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Warm Bodies #2

The Burning World

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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.

512 pages, Hardcover

First published February 2, 2017

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About the author

Isaac Marion

25 books4,321 followers
After 9 years, 4 books, and 1 pretty good movie, R and Julie's story is about to reach its conclusion.

THE LIVING, book 4 of the Warm Bodies Series, is available now.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 576 reviews
Profile Image for l.
67 reviews67 followers
Want to read
December 28, 2012

Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
March 25, 2017
3.5 stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature. Some spoilers for the first book in this series, Warm Bodies:

When we left R, the recovering zombie, and his human love Julie at the end of Warm Bodies, things were looking hopeful. But not so fast: becoming fully human again after years of zombie-hood isn’t as quick or easy as R hoped. His body is still stiff and clumsy, and his memory of his prior life is still a blank to him (in fact, he’s not at all sure he wants to remember his prior life). The recovery of the other zombies that have taken over America is equally tentative, one small step at a time, with many zombies not recovering at all, and others backsliding. It’s a spectrum: Living, Nearly Living, Mostly Dead, All Dead, with unsettlingly fluidity between them. R has no idea what to do next.

If this weren’t difficult enough, a new group, Axiom Corporation, shows up in force at the stadium where R and Julie live. Axiom has weapons, helicopters and lots of very disturbing minions with plastic smiles, ready to take control and restore order. In fact, the Axiom people are insistent on it, smiling all the while, and willing to do almost anything to get their way. When R, Julie and their friends end up on the wrong side of Axiom, they go on the run with the somewhat reluctant help of Abram Kelvin, a renegade Axiom employee who is the older brother of Perry ― Julie’s old boyfriend who was eaten by R at the beginning of Warm Bodies. But are they escaping to a new life somewhere else, or running into the jaws of more trouble, or going on the attack against the forces of evil? And let’s not forget the innumerable zombies.

The Burning World (2017), Isaac Marion’s sequel to his 2011 Romeo-and-Juliet inspired zombie tale, left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, Warm Bodies felt like a stand-alone story. I didn’t feel like it needed a sequel and I’m not certain that Marion originally planned for one at the time he wrote Warm Bodies; it feels a bit like an afterthought. On the other hand, The Burning World doesn’t simply rehash the same story and issues raised in the first book. Marion expands this world dramatically, both in setting and thematically.

The Burning World fleshes out the characters from the first book, but takes them and the plot in a wholly different direction that opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities. It’s an on-the-road adventure … with zombies … and a truly horrific, power-hungry corporate entity that exhibits a dog-eat-dog mentality taken to extremes. The reader is left with the indelible and uncomfortable impression that humans can be, and often are, worse than zombies. As R begins to recover some of the memories from his human past, his “first life,” the horror that men can sink to begins to take on added meaning for him, and for us. Julie’s human flaws become more apparent as well, as she endangers those around her in her single-minded quest to find and save her mother.

There are several interlude “We” chapters that are told from the viewpoint of an unspecified, omniscient group who watch the world and the people and creatures in it. They float through the earth and the sky like a collective consciousness, watching us with concern. It’s interesting to speculate on who this nameless, intangible “We” is … though I’m not certain there’s a single, specific answer.

The adventures of the characters are gripping, but The Burning World is largely a grim book with only brief glimpses of hope and joy. It exhibits much less of the underlying sweetness that imbued Warm Bodies, while upping the ante on grittiness and violence, and exploring the darkness in men’s souls.

The Burning World is part of a novel that grew too large and was broken into two separate books for publication. As a result, it ends inconclusively, leaving most of the plot threads hanging, along with the fates of our characters. The second part of this story, The Living, is due to be released later in 2017.

Content advisory: Isaac Marion writes well, but this is a gritty and frequently gruesome story, with violence, torture and hard-R language.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Leea.
467 reviews68 followers
Want to read
January 2, 2013
Wait... book 2... Hot damn this is awesome!!

Profile Image for Nat.
30 reviews8 followers
Want to read
December 31, 2012


Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,415 reviews7,430 followers
March 30, 2017
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“I don’t know how you’re planning to save the world from ten thousand years of human decline, but good luck.”

