Series: Warm Bodies #1
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…
I liked Warm Bodies quite a lot more than I thought I would. I did think it was a YA novel, but it’s not really. “R” is young, but whether he’s a teenager or a young man in his 20’s, we don’t know. Julie is a teenager, but I don’t know if that means anything in a dystopian zombie kind of novel- is anyone really young after seeing something like the dead arising from their graves to snack on humans? Fighting for survival tends to mature a person, in my opinion.
The book is funny, a lot funnier than I thought it would be, although it has it’s deeper moments too. I was braced for things to end up worse than they did, because there is a certain gloom attached to a romance between a recovering brain eater and a young woman.
I really enjoyed the zombies in this novel, they weren’t complete mindless creatures. They had their own kind of purpose. It’s rare for a zombie book (or at least it used to be rare) to be from the pov of the zombie. Then changes R and his zombie followers undergo is pretty unique. The bonies made for an interesting mix too, although they confused me a bit. I wasn’t really sure why they existed, but they felt a bit like a cult.
The story really picks up once it gets to the compound where Julie lives, and I really enjoyed Julie’s best friend and R’s attempts at passing as a human. There was quite a bit of action, and I’m glad I read the book before seeing the movie. Which I’ll be watching shortly! Also, I guess this book is part of a series, and if I continue it, I’ll stick with the audio versions.
Warm Bodies was narrated by Kevin Kenerly. This was my first time listening to him narrate, and I really liked his style. He also narrates The Talented Mr. Ripley books by Patricia Highsmith, which I’ve tried to read before but quit. Maybe listening to it in audio form will work better. A good narrator can really help get me over a hump if the book is slow paced in the beginning, or if the language is a bit stiff.
Kenerly’s voice is perfect for R, and I think he did a great job with the female voices too… well, as good as it can get. I listened to a sample of this book before buying, and I instantly liked his voice, which is a major selling point for me. A truly good audiobook narrator has to have some acting skills, otherwise it’s just a dry reading, and Kenerly has the ability to ‘act’ out the book. I would definitely recommend listening to his narration of Warm Bodies!