The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

The New HungerThe New Hunger by Isaac Marion is the prequel to the 2010 release Warm Bodies.  

I read Warm Bodies because I judged by the cover, read the blurb and thought – that’s a bit unusual. Essentially, it’s a new take on that Shakespearean classic Romeo & Juliet,  but with zombies. It’s not the usual zombie chaos reigning, death and depression all around zombie story, but a reverse process, love story with humour zombie story – and it’s a really good read.

So when I saw that a prequel was coming out it went straight on my “to be ordered” pile – it’s now been released and is my #2 book read for 2014.

The New Hunger is a really quick and easy read and not just because it’s under 180 pages long, but because the story just flows.

The language that Marion has used is beautiful, even though it’s describing a depressing post-apocalyptic world being over-run by zombies,  and the fractured isolated ‘lives’ of those within it.

We travel through the wastelands of America viewing life through the eyes of three different characters.  There’s Nora Greene, teenager and guardian to her 7 year-old brother – they’re walking from here to there searching for food, shelter, ammunition and good people among the wreckage of a broken civilisation. There’s Julie Grigio,  who is only 12 but a seasoned marksman – she’s travelling cross-country in the family RV with her parents. Then there’s the Tall Man, the man who wakes disorientated and unsure in the woods, the man who walks but is unsure of his purpose, the man who isn’t alive but isn’t dead… and somewhere along the road their paths all cross.

I found it easy to essentially ‘be’ each of the characters, to be the one savaging for food, fighting for survival as I read (this could also be because I’m binge-seasoning with The Walking Dead) and the ending Marion has woven is finely crafted – heartbreaking with a sprinkle of hope.

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If you liked Warm Bodies, you’ll enjoy the connection between the two books, and if you haven’t read it, then start at the beginning and read them in order with The New Hunger followed by Warm Bodies.

Then once you’ve read them you can watch the movie adaptation of Warm Bodies (which you can read a review of  by Kamilah)

The New Hunger by Isaac Marion is out now. If you’ve read either of them I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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