THIS is why I don’t read past the first book in a series. I should not make exceptions. Ever. Why can’t I learn this? I must be only a “Nearly” rather than completely human. The only excuse I can make for myself is that I adored everything about Warm Bodies and I figured since so much time had passed between the first and second book surely there was a reason for writing it. Now that I see a THIRD friggin’ story is in the works I’m pretty sure I can confirm the reason was . . . . a moneygrab. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when you are an author who kind of makes the magic happen with a teenage zombie romance/modernized Romeo and Juliette hybrid you are really taking a chance at lightning striking twice. And boy it sure didn’t – for me at least.

I also didn’t realize that this little nugget I saw on the Faceplace one day . . . . .

(Many thanks to my girl Kristin for pointing out this was a joke/marketing tactic because it seemed 100% legit. Also mad props to Mr. Marion for birthing that brainchild because I’m sure it got your new book plenty of attention.)

Anywho, I was not aware that the above was less of a joke and more of a foreshadowing of what I was about to read. And while I would like to tell myself that . . . .

Let’s get real. I don’t except maybe two times a year. I want to get lost in fiction, not have reality shoved up my butthole any further than the “fake news” already has it crammed in there. If you aren’t like me and simply can’t get enough talk of building walls for our safety and vetting everyone to make sure no refugees zombies sneak in and discovering maybe the man in charge is Steve Bannon a complete psychopath then this will surely be a winner for you. If you are like me you’ll be quick to realize The Burning World suffers from typical Book 2 in a series syndrome: it’s pretty much just . . . .

It’s building the world that wasn’t really bothered to be built in Book 1 and introducing a couple of new characters that will (hopefully) bring forth the action come Book 3. I’ll never know, however, because . . . . .

Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
853 reviews3,764 followers
December 8, 2017
I really loved Warm Bodies so I tentatively wanted to check out this sequel. For those curious, this does follow the same characters from book 1 (those who survived) plus a few new characters, and it is much less a "zombie romance" and much more of your typical zombie survival story. As usual, the dead aren't the biggest threat in this world, it's the groups of other survivors.

I opted for the audiobook and the narrator, Jacques Roy, was great. His voice and acting really suited the main character, his voices for the other characters were also very fitting and natural sounding. He was great, and I really enjoyed the narration.

However, where this book lost me was in the multiple flashback scenes and the addition of a second POV following a character we don't know. They were hard to navigate via audio. I often found myself confused because I hadn't realized a flashback was happening, or that the POV had switched. The narrator did alter his voice a little with the different POV, but there was no break or pause between the switches, so it was hard to catch via audio. I do think you'd be able to keep up with these things better if you opt for the print version.

As for the story itself, I feel kind of meh about it. I definitely liked the first book better because it was so unique for a zombie story. This definitely didn't offer any sort of a conclusion and felt like filler, especially for being such a long book. I didn't realize there would be another sequel, so I was left feeling confused and unfulfilled. I'm pretty unclear on a few things. At this point, I'm not sure if I will continue the series. It wasn't bad, but just not as good as I wanted.
Profile Image for Samadrita.
295 reviews4,523 followers
Want to read
January 27, 2013
A sequel? YES! YES! YES! This is perhaps the first time in a long time that my prayers have been answered by the Gods of Good Reading. Warm Bodies ended on such an ambiguous and unsatisfactory note, that a sequel is not only justified but thoroughly deserved. Can't wait. 2014 come fast.
And this better not be a fake out.
Profile Image for Darkshadow.
168 reviews131 followers
Want to read
January 11, 2013

A sequel? I don't know what to feel. I looove Warm Bodies, but a sequel? Ooo-kay. Just okay. I'm waiting.
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,460 reviews290 followers
March 8, 2017
Question: Did you read Warm Bodies? If so, do you remember how it ends? How about the movie? Did you see it? Yes? No?

