Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

What is the one thing that can make hardcore, apocalypse-prepared, gun-toting, gore-obsessed, zombie enthusiasts shake in their collective boots?

Twilight.

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a zombie fans more than the prospect of tweenage girls daydreaming about finding a zombie who will love them even though they’re not the most popular girl in school. The Twilightification of the zombie, if you will. That’s the concern over Isaac Marion’s novel and upcoming film, Warm Bodies. Is that what Warm Bodies really is though, or could it be a welcome addition in your zombie library? I went ahead and spent over my 3 dollar zombie novel comfort level to find out.

Warm Bodies is the story of a zombie named R. At least that’s what he calls himself, as he can’t remember his name proper. You see, R has a very fuzzy memory, despite being a pretty highly functioning zombie. WB is told from his perspective, so we’re in his head for the entire book. R lives in a community of zombies who reside in an airport. Most seem to shuffle around most of the day, except for R, who is pondering the questions of the world, sometimes with his chauvinistic zombie buddy, M. While out on a hunting trip, R eats the brain of some dude and inherits a bulk of his memories and feelings. He then decides to protect the dude’s girlfriend from the other zombies and brings her back to camp. There’s no pick-up line quite like “I just ate your boyfriend’s brain.” Shenanigans take place from there as the girl hangs out at the zombie airport and then things switch as R hangs out at the human safe haven. Of course, they fall in love and try to save the world in the process.

THE GOOD: If you can accept some of the basic premises of this book, then it’s not a bad read. If you can’t handle zombies who think, communicate, and evolve then you’re not going to like it right off the bat. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that I have a pretty inclusive stance on zombie characteristics.

The best parts of WB are entertaining and funny, if not a little sappy. I did enjoy R’s relationship with his buddy, M, and would have liked to have seen their interactions highlighted more. This might have worked better as a zombie-buddy story than a zombie-romance.

THE BAD: A human girl is falling in love with a dirty, rotting corpse. That’s kind of hard to get past, and I have the ability to suspend my disbelief pretty far. The ending is also kind of hard to swallow and lost some points in my book.

THE ZOMBIES: WB’s zombies have an odd sense of community. They all live together in an airport. They spend most of their time shambling around though they have rudimentary school and church services. They pair off and marry and at times have unsuccessful sex with each other. There are also a portion of the zombies who are nothing but skeletons, who appear to have some type of executive control of the community. When R begins to have feelings for a human, he unknowingly starts a zombie revolution and evolution.

THE VERDICT: Is Warm Bodies bad for zombies? I don’t think so. It’s not a bad book, though it does smell of someone trying to take advantage of the popularity of zombies and Twilight. I don’t fault Marion or anyone else behind the book or movie. It’s a smart move. I hope it’s a good movie. I’m encouraged by the presence of Rob Corddry and John Malkovich in the movie, though God knows they both been attached to some stink bombs.

I do think that you have better options if you want to read a novel about smart zombies (Zombie, Ohio) or a romance set in the apocalypse (Dead Living).

And, c’mon, will it really be the Twilight of zombie movies? I mean tween girls aren’t really going to swoon over a hunky zombie are they? I’m sure the movie won’t end up looking anything like the pasty, sparkly vampires we all love to hate….right?

OH DEAR GOD! NOOOOOO!!!!!!

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Comments
  1. Keep up the good work

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