zombie ever work?
I never had massively high hopes for Warm Bodies, but it did come recommended from someone who isn't normally a paranormal romance fan, so I was hoping that it would be fun and enjoyable. And to a certain extent, it was. I liked the tongue in cheek tone of the novel and the moments of dry humour Marion sprinkles throughout the story. Warm Bodies doesn't take itself too seriously and I liked that.
The romance itself was surprisingly sweet and believable too. I'm still not quite sure how Marion pulled it off, but R falling in love felt sweet in a non-tacky way. There was no insta-love and the interactions between the two leads were sensitively written, with just enough humour to keep them from being sappy. I was most definitely rooting for them.
The issue I had with Warm Bodies wasn't the romance, but rather the way the zombie issue itself was dealt with. Now I'm not an expert on zombies, but I know the basics and I wasn't cool with the zombie mythology in the book. There was no explanation of how the zombies came to exist in such large populations across the world and as soon as I could predict where the ending was going with R, it felt like a cop out. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but the whole zombie idea was altered too much for my liking. It felt like the easy way out.
And that wasn't the only easy way out. R initially meets Julie on a feeding/hunting trip with other zombies and Julie's boyfriend is killed. This could have been an interesting source of conflict/tension between them and could have led to some real-life complications, but everything was brushed aside by Marion in order to make the romance 'easy'. This didn't sit well with me.
On the whole, Warm Bodies was a short, fun read full of dry humour but it required just too much suspension of belief when it came to the zombies themselves.
4.0 out of 5 stars The dead have feelings too,
I've owned Warm Bodies for a long time, but I was always a little wary of reading it. After all, I'm a self-confessed zombie purist - it takes a lot to convince me that a zombie doesn't need to be a shambling Romero-esque brain muncher to make a good zombie book. But with the release of the movie I thought it was time to put aside my qualms and give Warm Bodies a try.
I thought R was fantastic - he can't remember his past, but deep down he knows that brain-slurping isn't the only way forward, and he conciously makes a decision not to eat Julie when he discovers her hiding out with some other humans - instead he takes her back to his home and keeps her safe from the other zombies that want to eat her. Julie is my favourite kind of zombie-heroine - she's tough, brave and not afraid to speak her mind - even to a zombie. I loved how their friendship/relationship developed gradually during the course of the book, making Julie very realistic - after all, falling in love with a zombie can't be an instant thing.
The world has obviously been changed by the zombie-apocalypse, but I loved Isaac Marion's take on the whole thing - it's different to nearly every other zombie-world that I've read, and definitely gave me food for thought, particularly in regards to HOW the world came to be, and how the humans had carved out a way of surviving. There are so many things that I would love to talk about in terms of the world-building, but it would be pretty spoilerish, so I'm going to steer away from it, but there's a few particular scenes that really took me by surprise.
My fears about a zombie-perspective were, as it turns out, completely unfounded. Mr. Marion takes the idea that zombies are brain-dead, non-feeling corpses and turns that on it's head, and although there are some stereotypical zombies, there are other events that really don't fall into the typical genre ideas, and they are particularly ingenious.
Along with the perspective, the standard of the writing really wowed me - zombie books can often fall into a stereotype when it comes to the actual words and the way they can convey the story, but in Warm Bodies I found a style that I really really liked.
The only one thing that let me down a little was the ending - and now that there's another book to come, perhaps it would work better, but it did feel a little rushed and there wasn't really a satisfactory conclusion for me, although it's obvious the intent was not to tie everything up neatly.
Warm Bodies completely surpassed my expectations - an exceptional writing style, unusual and fantastic characterisation and some awesome zombie ideas.
5.0 out of 5 stars Romeo and Juliet meets The Walking Dead,
I've been wanting to read this novel for a while now but the whole idea of pairing zombies and romance kind of put me off. I'm a huge fan of any novel or film that has an apocalyptic back-drop, which is what won me over and made me decide to finally read 'Warm Bodies'. And I'm so glad I did.
'R' is a zombie. He's dead, ceased to breathe. His skin is grey, his eyes are grey and he's caked in the blood of his victims. But there's something different about him. He has a personality. He can string a sentence together, more than the typical utterance of "Brrrains!" that his fellow undead can manage. He can remember the first letter of his name. And he wants to remember more. He wants to connect with the living world that still struggles to go on around him. He wants to live.
This is quite possibly the best Zombie novel I've read. 'R' is a brilliant character - a zombie with a lust for life, with a heart that no longer beats and yet can still feel love. The novel is told in a sort of internal monologue from R's perspective. His insights into life and death and the reasons for our crazy human behaviours are so eloquent, so painfully beautiful that I wish I'd read this with a pen in hand to underline my favourite passages.
There is so much I want to say about this novel and I just don't have the words to accomplish it. I feel a little like R trying to piece together the words to explain the complex new emotions he is feeling. This book kind of broke the mold, it takes the rules of the Zombie cannon and smashes them all to pieces. Surely a zombie and a living breathing human being can't fall in love? Sure they can. Surely as a reader, we're not supposed to connect with a brain-eating zombie? Well, I certainly did.