Well, let me spoil it all for you with this little scenario: most of the zombies slowly gained back a semblance of their humanity. Gone are the instincts to devour human flesh, replaced by a pause that gives them a chance to hold back the monster that hungers for the living. So much so that they’re able to cohabit with the humans inside the wall. The last scene had Julie and R watching as the walls were blown to bits. The sun is setting; they were holding hands…fade to black. Really hopeful shit, right? Makes you think that a peaceful coexistence between zombies and humans are entirely possible.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble but The Burning World did not start right where Warm Bodies left off. At least, the atmosphere was not the same. If you’re expecting much of the same lighthearted and somewhat funny shtick of the undead in this novel, you’ll be disappointed. Because these zombies are just a sad caricature of the rabid monsters we’ve come to fear and love. They’re stuck in between the beast that craves for warm flesh, and the humans inside of them clamoring to be born again. It was dark, nostalgic, and terrible in the sense that they’ll break your heart (R’s zombie wife and kids. *Sobs*) It was depressing, and it made me wish they were the terrifying stuff of nightmares we’ve all read about our lives. Because then I won’t feel so heartbroken.

This is a changed world; one that you won’t recognize from the first book. There’s a new villain in town whose primary goal is to convert the changing zombies into an army of drones possessing some robot-like consciousness. The last vestige of humanity left are being hunted and “phased out”. And this includes the tiny population inside the wall. They especially want R and Julie for their ability to speak to the evolving zombies. In short, this sequel had become the action-packed, pulse-pounding, scary-as-shit thriller that Warm Bodies never were. I’d even go as far as to say, it echoes the atmospheric dread of Justin Cronin’s The Passage. Yeah. I can’t believe it either. But reading The Burning World brought out the exact feelings when I binge-read Cronin’s vampire series last year.

By the by, R slowly gains his memory as a human – and from what he can remember, he was not a good person at all. He is miles remove from the sweet zombie we’ve come to know. We also see Julie in a different light. Driven by her sense of familial loyalty, she becomes a completely different person. She’s angry, compulsive, and even a little selfish. She’ll make you mad. She’ll make you cry but eventually, she’ll gain your sympathy albeit, tentatively.

We’re introduced to new characters and new plot lines that converge with the old ones. There are far more nuances explored; surprising and thrilling revelations. If I were to keep it simple, I say Warm Bodies was stripped of everything that was cute to show its true form. It had me on edge at all times because at the back of my mind, I keep waiting for the “awaken” zombies to revert back to their monstrosity – most especially R. Over all, The Burning World opens the series to a whole new set of possibilities. And with that ending, I say Marion has a lot more dark days in store for his ardent readers.
Profile Image for ✨faith✨trust✨pixiedust✨.
386 reviews334 followers
February 23, 2019
Madness. Monsters. A city full of death. Even if we survive this plunge, it’s hard to see a future.

This re-read was utterly fantastic! I'm slowly losing my ability to read with my eyes and not just with my ears (bless and curse audiobooks!) but I could barely put this down, and I already knew what happens! There were a few parts, particularly at the beginning, that stretched my suspension of disbelief a little too far, and I still don't really care for Sprout, but this is definitely still a 5 star read.

"People have pasts. You can’t be a person without one."

R's journey through this is one of my favorite things I've ever read. It's paced so well (and having re-read it, foreshadowed like crazy in the best way possible!!!!). Something about Marion's writing just does it for me. His philosophical ramblings feel natural and are genuinely thought-provoking. I love everything about it.

Everything on earth has meant something to someone, and there has never been a person whom no one ever loved.

Something I love most about this installment is that while Warm Bodies can and was a standalone for a long time, this book is the perfect sequel. It literally expands the world, and gives so much depth to the characters and adds new ones just as interesting. M, Nora, Julie, and Abram are fantastic secondary protagonists and I love their characterization. The Library perspective is just so amazing and unique and I have so many questions. Let's hope The Living answers them for me.

A book speaks whenever someone reads it, and only its reader knows what it has said.

(Original review)

Isaac Marion is an amazing author. His words flow through me, chilling me and warming me over and over. I can't get enough of the strange and wonderful sensation the Warm Bodies series gives me. The Burning World brings together so many threads and seemingly unimportant elements into a grandly woven design.

This book is so timely and important. It goes from a zombie apocalypse romance to an action-packed political drama while remaining true to itself and its origins. It is a fantastic commentary on what today's society could become without love and understanding and acceptance.
Profile Image for Amber J.
868 reviews54 followers
April 2, 2022
This book was definitely darker than the first book. It was still super good and I enjoyed it a lot. But I LOVED the first book, so this one had a lot to live up to. There is more exploring and revelation in this book. Some of the revelations were not at all to my liking lol. One more book to go, and I'm still excited for it.

