Sunday 8 August 2010

FEED by Mira Grant

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

I'm a huge zombie fan, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into this very 'meaty' book. Seriously, it's a long book. :)

The story takes place twenty years after the Rising. That's when everything went wrong, and the dead started rising. When scientists found a cure for the cold, and others were perfecting a cure for cancer, something worse struck the world. Now, people no longer get either of those, but they do become zombies as soon as they die and/or are infected with Kellis-Amberlee.

Georgia and Shaun Mason are a brother and sister team of bloggers living in this uncertain world, where you have to constantly get tested to make sure you're not infected. Georgia's what they call a Newsie, which is a journalist who states the facts. Shaun's an Irwin, which is a daredevil-type who likes to do things for the thrill. There's also a third member in the team, Buffy Meissonier. She's what they call a Fictional, and writes poetry and fantasy but is also a techie.

The story starts out pretty action-packed with Georgia and Shaun in the wild. While Shaun's busy poking a zombie with a stick, a hoard of zombies appear out of nowhere and give chase.

After that incident, things slow down. A lot. Especially when they get accepted into the Ryman presidential campaign. It's an awesome oppotunity for them, and they're looking forward to doing it because it will propel their blogging ratings sky-high. So they head out with Senator Peter Ryman and his people across the country, campaigning in a  lot of different places. This introduces the Masons into a world of danger, mystery, backstabbing, conspiracy, and politics that gets them into a lot of trouble. Things become so serious that they might just end up paying with their lives.

Although I enjoyed this book a lot, because of it's original take on the zombie outbreak, I also found it a little frustrating at times. For me, the politics seemed to outweigh the zombies. And I'm one of those zombie fans that needs more zombie, not less. lol. Like I said before, it's a really 'meaty' book, which in some places felt weighed down by facts and politics. I kept hoping to see zombies on the page. And that's what kept me going. Sure, there were some great zombie scenes in this book, but they were more background noise than anything. Though I suppose that makes sense. After all, twenty years have passed, right? People have adapted to having them there. 

One of my favourite scenes takes place in Eakly, Oklahoma. It was awesome. I didn't expect any zombie action here, but got plenty of it.

I had a few issues with the characters, too. Although I found Georgia and Shaun interesting, I also found them to be a little annoying, and never really felt close to either of them. And I just can't put my finger on why that was. All through this book, I kept changing my opinion of it. One minute I loved it and couldn't wait to sit down to read some more. The next I had to put it down and didn't like it anymore. Then I would get stuck into it again. I found the blog excerpts at the end of each chapter refreshing. I really enjoyed reading them. Very cool. 

At the end of the day, I'm glad I read this book. Because any story that makes me go through so many ups and downs while reading it--excited, enthralled, disappointed, frustrated, sad--is worth spending time with. The social commentary of how the world has changed and how bloggers have taken over the news media is fascinating. And I got a kick out of the George Romero references.

FEED is an interesting, clever, and engrossing book that kept me reading to the very end. Sure, it took a little extra time to get there, but I was glad that I stuck with it. Because what happens in the end was unexpected and very risky for a writer to do. Yet, I think Mira Grant pulled it off very well. It's also well-written, and the worldbuilding very detailed.

If you're a huge zombie fan, you might be a little disappointed with this book. If you like policitics, you'll love this book because it's full of twists, turns and controversy. Also, if you're looking for a different angle in the zombie world, then this one's for you. 

Feed: Newsflesh, Book 1, June 2010, ISBN 978-184-149898-0, Orbit Paperback

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