“In my mind, I am eloquent… but when I open my mouth, everything collapses.” // Review of “Warm Bodies” by Isaac Marion

Title: Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1)
Author: Isaac Marion
Genre: Pots-apocalyptic/zombies
Intended audience: Adult
Date Read: 12/02/2022 – 19/02/2022


Not being a huge fan of zombie fiction, it’s likely I wouldn’t have picked up this book if I didn’t have hazy memories of enjoying the movie. Plus it was second-hand and $4, which helped.

The thing about Warm Bodies is that it’s a unique take on the zombie genre (she says from her very uneducated viewpoint). Yes, R, M and their Dead compatriots crave human flesh, but that’s not their sole purpose in life. They’ve created their own society, with rituals and bonds to each other. This was one of the things I found most fascinating about the book.

Warm Bodies is not just the story of a literal zombie apocalypse. There’s also a metaphorical one, and there’s a lot of examination of quality of life, and at what point (if there is one) are you or society as a whole better of just laying down and dying?

The evolution of R and his fellow Fleshies regaining their humanity while the Boneys (zombies that are literally just skeletons at this point) kick and scream as they resist any change is a perfect metaphor for a society rediscovering its soul.

R’s connection to Julie being the catalyst for these changes work well, but I have to admit, when I thought about the romance from Julie’s perspective, it was a bit ick. I mean, she’s talking about kissing him even before his heart starts beating again. Do you really want to kiss a corpse, even if he has expressed affection for you?

I hadn’t realised when I started the book that it’s part of a four-book series. While I am not opposed to continuing on, I have to be honest, this first one wraps up pretty well. I probably wouldn’t seek out the subsequent books, but I would probably check one out if I ran across it in the library. But treated as a standalone, this one holds up pretty well so I’d recommend checking it out if you’re curious.

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“There is a spectrum to assholery. I’m pretty low on scale.” // Review of “Zombie Playlist” by K. J. Chapman

Title: Zombie Playlist
Author: K. J. Chapman
Genre: Dystopia (zombie apocalypse)/humour
Target age group:
Date Read:
Rating: ★★


I will say out the outset of this review that most of my feelings towards this book are on me. This was a fun story and most of my reasons for not liking it more are  a matter of preference. Zombies aren’t usually my thing but I had been following Chapman on Instagram for a while and wanted to support a fellow indie author, so knowing this was quite short, I took a chance.

The two main characters, Dagger and King, were on opposite ends of the badass spectrum, and on reflection, I think I like my characters somewhere in the middle. While they did both grow over the course of the story, and thus come a little way off the end and into the middle, it took until then for them to really grow on me, so I wasn’t feeling too connected to them to start  off with, and we therefore all got off on the wrong foot.

I also didn’t even realise until a few chapters in that the book wasn’t set in America, rather than England. There were turns of phrase as well as the use of “asshole” rather than “arsehole”, which is how I would expect it to be spelled in a British or Australian book. So I kept forgetting where they were and it was odd whenever they mentioned going to Cornwall, it pulled me up a bit, too.

I did really like the last couple of chapters; I thought it lead to a good conclusion for the story. I did feel that there was probably enough material in the book that it could have been fleshed out into a full-length novel, but I got to the end and felt satisfied with the journey i had taken with the characters. Most of the character development for Dagger particularly happened towards the end so that was when she was most able to grow on me.

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“Isn’t the ‘human factor’ what connects us so deeply to our past?” // Review of World War Z by Max Brooks

Title: World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War
Author: Max Brooks
Audio book narrator: Max Brooks, various others
Genre: Horror/Dystopia
Date Read: 11/05/2016 – 18/05/2016
Rating: ★★★☆


worldwarzcoverI’m not usually a fan of zombies. They just don’t really do it for me. But being a librarian/archivist, and knowing that this book was written in oral history format made me interested. I’ve seen reviews recently for Sleeping Giants, which compared it to this book, and that gave me the prompt to finally look this book up. When I saw the audio book was available, I jumped on it, since it seemed like a perfect on to listen to.

After the Zombie War, Max Brooks sets out to tell the stories of the survivors. He had already conducted many of these interviews for use in the report to the United Nations, but these were removed for being too personal, for containing too much of the “human factor”. While the UN wants facts and figures, Max feels that these stories are the best way to preserve the stories of the human race’s resilience for future generations.

Unlike many zombie stories that simply focus on the USA, this one examines the effects of a zombie outbreak across the whole world. It deals with issues that could easily affect a global emergency of any kind, such as lack of government response, public panic, and large companies taking advantage of the situation. It is quite easy to imagine things like phony vaccines being pushed through the FTA, a small nuclear war breaking out between Middle-Eastern states desperate to stop refugees crossing their borders.

I do agree with the reviewers who said that the format of the book means the stakes aren’t very high. The premise is that Max Brooks travelled around after the war, interviewing survivors. There is no need to wonder if these characters survived the situations they were facing; we know they did because they are here telling the story. The fact that we only ever got to hear from each character for one chapter also limited the connection that the reader can form with any of them. However, I do think the format was very clever for the examination of global society that Brooks was clearly aiming for. Even though we only visit these characters once, the story of the war, from outbreak to victory, unfolds in a well-structured way.

The audio book was done very well; Max Brooks played himself/the interviewer and each interviewee had a different narrator, which gave them real character. I did have one qualm with the way the way it was recorded though. Often in audio books, when the text says a character laughs, the narrator actually does just that. Instead of making this recording sound like a real oral history by adding those little things in, it sounded more like the various narrators were reading an oral history transcript, with Max Brooks interjecting with footnotes, or describing the person’s actions. I imagined things were probably inside square brackets in the text, like [laughs] or [is silent for a while]. While it was still good to listen to, I felt it was a bit of a missed opportunity, given how well the format could have translated to audio.