This book blew my tiny mind. I urge everyone who likes zombies, romance or just a damn good story to go out and read this novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars dystopian zom-com: a scream,
Warm Bodies is a dystopian novel, written by the Seattle based Isaac Marion. Whether it is a work of science fiction with a romantic edge or a romantic comedy with undertones of science fiction is debatable, but it has many relatable themes. The most important is to do with the disintegration of both the Earth and society. The book warns us how our world will look, and how our people will feel if we do not change now. Another theme is love and how it can heal, cure and overcome whatever barriers stand in the way.
The core relationship is between a young zombie R who lives in an old plane and rendered unable to communicate beyond grunts at first gets kicks from eating brains with his friend M; and a livelier, scatty girl called Julie who comes from a safe compound made out of an old stadium. The first encounter between zombies and humans occurs relatively early in the novel, and is a graphic scene of blood, guts and gore which is very vivid and believable in a comic kind of style. Along with scientific illustrations of parts of the body from Gray's Anatomy, the goriness, foul scenes and mindless, zombie detachment juxtapose well with and help the reader to understand the warmth of the blossoming relationship, particularly from the perspective of R.
The couple find holding down their relationship hard not only due to physical barriers implemented by their elders, but also space time barriers they and society have constructed. However they feel compelled to strive to overcome the odds and inspire a cure for mankind. Their aim like that of many lead characters in works of a similar theme is to stop evil and save the world.
There's an underlying sadness to the novel, I couldn't help but feel sad for R and the guilt he felt when he met Julie. I also felt bad for the zombies' dead victims who seemed to haunt and guide R. However it is a novel about new starts, fresh outlooks and forgiving. Human survival dominates the need to mourn and post modern romance will hopefully prevail.
By the end of Warm Bodies most parents are dead and children fostered. Emphasis is made upon the desire parents have to protect and almost hold back their children. I feel the elders are all regarded as a little out of touch. Was this part of the cause of the dystopian society in the first place? I believe an important message Marion conveys, is in an ever changing world it is important now more than ever that people work together, not against one another. That they live and let live.
Really funny in parts, very tongue in cheek so none of the disturbing issues come across too scary, a good read for adults and teenagers alike I reckon. I could relate to both the zombies and the humans. I can definitely see why it's been adapted to a film.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wished it was a lot longer!,
Like a lot of people, I rushed to get this book before I go and see the film that just came out - I saw the trailer and it looked bloody hilarious. It had been on my wishlist since it first came out but I just forgot about it for some reason. I'm kind of glad I did though since I didn't have long to wait before the film came out.
I found myself liking this book more than I thought I would. I'd read a whole lot of reviews before even thinking about picking the book up, most of them saying the book was really enjoyable, but I couldn't help being very apprehensive.
I thought was R was the highlight of the whole story. I loved his narrative and his personality. He was sweet, sometimes to the point of being cheesy, and then he would become incredibly philosophical when it came down to explaining his own existence.
Most of all though, R was just completely unexpected. When people talk about their favourite romantic characters it's always the bad boys who change or the mysterious vampire/werewolves, not the zombie who doesn't want to be dead. But I fell in love with R! He had this really unusual charm to him with the way he interacts with others, being alive or dead, and with himself too. His mind was completely open to readers and that made for a fantastic read. I really love R.
I thought the plot was amazing too. I really liked the idea that if somebody has hope then there will always be somewhere you can go and something you can do to change things - giving up wasn't an option for certain characters in this book. It had its lovely, heartwarming moments and moments where nothing seems to be going right. The fact that I stayed up well into the night to finish this book really says it all.
Overall, I thought this was a fantastic read and I only wish it was a lot, lot longer.
4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading, but worth every page.,
Isaac Marion really appears out of the woodwork with this one. The 'zombie apocalypse' genre has been done to death (excuse the pun) over the last few years, and this book begs the question: Where are all the other examples of a zombie's point-of-view, or zombies turning back into humans? For such a popular theme, it is fairly uniform.
While being a relatively short book, the characterisation is wonderful, Isaac Marion skilfully makes R (the zombie main character) perhaps the most relatable, human figure in the book, without completely glossing over the fact that zombies do, essentially, eat people. In fact, this plays into the story in a gruesomely intriguing way. Indeed the plot, while unavoidably predictable, is both gripping and introspective, with a handful of clever twists and light-hearted moments thrown in against the bleak background. The relationship between R and Julie is surprisingly understandable, especially considering one half of it is a dead body.
My only gripe is the somewhat movie-screen feel of the writing towards the end of the second half, almost as if the book was written as a screenplay for the film, instead of as a novel. This doesn't detract hugely from the the reading though, and the interesting concept holds the story up above most other books of this genre.
Warm Bodies is a refreshing new take on the post-apocalyptic world, certainly not a heavy book, on the surface it's fairly simplistic. However, you slowly come to realise Marion may be making a comment on the way we live our lives today (and there's a sequel in the pipeline, so who knows what the author has planned?), and despite its light appearance, the tone is just serious enough. Definitely worth a weekend read. Maybe this will spark a few more in-depth and complex books that explore the genre in a new way.
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Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (Paperback - 14 Oct. 2010)