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Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich in Warm Bodies Feb 2013

And I thought zombies made rotten lovers . . .

Lao Tzu said character is destiny and it holds true in fiction as well as ‘real’ life. How characters think, what informs their past, what hopes excite them, as well as their physicality and environment, combine to create the next twist or turn in the story. So how can a mindless, flesh eating zombie EVER be a hot love interest? Paranomal heroes can, but zombies? NO!

That’s what I used to think. I even stated in an interview something along the lines of  You’ll never see a zombie romance! It could never work.

No matter how brilliant the plot or true the love, characters have to have a potency of their own, and it’s got to be driving, charismatic. They must grow, change, exhibit emotions (or repress them), have likes and dislikes, flaws and attributes. Basically, they have to be ‘real’ people that the reader, or the viewer, can relate to. If they don’t feel alive they might as well be, you guessed it, zombies, and that’s not going to make anyone’s’ heart throb, or so I thought.

Then I picked up Warm Bodies.

How in the world does one bring a zombie to life? Isaac Marion has the answer. You give them heart, or at least, a vestige of one. Once that awakens, a whole new world unfolds, where even a zombie can fall in love. Warm Bodies, a paranormal romance/horror/thriller, is the living proof. zombies don’t always make rotten lovers.

It might also be proof of a shift in our collective unconscious. I’ve talked before about vampires and other paranormal ‘monsters’ as ‘expression of the collective shadow’, and how our shifting relationship to these ‘demons’ in film and literature reflects a shift in our consciousness as we form a new relationship to that ‘shadow.’  (see Evolution of the Vampire Revisited) Falling for a zombie is definitely taking up a lot of new file space in my research. This thesis just keeps expanding! Bottom line, as a species, we are opening up, connecting with our dark side and transforming it through love, compassion, connection. Allowing.

Whether this book and film are new trend in paranormal romance, (is that possible?) or a statement about evolving human consciousness, Warm Bodies is a fun read! It’s a story about R, a young man in a state of existential crisis because he’s not alive, and not really dead. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic USA where R has no memories, until he eats someone’s. His growth arc is up the Matterhorn! (and I don’t mean Walt Disney’s)


Blurb: When the memories in one of his victim’s brains affect him, he finds himself attracted to, rescuing, befriending and eventually falling in love with the dead boy’s still living-girlfriend. Julie (Australia’s own Teresa Palmer) is a blast of colour in the dreary and grey landscape that is the “life” of the un-living. Their tense, awkward and strangely sweet relationship develops into something that will not only transform R, but his fellow zombies . . .  Warm Bodies the film 2013

It appears love is infectious after all!

Has anyone seen the film? Read the book? Let’s compare notes!

Kim Falconer is an author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels. She’s also an internationally respected astrologer, co-running GoodVibeAstrology.com. You can find out more about Kim at kimfalconer.com or right here on The 11th House Blog. Her latest release is Vampires Gone Wild.