POW! That's the sound of the starter's gun. Aaaaaand we're off! It's the first Official (there have been unofficial ones, before this month) Cybils book review, and it's... a ... zombie novel?
But, wait! Wait! Everyone knows this reviewer hates zombie novels, don't they??
Reader Gut Reaction: Okay, yeah. It's a zombie novel. I read the title and had a nauseated shudder. Yuck. Zombies. Don't like 'em. I was fully prepared to have to exercise my Fifty Pages rights. I opened it. And then, I had a moment of horror. THE NOVEL IS FROM THE ZOMBIE'S POV. WHAAA???? Zombies are the, like, brainless, brain-munching villains of the piece. THEY DON'T GET TO HAVE A POINT OF VIEW. NO! No, no, no! And I read, cranky and opinionated, muttering, and... Started caring what a zombie... thought.
Concerning Character: Well, at least this much made sense right off... our zombie doesn't have a name. It can't remember it. It's ... R. R., probably with three syllables. Maybe. It was maybe some kind of ... young professional... something. It's in a white shirt, gray slacks, and a red tie. A red tie. R's friend M. laughs at this, in a ...voiceless kind of ... unable to really laugh, what with lacking the airflow and mental grasp for a sense of humor kind of way.
Yeah, they're dead. But... R. ... thinks. Each time he eats a brain, the sparks of light - memories - color - life from that victim remain with him. And he craves them -- he needs them. Without them, he's almost a blank slate. Of course, if you keep killing people, there will be no more memories. This is kind of a problem, so he... um... keeps one? And...
And, then things get weird.
That's it. Full stop. That's all I'm telling. Read the flippin' book.
Yeah, yeah. It's a zombie book. Get over it.
Recommended for Fans Of...: GENERATION DEAD, by Daniel Waters, DEARLY DEPARTED, by Lia Habel, ROT AND RUIN, etc., by Jonathan Maberry, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, etc., by Carrie Ryan
Cover Chatter: It's stark - asphalt. Gray on gray on gray and white. An amorphous figure, leaking... red... mist. And a red title. It's evocative, and it's stark and it works. Though the figure is, upon close study, male, it's fuzzy enough that you could have it stand in for anyone. Now, a novel about a zombie chick would have her face plastered on here... apparently, guy novels mean guys don't have to look at themselves. I hope someday we figure out that girls don't always need to stare at a face, either.
Of course, there is the point that a zombie guy's face might be pretty... eh, never mind. Read the book.
Authorial Asides: Apparently this is Isaac Marion's first book. He's thirty or thirty-one, from Seattle, and ... that's it. From the bio: "He is not married, has no children, and did not go to college or win any prizes." However, he must have read a lot, and done a lot of thinking, because some parts of this book read like a philosophy paper (well, one of the ones which takes deep thoughts and writes them in basic-you-can-get-this English, anyway). Well done, Mr. Marion. May you have many more excellent and surprising books to your credit.
FTC: This book was a library copy; my opinions are unsolicited.
You can find WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion at an independent bookstore near you!