"We knew it was all wrong. We knew we were diminishing ourselves in ways we couldn't even name, and we wept sometimes at memories of better days, but we no longer saw a choice. We were doing our best to survive. The equations at the roots of our problems were complex, and we were far too tired to solve them..."
The zombie as a metaphor is hardly a new idea. Zombies are the mindless hordes, reacting on impulse, driven by insatiable hunger to consume that which they once were. The more zombies feed, the more zombies they create. It's a fate worse than death, and it effects those who haven't even been turned yet. They start to die before they physically die.
R is a fairly typical zombie. He lives with a bunch of zombies in an abandoned airport. We get a look into his thought processes, about how zombies can't read, they can't remember their names or their old lives. It's all meaningless wandering and hunting for live flesh. They crave the intimacy of tearing into a human throat, eating a warm brain. When they are taking human life, they feel a tiny bit of humanity.
During a typical hunt, R kills a young man and eats his brain. Something strange happens, R experiences the boy's memories. He learns all about Perry Kelvin and his girlfriend Julie. R then acts completely out of undead character and rescues Julie from the other zombies, keeps her safe. In the process, he makes enemies both living and undead.
Warm Bodies seemed a little pretentious at first. The writing can be a bit flowery at times. It's still a very good read. There are times when I also feel dead inside, when it feels as though every day endlessly repeats itself, when all that's left driving me is the instinct to survive. Warm Bodies didn't make me want to embrace life or hug a zombie, but it did offer a new perspective on both living and dead zombies.
"There's no benchmark for how life's 'supposed' to happen...There is no ideal world for you to wait around for. The world is always just what it is now, and it's up to you how to respond to it..."
Warm Bodies has already been released in the UK. It is set to be released in the US on April 26th, 2011. Thanks to Atria Books for sending an advance copy to my bookstore.