This has been such a unique take on the zombie genre. But I think one of the reasons it didn't live up to the first was the love story. The major premise for the 1st book was the zombie love story. This book was more focused on R's previous life, the new villains, the zombie world. And the love story fell to the background. Which for me, was a bit of a let down.
Profile Image for Sierralynn.
2 reviews
Want to read
January 24, 2013
I love the first book and it was a little open-ended but the book could have stood on its own. I love that there is going to be a second one. I love R and Julie and all of the other characters. I am so excited to read the next book.
260 reviews104 followers
Want to read
November 24, 2012
I was so excited to see there was going to be a sequel.

And then I saw the publication date.

Profile Image for Lizz.
228 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2017
Rating: 3.5-4 stars. I'm waffling, so I rounded up. Keep reading if you have any interest in my scattered, vaguely coherent, and confusing thoughts about this book.

This is going to be less of a review and more my rambling thoughts about because... I don't really know what I thought of it. I didn't dislike it - I actually found it engaging and interesting and I'm always a fan of world-building - but something just felt off to me. There were times when I was reading when I would think "this is too long," but I also don't know that I would say anything specific was extraneous. I was surprised to learn that there would be a third book, because I assumed this was going to be the only sequel so I did find myself rather frustrated when I was about fifty pages out from the end and wondered how the hell Marion was going to cram an ending in that short span of time. Knowing that there will a third book (when???), I can obviously forgive the lack of certain answers, but it did make me a little cranky when I was in the midst of reading.

I think what keeps me from loving this book - I'll say I enjoyed it - is that is all felt... unnecessary. Of course, one could argue, that there are plenty of sequels that are unnecessary. Being unnecessary does not automatically make something bad, or even less-than. Sometimes, however unnecessary a sequel might be, it can still delight and inform and carry on a story in ways you never expected. While this story went in directions I never really expected - and Marion leaked backstory expertly throughout the 500 page book - it still... I hate to say unnecessary yet once again, because I'm bordering on using it so much it becomes useless, but there you go. I think what I mean by "unnecessary" is that when I read Warm Bodies - a book which I absolutely, unreservedly adore - I didn't need the backstory. I never wondered what R's name was, or what he did before he Died. I never wondered what happened to the world or what was going on outside of Citi Stadium. Warm Bodies was complete in an of itself. Yes, the ending left itself open, but I never saw that openness as an invitation for a sequel. Like some of my favorite TV series finales - Eureka and Smallville come immediately to mind - Warm Bodies' ending was the closing of a chapter that simultaneously opened the next: I didn't need to know HOW the world kept going, I just took joy in the fact that I knew it was going to keep going.

But I never felt like I needed to see where R and Julie kept going. Their story was complete. Well, okay, obviously not because we have this sequel, and another on the way. See, this is why I said this was going to be rambling thoughts and not a review. I just always saw Warm Bodies as a single, contained thing: we witness their story, the most important part, and that was all we needed. The Burning World is like what I imagine Pacific Rim: Uprising and Stranger Things Season 2 will be: I liked the original so I'm happy for more... but I also can't figure out where they're going to go because the originals were self-contained, complete stories.

I don't resent knowing where The Burning World took us. I don't feel robbed or cheated out of some imagined happy, easy life I conjured up for R and Julie. It does make sense that the world would not be instantly cured by their love, that things would still be difficult with an apocalypse of that size. But when I think about some point in the future when I reread Warm Bodies again (which will absolutely happen since I love Warm Bodies so much), I doubt that I will be thinking about The Burning World as I go through, looking for places in WB to insert things I know now from Burning World. I won't contemplate R's backstory, or call him by his real name, when I'm reading WB. It's not ultimately important or useful to the specific story that is being told in WB; in the larger world of that universe, sure, but not to the specifics of WB.

