“It frustrates and fascinates me that we’ll never know for sure, that despite the best efforts of historians and scientists and poets, there are some things we’ll just never know. What the first song sounded like. How it felt to see the first photograph. Who kissed the first kiss, and if it was any good.”
-R, Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
I started reading the Warm Bodies series ages ago, presumably when it was first published. I can’t remember now whether I saw the movie or read the book first, but I know that I loved both of them. The movie was funny and made me laugh, but the book…oh, the book.
I fell in love with the book from the first page. I read it in two days, maybe less, with the kind of fevered excitement that only a dedicated bookworm can have while reading, the knowledge that you’ve found a new book to add to your very selective and exclusive “favorite books” list. Then I read it again. I’ve read it over and over and over since then, and every single time, I laugh and I cry and I fall in love with the same quotes and find new ones to adore.
Then I found out that Isaac Marion had written a sequel. The Burning World. He’d also written a prequel: The New Hunger. I bought them faster than you could say “zombie,” read them in less than a week, and laughed and cried and gasped and adored every new word and scene and experience. I didn’t think I could love the series any more than I already did, and yet I was proven wrong at every turn.
I followed Isaac on social media and found that he was embarking on a journey into self-publication, which was oddly in time with my own journey into the weird world of novel writing. I cheered him through all the mishaps and disasters and triumphs, alongside the rest of the Rmy, enjoying the sense of community and fellowship that came with it.
Finally, finally, the last book in the series was published, and arrived in my mailbox in a torn and beaten mailer, with two extra stories to love as well. It was signed, hardback, and beautiful. The Living. The end. It took me a long time to read through the busy start of the year, but I’ve finally turned the last page and read the last line of R’s journey.
I cannot tell you how in love I am with this series, much as I try. I have never before wanted so much to relate to something that was once a monster in my mind, never fallen in love with an apocalypse, and rooted for the typical baddie. I’ve never related so deeply to an author’s style, never loved their phrasing more, never cared so much about such unconventional, complex, truly amazing characters, and felt their pain so beautifully. Every twist caught me off guard, every salvation and failure rang true, every story felt important and connected and like it fit right into the narrative. I am a proud member of the Rmy, and I cannot tell you how much I needed this story, and how much I continue to adore this story, right to the bittersweet end.
Thank you, Isaac.
Originally published at https://www.catwebling.com on January 18, 2019.