Early 5bat! Review: The New Hunger (Warm Bodies 0.5) by Isaac Marion

January 27, 2013 Review 2 ★★★★★

*This title will be released on January 29, 2013*

 

The New Hunger

(Warm Bodies, #0.5)
by Isaac Marion

Genre: Horror/Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic|
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • ebook
  • 128 pages
  • Expected publication: January 28th 2013 by Zola Books
  • ISBN13 9781939126047
  • Available Exclusively at Zola Books

Rating

Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.

Description

New York is a bayou. New Orleans is a reef. The entire country has been devastated by natural disasters and governmental collapse, and on top of everything else there is the annoying problem of zombies trying to devour you at every turn. But sixteen-year-old Nora and her younger brother Addis are about to discover the most frightening thing yet: being abandoned in this horrific world by their own parents.

Left with only a bag of clothes and a first-aid kit, Nora and Addis begin a harrowing journey to connect with anyone who isn’t looking to rob them or eat them. A wounded man wrecks a meal of green beans and French fries at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. An attempt to get a good night’s sleep in a fortified motel is ruined by an undead face staring at them through the window. And they just can’t seem to shake someone – something – that’s been following them everywhere they go….

Meanwhile, a girl named Julie is traveling toward the city in an SUV with her parents. She is only twelve, but has already seen friends die and her school burn. She has watched her father become nearly as cold and remorseless as the Dead. All she wants is someplace to call home, even if it never really will be.

And somewhere nearby, a tall man awakens in the woods, unsure of exactly where he is, or even who he is. As he struggles to remember details of his life, a single consonant comes to him: R. He is…a name that begins with R….

Isaac Marion once again demonstrates his remarkable gifts as a storyteller as he brings the world of WARM BODIES back to life. Grounding his characters in real emotion, Marion makes you root for them to save the world even as they simply try to stay alive.

Review

Another reviewer described Isaac Marion’s writing as “gruesome yet poetic.”  That is the absolute perfect description for THE NEW HUNGER, the prequel novella to WARM BODIES (the movie version hits theaters on February 1st).  In it we follow R from the moment he becomes a zombie, a sixteen year old Nora trying to stay alive with her six year old brother, and a twelve year old Julie traveling on the literal road trip from hell with her increasingly hostile parents.

Unlike WARM BODIES, which is essentially a fairy tale, grim though it is in moments, THE NEW HUNGER is significantly more bleak.  There are bursts of humor especially between Nora and her brother, but for the most part, this is a powerfully somber story full of death in all its ugly colors.  It was wonderful to see all the familiar characters from WARM BODIES and see how they all began (M’s story was very unexpected) and crossed paths unaware.  The story that resonated the most with me was Nora and Addis’s.

Scavenging for food while knowing it’s not enough to keep her little brother from growing more skeletal by the day, running out of excuses for the parents who deserted them, knowing that if she stops moving the zombies that are following will devour them.  That is Nora’s life at sixteen.  She’s young enough herself that she doesn’t see the need to coddle her brother and try and shield him from the harsh realities of the world they now live in.  The way they tease and amuse each other feels hearbreakingly real and often shocking.  Likewise, watching the demise of Julie’s parent’s marriage was equally fascinating in a voyeuristic way.

THE NEW HUNGER isn’t very long (it’s 128 pages), but every element from a zombie’s hunger pangs to the helpless terror of watching a loved one die is captured with such beauty, such simplistic language, that it feels immense.  As much as I loved WARM BODIES and will be first in line to buy a movie ticket come February 1st, this is the story that will remain with me.  This is writing at its absolute, gut-wrenching best.

Series

0.5 The New Hunger
1. Warm Bodies

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2 Responses to “Early 5bat! Review: The New Hunger (Warm Bodies 0.5) by Isaac Marion”

  1. Jen Greyson

    I saw the trailer for Warm Bodies again last night, and it looks awesome. I’m totally going to have to read both of the books!