When I first read WARM BODIES early this year, I tried twice to review it, but I could never really find the words I wanted to say. (I also wanted to get into a bit of a rant about the circumstances in which I read it–but more on that later.) Then, when I read the prequel novella a few weeks ago, I tried to review that too but suffered a similar problem. Long story short: I loved both of those books. Like, really loved them. WARM BODIES was such a good book in every aspect; it had awesome characters in a very unique, very fresh storyline. THE NEW HUNGER was such a worthwhile addition as a prequel novella, going far enough back in the lives of some of the characters to give meaningful context to their situations, but not so far back that it seemed like the obligatory “this is how the end of the world really happened” instalment. Honestly, I have nothing but praise to give Isaac Marion.
So, while I’ve not been like the other fans who read WARM BODIES five years ago and have waited so long for the sequel, I’ve been fairly eagerly awaiting it. That’s why, when it was announced a few hours ago that the sequel will actually be split into two books–making it a four-book series–I was absolutely delighted. I’ve watched interviews with Isaac Marion, and I’ve read his blog posts, so I’ve known that the sequel was going o be different from the first book. While WARM BODIES was mainly focussed on the single character development and romance of R, the sequel was going to be a much wider scope of a story, encapsulating various characters traipsing their way through the end of the world, concerning itself more with cultural and political problems that come with a zombie apocalypse. Now that it’s been announced that the sequel will actually be sequels, I am nothing short of ecstatic. This series has very quickly become one of my favourite series. Isaac Marion’s writing skill and storytelling grabs you from the first page, and never seems to falter. I can’t wait for another two books of it!
THE BURNING WORLD is set for a July release next year, with THE LIVING to come out in 2017.
It feels like everything about this series kind of took off recently. I read the prequel novella a week before I found out that the prequel novella was (finally) being published in print in America, then I watched the movie, and then today the sequel announcement happened.
If you don’t know; WARM BODIES tells the story of R. He is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization. And then he meets a girl. First as his captive, then his reluctant guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl–although she looks delicious–he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.
It’s such a strange, wacky, beautiful story. I don’t know how, but I truly found myself connecting with a zombie, feeling the same things he was beginning to feel, even so far as empathising with him. It might be obvious, but I really recommend this book.
If anything, knowing that the sequels won’t follow the same kind of tone and storyline as this one only makes me more excited.
As far as I’m aware, THE BURNING WORLD and THE LIVING aren’t going to be direct sequels. [Edit: this original paragraph was just a train-wreck of wrong! The sequels in fact are direct sequels, still following R and Julie! Which means MORE R AND JULIE, which means MY HEART IS HAPPY!]
This post ended up just being a massive stream of me gushing about the fact that I love WARM BODIES and everything about it. But I think you get the idea; this book is very, very good. It’s prequel novella was very, very good. And I have every reason to believe that it’s sequels are going to be very, very good too.