Friday, September 8, 2017

The Burning World

R and Julie are building their life together and living outside of the walls of their sanctuary to show that the healing dead are not to be feared. They have their problems and R seems to be stuck in his healing. He remains numb and fears intimacy with Julie. While all this is going on, the Axiom, a company represented by almost identical unnerving people in suits and ties, arrives at their home and destroys it with their leader. Homeless and stranded, R, Julie, and other survivors traverse the post-apocalyptic world in search of answers.

R and Julie aren't living their happily every after after the end of Warm Bodies. R in particular seems to be stuck. While other zombies are returning to fully to humanity, R remains numb and only half living even though he was the first and the catalyst for the others. None of his memories have come back and he still can't remember his own name. He wants to blend in and simply can't because of his state. This is also the complete opposite of what triggered the change in the first book, so it's a little weird to see this fearful and worried version of R. Through the book, R follows Julie and their group, realizing that he's resisting looking at his past which has frozen his progress. It's not a pretty picture, but he must look at his past to move forward.

There are still mindless zombies in this world that are still dangerous. It's interesting how the perspective of them is different since they all could become human if they had the right interaction. Nora runs a hospital for the undead and helps them transfer over to human. She discovers the Gleam, which appears in her patients eyes once in a while and heals them little by little. This power that healed so many only heals the rot from being undead. Any injuries or wounds are still there and are often fatal, letting the person have a few moments of humanity before they die for good. While Nora works to make sure as many people as possible are saved, others want to keep zombies as mindless shamblers.

The Axiom group is one of my favorite parts of the novel. They are a company populated with interchangeable people only recognizable by the color of tie they wear. Their faces, smiles, words, and demeanor are exactly the same, an apt parody of corporate America. They come into large groups of people, kill off their leaders, and move in purporting to peddle security when they simply want control. The newly living or people transitioning in the middle of living and dead are considered variables and threats to be destroyed or commodities to be used instead of hope for a new world.

The Burning World is a solid and unexpected follow up to Warm Bodies. Some chapters were narrated by "We" and seemed a bit too out there and esoteric compared to the rest of the story. These also feature the adventures of a boy between living and dead with golden Gleaming eyes. I hope he fits into the story better in the next book because it seemed to belong to a different book entirely. The only criticism I have for the book is that, as the second installment, sets up a lot of things for the finale that won't be resolved just yet. I eagerly await the last book in this enjoyable series.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

No comments: