R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.
The main character, R is a zombie first and foremost. Although he isn’t as decayed as some of the others, he can’t remember much of his life. He can’t even remember his name, only that it started with an R. His hive is a dilapidated airport that has sporadic electricity. One of his favorite things to do is ride the moving walkways back and forth, thinking about the meaning of things that he can’t verbalize. He has made an airplane into his own little home, where he collects records and other memorabilia that he finds on hunting trips.
But Julie isn’t the only thing that R brings back with him. He’s pocketed Perry’s brain and he slowly doles out portions to himself so he can savor the feelings and memories of Julie. As R spends more time with Julie, he slowly starts to gain some of his humanity back, starting with speech. Throughout the novel, you get to know Perry through each little piece of him that R consumes. You also learn that zombies can be pretty articulate inside their head, but they can’t verbalize it so much.
I give this book a five plus because I loved it so much. I really hope Isaac Marian is working on a sequel to this baby because I’m dying to see how R and Julie fair while they spread the new plague throughout the world.