Great Novels Not By King or Koontz – Warm Bodies

I decided to use this month’s column to devote to one book. I was recently given a chance to take a sneak peek at the latest zombie book, Warm Bodies, this one by newcomer Isaac Marion. At first, I was both excited and reluctant to read it. I love a good zombie story, don’t get me wrong here. It’s just that it seems the zombie wave has crested and is heading back out to sea. It all started, as far as I’m concerned, with Brian Keene’s master work, The Rising, in tandem with 28 Days Later (and the even better,28 Weeks Later). Life was good. Great new minds had  picked up where George Romero left off and the horror hound public was better for it.

Then came the deluge. Over the past 3 years, it seems like every other horror movie is about zombies and there are enough awfully written undead books out there to stoke a mountain sized furnace. Granted, there are still some gems (Dead Snow, and World War Z come to mind), but I, like so many others, had grown weary and leery of the genre.

So while I was away on a quick vacation a couple of weeks ago, I decided, what the hell, let’s give this Warm Bodies a shot. If anything, it will be the gravemarker on the genre for me. Two pages in made me realize just how wrong I was.

Warm Bodies is the story of R, a zombie experiencing a sort of mid-death crisis. R lives in an abandoned jet at an airport with his zombie wife and kids. A council of older, more intelligent zombies assigned the makeshift family of the dead to him. During a raid for food (you know, the human kind) in the city, R comes across a beautiful young girl, Julie. After ripping her boyfriend to pieces, he inexplicably saves her from the sloppy zombie feast and brings her back to his home/jet.

Sounds crazy? You’re damn straight, it does. But here’s the best part. The writing is beautiful. I can honestly say, this is the first literary treatment of the zombie genre. Want to hear something even crazier? It’s a love story. That’s right, a love story between a zombie and a living girl. It may be the most poignant, heartbreaking, uplifting love story you read all year. Wow, that even looks crazy when I read it.

Isaac Marion has managed to do the impossible, breathe new, original life into the dessicated lungs of  a genre that’s drying faster than Norman Bates’s mother. It’s a book about love, transformation, fear and triumph over the numbness of our souls. It’s already being made into a movie that should be out next year.

I’m giving Warm Bodies two meat clevers up and adding Isaac Marion to my Must Read list!

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. His novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre , Sinister Entity, Hell Hole, The Waiting and Island of the Forbidden are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. Hell Hole was named Horror Novel Reviews #1 horror novel of 2014. His first thriller novel, The Montauk Monster, was released June, 2014 as a Pinnacle paperback, and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best reads of the summer. His follow up Pinnacle novel, Tortures of the Damned, a post apocalyptic thriller, will be out July, 2015. That will be followed up by his latest cryptid tale, The Dover Demon, in the fall through Samhain. His horror short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, is available as an e-book, straightjacket not included. Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. A copy of his book, The Montauk Monster, is currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME. He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years. Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

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