Does this make any sense? Eh, whatever. I'll give it 4 stars for the writing, beautiful as always, but I'll say 3.5 for the story just because it left me so confused for being interesting and engaging but still somehow... not... right.
Profile Image for Zen.
260 reviews10 followers
June 13, 2017
I am beyond disappointed with this one. Even before I knew there was a sequel coming, I was very happy with the way Warm Bodies ended. I was very happy with almost everything about Warm Bodies... the heart, the humour, the lovable characters, the story... all elements that The Burning World severely lacked.

I am upset with how the first book really made me love R, zombie warts and all, but this book made me hate him more and more until by the end of it I was just hoping he'd die already. I could not stand Julie either. Marcus, Nora and Abram were my favourites and they were not even given the opportunity to shine.

There was barely any humour, everything was grim and dark and miserable, the plot was all over the place... it really seemed like the characters were fumbling about, just happening on points of interest by mere chance, and even these chances weren't explored properly. By the end of the book we barely had ANY satisfying answers, just more and more questions. Not even R's name was revealed! The author milked it for way more than it's worth, and 500 pages later it still wasn't revealed. Ugh.

Apparently there's a third book. Right now I don't know if I even care to read it.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,807 reviews458 followers
February 12, 2017

I have been dying to read this book. I love The New Hunger and Warm Bodies and I NEEDED to read The Burning World. I had some trepidation about reading the sequel in case it was lacking the same greatness of its predecessors. Thankfully, I had no reason to worry.

Isaac Marion dwells into his zombie world without apology. He combines desolation, humor, romance and a desire to fight for life all bundled up together in a perfect blend.
At times, it's gruesome. At others, it's beautiful.

The Burning World follows Julie, "R", M and Nora is this new world where some of the Dead are not dead anymore. It also introduces a multitude of new characters. We get R's half-zombie kids, Abram and his daughter "Sprout" joining forces with them. A new threat has developed and they will have to find a way to defend themselves.

On top of this, R has other things on his mind too:

First, R is having problems adjusting to being alive and how to deal with the prejudice surrounding him and the zombies who have changed too.

"Forget what?
That there used to be more than this.
And that maybe there can be again. "

Second, R is concerned about his relationship with Julie. He loves her and doesn't want to lose what they have together. He wants to be able to move forward with her.

"Julie is a floodlight and I am a candle. She blazes, I flicker."

Lastly, he's remembering his past life. He has tried to avoid it just wanting to keep a clean slate with Julie. Yet, the memories are coming.

Isaac Marion delivers a great tale. There is no way you don't end up forming an attachment towards these characters and what they have gone through. Rooting for them was easy.

There's nothing left but to wait for the conclusion of this series. I'm dying to know how everything is going to play out. It won't be easy. There will be pain but I'm hoping the reward is significant too.

4.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Marissa.
46 reviews
Want to read
June 3, 2013
personally i feel that warm bodies by the book itself is a stellar by its amazing in-depth of its own. Issac is definitely a unique author out there that can put out alot humour and extract a completely beautiful story.

of course though i cant refuse a freakin sequel! love how he says he'll try not to ruin it, at least he's careful not to play us down
Profile Image for Colin.
706 reviews79 followers
September 19, 2018
EDIT: 08/02/17
Four years. Four fucking years after I read Warm Bodies, thinking that was the end of it.
I can't wait until I get my hands on this.


EDIT: 23/08/16


Profile Image for Kristin B. Bodreau.
271 reviews47 followers
November 21, 2022
Second read. This is one of those books that is extraordinarily more satisfying on a second read. After finishing the series and coming back to it, so many more things click. There is more depth and nuance and it is very clever. Actually upping my rating from a 4 to a 5 star read. Looking forward to revisiting the prequel and finale.

The Burning World is both very similar and very different to the preceding two books in the series. It has the same introspective prose and dark but hopeful outlook. The difference lies in the plot. Mainly that it actually has one, whereas the other two only sort of had a meandering almost plot in order to carry the ideas.

I’m not sure how I felt about the plot, honestly. It is always nice when a book has an actual cohesive thread to follow. But with the Warm Bodies stories, part of their charm was in their vagueness and uncertainty. The random crossing of paths and twists of fortune that kept everything just shy of a linear story.

While there is more of a plot than the other two, it does still meander a bit. It’s preachy and has a couple too many “close calls.” But the characters are very three dimensional. There are great links and call backs to the other two books and we learn a lot more about our protagonist, R.

