Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

The New Hunger (Warm Bodies, #0.5)Title: The New Hunger
Author: Isaac Marion
Release Date: January 28, 2013
Pages: 105, eBook
Goodreads Rating: 4.04 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Content Rating: PG-16? (Some very violent scenes)

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….

Isaac Marion once again demonstrates his remarkable gifts as a storyteller as he brings the world of WARM BODIES back to life. Grounding his characters in real emotion, Marion makes you root for them to save the world even as they simply try to stay alive.


I read The New Hunger as my June Random Read (I just barely got this read in June, but I did it!).  This is a novella prequel to Warm Bodies and I honestly wasn't that excited about reading it, but I'm very glad that I did!  I think I liked the prequel better than I liked Warm Bodies because it really delved into what it felt like to live in Marion's zombie world.  This novella gave us backstory on Julie, Nora and R!

  • The "cloud of hands."  Yes, I know it sounds weird, but I can't really explain it any better than that, which is why I have it listed as one of my negatives.  R keeps referring to a "cloud of hands" that is propelling him forward?  Or something?  I don't really know and I just never got it.  This is a small detail, but one that bugged me every time it came up.  Isaac Marion, I just need to know - what's with the cloud of hands?
  • There were a few other negatives, but they were small and I can't really talk about them without spoilers, so I'm just not mentioning them.
What I loved:
  • Nora.  Honestly, in Warm Bodies, I thought that Nora was fine, but I didn't love her.  But after reading her backstory and living through her horrors with her, I totally have a new appreciation for her character.  I care about her way more now than I did in the first (second?) book.  The prequel also explains a bit how she may have come to some of her beliefs about zombies.
  • The horror.  The last 25% or so of this book was pretty chilling and emotionally draining.  I definitely got a good sense of what it would be like to live in Marion's zombie world and I do not want to go there!
  • Intertwining stories.  I loved how Marion managed to tell us each character's backstory and give us little moments where their lives (or non-lives) were intertwined.  The ending was especially poignant to me and it really made the connection between R and Julie in Warm Bodies make more sense to me.  I don't want to spoil anything, but there is a moment in the end where R is really affected by something that he believes is being said to him (it's not, but the intertwining of the storylines here is masterfully done).  It gives us insight into why R might have been different from the other zombies to begin with - because thoughts were put in his head before he became a "true" zombie.  I loved this insight and felt that it actually improved my view of the original book.
This book is a definite must for fans of Warm Bodies.  If you enjoy zombie books, this is also for you.  It's a quick and enjoyable read that will keep your heart poundin!.  4/5 Stars.