Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
|Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion|
|Category: Dystopian Fiction|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: One of the most thought provoking and moving books I have ever read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: January 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
Warm Bodies is told in an alternating first person point of view, switching back and forth between R a zombie who has retained a bit more of the power of thought than most, and Julie, a feisty and courageous heroine, who has been through horrible hardships, but retained an ability to truly care about others. In short, R has far more humanity than the average zombie, but Julie also held on to more of the traits that I feel truly make us human in a world where kindness and unselfish love have become even more endangered than the human race itself. Two other characters are important to this storyline, M, R's best friend and Nora, Julie's closest friend and confidant. I especially liked Nora, who has suffered far more than Julie, and yet still is willing to put aside past hurt, but M has his redeeming points as well.
R starts off as the villain of the piece. He isn't really in need of nourishment, but he is frustrated, confused and longing for something to fill the emptiness in his life, so he decides to go out and kill, rounding up several other zombies for an attack on the humans. It turns out humans provide zombies with more than the only food source their dead bodies can utilise, their brains hold their memories and give the zombie a brief, vicarious experience of the one thing they want most of all - life. R consumes the brain of Perry Kelvin, a young man very much in love with Julie who now will coexist to some degree with R. He now experiences a drive far greater than he has ever known as a zombie - not to kill or feed but to save. How much of this comes from R and how much from Perry we will never known, but he does save her, and Julie allows him to do this. After this she takes a very takes an active role, accepting R as he is, naming him, and seeing him as something more than a monster.
I absolutely loved this book, especially the ending. My children loved it as well, despite being quite young. The characters are so well developed, you really do feel for each one. The book does leave guessing right up until the end as to the cause of the plague, but when this is finally revealed, it certainly has implications on life today. They say zombie stories take off in times of economic or social insecurity, and I think this true. Warm Bodies leaves you wondering - what exactly do we do to make the world a better place, and what would we risk to do it. If we do nothing - are really any better than either the selfish humans or the monsters? This book had even my children questioning right and wrong - and realising that sometimes the answers are not black and white but shades of grey - just like the flesh of the undead.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion at Amazon.com.
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