Atria/Emily Bestler Books
February 07, 2017
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Being alive is hard. Being human is harder. But since his recent recovery from death, R is making progress. He's learning how to read, how to speak, maybe even how to love, and the city's undead population is showing signs of life. R can almost imagine a future with Julie, this girl who restarted his heart—building a new world from the ashes of the old one.
And then helicopters appear on the horizon. Someone is coming to restore order. To silence all this noise. To return things to the way they were, the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak. The plague is ancient and ambitious, and the Dead were never its only weapon.
How do you fight an enemy that's in everyone? Can the world ever really change? With their home overrun by madmen, R, Julie, and their ragged group of refugees plunge into the otherworldly wastelands of America in search of answers. But there are some answers R doesn't want to find. A past life, an old shadow, crawling up from the basement.
Reading The Burning World more than five years after I read Warm Bodies felt a bit like R and his former life: you know you've experienced it, that it's somewhere in your mind, but you can't quite remember it . . . at least, until (maybe) something triggers a recollection. Sure, it might have made for a fuller story if I had Warm Bodies fresh in my mind, but like R kept going forward with his life, you can still enjoy The Burning World without it. (Though, unless you just love spoilers, I wouldn't read it before reading Warm Bodies.)
If Warm Bodies was 'Romeo and Juliet with zombies,' then The Burning World is a tour the world Romeo and Juliet live in - beyond the Capulets and Montagues, beyond even Verona. We get to move beyond R and Julie, the airport and the stadium.
To build a new world, to really spread the cure and save everyone is going to be even harder than they anticipated. There might have been those who didn't believe it was possible, who don't trust R or want him around, but those were known adversaries, what they're up against now is something entirely new.
The Burning World still has danger, insight, snark and some romance, but delves much deeper into the characters' pasts (and not just R's), into how the world got the way it is, how more of that world, outside of Post, now is and if there's any hope of 'saving' it. I really enjoyed that, with all of the revelations, with the new experiences and things they learned about the world, Julie and R's relationship didn't stagnate. We have a much fuller picture of who they each are now and I'm looking forward to what that might mean.
This book was full of new developments, new information, new enemies and even a few new characters and was a great expansion of the tale in Warm Bodies. I liked that we kept those characters, that world and that feeling from the first book but moved beyond that small piece of the world. Knowing more of what is happening - and what happened - really helps you understand the characters and their world better. Not to mention a lot of it makes you think. With everything that we know now, all took place and all that might or can, I am eager to see what happens in Book 3, The Living.
Another Book You May Also Enjoy: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
digital copy received for review, from publisher, via NetGalley