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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

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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

(Contains spoilers.)

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 21 months ago by Ginny


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning new take on an old favourite, 25 Oct. 2010
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PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
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 story, set it against the zombie apocalypse and made it relevant for today's reader. This book is so good that I read it in one sitting which is most unusual for me nowadays.

Mr Marion is a very skilled wordsmith as Burton has illustrated and if I can be forgiven for copying his method just read the author's description of sleep: 'Every time I go to sleep, I know I may never wake up. How could anyone expect to? You drop your tiny, helpless mind into a bottomless well, crossing your fingers and hoping that when you pull it out on its flimsy fishing wire it hasn't been gnawed to bones by nameless beasts below'. How profound and poetic is that? Remember it next time you wake from a bad dream.

This story is so complete that I suspect the author may not return to the wonderful but awful world that he created but I for one can't wait to read what he writes next.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising gem, 8 Oct. 2010
By 
M. K. Burton - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
The world has been more or less overtaken by zombies, groaning swaying creatures who exist mainly to feast on the remaining humans' flesh. "R" is one such, but he occasionally has dreams about what it's like to be human, and he thinks about who he was even though he can't quite figure it out. On a raid one day, R sees a girl, Julie, and instead of eating her, decides to save her. He masks her with zombie blood and brings her back to the airport where the zombies live, somehow changed because of her brightness, vivacity, and humanness. Despite the fact that R is a zombie and Julie is a human, things begin to change between them, and R begins to wonder if there might be more to life than his zombie self realised.

I doubt my summary above conveyed this book properly, and I hope you haven't clicked away, because I loved this book. I mean well and truly loved it, was completely drawn in by it, found passages in it that I liked and actually marked to remember. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you'll probably know by the lack of quotes around here that I simply don't take note of it very often. I'm rarely struck by a particular passage to such an extent that I'll specifically mark it out - I see them, but I generally just keep on reading. Not here.

What most struck me about the book was the fact that Marion used death in order to define life. It was somehow funny and profound at the exact same time - I knew that this guy was an arm-waving, moaning zombie, Marion cracks jokes regularly about how they try to recapture certain elements of their humanness - but at the same time he's reminding his readers, reminding me, how actually amazing it is to be alive. And now I'll shut up and just quote the book:

"Sex, once a law as undisputed as gravity, has been disproved. The equation erased, the backboard broken.

Sometimes it's a relief. I remember the need, the insatiable hunger that ruled my life and the lives of everyone around me. Sometimes I'm glad to be free of it. There's less trouble now. But our loss of this, the most basic of all human passions, might sum up our loss of everything else. It's made things quieter. Simpler. And it's one of the surest signs that we're dead." (p 25)

It just struck me as so poignant - life, messy as it is, is something that is precious, and now that R has lost it, he realises this.

Of course, this is also something of a love story, if one of the most unusual ones that I've ever read. I was doubtful at first, I'll be honest, because who can imagine a zombie as a hero? I'm already not the world's biggest fan of paranormal romances. But, rather astonishingly, it works, and it's not because we forget R is a zombie, either, as we're reminded of this very often. Instead, it's because we can see inside his head, and we see how he changes as Julie enters his life. It's quite a remarkable book. And despite the author's intro amusingly citing his lack of qualifications, it's beautifully written, and I was pulled into this post-apocalyptic world without any effort on my part.

Warm Bodies is an astonishingly beautiful book - a reminder of what it is to be human and a touching romance wrapped up in a zombie novel, of all things. It's also wildly funny at times and even disgusting at others, which also makes it one of the most peculiar books I've ever read, but it's oh so worth it. You truly won't be sorry you picked this gem up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Start that Crashes and Burns, 26 Jun. 2013
By 
Ginny (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Kindle Edition)
See my review of this book, and many more, at TalesfromtheGreatEastRoad.wordpress.com

(Contains spoilers.)

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 he and his fellow zombies have overrun, losing himself in routine of walking in circles, as he tries to remember. He even has a friend he can talk to (albeit very slowly).

Despite this R is still a zombie: a monster that craves human blood. Until he meets Julie, a human girl, and find he has to save her life or reasons even he doesn't know. Can R still be human in some way? Is it possible he's falling in love?

Warm Bodies starts off beautifully. Through R's first person narrative, we are shown the inner workings of a man who has become a monster, still clinging onto the last few pieces of his humanity. He wonders who he is, as "R" is all he can remember from his name, and tries to forge relationships with other zombies. He understandably becomes obsessed with human creations, like music, to try and feel connected to humanity again. This novel also uses the interesting idea that the reason zombies eat human brains is because they can relive a person's memories through this. This leads to a hilarious scene between R and his friend M, sharing a brain like two teenagers sharing a joint.

If the book had continued in this fashion it would have been five stars. Then along come the love interest, Julie. This girl has survived a zombie apocalypse, watched the world fall apart around her, seen her boyfriend eaten in front of her, yet spends the whole book whining her life is so hard and that Daddy doesn't love her enough, because he's trying to save everyone else and fix the world. It's near impossible to believe that she's so special that she is supposed to be the one who cures all the zombies by spreading love. Also, how could you fall in love with the zombie who literally ripped apart your boyfriend right in front of your eyes?

The book would have worked so much better if it had been the story of R's redemption by facing all the monstrous things he'd done to survive, but he is never punished for his actions and all the people he has killed, not even by himself. In fact, Julie forgives him for eating Perry, her boyfriend, almost instantly because they were having relationship problems. By eating Perry's brain, R is (somehow) able to communicate with the dead man through his memories - these scenes are very weird and disjointed. The whole book was written in a a poetic style that felt forced, like the author was trying too hard.

Warm Bodies could have been such an amazing novel, but it quickly lost its harsh, realistic edge then continued to go downhill as it tried too hard for a "happily-ever-after" ending, which ruined it completely.

2 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead brilliant!, 24 May 2012
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
I recently finished "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion and found it to be an amazing read. I never would have believed that I could feel such empathy for a leading man who feasts on human flesh. But Marion's unusual protagonist "R" is really very compelling.

Perhaps one of the most interesting ideas in Marion's book is the suggestion that in R's head, he is still eloquent and philosophical. But the act of converting thoughts into action, like driving a car and speaking in sentences of more than four syllables, is too difficult. Maybe I enjoyed this idea because these days my head is the same poetic place it's always been, but suddenly the acts of talking and writing coherently seem stilted and lifeless.

What saves the day in "Warm Bodies", of course, is love. When out hunting, R feasts upon the brain of a wisened lad by the name of Perry. After doing so he is able to recall Perry's life and his love for a woman named Julie. When R sees Julie crouched and scared, he makes the decision to protect her and not feed on her.

What happens next is touching without being clichéd or corny. Love transforms both R and Julie. As their names might suggest there is something of a Capulet/Montague thing going on here. There's also another zombie called M who is evocative of Shakespeare's Mercutio, a father blinded by prejudice, and even a balcony scene. None of this is crudely obvious and the plot is vastly different, but still; I appreciate the hints.

Overall, I think I loved this book because it highlights something about humanity as a species. It would be trite to say that we are all becoming zombies blah blah blah... and that's not really what I'm on about anyway. What I loved was the idea of love being possible even against unfathomable odds. When R meets Julie, he goes on a journey of discovery with hopes of feeling his blood warm in his veins again. He wants his heart to beat once more and he wants it to beat for her. And the heroine is not so vastly different to her undead suitor. What makes her different to the rest of her colony, however, is her ability to accept R's affection and to return it with her own. Sometimes love, no matter how it's seen by the majority, can be enough to bring life, or at least rebirth, to even the grimmest of stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable, light hearted piece of entertainment, 4 Feb. 2012
By 
R. A. Davison (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
If you wished to give Warm Bodies a pithy popular culture summation, you might say "It's like Twilight but with a Zombie" though this gives the general gist as to what the novel is about, it is unfair to both it and its author Isaac Marion.

Warm Bodies has been a resounding success for Marion, he originally self published it, but it took off by word of mouth to such a degree it has received a physical publication both here and in America and this year the movie adaptation starring British actor Nicholas Hoult in the lead will be released. This book was mentioned in passing (just author and title) to me on Twitter, but after looking it up and seeing it was a zombie novel and a romance at that, it took me mere seconds to buy it, and I'm not in the least ashamed of this!

Warm Bodies begins with the line :

I'm dead but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it.

so right there in the opening line it gets you as all good novels are supposed to do, and thus begins the absorbing and slightly melancholic tale of R, a zombie living among a hive of fellow soulless beings at an airport. He doesn't have much of a vocabulary nor much of a thought process, but he has a wife, sort of, and kids, sort of.

One day he goes hunting with his friend of sorts M. Zombies savour the brains of their victims because they see their memories as they consume them giving them a fleeting remembrance of what it was like to be human once. Having done this to one man R recognises his next potential victim as his previous victim's girlfriend, deciding not to kill her, he drags her home to his unusual lodgings and our romance develops from there.

Warm Bodies is in many ways inherently flawed not least because a zombie by definition cannot have the feelings and behaviours which R exhibits, but neither realistically can a vampire. So you have to let that canon slide if you want to enjoy this book. It has some other mild issues it lacks a level of profundity at times despite good quality prose, is a little episodic in nature as opposed to a steady ongoing plot flow and I was torn over whether it's homage to the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet was utterly genius or utterly corny. I did read it in one sitting though, will watch the movie and would read other novels by Marion.

It is an endearing novel and certainly an original concept. It hasn't got much in terms of actual literary merit but is extremely entertaining. 9/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed ..., 21 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
I was intrigued by the concept of this story and decided to read the book before watching the movie. I wouldn't really recommend either.
My main problem was with the lead female Julie , I found her completely unbelievable as a teenage girl and couldn't understand if she was innocent or damaged , overall she became really annoying. The slight changes to the idea of zombies in this story is very clever and had potential to be different, however after awhile I found the storyline turning into all other teen romances.
In all honesty I found the story surprisingly dull and was disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique Zombie Novel, 10 July 2014
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
Warm Bodies is a really unique take on a post-apocalyptic zombie novel . Commonly with zombie
novels we are placed in a head of the survivor, we see the struggles and trials they go though, but not with Warm Bodies. Nope, in this book were placed in the mind of the zombie, we get to experience all
his thoughts and feelings. . . It was really strange to look at a brain eating zombie and go. . . “Wow, I really like this guy” But, that is exactly what ended up happening with the main character R in this book.

Isaac Marion is an brilliant writer…Seriously guys, this book was jam packed full of witty inner musing and quotable character dialogue. I loved the way Isaac Marion did a fantastic job at making the humour in this book really. . . dry (Which is my favourite kind of funny). The tone that was set throughout this book is really hard to explain, there was a greyness throughout that really help set the pacing of the story.

The female protagonist was strong and interesting, she could really kick some ass. The one thing that I thought let the book down a little was the length, I think that Isaac should have made it just a little longer, to flesh out some of the story lines within.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good, 1 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Warm Bodies (Paperback)
Like a lot of people I decided to read this due to the film. I saw the trailer for Warm Bodies and thought it would be an interesting read. I wasn't disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it.

I love to read and I read a lot! However, this is not my usual genre. At first, it was hard to adjust to it all. But the more I read, the easier it got. Ofcourse these Zombies don't really talk so I didn't quite know how the communication would work.

It was great to see how the Zombies developed. I think its very clever as this isn't your usual zombie story.

I would recommend it and am now going to watch the film 7 out of 10! And I will be interested to see how they have adapted the book into a film
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Zombie met Julia - A love story with a difference, 31 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Warm Bodies (Kindle Edition)
Zombies rule. Literally. The world has gone to pot and now the living dead are living out their lives as slowly rotting corpses in a land decimated by a plague that lets the dead rise up, that is if the dead aren't eaten beforehand by other hungry Zombies. Humans who have survived the plague now have to live fortressed lives, dodging Zombie feeding parties in a bid to live each day as best they can.

"R" is a Zombie, he's better looking than most other Zombies, he pretty much got all his parts intact though his skin colouring leaves a lot to be desired. He has little memory of who he was before he became a Zombie, he knows his name began with an R so he calls himself, "R" but what he does remember is that despite the hunger he has for human flesh and brains rules his life, he was once human with human emotions and feelings.

When he kills and eats a human called Perry he finds himself seeing parts of Perry's life through his own eyes and how this youth had loved a girl called Julia, a girl that is about to be killed and eaten by his fellow Zombies and for reasons "R" cannot yet fathom, he saves her life and hides her in the airport where most of the Zombies live in grotesque parodies of a human life, with families being created from the withered flesh of the risen dead.

This the most surprising love story you will ever read. It's a Zombie meets girl but does not eat girl but saves her instead, girl gets to know Zombie and starts to fall in love with him too but of course true love is never straight forward for Zombie and his one true love.

"R" has to fight to regain his lost humanity, along with taking on the Boney's, the self appointed leaders of the Zombie "family." With only his decaying friend "M" supporting him, "R" is forced to go on a road trip that will lead him to Julia's world, a place where the only good Zombie is a dead Zombie.

But "R" has one advantage that just might save him, he is in love and he can now pass as a living being for he is slowly changing, not just internally but externally too. But will he get the girl of his dreams? Will he escape the wrath of the Boney's and Julia's soldier father, all of whom want him dead, this time for good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Handsome Zombie is about to eat girl but loves her instead . . . What. The. Heck., 22 May 2014
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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.
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Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (Paperback - 31 Jan. 2013)
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