Friday, October 20, 2017

The Burning World - Isaac Marion

Summary: R is recovering from death.

He’s learning how to breathe, how to speak, how to be human, one clumsy step at a time. He doesn’t remember his old life and he doesn’t want to. He’s building a new one with Julie.

But his old life remembers him. The plague has another host far more dangerous than the Dead. It’s coming to return the world to the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak, and stopping it will require a frightening journey into the surreal wastelands of America—and the shadowy basement of R’s mind. Summary and image from

Review: Okay, was anyone a fan of Warm Bodies? Remember that movie with Nicholas Hoult and that girl from America’s Next Top Model? I made my husband watch it with me, we both enjoyed it way more than we thought we would, and I place all of the blame on any zombie-lit book I read on that movie. Because, of course, once I found out it was adapted from a book, I had to read the novel. Clearly.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel as well, and have anxiously awaited the promised sequel. To my delight, it didn’t take long for my local library to stock it after publication (sometimes it takes a while, our library system is, um, not good.), and I eagerly jumped in. 

It’s certainly different. Written with a much grittier feeling than the first, Marion explores what life is like after death is “cured” for this little group of zombies and humans. The world certainly isn’t perfect, former zombies aren’t magically trusted pillars of the community, the apocalypse certainly isn’t over just like *that*, and there are still a plethora of challenges to overcome. Matters are made worse when the stadium is bombed and taken over by an unknown corporation, and our heroes (plus a few) set out to discover what’s really going on.

Although the reader is privy to more flashbacks before the plague, which give us insight not only into the humans but into the zombies we’ve come to know and love, the overall feeling of this book is one of despair. I found the humanity surprisingly less evident in this book than in the first, and coupled with the uptick in raunchiness, vulgarity, and gore, it just missed the mark for me. I left the book unsatisfied, and wondering if I will even read the conclusion—whenever that’s published.  Perhaps this is a book best left to the movie?

Rating: Two stars

For the Sensitive Reader: Violent. Gory. Foul language. 

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