The Burning World also leaves us with a cliffhanger like ending, instead of a vague hopefulness like Warm Bodies. That book could have been the end, and no more was needed. With this, you need the next installment. Which, fine, it’s a series. I’ll allow it. I do plan on reading the next one.

If you liked the writing of the first two, give this one a go. It’s got the same great voice with a bit more meat on its bones.
Profile Image for Jumana Hiasat.
3 reviews18 followers
Want to read
January 24, 2015


I hope the sequel is better though. Because I really loved Warm Bodies and I wouldn't want the sequel to ruin that.
Profile Image for Yvonne (It's All About Books).
1,990 reviews250 followers
November 14, 2018

Finished reading: November 6th 2018 

"There's no bigger threat to the world than people who think they can improve it. "

P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,461 reviews446 followers
February 26, 2017
I have the fondest memories of Warm Bodies. The lovely self contained take on a Romeo and Juliet set in the post apocalyptic zombie world. Even the movie adaptation was lovely. And yet, seems like few novels achieve success and get left well enough alone. Looks like Marion has much more to say on the subject, hence this ambitious expansion of his fictional universe. If the end of Warm Bodies left you imagining some kind of happily ever after for its characters, this isn't quite it. This is more along the lines of an action driven pursuit of reasons and explanations of the ever present why and how behind the apocalypse. This is a rebellion, a call to arms, a plot to overthrow. It also offers a backstory on everyone's favorite zombie with a one letter moniker...and it isn't what you'd expect at all. So why didn't I love this hefty sequel as much as Warm Bodies? Because it lacked the freshness (this may or may not be a zombie pun) and originality of its predecessor. Sure, yes, but that goes for any sequel. This one specifically just seemed so unnecessary (and I may not be alone in this thinking, the books don't seem to be flying off the library shelves, unusual for a popular new release). Warm Bodies was just right and, while it did leave some questions unanswered and some avenues unexplored, it told the story perfectly and with the correct amount of mystery to use one's imagination. This one explains and overexplains to the point that it welcomes a certain laziness. And what if, unused, imagination will go by the way of math skills after the invention of calculators. At nearly twice the size of the original, this one feels almost gratuitous as in now that the author achieved the popularity and recognition and, presumably, money, there's time to tell the story he wants to tell at his pace. This isn't to say the pacing's off. The pacing is very brisk. Short easy sentences, but surprisingly effective. It's almost disarming, at times coming across with a sort of simplicity I associate with YA and then turning around to really deliver a genuinely poignant or effective sentiment. This isn't YA, but Julie might be, even though she's now out of her teens. Her naïve angst can be trying at times. Good thing she has a practical laconic former zombie to balance her out. R is a reliably compelling narrator, though. He's genuinely likeable. Much like Marion's writing, it's just genuinely likeably and engaging and appealing. It is very much a part two of a trilogy and should be read sequentially. And then you'll probably want to see what happens next. Because it's that sort of a story and R is that sort of a zombie. It's even surprisingly timely in a way, though that may be inadvertent and unintentional. Don't let the bulk put you off either, it reads very quickly. And, despite reservations, a fun enjoyable read. Even if it doesn't set your world on fire, it'll burn the time in a very entertaining way.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,370 reviews919 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 16, 2017
DNF @ 13%

I had been heading towards a slump so that may be part of the reason for my complete intolerance and unwillingness to give this a chance, but this just did not work for me. Warm Bodies was an original (and slightly disturbing) tale of a zombie falling in love with a human, subsequently regaining his humanity in the process. It was a moving and touching novel in the unlikeliest of genres. The New Hunger was even more fantastic, well written, and it made me more excited than I had been for The Burning World to release. But before I had even hit double digits in progress, I was already ready to call it quits. This section was at 7%:

‘Her irises are the usual metallic gray, but as I stare into them, they flicker. A brief glint, like a flake of gold in the sand of a deep river.’

Very pretty words. Marion can definitely string some adjectives and metaphors together but then he had to go and mess it all up.

“What is it?” Julie asks in an awed whisper.
“I have no idea. I’ve never had less idea about anything. We’ve been calling it ‘the Gleam.’ Every once in a while it just… happens, and the Dead get a little less dead.”

