R is a zombie. Like the rest of the Dead in Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies, he hunts the Living and eats them. When he eats a human brain, he receives the memories of that person. When R eats the brain of a teenage boy named Perry, he is captivated by Julie, a fiery curly-haired Living girl. He saves Julie and takes her to his home at an abandoned airport. R’s and Julie’s relationship set something off, and it soon becomes readily apparent that R is no ordinary zombie anymore than Julie is an ordinary human. Together, these two people confront their broken, (un) dead world.
I was utterly charmed by this book. I have read and enjoyed other zombie novels–among them Max Brooks’ World War Z and Alden Bell’s The Reapers Are The Angels, but this was a very different take from theirs. Marion makes the zombie condition both literal and allegorical. Being a zombie does not seem to be a result of a virus or sorcery, but rather of something of the soul. I’ve never read a zombie story that quite touches on that dichotomy, and I really appreciated that. I also loved how Marion develops R as a character. His thoughts gradually become more eloquent and developed. The narrative feels more cohesive, and the reader understands more. Overall, I was very impressed and recommend that you check this book out.