Issac Marion’s “Warm Bodies” Series Review

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This is the first review of a series, in which we will cover each book in its own short review. 

Isaac Marion is a brilliant writer with multiple outlets for his art. He writes novels — he’s best known for his book “Warm Bodies” — poetry, and songs. He is even a painter. 

Marion’s stories have no distinct genre, as he “just likes to see what life looks like through a warped lens.” 

I read “Warm Bodies” years ago and loved it so much that it inspired me to get a tattoo.

Later I discovered the book was part of as series. When I Googled the series, two more novels showed up: “The New Hunger” and “The Burning World.” What most fans do not know is that there is actually a fourth novel in the series, “The Living.” It is only found when looked up specifically by name. 

The first novel was a bestseller, so popular that Hollywood purchased it and made it a movie. The following two novels, on the other hand, were not as popular. According to Marion’s blog, only 1% of people read on through the rest of the series. Even though the next three books received great ratings from those who did read on, Marion’s publishers dropped him. 

Determined to print the fourth and final novel in the series, Marion  published it himself. Though the Internet vastly ignores its existence, there is a fourth book, which can be purchased from Marion’s website

Unfortunately, being a writer in our digital world is becoming harder and harder. Marion had one big break with “Warm Bodies,” but he is faced with an impossible decision: move on from being an author so that he can make a living, or fight for his dream? 

Marion is going to try one more thing to realize that dream. Understanding that being a storyteller may mean more than just selling books, he started using Patreon, which is crowdfunding in an engaging way, more than just donations. It is the platform Marion uses to connect with his audience, sharing more unpublished stories, giving weekly livestream readings, and much more. You can find more information on his website blog

Warm Bodies — the first book

I use a receipt as a bookmark in every book I read because I mark the pages that I particularly enjoy with a torn off piece of paper. “Warm Bodies” probably has the most marks in any of my books because I enjoy reading it so much. 

Marion’s writing is beautiful – each and every word is written with a deeper purpose. The protagonist,R, admires the poetry of words, though this presents a heart-wrenching irony: the written word is art but he cannot read, and the spoken word is music, but his speech is limited. 

The reason? He is Dead. 

To the Living he is a zombie, but he takes this term as crude and harsh. Zombie implies that he is a monster, and he is far from it. He is a human just like the Living, the only difference is that they are alive and he is not. Certainly, he is not a typical zombie. 

So much is thought in this novel, but little is said. R is always lost in his mind, seeing the world differently than anyone else, looking deeper than the surface. He thinks, the silent words in his mind are revolutionary, and his spoken words cannot portray this. He is often speechless, providing only a shrug as a response. 

Change occurs in R because he thinks it can. There is hope, and that is all that is needed. Julie is his inspiration, his reason to change. She is the Living girl he protects after meeting her and soon grows to love (though eating the brain of her boyfriend does play a role in the start of that love). 

Though specifics often unsaid (but not unthought), the audience and the characters alike know that changes are happening within R every moment, as well as many of his fellow Dead. They are becoming less dead, more alive.