It's pretty rare that I have moments where I audibly gasp while reading a book.
I can think of a handful this year, and those books will definitely be going into some sort of end-of-the-year roundup, but with the insane amount of reading I do, those moments are pretty far and in between.
Reading Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion... I definitely had several of those moments. Here's the quick summary via Amazon.
R is having a no-life crisis—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 house 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.
After seeing a number of book bloggers and publishing people talking about this book on Twitter, I decided to pick it up for some holiday reading, and spent my Thanksgiving weekend reading it.
Best. Purchase. Ever.
The Book: My goodness, what a story. Marion puts a brand new, fresh spin on the tired zombie genre, delivering some amazing, stunning ideas. The reasons zombie eat brains? Not going to tell you, because it was one of the coolest concepts of the book. The zombies themselves? Thinking, intelligent, sympathetic characters.
In fact, the zombies aren't the characters you fear. There are different tiers of zombies, making them all the more supernatural and the ones that are less-than-zombie and less-than-human, all the more horrifying. I don't want to delve into these other zombies, as I'd giveaway major plot points, but wow. Marion introduces a new monster to the zombie canon, and it is really scary.
But let's get back to those normal zombies. I've never felt so bad for a monster. My heart ached for poor R, the main protagonist (and zombie) of the story. They are sad, suffering, wounded, and beautiful.
The book sets itself up for a sequel, leaving a lot of questions.
The Art: Each chapter has a bit of repurposed illustration work from Gray's Anatomy, and the cover... well just look at it! Beautifully done. The redone cover for the movie adaptation though... ugh. Disappointing. Do not want.
The Verdict: Buy it immediately, see it before it becomes a movie.
The Giveaway: I loved this book so much, that I just have to share it. Leave a comment about your favorite zombie book, video game, or movie, and I'll select one of you at random for a free copy of the hardcover. Sorry, I just don't dig the new paperback movie version. Limited to the US and Canada only, please. [CONTEST CLOSED!]