And that is all we get by way of explanation.

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It was just such a lame and half-assed attempt at explaining the whole plot point. The dead coming back to life after being zombies, being dead… and you give it some fancy capitalized name and that’s supposed to be sufficient? Sorry, but that just doesn’t work for me. I continued reading up to 13% where the settlement is attacked by a rival settlement and it officially became just like all other post-apocalyptic/zombie tales that I’ve already read at least half a dozen times. Does it switch it up somehow and become original and memorable again? Maybe. The introduction into this unexpected sequel was so lackluster that it wasn’t interesting enough for me to stick around to find out.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,707 reviews286 followers
October 18, 2018
I'm having a love/hate relationship with this series. I liked the first book but felt it was lacking something - mostly explanations. So, I watched the movie. And I loved it more than the book (weird, I know). So when I heard there would be a sequel, I was super excited. I would finally get the answers I so desperately craved! Right?


I swear, this book was like the last episode of Lost. I ended up with more questions leaving then when I went in.

So let's start with what I liked. I liked getting more of R and watching him acclimate to his new lifestyle of sorts. And even his memories were interesting. While I don't feel that I needed to know his backstory, I sure wasn't going to turn it away. And I really liked that R remained the same person from the first book. He was still caring and curious just in different ways now that he was changing.

I also liked the new characters that we meet. Abram and Sprout were a nice breath of fresh air. Sprout was so adorable with her childlike wonder. I can't imagine being a child in this war zone. But she took everything in stride. She just wanted to be with her dad.

But you know what I didn't like...or more so who I didn't like? Julie. I don't know what happened to her character but I absolutely hated her in this book. She was such a petulant pouting child who literally shot people when she didn't get her way. She treated everyone around her like dirt but expected them all to just agree with her on everything. I hope she's better in the next book because right now, I want R away from her.

Another thing I didn't like was nothing was answered. I know I mentioned this in the beginning but it's very annoying. There were multiple POVs in this one, not just R, and there was one POV where I was just lost. Who the hell are the "We" and what is the "Library"? There are still no answers!!!!

Overall, I really enjoy Marion's writing style and how he tells his stories. I just wish he gave a little more in those stories.
Profile Image for Katie.
12 reviews292 followers
February 21, 2017
This sequel to WARM BODIES was everything I wanted without even knowing it. Everything that appealed to me in the first book was brought back, reexamined, and amplified throughout THE BURNING WORLD; from R's honest yet funny internal monologue, to Julie's fierce determination and unflagging heart.

The best parts of this book ask the big questions, like: what makes someone human? and how do we rehabilitate those aren't fully human yet? do we afford those "nearly living" the same rights as the true living?

Marion's writing is so honest and unforgiving, but it makes his characters and their world as real as they could be. You will find a humorous and quirky approach to the sad state of the world in the Exed World Almanac, a post-apocalyptic publication that brings hope to Julie and Nora, as well as others around what remains of the country. You can't help but feel the sheer desperation and hopelessness of the situation.

Unsurprisingly, this is not the last book in the Warm Bodies series, which means that there is a lot going on and very little tied up in the end. I felt that it was exciting and faced-paced, so I wasn't incredibly disappointed at the end (partially because I could tell there was another book coming). Still, it's worth the read, even if you missed WARM BODIES. THE LIVING should be out later this year, and I eagerly await the conclusion to this unique, introspective story.
Profile Image for Bonnie Brien.
855 reviews16 followers
June 14, 2017
Interesting nuggets, but reading this book was disorienting and depressing. Our beloved characters go through torture after torture while on the run, and the book tackles too much: R's return to life, his memory of his past, a bizarre "collective thoughts" thread that didn't connect back to much and was hard to follow, the state of the dystopian America, establishing a cult's presence in the world, defining the bad guys--too much and not really much of a plot. 2nd books in a series are rough. I will make Spencer read the third book first before I decide to read it (it's not published yet). I think Mr. Marion should have left Warm Bodies as a stand alone; it was so utterly delightful.
And one more thing, are humans really that horrible???? I shouldn't be reading this in tandem with the Justin Cronin books. Somebody pass me a Jane Austen.
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