Title: The New Hunger
Author: Isaac Marion
Series: Warm Bodies #0.5
Genre: Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction
Received for Review
Summary (from Goodreads)
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….
It’s been a while since I read Warm Bodies, and I don’t really remember it all that well. All I remember is really enjoying it. I really enjoyed this, but it was odd. Very definitely a prequel – more for the benefit of pleasing fans than gaining new ones.
Because I couldn’t really remember Warm Bodies, I only just barely remembered that the main girl was called Julie, and therefore that the Julie featured may be her. I didn’t remember Nora at all, so events that transpired there did come as something of a shock, though those more familiar with the story may see where it’s going.
Despite the disparate threads of story all leading up to the set up of Warm Bodies, there isn’t really a story. It’s more just background information about the characters. But because Marion writes so well about life and death, it doesn’t really matter. You get swept along with the lyrical prose and the wider questions posed and sink easily into the horrific but beautifully depicted world.
And though Warm Bodies is a romance, and The New Hunger definitely has notes of that – though the characters are too young really for it to be a major element – there is definitely a strong thread of horror. One particular scene with some skeletal zombies is quite discordantly horrific after pages of the zombies being no more than a shuffling presence, outpaced by a brisk walk.
So, it’s enjoyable fare for fans of Warm Bodies, though I wouldn’t recommend it as a starting point for the series. Read and enjoy Warm Bodies first, then come back to sample this.