Series: Warm Bodies #0.5
Also in this series: Warm Bodies
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Zombies
My content rating: Mature YA (Some very violent scenes)
The end of the world didn’t happen overnight. After years of war, societal breakdown, freak storms, and rising tides, humanity already hovered near the edge. Then came the most unexpected threat of all: the world’s corpses rising up to deliver the final blow.
Born into this bleak and bloody landscape, twelve-year-old Julie struggles to hold on to hope as she and her parents drive across the wastelands of America on a nightmarish road trip in search of a new home.
Hungry, lost, and terrified, sixteen-year-old Nora finds herself her brother’s sole guardian after her parents abandon them in the not-quite-empty ruins of Seattle.
And in the darkness of a forest, a dead man opens his eyes. Who is he? What is he? With no clues beyond a red tie and the letter “R,” he must unravel the grim mystery of his existence—right after he learns how to think, how to walk, and how to satisfy the monster howling in his belly…
The New Hunger as my June Random Read (I just barely got this read in June, but I did it!). This is a novella prequel to Warm Bodies and I honestly wasn’t that excited about reading it, but I’m very glad that I did! I think I liked the prequel better than I liked Warm Bodies because it really delved into what it felt like to live in Marion’s zombie world. This novella gave us backstory on Julie, Nora and R!
- The “cloud of hands.” Yes, I know it sounds weird, but I can’t really explain it any better than that, which is why I have it listed as one of my negatives. R keeps referring to a “cloud of hands” that is propelling him forward? Or something? I don’t really know and I just never got it. This is a small detail, but one that bugged me every time it came up. Isaac Marion, I just need to know – what’s with the cloud of hands?
- There were a few other negatives, but they were small and I can’t really talk about them without spoilers, so I’m just not mentioning them.
What I loved:
- Nora. Honestly, in Warm Bodies, I thought that Nora was fine, but I didn’t love her. But after reading her backstory and living through her horrors with her, I totally have a new appreciation for her character. I care about her way more now than I did in the first (second?) book. The prequel also explains a bit how she may have come to some of her beliefs about zombies
- The horror. The last 25% or so of this book was pretty chilling and emotionally draining. I definitely got a good sense of what it would be like to live in Marion’s zombie world and I do not want to go there!
- Intertwining stories. I loved how Marion managed to tell us each character’s backstory and give us little moments where their lives (or non-lives) were intertwined. The ending was especially poignant to me and it really made the connection between R and Julie in Warm Bodies make more sense to me. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is a moment in the end where R is really affected by something that he believes is being said to him (it’s not, but the intertwining of the storylines here is masterfully done). It gives us insight into why R might have been different from the other zombies to begin with – because thoughts were put in his head before he became a “true” zombie. I loved this insight and felt that it actually improved my view of the original book.
This book is a definite must for fans of Warm Bodies. If you enjoy zombie books, this is also for you. It’s a quick and enjoyable read that will keep your heart pounding! 4/5 Stars