The New Hunger: The Prequel to Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

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The New Hunger: The Prequel to Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

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Category: Dystopian Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: This is not your typical zombie story - nor is anything like the new monster romances such as Twilight. It is the prequel to one of the best books I have ever read, and in class all its own.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Vintage
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0099587729

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I normally review a book within a day or two of finishing it. I couldn't with this one. I loved this book, but I did feel dissatisfied with the ending, and I thought perhaps I was missing something - and I was. This book was written as a prequel, and most of the readers will have already read Warm Bodies. I found something so unique in Isaac Marion's writing style, and something about this book so compelling that I couldn't quite bear to rate it down, but neither was I happy with a 5 star rating with such as lacklustre ending. It felt like half a book to me. So - in order to review this fairly - I felt I had to read the author's first book. After reading it I am no longer disappointed in the ending. It isn't after all the end - it is just the beginning of one of the best books I have ever read.

The New Hunger is the story of two girls in very different situations. The main focus is on Nora, who has been abandoned along with a much younger brother when her drug addicted parents decided life would be easier without them. Julie on the other hand is well cared for as possible under the circumstances. She has two parents, including a father who had been a high ranking military member and a more free spirited mother. Both girls display something of the women they will become though, especially Nora, who shows a very unusual empathy and thoughtfulness. They both also show an incredible inner reserve of strength, courage and goodness.

Meanwhile we have a rather thoughtful Zombie - well he has thoughts and even a few words which is more than most zombies. He gathers others of his own kind to him, including one other zombie who has retained something of the power of speech and travels onwards, pursuing the fleeing humans looking for a place where he and his friends can survive, just as the humans seek a safe place for themselves. What they want isn't so different except for one thing - but unfortunately they are mutually exclusive.

This isn't like any other zombie book I have ever read. If you just want slash and bash, this isn't it. There is violence, but it is not excessive and or overly graphic. There is some reference to sexual abuse, but this is vague enough that a child reading this will never have a clue as to what they read about. The author has just given up the two great marketing ploys of 21st century - sex and graphic violence. Instead he has written in such a way that he makes the reader think. This is a book that will have you questioning many things - including what makes us into monsters. The characters are exceptionally well developed as well, so this is very much a book that you can completely immerse yourself in. This book just scratches the surface of what makes Warm Bodies unique, but it lays the groundwork for a story that is literally unforgettable, with a real moral and a wonderful message.

On the downside though - it is short. this works well for younger readers, but I usually like a bit more. To be fair though, there is no padding and not a single slow spot. I read it cover to cover in two hours, although it has taken me far longer to read it aloud. The reading level of this book is quite easy, and I am really not certain if this is meant to be classed as young adult or adult fiction. It works equally well for either in my opinion. Not only have I read it, my oldest (age 8) is near finishing it on his own and I read the book to my five year old as well, skimming over just a couple of bits. My children especially loved the illustrations - which are quite strange really, medical type drawings of several types of skulls or other body parts. Both boys rate this 5 stars, as do I but I will warn parents there is one instance of a teenager smoking a marijuana cigarette. It turns out to be rather bad idea, so I have no problem with this for my eldest, but skipped this part with my youngest.

If this book appeals then you might also like to try:

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

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Buy The New Hunger: The Prequel to Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The New Hunger: The Prequel to Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion at


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