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The Burning World

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The first sequel to the international bestseller, Warm Bodies.


R is recovering from death.

He’s learning how to breathe, how to speak, how to be human, one clumsy step at a time. He doesn’t remember his old life and he doesn’t want to. He’s building a new one with Julie.

But his old life remembers him. The plague has another host far more dangerous than the Dead. It’s coming to return the world to the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak, and stopping it will require a frightening journey into the surreal wastelands of America—and the shadowy basement of R’s mind.



why preorder?

Why do I hope you'll preorder this book instead of waiting for release day? What difference does it make?

Warm Bodies came out five years ago. That's five centuries in Digital Age time. I know you readers are still out there; I've been honored and touched to see how many of you still care about R and Julie's story and I'm excited to show you where they go next. But it's hard to get the word out when I've been quiet for so long and the book world has stopped paying attention. 

A surge of support now will show my publisher that the readers are still there and it's worth pushing the book harder. It'll show the media that it's an event worth talking about and help it make a splash on release day, which will give it the momentum it needs to reach its readers.

preorder gift!

Preordering usually isn't much more than a bookmark. You still have to wait until release day like everyone else, and you still get the same thing everyone else got. What's the point?

I want to make it more fun.

When you preorder from this website, not only do you get the lowest price possible, you get INSTANT GRATIFICATION.

You get a digital copy of post-apocalyptic America's last newspaper, the Exed World Almanac, a bizarre but enlightening “zine" hand-drawn by a mysterious character who you'll meet in The Burning World.

The Almanac is a high resolution 15-page PDF that you can read on your screen or print into reality. Add it to your bookshelf. Give it as a gift. It will never be published or available online, so it's yours to enjoy and share as you desire.


referral rewards!


If you're willing to declare your love for R publicly and persuade a few friends to preorder The Burning World, I have even cooler things to give you. When you preorder, you'll receive a unique referral link that you can send to friends or post on social media. Every time someone preorders through your link, you'll receive a credit toward these rewards:


Isaac's Scrapbook (5 referrals)

I'll email you my scrapbook of personal photos and commentary documenting my Warm Bodies journey from the original short story I wrote in my early twenties to the glamour and madness of Hollywood, with dozens of behind the scenes photos from my experiences on the set, at the premiere, and afterward. 


R's BFF (15 referrals)

I'll mail you a personal thank-you letter from R himself, along with an exclusive short story, “M's Journal," in which M contemplates the challenges of his new life among the Living. “M's Journal" will be printed on high quality paper and signed. It will never be published either in print or online, so you'll be in possession of something truly unique.


Isaac's Rare Books (30 referrals)
limited quantities
delivered February 7th

You're amazing and I love you and R loves you. I will send you one of my few remaining copies of the early self-published editions of Warm Bodies, of which only 100 copies ever existed, AND a copy of my self-published short story collection, The Hungry Mouth, of which only 500 copies ever existed and which will never be published again in its entirety.


Isaac Will Literally Marry You (50 referrals)
extremely limited quantities
delivered February 7th

That's a joke. Maybe. But support like this demands extraordinary gratitude. After I'm done crying, I'll contact you to let you pick your choice of whatever's left of the following one-of-a-kind items:

1. A red hoodie with an embroidered patch featuring the film production's unique skull logo, made special for the crew.

2. Several large “Isaac Marion's International Airport" decals that were used on the luggage carts in the airport scenes.

3. A copy of the shooting schedule for the last day of the movie's production, just like the ones the actors used.

4. Three pages of the original hand-drawn text and art that compose the Exed World Almanac.

5. One page of the original hand-written text that appears in The Burning World.

Also, I'll name a character after you! And maybe a coffee date if you're ever in Seattle? I'll stop now before this gets weird.


NOTE: if you'd rather take a more hands-on approach and just physically throw books at strangers, you can play the game that way too. You'll get a referral point for every copy you order, so...if you want to buy 50 copies right now, marital bliss with a bitter and emotionally distant author can be yours! 









My name is R. It’s not much of a name, but someone I love gave it to me. Whatever past lives return to me and whatever other names they bring, this is the one that matters. My first life fled without a fight and left nothing behind, so I doubt it was a loss worth mourning. A man I don’t remember mixed genes with a woman I can’t recall, and I was called to the stage. I stumbled through the curtain, squinting into the blinding light of the birth canal, and after a brief and banal performance, I died.

This is the arc of the average life—unexamined, unremarked, unremarkable—and it should have ended there. In simpler times, life was a one act play, and when it was over we took our bows and caught our roses and enjoyed any applause we earned, then the spotlight faded and we shuffled backstage to nibble crackers in the greenroom of eternity.

Things work a little differently now.

Now we duck behind the curtain to find another stage. This one is dusty and cold, thick with cobwebs and reeking of rancid meat, and there is no spotlight, no audience, just a crowd of nameless extras sighing in the dark. I don’t know how many years I wandered that stage, performing horrific scenes from a script I couldn’t read. What I know is that sixty-seven days ago, I found an exit. I kicked open the door and stumbled out into the daylight of my third life, the one I never expected and certainly didn’t deserve, and now here I am, clumsily learning how to live it.


I lean against the sheet of plywood, pressing it to the wallwhile I fumble in my pocket for a nail. I pull one out and promptly drop it. I grab another; I drop it. I draw a third nail and with slow, surgical movements, I set it against the wood. Then I drop the hammer.

A few mild expletives bubble in my throat, evaporating before they reach my lips. My body is in no hurry to accept this new life. The hammer is a block of ice in my barely innervated hands; the nails are tiny icicles. My heart beats, my lungs inflate, my blood has bloomed from black to red and rushes through me with desperate urgency, trying to wake my tissues from their long sleep, but I am not a normal man. I am not a tanned and toned youth ready for summer baseball. I am death warmed over.

I pick up the hammer and raise it. Swing and a miss! This time a few curses make it through my lips, “damn” and even “shit,” nothing especially bold but enough to release some pressure. I clutch my hand, watching the flesh beneath the fingernail darken—one more bruise for my rich tapestry of wounds. The pain is distant. My brain hasn’t yet remembered that my body is valuable, and it barely bothers to notify me when I damage it. I am still a tourist in the land of the Living, snapping pictures of their struggle from my hotel balcony, but I want nothing more than to join them in the dirt. Numbness is a luxury I’m eager to lose.

The plywood slips and falls on my foot. I hear one of my toes crack. I don’t even have the energy to swear, I just sink onto the couch with a long sigh and stare through the scorched, splintered rift in the living room wall. We are a new couple and this is our first house; it’s a fixer-upper. A little putty will take care of the bullet holes, but grenade damage is an all-day project, and we haven’t even started on the bloodstains. At least Security was kind enough to clear out the bodies—the ones with flesh, anyway. We’ve done our best to dispose of what they left behind, but we still occasionally find bone fragments in the carpet, a few phalanges twitching on the kitchen table, a faintly buzzing cranium glaring from under the bed.

Why are we here? In a world where all anyone dreams of is comfort and safety, why did we choose this haunted house in the middle of a war zone? I know there’s a reason we rejected the stadium’s thick walls, something lofty and grand and profoundly important, but I find myself drifting back to the simpler explanations, the small, delicate, human concerns that are the soil for this tree.

I lean back into the prickly cushions and remember the first time I sat on this couch. A cold night. A long drive. Julie on the staircase in her soaking wet clothes, inviting me upstairs.

There are prettier places to live. There are softer and safer places. But this place is ours.