“I never thought I could care so passionately for a zombie…” says Stephenie Meyer on the cover of Warm Bodies. And she’s right. R is a strangely compelling male romantic lead, even though he is dead and has no lips and can’t remember who he is – or was. He thinks he might have been some kind of office worker because he is wearing the remains of a suit. But like the other zombies drifting around the abandoned airport, the past is a blur of half memories that don’t stay still long enough to make any sense. They can only talk in sentences of one or two words and only feel pleasure when they eat the brains of the few still-human survivors they hunt down in the nearby wrecked city.

But something strange is happening to R. During a raid for food, he eats the brain of a young man and feels his overwhelming love for the girl cowering in the corner. So, instead of eating her, R takes her back to the airport smothered in the blood of her lover to distract the other zombies from eating her. Sounds gross – it is. But also oddly touching. And now R is in big trouble for keeping her, instead of making her his lunch.

This is the first novel of Isaac Marion who describes himself as “not married, has no children, and did not go to college or win any prizes.” Based on a short story, the novel is also about to be released as a feature film including John Malkovich in the cast.

Zombies at Christchurch City Libraries

Zombies are very popular in literature and on film these days, so we are running a holiday programme designed especially for children aged 10 to 14 years. On 10 January at Upper Riccarton Library you can have your face painted, listen to zombie stories, create a zombie poster and share a zombie feast. Just ring 941 7923 to register for lots of bloody fun.