BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the world of tomorrow, every man, woman and child is infected with the potential to rise from the dead, but it is still a world ruled by political agenda that will stop at nothing. A sister and brother blogging team seek the truth and a little zombie action, in an ever-descending downward spiral.
PROS: Snarky and cutting wit; excellent future prognosis in a well realized zombie world.
CONS: First-person narrative lacked some of the descriptive exposition to better reveal the physical world; main antagonist is revealed a little late and is a tad obvious.
BOTTOM LINE: With a narrative that speaks to the reader you are drawn into a world of the future that seems so plausible it may have you looking up Doctor Kellis and checking the existence of the filovirus Marburg EX19, just to make sure you don’t need to stock up on ammo and blood testing units. It’s zombies, bloggers, politics, technology and medical revolutions all mixed into a bloody cocktail and poured for your enjoyment. Beware of snarky dialogue that will make you smirk.
In a world where we are all, quite literally, zombies–just waiting for a bad day to shuffle away, seeking a hot meal–bloggers rule the news, social fear is taken to new levels and politics are (as always) the true evil. As a blogger vying for the big leagues, Georgia Mason tells the news the way it should be: full of fact and clean of bias. Shaun is her reckless brother, more interested in making the news than living life in something resembling a sane fashion. Together they take a ride that flies them higher than their wildest hopes and plummets them worse than their deepest fears.
Georgia is the voice of the novel that pulls you through, with smirks and chuckles; while Grant unveils a world where zombies walk and we somehow manage to survive. For the “connected”, this story will resonate with equal parts probability and fascination. For the rest, Feed is written as if speaking directly to the reader of today, making it not just entertaining, but accessible. Grant relates how the world evolved and changed from the world of today to the one of tomorrow and how they survived the zombie apocalypse. She skates the line of pulling the reader from the story, but manages to keep from falling off.
Grant’s research and imagination leap off the pages with convincing science. You will fear the results of medical revolutions that combine with horrifying results–or at least you should. Meanwhile, the real world political analogy is hard to ignore. The 2008 American Presidential campaign seems to be a heavy influence to the politics of Feed, making the book more relevant while also setting expectations that might have led to a more fulfilling realization, if the analogous parts had been more hidden.
Despite their nature, the zombies are not the enemy of the novel. They are a means and a method–perhaps obvious to anyone expecting a satisfying read, as they lack the intelligence to do more than infect and consume. The true antagonist makes himself known with the necessary zeal and fervor of any cartoon villain. Still, this book satisfies on so many other levels that most readers should forgive the thin veil of the antagonist. It seems certain that more, greater things are to come and I expect that some of the great drama that happened off scene in Feed, will probably come to full light in Deadline, part two of the Newsflesh trilogy.
The ending is gutsy and will quite literally blow “your” mind, even if the resolution lacks some of the cutting wit of the rest of the novel. Grant had fun writing Feed and (I think) you will enjoy reading this.
When the zombies come, look to the blogs.